Category Archives: Writings

“Compassion in the Workplace” Session, November 16, 2012 – Festival of Faiths, Louisville, KY

“Compassion in the Workplace” session on November 16, 2012 dream from the Festival of Faiths in Downtown Louisville, KY

by E. Joseph Steier and Dianne Timmering

Our move back to Louisville two years ago seemed perfectly timed with a city-wide charge to create and launch a “lifelong wellness and aging” movement that we could play a major role in. At the same time, the expanding Festival of Faiths International conference was growing and the launching of the compassionate city charter by our new mayor that we were blessed to sign-on early, made it a divine exodus from south Florida seem like a dream come true.

Last week, as Dianne and I sat in a packed room with standing room only, we are surrounded by business leaders, top researchers, spiritual leaders, and just really engaged people getting ready to dig into a panel discussion on “compassion in the workplace” and hear about our spirituality model and other models which link the spiritual and compassion to human well-being. Dr. James Doty, a Stanford neuro-surgeon, and leader in altruism and compassion, started off our panel with the thought on what is compassion, what is non-compassion where one feels no part of anything. Does the lack of compassion in the workplace lead to bad stress and issues with productivity? And what is the cost of bad stress in biased decision making, weakened performance?

There were more deserving leaders than Dianne and me, like Paul Thompson with Bridgeman Foods, Tori Murden McClure, the famed president of Spalding University, and Phil Marshall, CEO and president of Hosparus, the panel sponsor.

But here are the takeaways, we really want to dig into-

People are starting to notice Louisville and the Compassionate City charter -this can be a framework and healing ideology to unify our divided culture and heritage in the same way Merton’s epiphany manifested; a rebirth and transcendence a foot in the stream of our city’s people.

Conference attendees came from everywhere in the U.S. included several delegations from Canada to experience this event. And so is the Dali Lama next May coming to our fair town to embrace this soulful city, to expand this compassionate city charter and contemplative partnership so the vision that Thomas Merton delivered in Bangkok the day he died (Dec. 10th, 1968) visualizing an east-west spiritual balance between western self-directed personal empowerment and eastern selfless reflection can merge to capture what are both mankind’s greatest attributes.

Remember, I did not like the previous workplace environment that I worked in very much either but we may be at the end of the western highly directive command center business model that gave corporate a bad name in the workplace anyway.  This will be the next industry leadership cycle requiring embracing the concept of shared leadership, collaborative external partnerships, real transparency, embracing servant leadership where we all must know the work . . . So . . . why not try being a compassionate workplace by being an early adopter if it’s going to happen.

Is compassion rooted in ancient religion? All compassion really means is that to be human is to embrace suffering–knowing it is an intersection to fellow man. If we share and reflect upon it, that everyone’s journey is equal in divine purpose, then we can drive toward the attempt at being present while possessing a non-judgmental awareness. God knows in me, that to feel deep personal suffering made me embrace forgiveness as the only way to heal and stay close to God. And knowing that we were on a parallel track of convergence with everyone in this room make us just feel more connected.

During the panel we learned a ton. One key learning jewel: Dr. Doty made an important point about the compassionate workplace state of mind . . . we must be totally self-aware, if there is a problem that you as a leader are the reason it exists, the critical party that must accept fault for it not being in optimal state, only then can you can help lead the real solution and create the condition around you so everyone owns the collective win  . . . something we need to continue to embrace.

Then the magic happens . . . the science of Happiness occurs–your stakeholders have freedom from fear, a new sense of control, relationships with building trust, and they can contribute to something bigger than you and them for the opportunity of transcendence and purpose because you have given them the compassion to be.

“Your Call Is Irrevocable” by Dianne Timmering

You are here to do great things. Did you know that?

. . . for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Romans 11:29

Irrevocable is defined: not to be revoked or recalled; unable to be repealed or annulled.

Did you know that your greatness is assured. I can attest to it as I was privileged to attend the Hall Of Fame award ceremony at Louisville South last evening. Reading about the Hall of Fame recipients, I wondered: How many countless lives had they served, had they changed, had they loved, had they saved? Their “call” was irrevocable.

We were honored to be amongst such greatness and beautifully lived lives, lives that mattered and still matter in every breath and moment. They were rich, evident by their works and the impenetrable faith reflected in their histories. They were and are heroes with the richest of legacies–never to be forgotten, especially by those who embraced and benefited from their wisdom and exquisite beauty. So we honored them and thanked them for their service and courage in the building of cities, communities, persons, and a nation. For while they were hometown heroes in this moment, their mark was indelible in the rise and transformation of this great nation, as sage advisors and guiding stars.

I think of Raymond Shanie who fought for a nation as an engineer in WWII; how many lives did he save; and how many people did he serve later as a volunteer at Wayside Christian Mission?

I think of Molly Grayson, a leader, an impassioned award-winning artist and a caregiver in her own right as a volunteer at St. Mary’s hospital.

And what about Shelly Brown, a 21-year stakeholder, offering hope to the hopeless, encouraging living, not death, with the power to heal by never giving up. How many has she served, how many countless lives has she touched and inspired?

And Dr. Nair in the field of the living and restoration. How many has he healed and restored, calmed and loved with the knowledge of a doctor, as well as the compassion and love of a friend.

We are byproducts of such magnificence with the reminder that purpose reigns in every breath and that courageous dreams are always rewarded. And so we celebrated last night these lives of accomplishment, and their competitive natures and passions and dreams which never die in the blood but only sometimes in the sadness of the heart. So let us cast fiery arrows at the free will of discouragement and instead be inspired to live and pursue God-given rights to fruitful paths.

Your calling is upon you and it is irrevocable, for God is with you. God bless all.  Dianne

Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC

EVENT: Opening Prayer for the 2012 Senior Olympics

On October 10th, 2012 Signature HealthCARE hosted our Second Annual Senior Olympics here at our home office in Louisville, KY. Many of our precious residents from nine of our local facilities came to participate in a day-long event of fun and freindly competition before our home office stakeholders as well as many invited guests.

was asked to give the opening prayer for the event – the text of which follows:
Dear God. We love you so much and are honored to be here today as a collective community to celebrate life and our athletes.

We thank you or the opportunity to serve both you and our precious elders. Stay with us always. Put your loving arms around us and the rich people here you see before you.

Let us never turn a blind eye. Let us embrace their wisdom and exquisite beauty. Thank you for their service and courage in the building of our nation and the loving care they have provided to so many. On behalf of grandparents, parents, moms and dads we have lost, we deem you our beloved family – sage advisors and guiding stars.

For we are a byproduct of your greatness. Let us never forget this, and that purpose reigns in every breath. Let us celebrate the competitive spirits and passions and dreams which never die in the blood but only sometimes in the sadness of the heart.

Thank you for the joy and safety of all of our people. Bless all to overflow upon our guests and stakeholders too who care. Bless them so much, pressed down shaken together. Bless the day. Bless all hands, all feet, and all hearts. Amen.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

“On Spirituality” by Dianne Timmering

Bitterness can stall even the smallest possibility of hope, binding people to a depth of discouragement of who they think they only can be. Spirituality is the sword that cuts through; it is an intervention of the most tender kind where forgiveness births and self-awareness begins to unfold from the buried depths of hurt.

It is a shield behind which personal discovery can blossom into the heart of truth, where discernment grows without fear or risk. It is a surrender to old thinking and an offering of new truths fostering wisdom and effective relationships. It is a reckoning with humility and impassioned respect for others without condition of judgment.

It is the advantage of pursuit—a new desire to learn—which seeds creativity and human endeavor. It is what glues the colorful palette of the business into the fabric and brilliance of its people and whereas in natural concordance, the culture thrives.

“The World Is Full of Beauty” by Dianne Timmering

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Yesterday I was able to spend the day at Signature of Buckhead in Atlanta. We had a great day–the beauty of the stakeholders was inspiring because of their hunger for knowledge, and generous love for the simple ability to practice the spiritual in their lives. Different faith traditions make up this great stakeholder population—Christian, Muslim, Jewish steadfast to be who they are, stressed and weary, revived and fruitful. We talked about their creativity and capability within themselves and growth along their career paths. We talked about dashed dreams and how to rebuild them in the annals of the mind where the noise of the world is an easy conqueror of the smallest of hopes. We talked about realizing every ounce of one’s being because God created each one of them for greatness and to do great things.

It was a good day–the feel, the infinite constancy of kindness as smiles of love pervaded the halls. There were some tragic moments of recent loss, countless prayers, and endless hope. A new peace of what was possible came over me as afterward we prayed with residents, their shining love brilliant, like jeweled stars of the sky. THEY were miracles of joy and every hug gave immeasurable faith to what could be.

Later that night, after landing at the Louisville airport, I hopped in a taxi. The driver was professional and efficient and ready to get me to my home. His Muslim faith tradition was beautifully evident in the features of his taxi and the quiet music on the radio. When we arrived, I paid him and thanked him for his efficiency and as I was walking to my front door, I couldn’t find my keys in the darkness. I looked over and the driver hadn’t left yet. He waited. And he waited. I said to him through his open window that I was looking for my keys. He said that he knew.

At last the jingle and keys discovered. I thanked him profusely and he said, I would not leave until you got inside. And at that moment, he was my friend.

The world is complex and it is simple, and it is certainly full of beauty.

Love to all.

Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC

 

PRESS – Long-Term Living Magazine Interviews Dianne Timmering

Long-Term Living Magazine recently conducted an interview with Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality.

As stated in the article, “Signature’s Dianne Timmering, vice president of spirituality, speaks with Long-Term Living’s Associate Editor Pamela Tabar on how the company’s bold experiment has become a hallmark of its leadership, an industry example in employee management and an unexpected marketing driver.”

Pamela Tabar, editor of the magazine informs us that “the Q&A with you has been on our website’s “most popular stories” list for the past 2 days!!”

The entire interview is published on their website and can be viewed HERE.

“We Believe In Healings, Part II” by Peggy Kibler, SDC, Cedar Hills

I felt compelled to share this with you…. As I was in the ICU yesterday with my friend (Mary) that was on life support, I watched as her life flowed out of her, no matter what meds were given (epinephrine, atropine and bicarb) she was gone, life had left and death had overtaken her body. And I stood there praying that she would still be alive (even in a comatose state) so her daughter and granddaughter (12 yrs old) could make it back in the room.

 

You see the last image that the young granddaughter was going to have to live with was trying to help her mother place Mary on the floor so they could begin CPR and rescue arriving and try to revive her….. with all evidence before me and the nurses who were administering the meds and providing care, that was not going to happen. They arrived to the room just a few brief minutes too late and the granddaughter just spun around on her heels and left the ICU unit before seeing her grandmother again and getting to say goodbye.

 

As I went to comfort the granddaughter in any way that I could, she cried and held onto a letter that her grandmother had written and sent to her in the mail not long before… she decided that she wanted to see her grandmother, so I went to make sure that Mary was appropriately presentable and as I walked into that ICU room, Mary had a pulse and BP and her color had returned (she remained in a comatose state but there was a form of life present) I looked at the doctor and she said “she’s back for a little while.” I quickly went and got Samantha (granddaughter) and told her she could go and talk to her grandmother……Samantha was able to see her grandmother in a peaceful state and she was able to get some closure before she was gone…. God didn’t give us the miracle of giving Mary back to us, but He sure gave a lot of healing to that daughter and granddaughter in the last few minutes of Mary’s life here on earth. God cares about us and takes care of the details……

 

Peggy Kibler
Jacksonville, FL

“We Believe In Healings” by Dianne Timmering

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways . . .      Psalm 91:9-12

We believe in the impossible even within the boundaries of man’s condition to doubt. And because of this, we believe in healings. We believe for all healings through the power of one voice connected to a multitude of a thousand. And God hears the whispers of the small and the outreach of this width and depth of harmony dips across the air like pebbles on the back of what is steady. Even when the unexpected happens.

Maybe it is God’s way of proving the power of His swing, the swiftness of His aim, the purity of what He is capable of, if only asked. And He waits for the awe in our eyes, because we have found Him; because He has already found us.

Does prayer add an extra layer of protection around His people?

Does obedience yield unfettered protection and a sharp spear of victory?

Does asking Him for it all, clinch the deal?

Love to all.  Dianne

 

“Time Given” by Dianne Timmering

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

I remember in the early years of the spirituality program lots of travel as we were building and developing the program; I specifically recall one time in a Tennessee facility and passing by a room where a man laid flat on his back. I passed him by thinking he probably couldn’t respond or talk since he appeared to have little cognition or alertness. But the Spirit moved and I heard God whisper even as I walked away, Stop, and go back to that man; this man is requesting a visit. God had heard this precious man’s thoughts while I was focused on what he could not do or who I thought he no longer was. As I turned to go back into his room I had fears—fear that the man might not respond, fear that he might be too sick for his skin was graying and he appeared near death. But God said, Fear not, for I am with you both. This man knows you are there.

So I cradled my trembling hand over the man’s cold fingers, and looked into his feverish eyes, so delicate with the wear of use in his many decades of life. And there he was, looking back at me. I smiled and said something which I don’t remember now and his face changed from square to round like it had been lifted from the bed, and his eyes squeezed with the recognition of another, a simple conversation of hope without the parable of any words.

Is it as simple as time? Time given to hear God; time given for another; time given for those who can no longer speak for themselves, except through the listening voice of God.

Love to you all. Dianne

“Love With An Honest Heart” by Dianne Timmering

“A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

 

Loving with an honest heart is hard to do sometimes. It is easier perhaps to nestle into anger, resentment, bitterness. Sometimes it feels even “right” to feel this way because of the slight, or the perceived unkindness from another where it is easy to nurture the wrongness that one feels has been done. Much harder is it instead to discern, think through or reflect upon and try to see the perspective of the other.

 

But taking it to God and putting it out onto His doorstep relieves you of this burden. There is a freedom and peace in all that, even though it may not mean that you are wrong, just that you are free. And then you feel lighter having laid the toil at His feet; you can walk with an honest heart, burdened with a searing hurt no longer, and it feels good and right and real. Anger subsides and love rekindles. Bitterness peels away and hope for the other restores. Blessings abound.

 

Just love, because it just is. I suppose that’s what we mean when we talk about “unconditional love.”

 

Keep going, be encouraged and love to you all.  Dianne