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Letting Go of Outcomes and Being Who You Are

It is the time of year when we are bombarded with messages about goal setting and resolutions. It is built into us that when the calendar hits January our thoughts and conversations turn to “what I want to accomplish”.

 Resistance, like the Borg, says in Star Trek, is futile. The message relentlessly seeps in. Even if I don’t want to do any goal setting, my mind begins to conjure up destinations and images of a more fit body, a better-organized workspace, eating all of those good organic healthy foods. Like a summer cold, it is like a virus that shows up inside of me.

 A quick search of the top 10 resolutions for the new year reveals the following:


  • Lose weight and get fit
  • Quit Smoking
  • Learn Something New
  • Eat Healthier
  • Get Out of Debt
  • Spend More Time With Family
  • Travel to New Places
  • Be Less Stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink Less


They also happen to be the top 10 resolutions that we fail to keep each year.

 Most resolutions dissolve into...

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What's Happening In Your Neighborhood?

Last week my family and I went to see the new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. It is a tale based on true life events of how a cynical journalist develops a friendship with children’s television icon Fred Rogers. If you check it out bring tissues :)

Mr. Rogers was a beloved TV personality who invited his young viewers into his “neighborhood” for 895 episodes to talk about what goes on inside of us. He trusted that when children felt invested in by adults they could learn the lessons they needed and apply them in their lives.

The genius of Fred Rogers is that he met his young viewers right where they were. He had three simple rules: 

1. Be Kind

2. Be Kind

3. Be Kind

He used his show to convey that they were worthwhile, special and could share whatever they were going through. When he told them all feelings were mentionable and manageable, he was handing them the keys to their own social and emotional learning.

Now, this can be a...

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Building Social-Emotional Intelligence

Much is made in educational circles these days about social-emotional learning and intelligence (SEL). Schools everywhere are scrambling to address the social and emotional needs of youth, developing and implementing curriculums, and creating policies. The workplace is also getting on board as more and more businesses are realizing that the key to a successfully run organization is having employees who can solve problems independently and possess solid interpersonal skills.

I think schools, however, get a bad rap. Increasingly, they are asked to do more with less. Everyone wants our students to achieve their full potential.  Educators are faced with the awesome and daunting task of providing learners with the skills for success. There is a lot of emphasis on what we need to teach but very little on how to do it. How do you engage, inspire and lead students through the maze of stuff that is thrown at them and help them make sense of it? How do you help them retain what is...

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Happy Mental Health Day!

October 10 is World Mental Health Day. According to the World Federation for Mental Health, it is a day to “celebrate awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping those feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change.”

My contribution to the cause is to use and show people the ACT Matrix so they can promote their own mental health and show it to others. 

To do that, you can do the mental health loop.

Draw this diagram, otherwise known as the ACT Matrix.

Ask yourself, “Who is important to me?” Recall your important people and jot them down in the lower right. Next ask, “What kinds of yucky stuff (like fear and anger) shows up inside of me and gets in the way of what I want to be doing?”. Jot that down in the lower left. Now ask yourself, “well, what do I do to get away from that yucky stuff...

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Where Did My Flow Go?

Uncategorized Oct 06, 2019

Flow happens when we are fully invested in-the-moment. We could be playing a sport, dancing, writing, teaching or creating a work of art. Flow also happens when we are feeling in the zone in our daily lives. The trick is how to get into a state of flow and how to return to it when the going gets tough.

In this webinar, I present how to use the ACT Matrix to set yourself up for flow states. Check it out and learn how to get your flow going!

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How to Crush the First Day of School

Uncategorized Sep 03, 2019

It has finally arrived, the way it always does. We turn the calendar page and there it is… 

Back to School!

Three words that can induce both excitement and fear in educators and students alike.

182 days over the next 9-10 months invested in learning and working to make a difference. What do we want students to learn? How do we make school real, relevant and rewarding?

We ignore these questions at our peril. Whether we admit it or not, educators are in the business of influencing.  How do we set things up to make school real, relevant and rewarding? There are many ways to influence. In my most recent webinar, I present a simple and easy way to get you started.

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The Art of Being Podcast with Kevin Polk and Phil Tenaglia: The Matrix Does the Matrix

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2019


Kevin Polk, the creator of the matrix, began a podcast called "The Art of Being with the ACT Matrix ". I recently joined him as co-host. Together we chat about how the matrix is used with invited guests as well as what we cook up on our own. 

This podcast looks at the classic movie, "The Matrix" from the ACT Matrix point of view. Check it out via the link below:

The Matrix Does the Matrix

The podcasts are now available on Soundcloud, Google Podcasts and Stictcher.

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Defusing Difficult People


Do you have difficult people in your life? ( I see you nodding your heads up and down and a few of you are holding your head in your hands ).

The Prosocial matrix is a great tool to defuse difficult people who can get you down from time to time. In this video you will learn how to set up a very flexible way to have difficult conversations and maintain your sanity.

This is a safe approach with no harmful side effects:)

Appropriate for all ages, shapes and sizes.


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The Stories We Tell Ourselves


We are in the middle of a heat wave. Hot has taken on new levels of meaning.


I returned home last night to discover  the air conditioning unit in our home that has been serving us well has succumbed to the blistering temperature. Our HVAC expert is performing emergency services all over town and we must wait out turn.


A story immediately forms inside me, a story of misfortune and loss and a longing for coolness and comfort. My internal misery meter inches upward. I can notice it showing up in me as well as my wife and our children. Then I pause, take stock and think of ways to adapt to the inevitable.


Break out the fans, rearrange the sleeping quarters and watch a little TV. My niece shows up after working later in the evening and we all catch up for awhile before turning in. Discomfort is along for the ride but not driving the car.


I get up early and take my son to his summer job as a golf course groundskeeper. He notices he doesn’t...

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Reinventing Organizations to Unleash the Power of Your Team


This is a webinar I developed along with Donna Read, a fellow Prosocial Matrix Trainer.

If you want to know how to assess where your organization stands and how to influence teams toward healing and change, I look at how to apply Frederic Laloux's Reinventing Organization book and research to the Prosocial Matrix process and create powerful contexts for change.

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