Happy Year 
of the Dog
Yvette still LOVES coaching her clients, whether as individuals or teams! As a perpetual life learner, she continues to study with the UNtraining founders, Ken Hardy, a therapist who introduced her to anti-racism group process work and with Lynda Caesara, an amazing, skillful energy teacher. This year, Yvette has been delighted with the results of integrating coaching with these other frameworks.
Yvette continued to dedicate 2 to 3 days a week to escort her parents to myriad medical therapies. Her dad was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder that had him getting monthly blood transfusions for the latter part of 2017. Around that time, Yvette experienced her own ailments caused by Crossfit, bad posture, and...sadly, age. She has a structural foot problem and has been undergoing therapy. (Imagine Yvette donning orthodontic head gear strapped to a weight machine weekly to restructure neck curvature.) These injuries impacted our weekend warrior lifestyle, but Yvette is hopeful the restructuring will support her own lasting transformation.
But these changes are neither surprising nor fearsome. It is too much to expect our world, and our place in it, to be free of that sense of loss. Instead, we renew our mantra that whatever bittersweet change a new year brings, the ever-appropriate approach is to walk our path with thought, kindness, conscience, and mindfulness of all others in these mountains of our lives. In this Year of the Dog, we will redouble that effort, and may we all emerge with the fulfillment that our actions engendered more positivity and resilience in our world.
              Despite his preference for routine, Savio has been trying out a variety of new activities this year. In addition to his usual pleasure in playing basketball and throwing footballs, he enjoyed learning hip hop dance and hurling himself in indoor parkour. He relishes the feeling of accomplishment after working out a sequence of moves, especially when those moves seemed a bit scary at first. It’s not easy to jump off a roof! On the ski slopes, that same courage helped him tackle his first black diamond and mogul runs. He also is continuing to play piano, sing around the house, and think up creative crafts to make. Savio is growing more mindful of how he might help others, whether it’s helping the family or caring for his new betta fish, I.Am.Groot.
Clockwise from top left: Cascade at Kootenay; Spring oak in Yosemite; Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite; Fern Spring, Yosemite, Dry December in Yosemite; Lake Minnewanka, Banff. Middle: Lake Louise, Banff
Since joining The Nature Conservancy last year, Liwen has loved being among so many people who are passionate about protecting the lands and waters on which all life depends. From his first California staff meeting, which began with a romantic creature feature about mating frogs and continued with updates about the Conservancy’s many constructive conservation projects, he knew he found his folk. Even in the face of federal headwinds, the Conservancy has marshaled other resources to tackle important problems like fisheries, groundwater management, and habitat connectivity. In December, the Conservancy helped protect over 50 rare and endangered species by buying 24,000 acres of Santa Barbara habitat from a real estate developer. Liwen also became vice chair of the board of Youth Outside, a nonprofit that exposes kids to the outdoors and builds greater inclusiveness. While waiting for snow, he has been working on piano songs by Of Monsters and Men, Agnes Obel, and Ludovico Einaudi.
Sequoia continues to amaze us with her social adeptness. Middle school is a world seemingly of never-ending drama and where feelings often get hurt. Even so (and as the rest of us watch anxiously), she has been able to successfully navigate complex dyads and triads. With her characteristic positive attitude, she has grown more confident and independent, speaking up for herself and others. Despite not getting enough sleep, Sequoia cheerfully wakes up most mornings, cooks her own breakfast, and gets herself ready for school. She improved her snowboarding and parkour skills and played on the school volleyball team for a second year.
2017 was a challenging year in the amount of suffering and strife we witnessed, but it taught us yet again how we as individuals can foster positive change through kindness, diligence, and vision. This Year of the Dog is associated with a sense of fulfillment through action, and we look forward to continue trying to make a positive difference, however we can, by focusing on the needs of others.
Lake Agnes and the Beehive, Banff Poetree in Johnston Canyon, Banff Athabasca Glacier recession, Jasper Lake Margaret animals Kootenay Lake Louise Humboldt Redwoods Vermilion Lakes, Banff Bodega Head Ice skating in snowless Yosemite
2017 was a year of finding peace in the mountains. We marveled at the gushing falls in Yosemite in the spring. We found the enduring redwoods along the coastal range. In summer, we hiked and kayaked and biked in the Canadian Rockies, revisiting some places we went to with Sequoia when she was 4 months old and discovering new wonders too. These places remind us that there is a world more immense than our problems. Yet there is a hint and twinge of loss at each return: more time forgone, more innocence relinquished, more melting of childhood like the relentless shrinking of the Athabasca Glacier, and more uncertainty about the world we leave to our children.
Savio, Sequoia, Liwen, and Yvette