Return To Purpose. On Purpose

Uncategorized Oct 26, 2019


Pardon me if I can’t stop smiling; I’m just back from our Watershed Group event in Orlando, Return to Purpose, and I’m still processing an experience that for me and those with me was no less than transformative. There’s a line from the Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts, that expresses it perfectly: “Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be.”  I know now I’m exactly where I ought to be, and it feels like coming home.

Some Hospice Master Class members at my Return To Purpose event!

I commissioned two songwriters from Nashville to write a song called Return to Purpose, and they came and played it for us which was wonderful.

Stowe Dailey and Karen Taylor Good are StoweGood

I read aloud the story of Snow White and used the archetypes of the story to remind my listeners to look within when they’re looking for character. We had a dream circle at the end of it all that was nothing short of magical.


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Five Ways to Fight Mission Drift

mission nomissionnomargin Oct 12, 2019

Five Ways to Fight Mission Drift

Are you or your organization losing touch with your mission? Mission drift is all too common, even in organizations whose sense of mission should continually inform every choice made especially in hospice. Without clarity around our mission and full commitment to it, we can also lose sight of our purpose, and ultimately fail to serve the people or cause for which our organization was created. Once that happens, it’s as though we’re swimmers caught in a powerful riptide that pulls us further and further off course.
Photo by David Iskander

Mission drift doesn’t happen overnight. More often it’s a sort of death by 1,000 tiny cuts.  A bad executive hiring decision is made by the board or by upper management because we’re so blinded by the resume that we’re willing to ignore the new hire’s lack of understanding of or commitment to the mission. Our frontline workers may be handed a copy of our mission statement...

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Have you noticed all of the “noise” in your life lately?  The constant chatter on emails, texting, Face Book, Twitter, political debates, talk radio and talking head news, it is endless.  It seems everyone is talking but is anyone really listening?  Social media offers so many options to “connect” with anyone, anywhere, anytime that a conversation now consists of emojis or single letters vs words.

While it’s wonderful to instantly send off a text or email to a friend or colleague for quick interactions, yet at the end of the day, how meaningful are those exchanges?  Are you reminiscing about the beautiful text you received and how it made you feel as you’re falling asleep at night?  Or are you feeling frustrated because your in-box is overflowing, and you don’t have time or energy to respond to everyone who wants something from you?

Many of my clients have the problem of staff “over-sharing” emails. ...

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3 Tips to Coping, Even With Mother Nature

Has your summer flown by? School’s in session already, Gator football has begun, and Hurricane season is in full swing. The big Labor Day arrival of Hurricane Dorian in my home state Florida has everyone on edge.

With Floridian’s anxiety meters shifting from low gear to high, it’s easy to begin to dread what this storm might bring. In addition to all the usual storm prep of batteries, water and cans of tuna in the cupboard, and an evacuation plan, it's also important to stay emotionally balanced. I begin by asking myself three questions:

  • What is my intent for this experience?
  • How do I want to FEEL this week?
  • What do I want to achieve this week?

Yesterday I could feel my anxiety rising as the gas stations were running out of fuel and news stations were showing the horrific devastation this storm could bring. I had to stop, and consider my intent, “I want to be calm in the storm”. No matter what storm arrives, Mother Nature’s fury or a personal or...

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How To Have A Great Week


How are you ever gotten to Friday and thought, “what did I accomplish this week? Nothing!" then feel pretty lousy because of it?

You are not alone. I certainly have felt that way on many Fridays and promised myself that next week I’m going to do it differently.

Watch the video to get 3 tips on how to get your week started off on the right foot!

  1. Set your INTENT for the week. Don't just be the victim of circumstances, set your expectation/intent for the week and live into it
  2. Decide how you want to FEEL and stay there, even in the ebbs and flow of life. We know ups and downs happen, but we get to choose how we feel about them. Choose Joy, no matter what.
  3. Create the list of things you MUST do and the things you WANT to do and schedule both in your calendar. Always include something to look forward to in the week

Hope you have a great one!



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When We Give a Little Too Much

When We Give a Little Too Much

“It’s better to give than receive”: As noble an ideal as that is, there’s a limit to giving that too many of us involved in caregiving choose to ignore. Where does it lead us?

Those of us in healthcare and other service fields have been taught that giving is honorable and receiving is selfish. So, we give of our time, our money, our wisdom, our ideas and our love without restriction or any overt expectation of return. It feels so good to give, seeing the smiling and grateful faces of those we serve is the reward in itself.

But what about the other side of that equation? What happens when it’s time to receive? Is receiving as easy and pleasurable as the giving side? Very often the answer is no. We are taught to continually push past our limits, that asking for help is a sign of weakness. When we are given a compliment or accolades for a job well done, our automatic reply is “it was nothing” and deflect the gift....

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Unintentional Teachers

"People facing death can be our greatest teachers. Their lessons may not come with lightning speed or in conventional ways. But they often come straight from the heart, and are more lasting than any other lessons we can learn"     

Patti Moore, APRN, RN

This quote is from my book No Mission No Margin: Creating A Successful Hospice With Care and Competence and it jumped out at me today.  My 35 years of hospice work has exposed me to many, many people who knew they are facing death.  Each person gave me something to add to how I wanted to LIVE my life and I say a prayer for them, my unintentional teachers.

This past weekend was filled with tragedy.  I heard of my colleague and friend Kathy Brandt's death.  Kathy dedicated her entire professional life to hospice and palliative care and served in many national roles.  Kathy made a difference on a grand scale.   When Kathy discovered she had terminal cancer she chose QUALITY...

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The Hidden Value of Vacations

My husband and I recently took a trip of a lifetime to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my company The Watershed Group and our 37th wedding anniversary. Starting in a small alpine village in the Austrian Alps,

then journeying to north of the Arctic circle to the Lofoten Islands off the coast of northern Norway.

We were in search of beauty and peace, tonic for our souls.

As so often happens in travel, we found much more than we were looking for. Beyond the majesty of the Alps and the wild, wind-swept beauty of Norway’s scattered islands, it was the people that we met who shine brightest in our memories of the trip; random strangers who reached out to connect with us, human to human.

There was the young customs agent from the island of Jersey who chatted with us while we waited an hour for our rental car in the Munich airport. We listened, enraptured, to his stories of life on a tiny island in the English Channel and his quest to achieve his triathlon dream in Nuremberg,...

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Happy Summer!

2019 hospice summer Jul 03, 2019


Summer is in full swing!

Image Above: Martha's Vineyard 2018

I hope you all have fun plans for the big July 4th Birthday Celebration!  Since I LOVE American History, I usually try to watch parts of the beautiful HBO mini-series on John Adams which describes the first 50 years of our young country.  Then the evening of July 4th there is watching of A Capitol Fourth program on PBS with bands and singers and fireworks from the steps our nation's majestic Capital.

We do venture out for live fireworks on occasion. I love the magic of the sparkling skies and the warm summer air and the sounds of "ooh's and aah's" of the crowd as the skies light up with brilliance.

The blossoms of summer are everywhere in my hometown, crepe myrtle trees are in full bloom and our hydrangeas are bursting with blues and pinks, even on the same bush, how is that for embracing diversity!

This year we are heading out on a July vacation, something we rarely do but felt the time was right...

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The View From the Exam Table


When was the last time you found yourself on the patient end of a healthcare interaction? While I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s certainly an educational experience, and one every one of us in healthcare could probably benefit from. A minor procedure recently renewed my perspective on what the view is like from the other side of the exam table, and I’m beginning to think that seeing it that way is something we all need a refresher course in occasionally.

 Image result for doctors office exam table

When you’re a patient or a member of the patient’s family, anxiety is common You’re often nervous, unsure about what’s to come, and fearful of making the wrong choice based on the amount of information you have. No amount of late-night visiting with Mr. Google can provide you with a conclusive answer, and in fact can leave you more confused or misinformed than you were to start out with. That’s bad enough when we’re talking about relatively minor...

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