Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts

A Letter and Announcement from CEO Fiona Jensen

It’s March 8, 2009, a Sunday afternoon.

I am participating in the second weekend of Landmark’s Curriculum for Living, a personal development and training seminar in Boston. The leader asks “who would you be if you were not that person you 'wound up being'?”

I pause…for me, that person was simply someone who was anxious, worried unsure of what to do next. A mother who was struggling to raise her beautiful, strong-willed, troubled teenage daughter.

I raise my hand and go to the front of the room. I share that I would be powerful, courageous, and a straight-forward communicator. I would get things done that needed to be done not being stopped by what scared me.

Little did I know how this one thought, this one statement, would change my life and that of so many others in such a powerful way.

How from this statement, this way of being, I would decide to organize a road race that fall to pay for a mindfulness and wellness program in my daughter’s school even though I had no idea how to do any of it. Powerful straightforward communication and purpose.

That one race, that one program, and the community that rose-up around it would be the seed that would be the start of Calmer Choice.

Living a life, one day at a time. Each morning asking myself what was next. What was the next thing that needed to be done by me to make a difference. What was mine to do. Following what needed to be done to make a difference in the lives of these kids and schools across the Cape.

Doing so many things even though they scared me. Straight forward communication with intention. Asking for help from those who were the experts. Experts in the world of mindfulness, education, leadership, business and so many other things I knew nothing about. Building a remarkable team. Leaning into what it meant to be a leader… a leader I was not actually sure I knew how to be.

Here we are, 12 years later. March of 2021.

Calmer Choice has now worked with more than 36,000 students, educators and community members. Those “kids” are now adults, getting married, having kids of their own and all grown up. There is whole new generation of young people in those very same schools that are still dealing with what it is to be human and grow up in this world that we have been given.

And, a day at a time I still show up, suit up and ask this very same question.

What is it that is mine to do next?

And, here’s the announcement.

After many months of asking and listening, I realize that what is mine to do next, is to let go.

To carefully and strategically hand this most amazing organization over to a new leader. It is time.

So, on December 31, 2021, I will be retiring from Calmer Choice. I will be getting into my van that my husband and I have been converting and heading South to visit that daughter who is now all grown up and living an amazing life in Miami and then heading west to see parts of this country that I have never seen.

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My commitment to this organization is to lean into this leadership of letting go for the next 10 months leaving this baby of mine in the best possible shape ever. Guiding the amazing board of directors and staff to build the leadership team that will support and carry this organization into whatever it is meant to be doing for the next decade. Powerfully with courage, integrity, and purpose.

I am still here leading powerfully, with intention, for another 10 months to answer any questions you might have and then hopefully celebrate in person in November this most amazing organization we, as a community of caring people, have created over this last decade.

With so much love and gratitude,
Fiona Jensen