Article for the Clear Light Messenger, September 2019

The other day while packing for my move to Boulder, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts*. They were discussing a study that asked expert guitarists to play while switching their dominant hand position with their non-dominant hand position. The result, as you can imagine, was that they all felt like beginners again. 


I have extensive experience running businesses and being a UU Membership Director. These positions require knowledge of the people and systems of a community. At this moment, with UUCB, I have neither of those things. This new job will be a bit like trying to play guitar with my non-dominant hand. 


While this can seem daunting, it is actually very exciting. The benefit of “switching hands” is that it allows for more creativity, curiosity, and vulnerability. In business and education we call it Growth Mindset. In spiritual terms, it might be recognized as the Childlike Mind. It is an approach to life that keeps us open and resilient. 


In that spirit I would like to introduce myself to you, not with a list of work experience, degrees, or knowledge, but by sharing my Family Mission Statement. 


Every year, my daughter and I spend time determining our values and priorities. It started when she began reviewing and revising her Coming of Age statement-of-belief every year. This process involves lots of conversation, writing, and sharing information. Our end goal is a shared Mission Statement that reflects our priorities and current beliefs. I hope that it provides a frame with which to get to know me as your new Director of Congregational Life.


The Elliot Family Mission Statement:

We believe in personal integrity and perpetual learning.

We value curiosity, kindness, and courage.

We prioritize healthy relationships, starting with ourselves.

We trust life should have both joy and purpose.


I look forward to meeting you and creating a covenant together that serves us as this Mission Statement serves my family.