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Courage

Courage, a being soaring in the clean, blue sky of soul, coming to ground and running as an untamed spirit, to finally mature on the path that unfolds for the one who trusts the oneness of all steps.

Could beauty ever be a thing fearful? Yet at times we are fearfully stunned by the sudden sight of some beautiful wild part of our self on the inner landscape of Trueness.

From Trueness the spirit of path calls saying, Come, it’s safe, your next step. Then seeing each step advancing into another, as the path unfolds, you discover an energy worthy of your trust, and desperately needed in times when blinded by superfluous information.

Steadily walking as such takes courage.

Courage Unfolding

In the distance behind me
old beliefs fade,
not before in due time
breaking me open.

In anger, freeing me
to see futility
in a way not serving.

In anger to stay
a cowardly way would be,
dividing, judging,
unable to hold together
all that belongs.

Anger fades too
moments beckon
confidence builds.
Courage is stirred
in the clear depth
of who I am.

From fear to clear,
encouraging voice,
I step into the opening
of what lies ahead,
saying, with loud love
what is needed,
for your courage,
for our life
along the path.

–J. Brunson

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For each transition
successive will be
when committed one is
to truth and reality.

−verse 3 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

The official name of my work and business was conceived two years before beginning actual practice, but the name itself, BasicApproach, represents a laboratory. Practice has been a space for experimenting with what, in truth and reality, is my basic approach.

The basic has evolved into Trueness, undergirded by my voice of love.
The approach has matured into application of such Trueness, my presence with another as I leverage the strength, and gift, of encouragement.

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I love it. I love the creative process of learning and converting such knowledge into practice; a practice of what I do that is then taken by the individual and converted into her/his own authentic practice. This honors my own living methodology of gather, give, and grow (a methodology born in the intersection of my desire and my intent).

Voice as Purpose
Commitment is a fascinating power available to us.

Be warned: once you make a commitment, you place into motion a series of transitions. You need to know that each one is providentially designed to take you deeper into the reality of your Trueness.

Love is my voice as it was given to me. I’ve come to believe love is the basis for each person’s voice in the world. Encouragement is my purpose/brand in the world; how my love is expressed and lived out loud. Love is the firm foundation I can trust. It is becoming my place to stand. Encouragement is the lever I hold in my middle stand that can, and will, move the world. Such gives me purpose. Purpose is interest, and interest creates energy.

Personal purpose brings you into a new confidence. When confidence is low, or missing, look for missing purpose. When you are true and clear, we are led individually to open to, and see, the collective possibilities; a collective future vision begins to become, for us, more organized in the present.

We need a vision to stand by and give support to our actions. I know this sounds like purpose, but it is not necessarily so. Purpose is first individual, and when purpose propels us through our own connective cycle, we then stand firm in the middle and share a vision with you.

We are transformed by an ever-evolving awareness. Our confidence is deepened in action that is connective−bringing together the clarity of application with purpose. Action that is connective is so because it flows in a rhythmic cycle.

Purpose is the foundation of all vision of impact.

If you are the leader everyone looks to for the vision, don’t let them down. If you are one looking to a leader for the vision, give your all to assure clarity and connection. Then together, we can give our individual energy for collective impact.

Together we are transformed, driven by the truth of individual purpose and drawn into the reality of a collective vision.

A poem for your work: Courage Elemental

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In our first coaching session, he stated, “I’m not sure I’m passionate anymore.”

Unhelpful guidance, profusely proffered without permission, contains anything but meaning. So difficult it can be to let go of expectations, not letting go of any optimism for good, but the false assumptions we find clinging to us like soot from a toxic fire.

I suppose finding and knowing meaning depends on where one looks for it. Even more debilitating is if one no longer believes meaning is possible. It is a major shift when you finally grasp that meaning is created within the flow of it all, abundance available in the movement of internal to external and your Trueness active in the world.

The mystery is, in part, found in our own journey.

Less important is seeking any specific explanation of mystery and more important is opening to what is; experiencing the present so as to receive the meaning already there for you (the true you.)

In the first part of life experience, meaning comes to us through others. Fortunate I was to learn about deep friendship and unconditional love early on by knowing my grandmother as my closest friend. The simplicity of being in her presence, and her presence with me, schooled me in what I would need to know in the subsequent acts of life & living, opening me to mystery and my own journey with meaning.

With mystery and meaning it’s less about understanding and more about accepting what is already true within you. Trueness asks you to live and work in alignment with the source of who you are. At such source is a new confidence, a way of being in your unique brand of love, creating unconditional presence held firmly by flowing voice.

I am privileged to work with individuals who want to lead from such love, being, and presence. Letting go into desire’s drive and intent’s draw, I get to see these individuals open to the middle of meaning; a resonance unique to who they are.

The release, and resonance, of voice may flow through passion, presence, or purpose, but remember that your voice is gifted within and from your Trueness.

Meaning is the inhale/exhale of Trueness. Meaning is right in the middle of a living, breathing paradox. We find in the making of who we are that it takes experiences of all sorts; an unfolding of all things, working together, basically schooling us in the reality of everything belongs.

Mystic Memory

It was August, mile four,
one of my long walks.
Quiet, peaceful, simple,
thoughts fired into memories.

Feeling, from all those years ago,
the shade of grandparent trees,
porch time with Sallie and Henry.

The memories thick as fireflies
on such a Mississippi evening.

The red and white kitchen table,
the window behind the bench at that table.

The cupcakes,
oh my, the cupcakes!

I was safe, then,
so safe.

Still, there’s safety in the present,
but no one else must hold the pearl.

Yes, that was a tender time,
open and wide.

I was safe, because?
Because of love,
because of love, unconditional.

In such safety,
unconditionally,
every little thing
had meaning.

The source of meaning was from without,
graciously held by those showing me
the pearl of great price,
the Trueness within.

And from within,
now meaning flows.
Then, every little thing had meaning.
Now, up to me it is
to know meaning in
everything belongs.

–J. Brunson

Version 2

 

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Courageous Influence

Feel the Rhythm

In the 5th grade, or so, I wrote an essay entitled ‘The Therapy of Work.’ I suppose the commitment to do my part in influencing our places of work to be more animated with love, abundance, and freedom goes back a few years.

Many years later my Mom gave me a box packed with art work I had done through my growing years. In the box was this composition from my developmental years. Seeing it again made me think of those who, intentionally or not, influenced me.

To live from Trueness is to live A New Confidence−a way of being true to self, true to another, where gratitude flows free from expectation.

From the time I was a senior in high school until the very week I married, I worked off and on for a large department store chain. My first position was called porter, or carryout. Among other assorted duties, I took merchandise to customer’s automobiles: TVs, rugs, patio furniture, lawn mowers, (I’ve tied more than one boxed swing set to the top of VW bugs). The management of the store treated me well, but the one individual recollection I hold fast is that of Curtis Luckett.

Curtis was around 10 years my senior. He had a grateful way of being. In checking the shift schedule each week, I found myself actually praying I would have many of the same slots as Curtis. When it was just the two of us, I felt as if I’d hit a jackpot. Working a common shift, he was grateful to be in my presence, and I in his. He was kind, gentle, and in my eyes an incredibly strong leader.

Curtis may have not been my first experience with a sage, but one I shall never forget. It occurs to me all these years later that his courage was grounded in his consistency of being true.

Our unique strength preferences, when accepted at accurate face value, and held in the rhythm serving our Trueness, become a guide to us.

A compulsive need to be right, and anxiousness in looking good, gets in the way of standing firm in the present, especially in the face of relationship challenges. Such need to be right and look good, always at the cost of another, embezzles the storehouse of gratitude.

Courage is what love looks like when tested by the simple everyday necessities of being alive.” –David Whyte, Consolations

Forgiving Assumptions

Christie is practicing a new confidence as she becomes more practically conscious of her rhythm. In everything she does, she is committed to purpose, trust, and authenticity. She is specifically committed to clarity in each relationship, leading to purposeful connection, participative trust, and collaborative success.

Christie is a high-energy leader operating full tilt in her preferred extroverted space as she processes for self and with others. She has an ability to mentally gather information from her observation and rapidly assess it in her open, extroverted manner. Her processing has more than once caused me to smile so largely that I think she could actually hear through the phone the crinkling from my cheeks, mouth, and eyes.

It is Christie’s voice of positive, open intent that sets an example of the confidence we need to see in our leaders. Recently, she needed the guide of her own rhythm as she set her intention toward building a stronger relationship with her immediate boss. She put her voice to work and structured an approach to create a positive, open, and ongoing dialogue with her boss. First, she had to forgive her own assumptions about him in order to enter the conversation and work to bridge any relationship gap.

“It takes courage to allow your voice to have its place.”

Yes, it does take courage to have influence, to be influential. A synonym for influence is encouragement. To have a lasting effect on something, you have to live your rhythm and honor the rhythm of the other. Thank you Curtis and Christie for your impact in this world.

A Leadership Poem: Intense Influence

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Jennifer 3B-1

This is the motto of the Mudderella, a 5 – 7 mile obstacle course race created in 2013 byJennifer 3B-2 Christina DeVito, former Chief Strategy Officer for Tough Mudder. The Mudderella was designed by women to help women realize they are stronger, mentally and phyically, then they realize. The Tough Mudder, created in 2010, is a 10-12 mile obstacle course “designed to test physical strength and mental grit.” There’s even a Froot Shoot Mini Mudder for kids ages 7 – 12. All of these events are about teamwork and camaraderie. They are about helping the person next to you get through that obstacle, not about who finishes first. They are “about knowing what strong means for you–and owning it.”

So why am I sharing all of this with you? What does a muddy obstacle course have to do with leadership and the work of Trueness?

Actually – quite a lot!
Let’s engage in some divergent thinking and explore…

I was introduced to these events last year by a colleague who has participated in the Tough Jennifer 3B-3Mudder for about 2 years now. The initial draw for me was to support Mike as he completed the Chicago event in May of this year. The event was close to home so I thought it would be good to cheer for him. Then he told me about the Mini Mudder and I knew my 10 year old daughter would probably love it! And she did!

In September, we traveled to Wisconsin for another Mudder. Through all of this, I watched Mike, my daughter, and my husband, challenge themselves by participating in these events. They proved to themselves that they had the physical and mental ability to succeed. Seeing this has been an inspiration!

The leadership Mike provides isn’t just about completing a muddy obstacle course. It’s even more valuable. You see he leads with “influence through presence,” as Jeff mentioned in the previous post. Mike’s strength of character, discipline, and focus on self-improvement has a way of inspiring those around him, whether he realizes it or not. As we know, being a leader isn’t about a title or power over others. It’s about the presence you have that inspires others to CHOOSE to follow. And when you make the time to invest in yourself, you GIVE to others the best of you.

Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
–Jim Rohn

These words seem to be echoed in many ways around me. Due to a recent change, a good friend gave me a simple, yet powerful book by Patrick Lindsay, Make the Most of You – 170 ways to be the best you can. The simple advice provided on the inside jacket sings of leadership and trueness, investing in yourself so that you may give to others.

Photo courtesy of https://pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of https://pixabay.com

“The most important changes generally don’t come from the big things that happen to us; it’s the small things that really transform our lives – small things that have surprising, powerful ripple effects that go far beyond our expectations.”
–Patrick Lindsay

In a world of constant change, embracing the small things can make all the difference. I know the ripple effects of the leadership Mike provides are still being felt. His strength inspires the strength of others. And his potential will find a way to unleash the potential of others.

So as you think about your trueness as a leader, remember the advice shared by Patrick Lindsay,

  • Leave everything a little better than you found it;
  • Wear your scars proudly;
  • Unleash your own song.

Invest in yourself – Gather. Embrace your trueness – Give.
Own Your Strong! – Grow!

Mudderella, here I come!

Jennifer Rainey "Strengths Expert"

Jennifer Rainey
“Strengths Expert”

All that Jennifer does is driven by a commitment to help you look inside and identify your passions and strengths. Jennifer is a practitioner and consultant for organizational effectiveness.

Sign up for her curation:
Through the Door of Possibility

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Gather to Give
A Transition into Generous Leadership

Generously, is how Trueness flows out into the world.

In the book Immortal Diamond, Richard Rohr says that expectations are just resentments waiting to happen. And as I’ve painfully learned about myself (my false, selfish, limiting side), it is my quickly scripted expectations that cause the very distress I want to blame others for causing–as they miss the mark inked by my stupid expectations.

One who sees himself “in charge” –believing he ultimately has the answers–is going to struggle with actually becoming a leader. A haughty, in-charge, must-be-right individual has nothing to give, for nothing has been gathered through experience; her hands have been too full of herself.

You truly give externally only when you know how to give internally.

Trueness is not just to be acknowledged, it is to be known and cared after. And if there is a solid definition for Trueness, then it is probably generously wrapped in freedom from expectation. This is A New Confidence.

How does all this apply to leadership, or being a leader? If leadership is influence through presence, then we give through our intentional presence. The Trueness of a leader flows into the world only as it is freed from having to be right.

There were many experiences building one on another that began to shake these things from my hands. But such release was further facilitated as I learned and practiced with the knowledge of Carl Jung’s understanding about our personalities and preferences. Each time I gave to another from practicing with this knowledge, I let go of one restriction after another to my Trueness, and therefore my leadership.

Gather flows into giving as we step into the movement that is generosity of sprit.

Go back to Parker Palmer and Jennifer Rainey as they encourage our rhythm and help us set it right and fully experience Gather-Give-Grow:

  • Slow down. Practice disengagement.
  • Do more with less. Discipline yourself to see the patterns around you.
  • Pay attention to rhythm. Deliberately look for people with opposing viewpoints to engage in conversation.

Disengagement is not shutting down all functioning systems. Rather, it is about focusing the best of who you are in order to, as a leader, Gather.

Gathering places you in the middle with learning and consequent practice. This is where you see your Trueness in the patterns, and Give.

Trueness opens you to experience and you find yourself present with others. You gather for such presence. You give in such encounter. And as it is with life-giving rhythm, we all Grow.

A Leadership Poem: In the Middle Space

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The Stream (Stillness/Flow)

Stillness/Flow is the creative tension in the paradox of Hold & Release.

In part 2 we stepped into the stream. There we continue to understand its particular paradox of power. In this part we consider the reality of tension that is in-between two seemingly opposite truths. The tension is creative because standing still in such movement is the only way we begin to see.

As I am being taught, when I am attempting control it is on some external issue or some internal matter that I just want to be other than what it really is.

Reality: The tension is always there.
Reality: The tension is creatively free only as we no longer have a need to label.

“The world is afraid of reconciliation. We prefer to live in a world of black and white where we create and maintain enemies, because that keeps our own group together. … Our human nature has trapped us in certain positions that have a degree of culture-forming logic to them but overall are simply untrue.” –Richard Rohr

This from Rohr is a reminder to me; to be deeply thankful and presently grateful for the fading need within to label and set apart what is naturally one.

The Creative Tension (Stillness/Flow)

It occurs to me that George was firmly focused on the flow. Our call was eight months after the business case/simulation of which I was privileged to be a part. This was one component in an effort to train and equip technical experts with consultative skills.

I asked him how this was going all these months later. “Aggravating” was his response. It seems the recipients of George’s good intentions were not progressing as he had envisioned, or hoped. As I listened, and asked further questions, he began to dig a little deeper into what he might yet do. His questions of me were about tools or resources he might leverage.

As I’ve learned wading the stream, I must be very aware of the flow without giving it my entire focus. In order to remain sure of foot in the current, and find a place to stand, I must focus on the bottom.

Finally, I knew it was time to give George a bit of encouragement. I set it up by stating that he didn’t need another’s program, and hopefully brought it to stillness by saying, “George, you can do this.”

Attempts at control throw us out-of-balance, causing us to see stillness and flow as a contradiction (either/or). The only control I, in reality, possess is my now experiential knowledge that I have no control–and more importantly that I do not want such (at least not any more). This stills me in the flow.

I am not part of the flow by being swept away. The flow is experiential as I find my place to stand in the middle and cast for what is important–and real.

The only way to love the flow, and in the flow love, is to stand still.

The Stream–a necessary note in the rhythm–is a place to fully be. It is a moving reminder, flowing around your stillness, that you are part of something larger.

It includes you–Your Trueness.

A Poem at WadingtheStream.com: The Reality of Experience

On the Creeper Trail

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