Goddammit!

Rebecca Ryan on living fully in the body, like a child – July 2020

I still laugh when I remember this…

My friends Steve and Lisa have three daughters. Their middle child, Maddie, lives her life COMPLETELY in her body, on full volume. One afternoon when Maddie was about 4 years old, she was playing on their swing set, full force as always. Inevitably, she fell, the kind of fall that made all of us adults wince. When she stood up, her knee was scuffed, as were the palms of both hands. Her leg was bleeding. And you could see it rising in her little face: pain, surprise, maybe embarrassment. She was going to erupt in tears when her dad interrupted, “Oh honey, it hurts, doesn’t it? Just scream ‘Goddammit!’ That always makes it feel better.”

This got Maddie’s attention. She straightened and tightened her body and screamed “Goddammit!” at the top of her tiny lungs.

All the adults laughed. That made Maddie laugh. The pain and tension of the moment broke.

I’ve used Steve’s advice many times – moments when I have wanted to scream out of frustration or anger. And I let myself do it. I take myself outside and let ‘er rip. (Sorry, neighbors.)

These times are making us all more sensitive to the energy circulating. A few weeks ago I started noticing that towards the end of morning zazen, I had a physical urge to run. So I started running again, pushing myself physically, to help manage the energy of this time.

Dr. Larry Ward, while speaking about healing the karma of our racial past, shares his strategies for managing energy: he puts himself in nature three times every day; sometimes he dances; and sometimes he simply lies on the ground and lets beautiful music wash over him.

I encourage all of us to notice how our bodies, our largest sensing organ, wants to express itself in these times…and let ‘er rip.

IZL Announces Fall Program Schedule

We live in extraordinary times, and the work of Zen Leadership is more necessary than ever. In designing our fall programs and schedule, we’ve taken into account pandemic conditions and the busy-ness of this time, especially for Healthcare professionals, in the hopes that you can find a way to resource yourself with the resilience and wisdom of this training. We will bring the training to you. 

We’re especially pleased to announce an online “serialized” HEAL 1 and Zen Leader 1 program that will take place on 6 consecutive Saturday mornings from 7-10am (US CT) running from September 19th through October 24th, led by Adrienne Hampton MD and Dennis Tirman. Read more about this program and register here. We’re also running a 4-session serialized FEBI certification this fall that equips you to make FEBI your own in your leadership, coaching, or everyday work. The program meets 10:00-11:30 CT on 4 Tuesdays: September 15 – October 27 (every other week).  

The balance of our programs will run on our “traditional” long weekend format, adjusted for the online platform and for time zones that span the globe.  You”ll find our online programs are a lively mix of Zen leadership instruction, zazen, physical activities, work with partners and small groups, and interspersed with healthy breaks aways from the screen.

When we first took our programs online this April, we were concerned the online format would be “second-best”. But to our delight and (somewhat) surprise, people have found them (and made them!) as effective and meaningful as our original residence-based programs. One participant noted, “Overall, totally impressed by how much depth we were able to achieve in a virtual setting. I would say it worked super well … I loved the EXPERIENCES we made and that was the gem for me.”

Our online programs are a fraction the cost of residence-based programs, and of course there are NO travel expenses. Moreover, when you’re done, you’re home! Peruse our Programs page or look into these individual programs. The time zones around which the programs are designed are noted below, however you may participate in any program you wish. 

Zen Leader 1 – Asia (Vietnam) time zone, (weekend workshop) September 17-20

Zen Leader 1 – serial course, Saturdays September 19 – October 24 (any time zone)

Zen Leader 1 – US time zone, (weekend workshop) October 22-25

HEAL 1 – serial course, Saturdays September 19 – October 24 (any time zone)

Zen Leader 2 – EU time zone (weekend workshop) August 27-30

Zen Leader 2 – US and EU time zones, (weekend workshop) November 19-22

HEAL 2 – US and EU time zones, (weekend workshop) November 19-22

Zen Leader 3 – US and EU time zones, (weekend workshop) January 21-24, 2021

HEAL 3 – US and EU time zones , (weekend workshop) January 21-24, 2021

FEBI Certification – serial course Tuesdays (every other week) September 15 – October 27

If you already know this work calls you and you want to get certified as a ZL practitioner, instructor or coach, we have a discount package for the pathway that gets you there.  Learn more about our Certification Pathways.

Any questions? Get in touch with bill@zenleader.global and he’ll help you out.


The 3 Laws of Energy Management

Energy is a renewable resource when we’re talking about our own bodies, but there are better and worse ways to manage it.  Learn more about the better ways  using the 3 Laws of Energy Management:

  1. Rhythm, not Relentless – Build a rhythm into your day, including practices that stretch and renew
  2. Down, not Up – Settle down and breathe deeply to and from your center.
  3. Out, not In – Extend your energy through the extensor side of the body, relaxing the front flexor-side.

For a more detailed explanation of these fundamentals, download the 3 Laws of Energy Management from The Zen Leader.

Download the 3 laws of energy management

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