Supporting humans to change their inner and outer lives to create a world that works for all
"The journal ended up coming about because this summer during the fires, you know, it was an intense year, 2017, for so many reasons, and during the fires I made this choice to stay in Bend."
If you've read through the rest of this issue, then you've likely already read the words of our Women of the Year—who, almost without exception, said 'listening better' is one of the number one challenges facing our community/Americans/the world right now. None of the women featured in our women's issue got to see or hear the responses that others gave to that question we posed—but yet, they all answered in a similar way.
When I met her for this Spotlight interview, Carol Delmonico, a life coach and self-described "cultural change agent" in Bend, also answered that question in a similar way. Listening plays big in her practice, in which she encourages clients to foster the tenets of non-violent communication, moving from a "language of domination and habits that create reactivity and judgement to cultivating your listening and speaking in ways that bring you more honesty, connection and mutuality," according to her website. In a social and political climate in which hate and "otherness" has been playing big, listening, it seems, emerges as a universal aspiration.
Among the offerings Delmonico offers in her consulting and coaching practice, the "Heartful Communication" program focuses on communication as both "an art and a skill." One big shift the program aims to foster: learning to distinguish the difference between observing and evaluating—in other words, learning to listen to people without judging what they have to say.
Seems like something that would benefit people in the political spectrum, doesn't it?
While Delmonico now spends her days coaching and consulting full time, it wasn't long ago that she worked as a nurse health coach within the St. Charles Health System. In that role, it was up to Delmonico and other nurse health coaches to help staff members identify the challenges they were facing in regard to their health, and then to help them establish a plan to achieve better health—whether physical, mental or otherwise. That work had Delmonico meeting with more than 3,000 employees.
While Delmonico holds two healt care degrees and spent 18 years as a Registered Nurse, she found herself wanting something different as she turned 40. She says when St. Charles ended the nurse health coach program, she moved into running her own business full time.
"I think the intention behind it all is trying to get both individuals and our collective world to begin to see the world through a different lens," Delmonico told me, over hot drinks at Lone Pine Coffee Roasters. "Really, we're all in this together. We've been raised in a very individualistic culture that sort of gets stuck in too much of me-mine, and this separation between me and someone else and right now with the political polarity—you can see it as progressives and conservatives—but it's all over the place.
"We can look at, in Bend, as the east side versus west side, people that can't afford to live here and the people who have more ... so all of those things. So what I do with individuals is help them get a better perspective of how they can step out of that mindset and move into a mindset that fuels them to do whatever their thing is in the world that's going to support both themselves and the world we live in."
When I met with Delmonico, she had sent her first book, "Stoke Your Woke," to the printer just days before—an exciting experience for any new author. The book—more of a workbook, really—poses a series of questions, encouraging the user to look deeper into their place in the world.
"The journal ended up coming about because this summer during the fires, you know, it was an intense year, 2017, for so many reasons, and during the fires I made this choice to stay in Bend," Delmonico explains. "One day, in the morning, I woke up and the air quality had been 800 that night and I just stood in front of my computer and was like ... what am I going to do? Am I doing enough? And I stood there, all of a sudden, and I opened my computer, and these 50 questions came, like within 10 minutes."
The questions might have come easily—but the answers are likely to take a bit longer. Really, it's the questions themselves that can often be the answers.
"In our culture, as you know, as a busy working mom, we don't have that much time to reflect and ask yourself the deeper questions that you really want to ask yourself, and there's not a lot of format and structure in our communities to do that."
Look for ongoing events and offerings at caroldelmonico.com.
Creating a World that Works for All
Vision-Board and Retreat Day for Women
Sat., March 10
Waterside Building; 2445 NE Division St. Suite 102, Bend
More info: email Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org