just enough

I've put a lot of miles on my car in the past month, many of them in the pre-dawn hours.  I arrange my schedule to avoid the morning rush hour, so depending on my destination I've been leaving home between 4 and 6 am. 

I'm normally an early riser, so I was already aware of the magic of the dawn.  First light is my favorite time of day.  What I didn't anticipate was the bliss of being the only car on the road in the wee hours.

Cruising along on a mountain pass under a blanket of stars one morning, I felt almost as if I was being carried in the hands of angels.  Everything I needed was given to me at exactly the right time. 

I love to listen to the radio, and when I got too far from my home stations and started scanning, I heard songs I love.  My feet were cozy in my sheepskin slippers, I was in total control of the temperature of my environment, and there were tasty snacks in a cooler right beside me. The road was smooth and quiet, the skies clear.  I even saw a shooting star.

And those road signs!

notes from inside a prison

I had the good fortune and privilege of spending a day inside the walls of a state prison this week. 

I was there to help several corrections officers learn Motivational Interviewing (MI), which is a style of interaction that has been proven to facilitate lasting change. It involves calling forth people's internal motivation to change rather than "scaring them straight."

MI techniques help us ask thought provoking questions and listen deeply to the response.  We learn how to effectively acknowledge our client's perspective, as well as their desire and ability to decide when, how, and what they want to change about themselves. We are curious about what is important to them -- why they want to change.  We help them figure out what's in the way of making those changes, and when they are ready, we support them in making concrete plans to overcome those obstacles.

notice the new

hi!  I haven't been posting lately because I'm involved in a super cool project that's been taking tons of my time.  I'm sure I've mentioned here before that I coach probation officers in Motivational Interviewing.  Well, for several years I've been doing that by phone, but I've recently started traveling to various locations around the state of Colorado to help train probation, parole, and corrections personnel so they can in turn help their peers to implement this evidence-based practice.  It's beyond exciting to be surfing the first wave of a significant systemic change, and I feel tremendous respect for the folks I'm coaching.

So anyway, although I'm short on time I am still chock-full of ideas, and my desk is littered with tiny scraps of paper where I've scribbled things I want to write about.  Unfortunately, if I don't post while the inspiration is fresh, I lose the thread and my notes don't make sense to me anymore.  So I thought I'd better make time right away to write about an idea I heard from Elma Mayer at the end of her monthly teleconference this morning.