This is a “recast” of a post from several months ago.  I am moved to share it again.  Yesterday, we attended the memorial service of Kay Millhon, long-time office manager and “keeper of the center” of the Whidbey Institute.  Her husband, Jerry, is a long-time friend and current Executive Director of the Institute. 

The Whidbey Institute is an amazing place and one of the early reasons I chose to settle in the Pacific Northwest.  It is a place for Creators, as captured in the words of the website: 

“The Whidbey Institute is a place where people connect deeply to the natural world and to each other, renew their life energy, and engage in deep conversation and learning to imagine and create an abundant, sustainable and life-affirming future.”

Visitors to the Institute – not to mention the family and friends of the communities she was a part of – all felt her welcoming presence, gentle spirit, and caring connection.  The word “intimacy” was used often as people rose to share stories and memories. 

Kay left a legacy of intimacy – and kindness.

That kindness is what brought to mind last October’s “TED* Thoughts,” reproduced below:

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 Our friend, Carol Winkler is creator of the weekly “Inspired Athlete” blog.  They are always touching and usually… well, inspiring!

One featured Dan Weldon, the young racecar driver who was tragically killed in an awful multi-car crash.  In quoting a colleague of Weldon’s who observed that “he left (others) with his kindness, his spirit,” Carol used this tragedy to highlight an important question to ponder:

What are you leaving people with through your interactions with them?

As she asks us to reflect, “Do youleave them with our kindness… or your impatience?  With your humor… or your righteousness?  With your respect… or your distain?”

I would add: do we leave them with drama or hope, empowerment and possibility?  Do we approach them as a Victim who needs our Rescuing or do we treat them as the inherent Creators that they are as support them as a Challenger and/or a Coach?

Each interaction we have with others has an impact.  What is creating in the wake of your ways of relating with others? What are you leaving them with?

Intimacy is a quality of relationship we can cultivate with anyone, be they family, friend or “just a visitor” in our lives.