Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, edited by Dee DeWitt


“Do you still enjoy what you’re doing?” I asked Theresa as she changed out camera lenses.


Funny you should ask.  I have been re-thinking some things,” she replied.


“Really?  How long have you been a photographer?”


Well, I started when I was 17 and I’m 52. What’s the math on that?”  I was intrigued.  Theresa seemed so established in her work, why would she be “rethinking some things?”


While Theresa moved adeptly about her photography studio, checking lighting, adjusting backgrounds, she told her story. “This economy, it’s been hard on everybody.  I just never thought I would have to worry about my livelihood.  But when folks don’t know how they’re going to pay the rent or buy food, they sure aren’t gonna be paying for pictures.  It’s been tough.”  I shared some of my own experiences with professional challenges and we exchanged that look of mutual misery.


I told Daddy just the other day, ‘I realize these last few years I’ve been grieving.‘ Mary, it just isn’t like me to be depressed.  But I think between the digital age and the economy, this has all hit me real hard.”


We stood silently shaking our heads in agreement. “But you know what, I’m getting ready for a career change.”


My head popped up, “You are? What kind of career change?”


Well, I’ve decided if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  I’m taking classes on how to design websites.  I LOVE it! I LOVE working with the computer!  Imagine how great it would be to have someone who could design your website and take professional pictures to put on that site!  Also, I’m teaching classes for folks who want to learn how to use their digital cameras better.  Some for beginners, some for advanced.  I have more energy than I’ve had in years.”


Astounded, I stood watching Theresa, inspired by her ability to listen deeply to what life was offering her.  How often do we feel a sense of sadness over things changing, a desire to hold on to “what has been,” and struggle to find a way forward? Read More »

Posted on 4 March, 2010 in Career, Motivation
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Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt


One of the dictionary definitions for “integrity” is, “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”


Seems simple enough.  Yet if we choose to be vigilant about what we say and do, we might find it is no easy task…


Maybe I am just projecting my own shortcomings on all of you.


Recently I have had a few occasions where I “noticed” how I was hoping to wiggle out of “full disclosure.”  In one case, there were some messy, hard things happening in the relationship and it seemed easier to gloss over them than it was to be straight with the other person.

In the short-run that strategy can work, but over time my little “white lies” always tend to pile up into a heap that becomes unmanageable. The gifted psychotherapist, Virginia Satir had a saying about “taking out the trash” every day in relationships.  I guess we would have a lot less to clean up if we “noticed” the trash we were about to throw down and avoid making the mess in the first place.


Just the other day I was dealing with someone in a business transaction. When she came to our home I knew we were going to interview other people for the “job.”  In fact, I intended to tell her that.  But when she was sitting there at my kitchen table in the flesh, it felt too uncomfortable to tell her the truth.  After a couple of days, I got up the nerve to let her know our plans.  She was gracious and understanding, but I could tell she was hurt.  I hoped to remember to be more honest from the beginning next time. Read More »

Posted on 22 February, 2010 in Balance, Career
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Article by Dee DeWitt


It’s pretty rare that I have fun.  I don’t know why … it has just always seemed to be this way.  Many times I wonder, is it so hard to be Kevin and to know what I like, what I find to be fun?


It seems to be a constant challenge to be myself.


Over the years, other people have told me that they also find it difficult to figure out exactly what they like to do … for both fun and for work.


And I’ve identified one reason – out of perhaps many – for that.


In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert points out that we’re all more alike than we think.  I’m sure that is true to a degree… but I think it’s also true that we’re more unalike than we think.  This is certainly true when it comes to fun, be it leisure or work “fun.” Read More »

Posted on 5 January, 2010 in Career, Happiness
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Leaning into change means to trust even when you don’t know how it is all going to work out.  It’s a trust that all will be well.”


Article by Malcolm Marler


The boxes are packed, the office is almost empty.  It’s amazing how much stuff one can gather after a decade and a half in one office. Today, I trust to take all that my colleagues and patients have taught me to a new playing field at UAB Hospital as Director of Pastoral Care. And I will “lean into this change,” even though I don’t know the answers of how my new path will go.


Barbara Crafton is an Episcopal priest who recently wrote the words below about what it is like to leave a place you love.  Her words fit what I’m feeling about leaving those I love at The 1917 Clinic at UAB after 15 and 1/2 years as chaplain …


“We had felt so secure with one another, so anchored in this small world, small enough to be manageable, yet productive of more than enough drama to keep us occupied. There was always some new outrage at which to gasp, some funny human frailty exposed. My weaning from it all took a little while. You love the place where you are, and you don’t want to leave. You don’t ever want to leave. But you do leave, and peeling yourself away from familiar people and things hurts. It hurts every time you do it, no matter how many times there are.”


One of the things I have learned in this place is to lean into change, rather than to fight it.


Leaning into change means to trust even when you don’t know how it is all going to work out.  It’s a trust that all will be well. Read More »

Posted on 5 October, 2009 in Career, Motivation, Spirituality
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Article by Dee DeWitt


It’s in the headlines, it’s on the news, and it’s in our day-to-day conversations with people we care about: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and people within our spiritual circles.  Lost jobs.  Lost homes. Lost hope. 


When you’re out of work, where do you turn when it seems nobody can help you or those you love?  How to you overcome unemployment and the negative emotions surrounding it?


Try turning to God and using affirmative prayers.


Originally created in response to their own financial and personal challenges, I have adapted the following affirmations and prayers developed by Paul and Tracey McManus, authors of The 7 Great Prayers: For a Lifetime of Hope and Blessings.


1. Change Your Focus – Give Praise. Take your mind off your life’s challenges and shift your focus toward good thoughts and attaining a new job. For many of your affirmations, affirm as though you have already been blessed with what you are asking for.


Affirmation: I love you God and welcome you into my heart.  Thank you for blessing me with a new job.


2. Put Yourself in a State of Gratitude.  Take a moment and reflect on all the good things in your life and give thanks.  Change your thinking from lack to thanks.  Affirmations without taking action are just wishes.  Take steps forward every day to find a new job and give thanks for everything during the day.  There is nothing too small to give thanks for.  For example, thank God for the beautiful day, a smile, a kind word, not to mention your health, family, etc. Read More »

Posted on 30 September, 2009 in Career, Gratitude, Motivation
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