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How Lava Lamps Work

Author: Jennifer Bowen How Lava Lamps Work

A surprising item on my son’s Christmas List this year was a lava lamp. I’d expect this from a teenager’s list, but not from one still watching Paw Patrol. He was riveted one day by its mystery, hoping with all his might Santa’s elves knew how to build one for him. Santa, of course, was relieved to discover how easy they were to buy. It has been plugged in, and watched with great delight for 2 months now.

When I have a moment to watch it myself, I’m reminding of a theme that comes up in my work.

A question I often hear is about ‘old stuff.’ “When should I address that old problem from my teens? … This bad thing happened to me years ago – it doesn’t bother me too much, but I’m told I should talk about it.”

I find this fascinating.

We do often feel that old painful experiences need to be talked about. Sometimes this is very true. However, sometimes it may not be needed, or it might not be the right time to address it. How do we know the difference?

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2018: "Humbly and Bravely Walk…"

Author: Mark Vander Vennen 2018:

Just before the holidays an extraordinary speech was delivered by an extraordinary person. It is the most inspiring, hopeful and authentic speech I have heard in a long time.

It was the Valedictorian address at McMaster University. The speech was received with a standing ovation and a front-page story the next day in the Hamilton Spectator. It still brings tears to my eyes, even after listening to it several times.

The speech is not quite seven minutes long. Here is a guarantee from me: watching it will be the best seven minutes you will spend this week—possibly even this month. It has the capacity to change you. For me, it sets the stage for 2018—a new year of hope.

The speech was given by Kaitlin Debicki. Who she is makes her speech all the more poignant for me—Kaitlin is the daughter of Andrew and Wendy Debicki. Andrew was our much-loved colleague and staff member at Shalem. He was the leading person in Canada in WrapAround, and his work with us included supporting First Nations/Metis/Inuit communities to blend WrapAround with traditional practices. He died suddenly and unexpectedly on February 10, 2016.

Kaitlin’s heritage is Mohawk Wolf Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River. She was adopted at birth by Andrew and Wendy, which meant, as she aptly puts it, that she grew up “with one foot in each canoe.” She did her Ph.D work at McMaster in indigenous story-telling. And all of that comes through powerfully in her speech.

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