In the previous post, Jennifer encourages in each of us a playfulness in learning that frees creativity in our encounters with one another. She also wrote to us about our responsibility in Creative Tension; how as individuals we must embrace our encounters for the development of our own uniqueness.
There are three keys to creating a schedule that welcomes the soul: slow down, do more with less, and pay attention to rhythm. –Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness
When these words by Palmer found me, I was a few years into the process of the three keys. In the key of slowing down I began to jettison distractions to the work I am truly called to do. An intending connection to slowing down was the key of doing more with less—in business terminology, I suppose this is focus. And that brought me to key three, where I now find my attention consistently, my rhythm.
The rhythm to which I refer is both the three points of my Desire & Intent and the three strengths of my confidence cycle—a model around which I’ve built all my work, and truthfully, my life & living. The 3 strengths making my own cycle of confidence, and strengthening my presence within each encounter, are Gathering, Giving, and Growing.
At the middle point of each rhythmic blend is my own Creative Tension, where I interact in the world and where individuals experience both what I do and who I am.
My desire that you embrace the power of who you are drives the gathering. My intent for you to lovingly lead others to their own authentic confidence draws me out in a commitment to growing; mine and yours. This desire and this intent collide in the middle creating tension relieved in the sheer act of giving. And for me, this giving is rooted in my need to simply encourage you.
“Authentic presence is always grounded in authenticity. … At its best, leadership is influence through presence.”
–David G. Benner, Presence and Encounter
We frequently use the words expectation and desire interchangeably. They are not the same. Too often our expectation in any particular encounter limits what can truly be gathered in the experience, if we would but open to the opportunity. On the other hand, desire—what we cannot help but gather—frees us in the encounter.
Here again, Jennifer encourages us in the gathering through her own story and encounter: “My inspiration is often in what I read. What I’ve discovered about my reading is that there is often a purpose for what I’m drawn to depending on what is happening in my life at that time, personal and professional. And there is almost always a level of learning involved with the purpose of taking that learning and sharing with others.”
Jennifer’s purpose immerses her in her own brand of gathering. It doesn’t matter at what point you engage your rhythm, it only matters that you respond in the encounter and allow your rhythm to engage you.
A Leadership Poem: Rhythmic Participation
Note: For another example of engagement in Creative Tension, and therefore the unique rhythm of Desire & Intent, listen to this Podcast where Ric talks about his journey into purpose.