How Comfortable Are You with Ambiguity?

Ambiguity for Baby BoomerThe major life change for Baby Boomers when they leave their full time work world is an external event that happens. How will you experience your transition through your change into your encore stage of life? You will go through endings and new beginnings, bridged together with periods of unknowing which can feel very unsettling in your retirement lifestyle.

If you have been deeply immersed in your full time work world, you may have felt very comfortable and confident with your responsibilities and your relationships. When you move into your retirement, you may feel overwhelmed by your unknown future. It may seem so ambiguous to you.

Your encore stage of life is a time for exploring yourself in new ways. You may feel bewildered by all of the questions you ask yourself about how to spend your time and what your identity will be. Instead of trying to take control of your life as you may have been used to doing in your work world, I suggest that you give yourself time and space to allow new understanding and new opportunities to arise. You’ve never been in your encore stage of life before. It is a new time to ask yourself new questions and make new choices for yourself.

The poem below by Rainer Maria Rilke beautifully states how to understand this time of unknowing.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Approach your encore stage of life with humility and patience, feeling gratitude for your capacity to expand your own self awareness. This exploration will strengthen your ability to live a retirement lifestyle of fulfillment and contribution, leaving a legacy of your choice.

What questions are you living right now?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach,

Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.

Nearly two and a half years ago a band of six gathered for tea and conversations weekly.

July 2011 this community blog was born and now literally hundreds of posts live here to be read and responded to.

We need a new gathering place. I know this. I get it.

I have found the venue that speaks to me like the Tea House did.

Plans to reconvene are being formulated and I ask for your patience a while longer.

To blog is a beautiful thing. This community site will come back to life again when we resume meeting. I feel that in my heart.

Today on this holiday of gratitude and gathering, may you know that I too miss Tuesdays with all of you.

And a new era of gathering will begin and perhaps again on Tuesday OR dare we meet another day? Wacky Wednesday perhaps?

Deborah :)


Dear Writers, Who Needs Community (Again)?

As a writer, I need solitude but I also need community and occasionally a break from a pattern and rhythm to let my creative field go fallow that it might be a good field to grow stories in again.

Do you need community like I need community?

The Tuesday meeting of the minds and hearts of this Community Blog has been on sabbatical for a month now (basically) and I find myself missing the gathering. Losing our venue and knowing that was to be the case, temporarily took the wind out of my leading/writing/creating sails. I appreciate the people who have reached out to ask, Hey, what is the new plan and when do we start?”

As was the case in the film, A Field of Dreams, first the field was conceived of, and when that field was built, the players came to play. “Build it and they will come.”

When I started the Writer’s Support Group for Reticent Bloggers in March 2010 after two weeks of promoting it as a great way to have a long late lunch, I had no idea that over 150 people would attend some number of Tuesdays, weekly, monthly, annually. I had no idea how many would be inspired to take up writing for their business and personal aspirations. I wanted to create an open, honest, and energizing forum for discussion. Oddly, we would do little writing at group, but the amount of writing that got done after and between Tuesdays, increased over time and especially when we created a space for us to all share.

Today this is our 831st post to this Community Blog.

Your Prolific Writing and mostly Fearless Leader here has been recharging her batteries and is nearly recovered from losing the glorious venue of the Tea House as we did for the past 2.5 years. Our group must change in some way. We must change venue and it feels time to change even the very structure of the group to honor the shift and the growth

Blogs were born.

Books were written and published.

This Community Space was created to be our Wall and boy how it has been used!

Who is interested in resuming next week? What kind of commitment are you willing to make to coming and funding the venue? $10 agreeable per drop-in or $25 a month paid in advance through paypal? This will simplify my reserving the room on a regular basis for us.

Jitters offers a conference room for use that we must rent and is suitable.

Please RSVP to your comments, commitment, wishes and intentions!

With a critical mass of +5 we can begin again.


First things first: Make Happiness

I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy in the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

~Roger Ebert, Life Itself: A Memoir

Oh this Roger Ebert quote. I remember hearing an interview on NPR and it was a DRIVEWAY MOMENT indeed. Continue reading “First things first: Make Happiness” »

Burn Your Resume & Build a Profile: Upcoming Events June thru August

As the co-author of Burn Your Resume, I am pleased to announce a series of events in Seattle and on the Eastside, beginning this June. Authentically and effectively speaking of yourself and writing about yourself (for that matter) gets easier when you understand who you are and what you have to offer: clients, peers, employers…and so it makes sense that as a professional we REALLY UNDERSTAND our Professional Story and can tell it well on paper, online and in-person.  Attend or Recommend any and all of the upcoming events. To your continued and future successes!

~Deborah Drake, Enthusiastic Catalyst

What exactly is a Professional Profile ™? And why does a new college grad, a job seeker in transition, an independent consultant, an entrepreneur or a small business owner need one? Continue reading “Burn Your Resume & Build a Profile: Upcoming Events June thru August” »

The Gratitude List & Embracing Hesitation

I AM in love.

With the journey I do not yet understand
With the upstarts I have not yet met
With the magic that new beginnings are
With the people who surprise me generously
With the smiles freely given and received
With the wonder in the eyes of young ones
With the sound of truth being told

With the simple ability to breathe without having to think about it.

I am of the mindset there is always more to be thankful for. I wasn’t always. There was a time when I felt like a sadder person whose life was colored by more loss than I thought I could handle. And it all started when I was very young. So if it is true that “God/dess” gives us only as much as we can handle, I AM grateful for how I have handled what has been given to me to address.

Abundance and Gratitude is an Attitude that can be cultivated and doing so is a lifelong process. We, humans, have been given both the ability to communicate and remember what  we have said and done and have the capacity to learn from it. What worked for us at four doesn’t work the same for us at fourteen or forty. Nor should it. I AM grateful for how I have evolved and continue to do so.

I feel I AM again the person I was when I was about to embark upon college. Self-reliant. 18. A loaner car of a Dodge Wagon packed to the max with the sum total of my worldly belongings. Few clothes. More books. A box of my life story in journals. Going where I knew but one person. Leaving behind no room to return to. Only a future to embrace. Pure excitement and no hesitation. My body hummed with a knowing that all was as it should be.

Three decades later after many starts and stops and stumbles, I feel as though I AM again in that space of pure possibility and nothing will prevent me from realizing what I have envisioned. I AM committed to believing that what I can dream, I will manifest.

Had even one person introduced me to the idea of intention and my energy being so exquisitely and purposely directed when I was that tender age…what more would have come into being? Oh, here is the surprise behind that curtain: It has all been perfect as it has come to pass. Not that I could see that at 27 or even 34. I see it now though. And that is presence that matters.

Regarding that last moment before we figuratively or literally leap into something new and daring, what is YOUR personal “surefire” way to diffuse any hesitation or procrastination?

May you be blessed with the courage to say yes to your grandest visions, hesitation-free.

Om Shanti.

A funny thing happened on the way to the funeral. (Really)

Life is Precious. Life is Precarious. Life is Playful.

It’s never easy saying goodbye to someone.  Funerals are rarely funny.

This story and post is based on a true experience shared with me today during coffee social post my weekly spiritual experience at Unity of Bellevue. I dedicate this post to Trudy Wilson (who is not the one who had died…just to be clear. She is my source and a lovely soul!)

I find myself sitting at a table where I had sat down to collect an email address from someone I promised to send some information. That was what put me where I was with a small plate of deviled eggs and berries and a cup of coffee. I didn’t anticipate sitting there long, but the Universe had other plans for me.

I knew no one else at the table, but after a Rev.Nancy Worth “lesson” we are all friendly while we nibble on bite sized pieces of donuts and sweet loaf breads and mixed nuts. (That is what we are, aren’t we, mixed nuts going to “church” or “temple” or “yoga” or “the gym.” Pick your variety of spirituality, it’s all good!)

How Trudy and I got from saying hello to her sharing her recent funeral experience is not as important as the fact, our dialogue took us there.

The sad part of the story. The beautiful soul no longer with us in body, was the child and son of a woman, who had died of cancer not two months before her son chose to end his own physical existence. Yes, “suicide” happens whether we like it or not. What takes courage? Living or checking out? (Different and equally challenging blog post to “pen.”) He had apparently even told his mother that life was so much to manage. He was a sensitive soul that Trudy had known since childhood.  Since he’d moved to a province farther afield in Canada than British Columbia, Trudy no longer saw him at holidays.She knew his mother and sister and that kept her current on “D’s” life.

Trudy was in Canada attending D’s funeral this time, and determined to support the  family again.

Someone was responsible for bringing the items of personal significance to the church for the alter. Flowers and family photos of mom and children at various ages were in the bag that Trudy saw in the back seat of the driver’s new Jeep. The service was taking place at a church on Vancouver Island before the ceremony at the cemetery to honor D.  That driver was shall we say, a speed demon.

The Jeep was barreling along a road when it hit a speed bump. If you have ever been in a Jeep you know how rough a ride they can be; comparable to Hummers actually. The Jeep and it’s occupants arrived at the church to find something missing. The bag in the back seat. That Speed Bump! One of the back jeep doors had apparently flown open and the bag had escaped! The driver determined what must have been the moment it happened! They circled back to the spot and found the flowers by the side of the road but alas no bag with pictures. Okay, weird, but what can you say. What happened, happened.

D’s sister pulled the presenting minister aside and whispered in his ear, “We have a small problem.” This was shared at the end of the church service and prior to people heading to the final resting place.

Apparently, D’s ashes had been in a wooden box in that bag of pictures and flowers. Like I said, weird, but okay, as reported to this “Witness and Listener.”

At the grave site, people tossed roses into the hole that had been dug for the box of ashes. It was about the ritual of saying a proper and honorable goodbye at that point. But, D had a sense of humor in my opinion. Or someone did and in the end the message left might read like this: “I am not as gone as you think me. And can you find the humor in this moment.”

Trudy said D would be laughing if he was there to share the story himself. She prefers to remember that he was bright and sensitive and appreciated odd humor.

A couple of messages were received  by me as I listened to this story, earlier today.

1. Life is Precious. Never miss an opportunity to say to someone you care for that you do.

2. Life is Precarious. Sometimes we lose things in surprising ways and how we respond to that loss is what matters the most.

3. Life is Playful. Humor, even when it is black, is present and available if we remain open to finding the humor in any situation.

And what if, just what if, it is the Universe’s not so gentle way of saying, “Hey, you, dopey, sleepyhead, buried your head in the sand, looking for a scapegoat, choosing to be unaware and missing the precious opportunity before you, YEAH YOU, please, stop, regroup, see all that could be, if you would say yes to courage and love and adventure and risk and opening up and asking for even more support than you already do.

I’d give you as much as you asked for. And there may be times I attempt to wake you from your self-delusional pattern. Why? Because, I want you to be happy.

I Do.


Deborah Drake – Authentic Writing Provokes

P.S. Just in case it isn’t clear to you: Life is Precious. Life is Precarious. Life is Playful. Ask for help when you need it and be glad for the people who bug you because they care.



Why I “really, really, really” love ~ admire ~ respect Paulo Coelho

As the Writer I am, I also am a Reader. I can be quite discerning when it comes to who I enjoy completely. And it’s good to be picky about what we read. I sample  more than I finish by way of previews and standing in bookstores and flipping through books whose titles, covers, subjects or authors called me to do so.

I take the best and I leave the rest. And I know it influences my own writing over time.

There are three big reasons I “really, really, really” love this man Paulo Coelho, (who has 8.1 Mil FB fans for good reasons–and what about all the fans who don’t do FB).

Please take a moment to scan his bio…it is quite inspiring to me. Every time I read it.

One could say these things about him ( I do!):

1. He was a late bloomer who had some early rough patches in determining WHO he was and wanted to be.

2. He gives back, so much.

3. He does what he loves and it shows.

Are you?

I invite you to consider making whatever change it takes to be “being” your best self!

What is required to make it happen for you?

Do you have the right support to see it through the patches of resistance?

I believe as Deepak Chopra does (by definition in his book Creating Affluence (a longtime favorite of mine) that D is for Dharma and Dharma never feels like work.

(To be doing what I do for a livelihood is quite simply a dream realized that I have imagined since 9 years old.)

It’s never too late to start “being” what you always wanted to be. I may never be as well-known as Coelho, BUT I will be able to say I was a working ~ loving ~ living writer and mentored others into loving their own written and spoken voice. And that reality warms my heart to write, to say, to be and to share.

One late bloomer to another, may you in divine time, fulfill your Dharma in this lifetime.

Burn Your Resume. It’s Time We All Had a Professional Profile.

Have I told you how much I love Self-Publishing lately?

I know I was raving about it just yesterday in a Circle of new and returning attendees to what is affectionately referred to as “Tuesdays with Deborah.” There are actually quite a few “self-published children” that have come from the time we spend together on Tuesdays.

Projects have been incubated in this group of ours that are now coming forth and it is wonderful. Stay tuned for new arrivals and if you have one coming please share. Paul Zohav, Gerald Grinter, and you others who know who you are!

ANNOUNCING the Birth of A Labor of Love…with a BIG Thank You to Mike MargoliesJon KnightGerald GrinterSusan Straub-MartinScott Bell and all those who supported Don and I through the writing, editing and production of our co-authored effort to Help People Get Back To Work Powerfully. It Takes a Village to Write a Book!

Don Burrows and I believe that those with a Professional Profile (which is far more potent than your average resume) be you job seeker or solopreneur puts you far ahead of the pack in the search for work and clients you want and love that ALSO suits you.

What exactly is a Professional Profile ™? And why does a new college grad, a job seeker in transition, an independent consultant, an entrepreneur or a small business owner need one?

A Professional Profile(tm) is much more than a chronological or functional résumé. It VIVIDLY showcases your Accomplishments, your Special Skills, and what you bring to the World of Work.

Work experience and employment history aside, who are you professionally, really?

How confidently do you present yourself to future employers and clients as the IDEAL candidate? Want to shine each and every time?

Having a strong working résumé (chronological or functional) will not help you actually get the work you want if you can’t also talk intelligently about what lives in that document and who you are and what you bring.

Are you still using standard templates for resumes and covers letters and getting no interest or worse; form rejection letters?

We implore you to STOP the insanity. Get thee a Professional Profile ™!

JOB SEEKERS/ CAREER TRANSITION: Can we interest you in greatly improving your chances of winning interviews quickly for work you really want to do?

COLLEGE GRADS: Are you looking for that first job that launches your career just right from the start?

SOLOPRENEURS: Are you ready to STAND OUT and present a Positively Disruptive Professional Story of yourself?

MILITARY IN TRANSITION: Are you looking to translate your military experience into the civilian job market?

BOOMERS: Are you determined to keep working at meaningful work until you determine you are ready to retire?

CAREER & LIFE COACHES: Are you looking for a resource to help you build your practice and help your clients achieve results that are multi-dimensional?


Warning: This book is not just about how to create a functional resume. There are plenty of books that already do that VERY WELL. This book is about taking a functional resume and cover letter to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. Prepare to get to know your full professional story and all that you bring to the world of work.
Inspired by What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles in the 1970s (now in its 40th Edition), the idea for The Professional Profile ™ methodology was born and has helped many win their job search game.

Unless you have a professional angel or fairy godmother, we believe you will need to develop the ability to be your own best advocate. The Professional Profile(tm) process is designed to make you GLAD to be your own best advocate

Winning the Inner and Outer Game of Finding Work or New Business IS the name of the game we invite you to play and win.


Publication Date:
Mar 14 2012
1935586629 / 9781935586623
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Business & Economics / Careers / Resumes

We believe everyone needs to be able to really talk about themselves as a professional with a confidence that is grounded in accomplishments that are real and relate-able and reflect your core skills and talents. That is when good fits are recognized between potential clients and you, potential employers and you (if you are a job seeker).

Why not make it EASY for someone to identify you as an IDEAL CANDIDATE. Doesn’t that make good sense?

Available on Amazon soon, soon, soon.

Always and currently available through our CreateSpace eStore as a Print On Demand Paperback.  And yes, there is a digital version in development for those who are hard-core online readers. We are old-fashioned in all the right ways and LOVE technology for what it allows to happen.

This post brought to you because of WordPress, another fine self-publishing tool! Love it.