Aug 282015

Don-in-sun-shirt_2015Aug_2Hello to all my Haven friends, some of you will have noticed my disappearance from my beloved garden. It was not only the drought that drove me away!

In early July, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had no symptoms and this was caught through a routine FIT test. I ask you all to make sure you keep up on these tests. The medical system went into high gear and within a couple of weeks I had had a colonoscopy. Before I caught my breath from that I was called to the cancer clinic in Victoria. I was set up for a five consecutive day round of radiation treatment and then a surgery on Sept 3rd.

I am writing this from our friend Rose’s house in Brentwood Bay. I will stay with Rose all this week as I do my radiation treatments, she has been a huge support, not only housing me but driving me to and from the cancer clinic each day. I will go in at 11:40 this morning for my third treatment. The treatments are not at all uncomfortable and I am only at the clinic about a half an hour, no side effects yet and I feel fine.

On Sept 3rd at 9am I will have my surgery and I ask you all for a little prayer, however that looks for you, to help guide me through to the next chapter of my life. I expect to meet many challenges after the surgery and I keep myself very much in the moment and take each step as it comes.

I am very grounded and my faith is strong. I have many years of learning at The Haven, doing almost all the core programs, taking on many mentors over the years many of whom are gone now but live on in my heart and continue to teach me. I am walking this cancer journey hand in hand with my great hero Mark Nepo on one side and my dearest friend and mentor Ernie McNally on the other. We are traveling down this path accompanied by the sweet music of another great friend and mentor Eric Bibb.

So you can see I am in good hands. Yesterday was my 66th birthday. It was the best birthday I have ever had as I find through this challenge that I am more alive and aware of my place in the oneness of all life than I have ever been.

Please welcome my dearest friend Roz, when you see her caring for the garden I love so very much.

I will see you all in the garden in the spring 2016. There are so many wonderful friends I have met in the garden over the years I couldn’t possibly write you all so know I am doing well and am sending my love out to all of you .


Mar 062014

By Jennifer Hilton. Jennifer and Cathy McNally are leading Communication Fundamentals at the Haven, March 5–8, 2015. This program, created and first led by Ernie and Cathy McNally, is an in-depth exploration of how The Haven Communication Model can help you in the art of self-responsible relational living. Cathy Wilder and Toby Macklin are offering the program again, October 16–19, 2015.

letterwriting-1I like words. I like knowing the meaning of words. That doesn’t surprise me: my family has always been vocal and in the past, when they were apart from each other, they wrote letters. I come from five generations of sea captains who sent letters across many oceans, for many years – letters that were read and re-read by those at home. In those days, letters took months to reach their destination and were often saved for years.

My mother carries on the tradition, keeping letters I write. I am of the generation that wrote letters to family and friends, the early ones being forced (“thank-you” letters) and later for enjoyment and the anticipation of receiving one in return. Even though I didn’t have to wait as long as my grandmother did for a reply, it sometimes seemed a lifetime before it finally arrived. I loved going to the mailbox and finding a hand-written letter!

No longer do we have to wait for a ship to sail to know we will hear from someone. However, the term “hearing from someone” implies that there is a space between sending and receiving – a vast listening time. Today talking, texting, emailing, blogging, and tweeting cut that listening time into tiny pieces. Daily, as I engage in modern communication of any kind, I’m often overwhelmed with words, drowning in ideas, unable to concentrate on any one thing. I have to consciously slow down and create listening time!

One of the things I valued most about learning the Haven Communication Model is how, when I consciously choose to “follow the flow”, I can create more space in my thinking, talking and listening … especially when I slow things down.

Slowing down does not come naturally to me. But I know that when I do choose slow, I’m conscious of a lot of things that I would miss if I were going “fast”. Fast has its purpose, but what I am continually discovering is that if I want to improve in something, I have to back off and slow down. This applies to just about everything in my life, but especially communication.

In the past, letter writing was slow. Waiting for a reply to a letter was even slower. Those days are past – today we can communicate across the world in a heartbeat. But there is a great deal to be said for slowing down, pausing to breathe while talking. And making space to just LISTEN!

Join me and Cathy this March 5–8 for Communication Fundamentals!

Jan 312013

We Got This cover v2We Got This is now available on iTunes.

To purchase click on the View in iTunes button.

By Ernie’s request proceeds will go to Playing for Change Foundation.

This song is to celebrate Ernie McNally
With love from his friends and family
December 2012
Lyrics: Ellery Littleton and Steve McNally
Music: Steve McNally
© 2012 SOCAN

You saw me by the river
Wrapped in my dark and lonely cloak
Made from yesterday’s sorrows
On the edge of winter
Sitting alone and so remote
In my fear of tomorrows

You sat beside me softly
Near enough to touch me
Then you held me gently
In your strong and safe embrace
Then you looked at me and said…

It’s okay, We Got This
Don’t worry, We Got This
It’s alright, We Got This
We Got This

Evening falls the moon is new
I see you crouched beside the cold
In a dark dream that harms you
But the fire I built for you
Is burning bright and burning bold
And the love from it warms you

I sit beside you softly
Near enough we’re touching
Then I hold you gently
In my strong and safe embrace
Then I look at you and say…

It’s okay, We Got This
Don’t worry, We Got This
It’s alright, We Got This
It’s okay, We Got This

Now I hold you in my heart
My love is all around you,
Protection from the night
And like my own sweet child
I will rock you in my arms
Into the morning light

We sit beside you softly
Near enough we’re touching
Then we hold you gently
In our strong and safe embrace
Then we look at you and say… It’s okay

We Got This
We Got This
We Got This
Hey! We Got This

We Got This
We Got This
We Got This
Hey Ernie! We Got This



We Got This

Lead Vocals: Emma McNally, Steve McNally, Eric Bibb & Shari Ulrich

12 & 6 String Electric Guitars: Peter Patrick (Montreal)
Nylon Guitar & Lead Electric Guitar: Robbie Steininger (Vancouver)
Alto Sax: Andrew Lubman (USA)
Jestick: Bily Phillips (Mexico)
Acoustic Guitar & keyboards: Steve McNally

Miguel Angel Lops (Argentina), John Arthur Grant, Chris Steller and
Megan Steller (Australia), Junior Black, Cibelle Cristina (Brazil),
Miglena Tzenova-Nusheva (Bulgaria), Steve Fairclough, Lou Stonehill, Sarah Spencer-Stonehill (England), Michel Deuchst (France), Lilly Faßhold, Michael Geisel,
Dave Goodman, Dirk Lindemann, Luisa Pazdzierny, Jürgen Sartorius (Germany),
Merytriana Wiwie (Indonesia), Ilaria Maria Ancarani, Lorenzo Bari,
Giacomo “Jack” Bernardelli, Tia Bernardelli, Samuele Grandoni (Italy),
Ismael Morrow (Ivory Coast), Taiki Imaizumi, Tomoko Itoh, Tomoaki Kanamori,
Hiroki Kawahara, Shoji Kinoshita, Sanae Naito, Yoshie Shoge, Yoshikazu Sunaga, Naoyuki Suzuki, Kana Yasuda (Japan), Brian Dusch (Nanaimo),
Cristian Faur (Romania), Peter Repin (Russia), Ignasi Alvarez Garriga (Spain),
Rich Formidoni, Andrew Lubman, Alan Macpherson, Dan Phillips (USA),
Darcy Hancock, Paul McCabe, Megan Metcalfe, Shari Ulrich (Vancouver),
Steve Soucy (Vernon), Tom Lang (Victoria)
and Steve, Emma & Tim McNally (Hudson)

CD Cover Design: Barbara Ballantyne

Idea initiated by Cathy Wilder & Andrew Bing

Special thanks to
Paulo Roberto Aredes (Brazil), Andrea Bernardelli (Italy),
Rachel Davey (Gabriola), Jean-Yves Dufournier (France),
Eric Dusch (Nanaimo), Wiwie GV (Indonesia), Olli Haavisto (Finland),
Daniel Latorre (Brazil), Michele Paciulli,
Federico Pallotti (Italy), Dan Stesco (Romania) & Cathy McNally (Nanaimo)

A BeeBrothers Music Production
All music and lyrics © 2012 Steve McNally and Ellery Littleton (SOCAN)
All Rights Reserved

Nov 122012

Share the excitement!

From Penny Robertshaw

The Nanaimo intern Practice Group met on Saturday, Nov 10 at Rich and Wen Shwu’s new studio in Errington. 16 interns and assistants from all over the island gathered for the day and various interns took the lead and facilitated activities. The sun streamed in the windows as people spoke their truths of the moment into this circle of amazingly curious and caring people doing what they have been called to do: support others. Many times people mentioned our mentors and friends, Ernie and Cathy McNally and we took this photo to acknowledge and support them. The day was truly heart-warming, witnessing people’s willingness to come from afar to connect and share their lives with others on this intern path.

This was the third time the practice group met and we plan to continue to gather monthly. The group next meets Dec 15 and by then 5 of the interns (who are in the photo) will have completed Phase II either as participants or interns. Our best wishes to them. Please watch the Facebook Intern page for details or contact Rich Wilmer or me. We hold a space for you. This is an open intern (and assistant) group and anyone who has signed up to intern at Haven is most welcome whether they are currently and actively pursuing certification or not. See what you can create in your life!

Feb 172012

By Ernie McNally

Ernie is asking people to donate to The Haven’s Financial Aid Program to celebrate his 60th birthday!


This June marks my 60th birthday. I am normally not one for ‘landmark’ dates, and for whatever reason this is different. I have become increasingly aware over the past few years of the preciousness of all life, and the endless opportunities to truly live that surround me every day. From this ever-rising viewpoint I give pause to reflect on the pathways I have taken, and not, and the gifts (though many didn’t seem so at the time!) I have found along the way.

Ernie McNally with Riley (photo by Sam Mak)

I believe the greatest, and most abundant, gifts I have encountered have been with people. And I don’t think it has ever been more apparent to me than now. People who go out of their way to lend me a hand; take the time to stay in with me when I struggle; offer me heartfelt, and often tough, loving; grace me with challenge and kindness; sit in the quiet and stand in celebration with me; bless me with a word, a look, a touch, a laugh, a tear, a shake, and a safe harbour in the storm.

As I’m writing, warm, gentle tears are waiting at the corner of my eyes, and if reverent appreciation is a feeling, it is this breathing, rolling tug easing through my belly. The words that come have me asking “so what am I learning from all this?” Many lessons are occurring to me in response, and running through all of them for me is this…

I have more to give and receive than I ever thought possible. I can create lasting, rippling impact with the simplest of actions. It is my nature to care. I am never more than a few courageous leaps-of-faith away from what I want. Everyone matters, everyone makes a difference—and what I say about ‘I’ here, I believe about ‘we’.

Throughout my years of learning at The Haven, I have witnessed countless times when participants have risked opening to each other, and have discovered a quality of loving and connection deeper than they ever imagined. In the weeks, months and years that followed, I have witnessed these people transforming their lives, buoyed by their own strength and commitment to have more, be more, and give more. And I believe to my core that each time this happens we all live in a better world.

So what does all this have to do with me turning 60?

This: some of the courageous people I have been with at The Haven were able to participate, contribute and grow at a time when they did not have the funds, thanks to people like you and me who have donated to the Financial Aid Program. I have seen these people turn their appreciation for the opportunity into heartfelt commitment to dive in and go for it. I have been moved as they express their ‘thank you’ in their own words and actions. And I have been honoured to be with them as they seize the moment with a soul-driven determination to get and give everything they can.

I want as many people as possible to be able to transform their lives through their experiences at The Haven, and contribute to making our world a better, more human place through greater clarity, stronger relationships, and deeper connections. I can think of no more loving, impactful gift… one that pays forward, and forward, and forward…

So, for my 60th birthday, I am asking you to donate to ‘6-T-Rocks!’ for The Haven’s Financial Aid Program. If you are already a donor, I am asking you to consider making this additional one-time donation. You will make a difference, however much you give. I have no particular goal amount in mind, and I would like all of us to be pleased and surprised with what we create together!

As thanks, and as my gift to you, I will send each person who donates to ‘6-T-Rocks’ an mp3 of one of the Beebrothers Music Personal Songs I have co-written with my brother Steve.

So, there it is. I had been quite shy and awkward when I first thought of this, and imagined writing to you, and frankly I procrastinated while I attempted to get-it-perfect. As I began, I found I could hardly keep up with what I wanted to say! That I type with two fingers may have something to do with that, and more so, I think it is because I truly believe in what I am sharing with you, and asking for.

Thank you for taking the time to read all this, and hopefully being part of the coolest 60th birthday I’ll ever have!

Click the buttons below to donate now or contact Louise Amuir on 1 877 247 9238 ext 222 or at *protected email*.