These are some of my favorite authors, books, and a few selected quotes:

Richard Strozzi-Heckler: Excerpts from Holding the Center: Sanctuary in a Time of Confusion.

“Our lives are a small stitch sewn on a vast circle of mystery. While we are forever mounting a campaign to order, know, grasp, and control, we are constantly reminded that with all our cunning, we still don’t know a hoot, really, about life. True, the pursuit of knowledge generates power, and yes, we have created tools that if used humanely provide a leverage for helping others. But until we look inside our looking, until we become fully present to what it means to be a human being, we will stray from that which is essential. We exist by the generosity of an abundant and mysterious force that constantly eludes our efforts to author it. Yet in the extravagant and intricate free fall we call our lives there is a beauty that, if we allow it, will shape our spirit into something both wild and comforting.” Page 23.

“What we actually have to offer one another is the simple but daring contribution of our genuine presence. Techniques and theories abound and we can learn half a dozen in an hour, but it is in the pulsating contact between living things that healing and beauty take place. Presence is being present—a state impregnated with an open-minded curiosity, relaxation, and power that comes from seamlessly knitting together one’s mind, body and spirit.

As far as I can tell—and this is something that all my teachers have passed on to me—it is only through practice that this unification can occur. “If you want to tame something,” the fox advises the Little Prince, “sit with it every day at the same time.”

Frederic M. Hudson: Excerpt from The Adult Years: Mastering the Art of Renewal.

“We all have a very brief slice of time on earth. Our lives are wrapped in limiting cognitive structures through which we maintain distorted visions of who we are and who we might become. Such is the human condition. We are mortals not gods. Yet the principles that we choose to explain our lives are absolutely crucial to our destiny, for they shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions. They link us to the world as we see it and define our boundaries. They express our beliefs and define our hopes. They are all we have to measure our lives. Through them we have an opportunity to honor our past, celebrate our present, and design our future.” Page 216.

Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee: Excerpt from Resonant Leadership.

“In our work with executives we have found that true renewal relies on three key elements that might at first sound too soft to support the hard work of being a resonant leader. But they are absolutely essential; without them, leaders cannot sustain resonance in themselves or with others.

The first element is mindfulness, or living in a state of full, conscious awareness of one’s whole self, other people, and the context in which we live and work. In effect, mindfulness means being awake, aware, and attending—to ourselves and to the world around us.

The second element, hope, enables us to believe that the future we envision is attainable, and to move toward our visions and goals while inspiring others toward those goals as well.

When we experience the third critical element for renewal, compassion, we understand people’s wants and needs and feel motivated to act on our feelings.” Pages 8 and 9.

David Whyte: Excerpts from Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity.

“Often, in order to stay alive, we have to unmake a living in order to get back to living the life we wanted for ourselves. It is this cycle of making, disintegration, and remaking that is the hallmark of meaningful and creative work.” Page 77.

“Once we have built our work and our contribution around our natural gifts, we have joined a great gravitational river where the current is flowing in the direction we wish to travel. Longing is a deep current of gravity that we perceive will take us home, or to a new home, and being caught in that gravity field is the sense that we have of belonging.Page 138.