Brian Paff, Director of Communications, Laurelville

Brian Paff, a very creative young leader-in-the-making at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, interviewed me for his podcast series at the Laurelville website.

Brian wrote a press release about the series of three speeches I gave at Laurelville April 30-May 1. The theme was dancing with change, and Stuart and I demonstrated the “frame” in ballroom dancing, one of the few principles that has lasted after our lessons a few years ago.

Here is the direct link to listen to the 15-minute Podcast Q and A. Hope you will find something I said useful–or at least interesting. Subscribers to this blog, I hope you will enjoy this new way to add “voice” to a blog and give me some feedback. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do simply by adding your email address on the right side of this screen.

Everyone: What have YOU learned about dancing with change? What did you learn as a child that has held you in good stead as an adult? As I hold grandson Owen in my arms, and dance to his happy songs, one of my prayers for him is that he learns to dance with change. Have you learned anything about change and/or leadership from the children in your life?

Shirley Showalter


  1. Richard Gilbert on August 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I so enjoyed this interview, Shirley. And I envy little Owen, to start life surrounded by so much love!

    Change is such a biggie. A therapist I met not long ago told me, “All change is first experienced as loss and must be mourned.” Which seemed very wise, based on my experience, or lifelong reactions, but I am coming to see that one’s response may be more of a choice than that. And that handling change, like all of life, is helped by having a spiritual discipline. This is to say, a larger and wider focus than one’s fearful ego.

    • shirleyhs on August 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      You said that so well, Richard! Thanks for the comment. Little Owen is indeed a lucky boy, but then, so are his grandparents. We count it a deep honor to be his caretakers in the first months of life. I’m in the midst of writing about that.

      Yes. the one thing we get to choose in any situation of change is our attitude. And being grateful for what we have is one of the best spiritual disciplines we can use to put ourselves into a teachable frame of mind.

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