As I get excited to dive into this year's Culture First conference tomorrow, I'm remembering a highlight from last year of designing and hosting a panel exploring safety and intimacy at work featuring Chris Marcell Murchison, Jay Bendett, Max Masure, Celeste Hirschman, and William Winters. With this diverse set of panelists with specialties in gender inclusion, activism, and sex and intimacy coaching, this conversation explores the tensions of intimacy dynamics at work and possible ways to move toward professional, intimate connection in our teams....still so relevant. One of my favorite quotes was from Jay who shared that if safety is the ability to breathe, then intimacy is the ability to breathe together. Check out the conversation here
"Navigating unmarked territory to find our way through the mystery is an inherent drive in the human spirit. This ability is the essence of the skill known as wayfinding. It is invaluable, in general, and especially now, as we face very real, high stakes globally."
We speak our values and the way we see life into existence through words, so names have great power. People often ask me why I chose Wayfinding—what it is, what it means to me, and why it's relevant for our times. This is my answer.
Sensing, power literacy, and doing inner work together are crucial skills for stewarding systems change, yet they are rarely discussed due to the double binds we can experience around power dynamics and job security.
Here's a mini clip from my talk—Sensing Power and Cultivating Organizational Aliveness—at last June's Culture First conference hosted by my friends at Culture Amp
In the full talk I explore:
- Our sensing capacity as a critical tool for revealing tension and guiding self-correcting actions in living systems—our selves, teams, and orgs—and how we can practice developing sensing.
- Why we hold back what we sense (even though it's necessary for systems health) due to our relationship to power at work. This can be especially true for those in people leader or people operations roles who are tasked with tracking and supporting the wellbeing of the whole organization
- How we can do the inner work together through rites of passage to release fears and what no longer serves in order to evolve ever more into our org essence
- There's a business incentive to all of this, but what actually gets threatened is our egos. So this work requires great courage, and now is the time.
Watch the full talk here 🙂
Ps. update since the time of this video: I’m no longer with part-time with The Ready—full time Wayfinding full-on😉
Grief is a core pillar of my work along with aliveness, power, connection, and creative possibility. It's a critical pillar, because without engaging grief, we cannot deeply access the other aspects of our capability (the elements we most deeply esteem at work).
Here's an amazing conversation I had the pleasure of sharing with my friend and colleague in the Chinese Medicine world, Gray Estrada, about grief as a critical component of personal and organizational aliveness.
It's a long, rich one—there's so much in here!—so here are some nuggets:
- Unprocessed grief occurs as stuckness and stagnation in a personal or organizational system. It literally blocks the flow of creativity.
- When we hold back emotion and grief it's like damming a river. What I’ve learned through medical qigong is that grief is the acquired nature of the lungs, but the place where we build the dam is actually over the heart. Unprocessed grief manifests as a shield over the heart. Since we can't selectively allow in certain feelings, we are actually preventing our hearts from feeling as a consequence of this dam.
- We can often avoid grief because we don't know how to engage it and have an unconscious belief that if we truly open up to grief, it will drown us. Start small by allowing yourself to feel and being curious about what's there.
- All of the language we use about grief is stigmatizing, but grief is a doorway to openness, invigoration, gratitude, and clarity.
- Nothing eradicates entitlement and invokes presence like grief. “I don’t have to be present—I'll have so many more moments like this!" Will you?
Here's the YouTube video::
In September of 2018, I had the pleasure of speaking on the mainstage of Responsive Conference about power abuse in our culture and at work, and I invited the audience to consider their own rites of passage to release limiting beliefs and fears in order to become more influential agents of change in their organizations. Watch it and hear more here.
I was interviewed by the wonderful Robin Zander on his podcast, The Robin Zander Show, and my episode was just released!
In preparation for the third annual Responsive Conference that Robin hosts where I’ll be presenting on the main stage, Robin and I discuss rituals, transformations, and cultural tensions that are coming to the surface all over the world. We cover the connection between physical injuries and emotional turbulence, the importance of beginnings and endings, and much, much more. Check it out here.
On the eve of Friday December 8, I threw a ReBirthday dance party ceremony to celebrate the end of my 7-year healing journey.
These years since I stood up suddenly, blacked out, and fell off a waterfall on Jan 10, 2011 have been a journey I could have never imagined. One that I’m forever grateful for because I grew into a greater version of myself—more alive, more true, more loving, more joyful, and more powerful. But, oh lordy, what it took to get here…. Read more...
Brendan Baker, founder of Fabric co-working space, invited me to come speak in a fireside chat about company culture and why we can feel like shit at work. It was a great conversation with attendees from Airbnb, Pinterest, Asana, and many more companies. Here are some of his notes from the evening:
Why This Matters to Larissa
Larissa: “I’m madly in love with human beings as a species. We’re living in perhaps the most complex times we’ve faced. I realized in my career very quickly that if we don’t figure out how to be with each other it literally doesn’t matter what our skills are with anything else. That will always be the ceiling on our collective capacity.” Read more...
Yvonne Thackray, founder of the good coach, and I had our first exploration in co-writing an in-depth piece on coaching together based on our collective experience in the field. It's a meaty piece with lots in it that's particularly relevant for coaches.
Coaching as we understand it today is part of an evolutionary process in elevating human potential. As societies continue to realize that each individual has greater potential to live beyond their limitations, coaching has tapped into that growing awareness while filling a gap left by the decline of lifelong structured developmental experiences like guilds, formal mentoring, and initiations. Read more...
In 5 days, I return for the 3rd immersion for my 9-month sex, relationship, and intimacy coaching training in the Somatica Method.
It’s an experiential training and coaching approach, and as with all things with great power that I’ve been attracted to (like nature connection & wilderness/wildlife, entrepreneurship, ceremony & rites of passage, healing), I love it, it attracts me, it scares the shit out of me, it humbles me, and it grows me into my own power and knowing more fully who I am via alchemical processes. Read more...
Intuition is one of the most frequent and mysterious topics I explore with my coaching clients. It inspires curiosity, intrigue, skepticism, judgement, and profound personal growth, as we work together to develop their intuition as a powerful asset. In this article, I share how I help leaders develop their intuition as a key capability by exploring:
- What intuition is and how it relates to intellect,
- How to develop intuitive capacities, and
- How to leverage intuition for more effective leadership.
It's been an amazing first year!
I'm so grateful to all the champions, friends, and family who helped me build this offering that is my dream work in the world.
My gratitude to all the Wayfinders who found their way to me—you beautiful leaders who want to lead from a bigger inner posture, from greater internal alignment and service for your own thriving and the flourishing of others. You inspire me every day and make me fall in love with you in every client session, rite of passage, circle, and workshop.
And, of course, huge thanks to my dear partners—Laura Griffiths, David Beaudry, Yvonne Hau, Tommy Leep, Jenny Sauer-Klein, and Aaron Dignan—for making collaboration and creation SO MUCH FUN! I know this is just the beginning :)
I can't wait to see what this next year holds!
Big love and my deepest bow,
Listening is one of the most fundamental skills in a coach’s toolkit, and I’ve found that few things have advanced my coaching practice (and life) as much as continually refining my listening skills. While this may seem obvious or rudimentary, I’ve been blown away by the layers of subtlety that exist in the realm of listening. In my growth, I’ve learned to listen more deeply to myself, my clients, our shared space, the larger field, and how all of these realities interact. (Read more)
2016 was a tumultuous year across all fronts — politically, ecologically, socially, economically — and 2017 is poised to be similarly ripe with turbulence and great change. In this global and social context,
- What is the role of coaching and the contribution of our field?
- How can we support individuals and teams to grow into their potential and be agents of change, while also taking steps in our work to affect larger, positive social change?
Following the U.S. election of Donald Trump as president, I shared a rich conversation with the good coach’s incisive and wonderful, Yvonne Thackray, about these questions and my approach to showing up now as a coach. (Read more)