And the deepest of reality,
an original endowment,
is the intricate truth
of who one really is.
−verse 4 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)
How freeing it was for me to learn how to be a neutral facilitator. At first, such learning was about being more skilled. Then, I heard a rule opening me to the learning, and subsequently teaching me to pay attention: It’s not about me; it’s all about them.
This guiding rule of facilitation also helped open me to my cardinal rule:
That the individual be encouraged.
It was the Thanksgiving week, and my wife and I flew to her parent’s home so we could then drive them to Texas to visit family. I had not been to my father-in-law’s home place in over a quarter of a century. So, since the last time I had seen Keith, he had unfolded a full career and was 500 days from his qualified, official retirement.
I was able to spend quality time with the family members there as several of them worked together on improvements around the farm. Throughout the weekend, I was amazed at Keith’s ability to pay attention to every detail of a conversation and bring tidbits of information from songs, movies, and television to enliven the narrative.
On the last evening before we drove back, Keith and I were standing outside with two other cousins in conversation. I told him what I had observed and I then offered up a challenge for him to think about how he could use his ability to pay attention for what was next in his life and living once those 500 days were up.
The most loving thing I know how to do is to encourage another human spirit. Encouragement is a gift that was given to me. I suppose it was encoded in my DNA. My acts of encouragement are undergirded by my life mission to love, serve, and understand.
It is important to be aware of strengths and the accompanying pitfalls in the shadow of each.
Pitfalls, and a Living Methodology
In my life mission, I’ve been well served by becoming conscious of these specific traps:
Love: When I focus on whether or not love is being shown back to me.
Serve: When I give and falsely expect something (anything) in return.
Understand: When this becomes a ‘need to understand’ focused on me versus an action given and released.
Judy (my coach) has been an integral part of my evolution and ever-unfolding journey. At a time when I was feeling another transition in the work, and further pain in continuing transformation, she challenged me to focus on changing my perception at my wonderful stage of life’s journey.
After quite a bit of contemplation, here was my commitment in light of my gather-give-grow methodology:
Gather: I will more consciously work to live more simply. I will work harder to care for my wife and myself first, so we can better care for others. I will ease up on what I expect from others. I will continue to keep my commitment to encourage no matter what.
Give: I will become presently conscious of what I can do, do that, and release the action into the flow.
Grow: I will participate more in conscious being. This one I will gladly figure out as I go.
As we were saying goodbye to family members one by one at the farm, Keith approached me. With a bit of emotion showing forth in his eyes and voice, he said, “Thank you for the encouragement.”
A poem for your work: It’s Why I’m Here