Setting Boundaries will Set You Free

October 2022

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Update from Eileen!

Setting Boundaries will Set You Free

Memories might “fall” away in this Autumn season. But then, some seem to surface as if to re-teach me what I need to learn. I just found this journal entry about my experience as a camp counselor at a unique weeklong away-from-home program for at-risk kids ages six to ten. Little was I prepared for the fact that I would be the one changed, challenged, and ultimately consecrated in my belief that youth hold the key to our future.


"Even before the children arrived, my preconceived notions were turned upside down in the meeting of other adult counselors and teen volunteers. Among them were former gang members, a Canadian social worker, music therapist, oncologist, Hollywood producer, a graffiti artist, a volleyball captain, South American refugees, and more. The outfits ranged from low rider pants and pierced belly buttons to NYU sweatshirts and over-sized, lace-less tennis shoes.  In the course of a week, I watched this crazy collection teach and love and play and control with a 24-hour diligence and compassion that DID accomplish its mission: to help kids feel supported by caring adults and discover how to create a community where you can have conflict without violence.


My seven, ten-year-old campers named themselves, “Princesses in Training”. That made me Queen-for-a-Week in a less-than-palatial San Bernardino mountain cabin where “turning neighbors into friends” was the motto of the Global Children’s Organization. Our faces told the story of age and origin: Hispanic, Korean, African, Russian, and Irish.


I surrendered my desire for Pennsylvania Dutch order and discovered that control works best if you present two equally acceptable choices. I learned repeat songs, link tag, and the precious value of waking everyone with a gentle voice and a back rub. My emotions ran from enthusiasm to despair, from excitement to anger, from obligatory concern to downright motherly love. In the absence of a clear-cut structure, the clarity of our intention created an amazing outcome. I re-wrote Dr. Seuss, got chased out of a building by a bear cub, thrilled at the tattoo on my arm (ok—magic marker but—hey!) and wept deeply with my kids when we parted seven days later."


Can a week make a difference? If anchored in emotion—most definitely. A mountain is worn down by drops of water. I was privileged to be one of the many drops.


P.S. I made my girls official “Princesses” on the last day. And the duty of a princess which they solemnly accepted: to care for her people. Now, years later, I hope they remember that duty.

Setting Boundaries will Set You Free
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How A Kangaroo App Jumpstarts Connections

I admit: Not sure exactly how this works but it is as intriguing as the dickens. According to market strategist Vickie Sullivan, the metaverse storytelling app Kangaroo is for the consumer market. Sullivan writes that a celebrity can start the story but then readers can add their own characters and plot lines. Interaction is the key. I think I’ll have to call Vickie to find out more.

Lessons From the Gym Energize Performance!

“Where do you get all your energy?” That’s a question many of us are asked as we finish leading an intense management retreat, conducting a training session, or keynoting a major conference. My answer, after I jokingly say, “Drugs!” is “Exercise.”


I’ve realized that some of the lessons learned in a physical fitness program are appropriate for our personal and professional growth and also have application in the corporate training room.

Just For Fun

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just leave me the heck alone. (Yes, some days are like that.)


The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.


It's always darkest before dawn. So, if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

Must Read Book

Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free: The Ultimate Guide to Telling the Truth, Creating Connection, and Finding Freedom by Nancy Levin


Having healthy boundaries is essential to being resilient in business and in life. You may have some boundaries in certain areas of your life but none in other areas. The author helps you to remedy this by making an inventory of your current boundaries and gives you practical steps to take control and set boundaries in areas where they may be lacking. Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free gives you the tools and exercises you need to help you have healthy boundaries and learn that you are the sole reason people walk all over you. It’s up to you to define and use boundaries on a daily basis and this book helps you do just that.

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Must Read Book

Resilience Lessons in Building from Hurricane Ian

I grew up in Florida and have been through five hurricanes. However, the intensity of these storms in the last few years underscore the need to rethink so much of how we live and work. Climate change is real and to ignore reality is to invite more disasters.


Because adaptability is the first skill of resilience, I did find encouragement in one Florida location, Babcock Ranch — an innovative community north of Fort Myers where homes are built to withstand the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them without being flooded out or losing electricity, water, or the internet. The more I read about this sustainable development, the more I am encouraged that there are ways we can learn to live with such weather.

Another Recommended Book!

Reclaiming Your Community: You Don’t have to Move Out of Your Neighborhood to live in a Better One by Majora Carter.


I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a weekend with Majora at the Berrett Koehler Authors’ Retreat this past weekend. Her clarity, sensitivity, and no-nonsense approach to creating a community that works left me inspired and hopeful.

Fascinating Facts Put the World in Perspective!

More than ½ of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska.


The Amazon rain forest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen supply. The volume of water in the Amazon River is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined.


Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined!


Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.


Antarctica is the only land on our planet not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica. This ice represents 70% of all the fresh water in the world.

About  Eileen

If you are looking for a unique keynote speaker in resiliency, a facilitator for executive retreats, a speech coach or an emcee/moderator, then you want to work with Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE. Eileen has spoken for audiences as large as 15,000 and facilitated groups as small as 18! She is the author of seven books and other products that you can find in her online store. The British Research firm of Global Gurus ranked her #4 among the top 30 communication gurus worldwide. Why not hire Eileen for your next event? 

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Ranked 4th!

GLOBAL GURUS RANKS ME 4rd in the top 30 COMMUNICATION Gurus worldwide for 2022. Thanks to the British Research firm and their survey of some 25,000 business professionals.

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Mission Statement

Our Mission is energizing the life of work and the work of your life. We work with and speak for organizations that want people to create meaningful relationships with all their stakeholders and to develop a resilient leadership capacity for living a life of balance, engagement, productivity, and purpose in a changing world. We value laughter, life-long learning, and leadership through service.

© 2021 Eileen McDargh All Rights Reserved

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