The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Small stuff matters... in life and death

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Saturday, January 22, 2011
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Dr. Richard Carlson hit international fame with his Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series. But on December 13, 2006, a pulmonary embolism took Richard’s life and plunged his wife Kristine and two daughters into shock, heartbreak and a journey through grief. Not everything is small stuff.

Kristine Carlson’s new book, Heartbroken Open, sits on my desk, waiting for my review. I glance at the pages and what jumps out—even in a cursory fashion—is the value of  the small stuff that connects us to life. It is the small things that friends do when we are  in pain. Small gestures. Small rituals that comfort through their familiar patterns. Small signs of promise--like wedding candles that remain lit when winds off the Columbia Gorge suddenly stop.

I already know this book channels raw emotion, brutal honesty, and poignant navigation through the swollen, muddy rivers of grief. I need to read this book-- first and foremost to understand the little things I can do to support friends going through such intense periods. But the other reason I will read this book-and keep it in my library is that I sense Kristine will show me small steps that can help in many other kinds of losses.

At the start of another decade, surrounded by disasters, tragedies, downturns,  economic pressure, and unimaginable violence like that which claimed innocent  lives in Tucson, our hearts will break many times.  But it we learn to keep our hearts open, I believe we  can grow to become more authentic and caring people.

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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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