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Index to Blog Posts: 

Dear Blog Followers:

If you are relatively new to my blog, this index shows the currently-posted professional and personal blog posts for your reference.   For some reason, I felt it useful to provide a short description of the professional topics, but not the personal ones. Each entry indicates how many minutes it takes to read the post.

Every now and then someone says “Why don’t you make a book of your blog?”    Since I’m not currently inclined to do that, perhaps you could consider this list the "table of contents" of that hypothetical book. As of the end of April 2021, I have stopped adding to the professional topic posts. I think most of what I may have to say is already here.

Thank you for reading; let me know if you want to be taken off the list at any time, and please send any feedback that you think might guide my future posts.

Best regards,
Marisa Guerin, Ph.D.

Blog Posts - Personal Reflections

Posts about my activities, reading, and interests.

Contents as of 04-10-24

The Meaning of Purple Hair

April 10, 2024

3 min read


King - A New Book, A Complex Life

Feb 5, 2024

7 min read


Astonishing, Quiet, Radical

Dec 15, 2023

12 min read


An Evolving Faith Life

Oct 18, 2023

10 min read


Sept 8 - 16: A Week of Posts on the Wisdom of St. Therese of Lisieux

Adventures of an Author

July 7, 2023

5 min read


Is Black History an Endangered Species?

February 2, 2023

4 min read

The Evolution of a Wife
October 17, 2022
5 min read

On Being a Catholic Who is Both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice

June 26, 2022

6 min read

Wooden Spoons

April 25, 2022

4 min read including the recipe


Thank You! Really, Really

April 19, 2022

3 min read


New Year 2022 and Cranberry Walnut Bread

Jan 1, 2022

5 min read


The Centenary of My Mother's Birth

Nov 23, 2021

6 min read


Can I Have a Nonviolent Relationship with Cancer?

Oct 26, 2021

9 min read


Every Common Bush Afire

Oct 12, 2021

3 min read


What's the Plan?

Oct 5, 2021

5 min read


The Soul's Geography

Sept 28, 2021

4 min read

Cancer? Yes.

Sept 7, 2021

5 min read


How to Know Something

Aug 26, 2021

3 min read


What Love Isn't (Violent)

Aug 18, 2021

4 min read

The Paradox in Being "Single"

Aug 9, 2021

4 min read

Down the Shore

July 23, 2021

4 min read

Handle with Care: Virtual Fragility

July 20, 2021

5 min read

Flowers in Armor

July 12, 2021

8 min read


Whose Side is God On?

June 29, 2021

4 min read

Juggling Again

June 22, 2021

3 min read

Is it time for Briar Rose to Awaken?

June 16, 2021

5 min read

My Friend, The Little Bird

June 8, 2021

4 min read

Women, Vulnerability, Intimacy

June 1, 2021

5 min read


Does Everyone Have a Price?

May 24, 2021

7 min read


Nature Patiently Abides

May 18, 2021

3 min read


On Whose Terms Do We Love Others?

May 11, 2021

6 min read


Joy, Presence and Hugs

May 3, 2021

4 min read


Daily Bread

April 27, 2021

4 min read


The Gift of Father-Love

April 14, 2021

5 min read

Vanishing Reflective Space?

March 21, 2021

6 min read


Time to Bake Irish Brown Bread

March 10, 2021

3 min read


The Damage Done: Perfectionism

March 2, 2021

5 min read


And The Hundred Year Old Doll

February 9, 2021

4 min read


Spiritual Blindness in White Privilege

January 26, 2021

3 min read


Champagne and the Depressive Position

January 19, 2021

4 min read

Sistering the Joists

January 12, 2021

3 min read


A Blogging Reset for 2021

January 5, 2021

3 min read

Trying Not to Take Things Personally

October 29, 2020

5 min read

The Relentless Power of Life

September 15, 2020

2 min read

Three Gold Rings: "Yes, I Do, I Will"

April 30, 2020

4 min read


My Kitchen, My Laptop, My Rosary

March 31, 2020

3 min read


I Want to Run from Distress

January 20, 2020

7 min read

Annual Holiday Baking

December 11, 2019

2 min read

Did Anybody SEE That?!?

October 21, 2019

3 min read

Bypassing the PowerPoint Mind

September 16, 2019

6 min read


Love is Hidden in the Ordinary

May 1, 2019

3 min read

Pruning the Jubilee Tree

March 25, 2019

3 min read

Thoughts about Mystical Experience

March 19, 2019

7 min read


Wrestling with the Smartphone

March 2, 2019

6 min read


Holiday Cookie Baking

December 17, 2018

3 min read


The Mark of Maturity: Autonomy or Relatedness?

December 14, 2018

4 min read

Sopa de Nevera

November 5, 2018

3 min read

It MAKES a Village

October 15, 2018

4 min read


Politics, Power, Gender...and Compassion

September 29, 2018

5 min read

Books, and the Search for Perspective

August 28, 2018

7 min read

My Discovery: Loneliness ≠ Alone

August 8, 2018

3 min read


The White Gaze and Unconscious Privilege

July 19, 2018

6 min read

The Sheltering Embrace of Community

July 1, 2018

2 min rea


I Guess Every Day Can't Be Saturday

May 29, 2018

4 min read


The Edge of Time

May 15, 2018

4 min read


Our Hands Speak

April 26, 2018

3 min read


What's the Opposite of a Romantic?

April 9, 2018

4 min read


Matzo Meditation

March 25, 2018

2 min read


Irish Brown Bread and the Alchemy of Time

March 15, 2018

3 min read


Every 50 years? Mourning and Activism

February 26, 2018

5 min read


Doctors Who Write Books

February 12, 2018

3 min read


"I choose to inhabit my days"

February 7, 2018

1 min read


Let's Listen for "The Second Music"

January 19, 2018

2 min read


From Office to Hearth...This Woman's Retirement

January 19, 2018

3 min read


These times call for resilience

January 16, 2018

1 min read


What I'm Reading on the Kindle

January 11, 2018

2 min read


Blog Posts - Professional Topics

Posts related to consultation practice, leadership skills, and organization dynamics.

Contents as of 10-17-22 ;   

The Blue Tent: When Medicine Must be Violent

Feb 15, 2022

5 min read


How Organization Design Impacts Patient Experience

Jan 7, 2022

13 min read


When History Changes Organizations

Apr. 7, 2021 - Organizational roles have their own histories, changing over time. The pandemic has accelerated this process, driving shifts in the structures, capabilities, and priorities of many institutions and their key roles

7 min read


What Are We Doing Here?

Mar. 30, 2021 - Loss puts organizational ordinariness into perspective; and it also reminds us of the healing power in the daily and normal activities of life.

4 min read

The Power of Organization Design

Mar. 16, 2021 - Organizations are mysterious to some, but the impact of an organizational system on behavior is very powerful, and worth understanding.

5 min read


Types of Consulting: A Short Glossary

Feb. 23, 2021 -- Finding the right help can be confusing. One helpful model distinguishes three consulting roles; another describes three levels of intervention.

5 min read


The Courage To Speak Truth

Feb. 16, 2021 -- Sometimes our roles require us to speak truth to power. Are we properly prepared to take that risk? The paradox is that it is well worth it.

5 min read


Accountability and Office Tools

Feb. 2, 2021 -- Agendas, calendars, and budgets are not just workhorse tools of any organization, but also indicators of our values and accountabilities.

3 min read


Between A Rock and A Hard Place

Nov. 11, 2020 -- When leaders are stuck between two difficult realities, sometimes the choice for courage and honesty dissolves the paralysis.

6 min read

Meetings Make the World

Oct. 5, 2020 -- It may seem that meetings are usually a waste of time, but in fact they are the essence of human collaboration, the way that individuals, collectively, make the world.

5 min read

Time for a No Fault Divorce from Your Strategic Plan?

Sept. 22, 2020 -- Pandemic crises must be survived first, but then it is time to re-think the fundamentals of the organization's strategy and value proposition.

5 min read

Hidden Motives for Strategic Plans

Nov. 7, 2019 -- Strategic planning often carries the weight of unspoken concerns about the organization or the leadership. There can be more to the initial statement “We need a strategic plan” than meets the eye.

4 min read


Is That Issue Too Hot to Handle?

Sept 6, 2019 -- In society, we learn from our cultural surroundings how to handle controversial topics. But in the workplace, leaders must have a toolkit for enabling their teams to take on tough issues that may feel too hot to handle -- or maybe not hot enough.

6 min read


What's Your Connection?

Feb 16, 2019 -- Whether it's designing just the right way to have people introduce themselves in a working group, or facilitating an exercise to reveal the depth of network connection your Board has, this post emphasizes the importance of making good use of the resource represented by the people in the room.

6 min read


Joy and Pain - Good Bosses, Mentors, and Leaders

Jan 2, 2019 -- Mentoring is a tremendous gift and important to pass along when one is seasoned. The leader-follower bond is more complex and carries the potential for disappointment and betrayal. Whether that is tolerable or not may depend on the larger mission that holds - or fails to hold - the leader and follower together.

6 min read


The Leader's "Invisible Mummer's Costume"

Nov 24, 2018 -- Assuming a role of power or influence in an organization changes the perceptions and reactions of others, even if the leader is unaware of or reluctant to recognize this inevitable effect; best to know the difference between self and "costume".

5 min read

Leaders Work at the Boundary

Oct 24, 2018 -- Organizational boundaries both separate and connect -- and the work of leaders is to define, calibrate, and integrate across the boundaries for which they are responsible.

7 min read


SWOT is More Potent Than You Think

Oct 4, 2018 -- The common strategic planning tool known as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is often under-powered. This post addresses the most effective use of SWOT for competitive analysis.

5 min read

What's Your "Role Biography?"

Sept 9, 2018 -- A role biography is the narrative that emerges when we examine how our past experiences of "work roles" in family, schooling, and career have unconsciously shaped our present ways of interacting as leaders and members of systems. It is an invaluable tool for team development and organizational role analysis.

5 min read

Making Communal Decisions

July 31, 2018 -- When groups that value unity have to make decisions that are complex and emotional, they have various options for how to proceed. This post outlines the benefits and limitations of the most common methods of group decision making.

6 min read

Aggressive, Wimpy, or Assertive?

July 11, 2018 -- It turns out to be very difficult to over-correct if you are working on being less accommodating or less domineering in conflict resolution situations. Either effort will land you right in the effective middle: firm assertiveness that is open to and respectful of the other.

5 min read

Surviving Your Career: How to Run with the Bulls

July 2, 2018 --  Running with the bulls is a good metaphor for the "extreme jobs" phase of ones' career.  The wisdom of the natives of Pamplona offers a lesson in how to survive.

3 min read

The Value in 'Plain Vanilla' Methods

May 23, 2018 --  Many group process techniques have brand names and specialized methodologies. But they can be seductive - used to deflect, not engage, with the real work.  Use them when they're suitable, but be just as willing to use "plain vanilla" processes that facilitate challenging work without distraction.

7 min read

Primary Task: The "North Star" of Teamwork

May 4, 2018 --  "Team-building" is a meaningful activity for nonprofit and business organizations that value collaboration. Tapping a common anchor point -- a shared purpose to which all are committed -- sets a more reliable and  fair framework for team-building than starting with personal relationships.

4 min read

The Shape of a Deliberation

April 20, 2018 --  Complex decisions require a process of deliberation that has predictable phases - first expanding knowledge and options, then converging to action.

5 min read

Paradox: "Negative Capability" is a Very Good Thing

April 3, 2018 --  Negative Capability, a term first coined by the poet Keats, is the capacity to NOT react, to tolerate ambiguity, to bear anxiety without impulsively acting to disperse the tension. It's a key form of emotional intelligence for leaders.

3 min read

What Is “Good Enough” Authority?

March 25, 2018 --  “Authorization” is the dynamic of enacted authority. "Good-enough" authorization has three elements: formal role authority, respected authority, and inner authority. Each can be compromised; leaders serve best when all three are present.

5 min read

Resisting the Tyranny of Inclusion in Organizations

March 5, 2018 --  It is possible to take inclusion and participation in decision making too far; a well-balanced organization appreciates the diversity of gifts and respects the different levels of responsibility and authority in a group. The posting explores the drivers of the tyranny of inclusion and the alternatives.

5 min read

Strategic Planning -- in Turbulent Environments

February 7, 2018 --  Strategic planning methods are not cast in stone - contemporary organizations in dynamic and conflicted environments may need some classical analysis, but they are likely to need creative futuring methods also.

3 min read

Understanding the Dynamics of Religious Leadership

February 5, 2018 --  Religious organization leaders often lack exposure to the helpful perspectives from human systems - especially the impact of structures, unconscious dynamics, and professional disciplines related to planning and change. This post describes a seminar that effectively addresses this gap.

4 min read

The Conversation Managers Avoid

January 29, 2018 --  There is no escaping the obligation to give performance feedback.

In this brief post, I’d like to suggest the power of personal values like courage, compassion, truth and respect as lifelines to managing this responsibility with integrity.

3 min read

When Consultants Get Seduced

January 16, 2018 -- Maintaining correct boundaries between the client and the consultant is a necessary and helpful discipline. This posting identifies how that can be distorted, and why it matters.

3 min read

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