Renée Riley-Adams: creating the world we want to live in

Renée Riley-Adams

Editor’s note: Wings in the World is a monthly blog, and this month’s is by Renée Riley-Adams. Renée is a Wings graduate in our Facilitator-in-Training program, and she and her family recently donated $5,000 through the Riley Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation to support the Wings scholarship program. We asked her to write a blog about what moved here and her family to consider donating.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”


As a life coach and facilitator, I have done a lot of personal growth work over the years—the Enneagram, coaching, and many workshops—so I was pleased and surprised that I got so much out of PES in December 2015. I was lovingly challenged by skilled facilitators to move through my fears and to see my life in new and different ways.

After doing the core series of Wings seminars, I feel more relaxed in myself, confident, clear, and connected. I trust myself and I am collaborating more with others. Instead of looking for the next new thing, or thinking I need to find answers somewhere outside of myself, I feel content and grateful to be where I am, right now.

With all that is happening in the world right now of course I still feel uneasy and uncertain at times. But the childhood traumas I kept lugging around have no power over me anymore. A phrase from “Living in the Moment” by Jason Mraz echoes through my brain: “I let my past go past, and now I’m having more fun.”

In LifeWorks, I wrote a Vision on my values and how I aspire to live my life. This single page serves as my compass. I read it regularly as well as writing down three instances each day of “What Went Well,” as suggested by the father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman.

I can honestly say that I am more present in my life than ever before. I have seen and changed patterns that used to drain my energy and creativity. I laugh readily, and silly things delight me. I take risks personally and professionally. I feel ready to respond to whatever comes my way. I am responsible: able to respond.

Instead of comparing and putting myself one up or one down, I stick to my path and focus on differentiating myself. Even though I’m scared to do things like launching my own Youtube channel, speaking at Toastmasters, or learning Brazilian Portuguese, I am stepping out in new ways. I am listening to the feedback that is out there for me, and I know it is my choice to sit with it, considering the impact I want to have on others. After years of feeling apart, instead I know I belong.

From this new place of self-acceptance and hope, I asked my family how they would feel about making a donation to make Wings work available to more people. They have seen the changes in me first hand, and they heartily agreed. By investing my family’s funds, as well as my time and commitment to this work, my family and I hope to create the world we want to live in: a world that is loving, healthy, accepting, courageous, forgiving, and fun!

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