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Archive for the ‘Desire & Intent’ Category

Suffering it may seem
and so suffering it is;
but impairing it is not. .

−verse 2 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

Passion evokes passion.

We define passion by typically thinking of enthusiasm. However, the original definition of passion included suffering (the cost along the journey).

I was 25 years old, we had been married a bit over 3 years, and our daughter was 6 months old. I had just completed a very successful year as a life insurance agent, achieving the ‘rookie-of-the-year’ award, and other accolades in the territory of which I was a part. It was also the year my parents divorced after 30 years of marriage.

As if this was all not enough for one young man, I believed I was being “called” into the ministry. I made a decision that was to change everything. I applied to a theological seminary and was accepted. We sold our first house; I quit my selling job, we packed up, gathered our baby daughter, and headed toward that seminary.

In the process of all this, I had a disturbing realization that this was not the right time for this decision. We made it as far as my hometown, about three hours northeast of the seminary destination. I quickly became confused to the point of despair. We rented a place and decided to stay a while so I could figure out this confusing matter.

I can still feel the pain of my confusion all these years later. More than anything at the time, it seems I had gotten caught up in the reaction of others to my original thoughts of ministry. It felt good to have others be so ‘proud’ of me. Their communication of this pride, and my connection to what was being said, served ego more than my authenticity, I suppose. When I realized (or sensed) this, the agony was great.

Since consciously launching into this work that has chosen me, I’ve often looked back on that time. From what I see, I continue to be deeply grateful that we did not make it to the seminary campus. For you see, I firmly believe that I would not have been where this work could find me had I followed through on that decision.

The ensuing years, with a treasure of experience, prepared me for now; the release into the flow of who I am in what it is I really do.

Acting on my own Trueness brought me the privilege of the spirits I’m blessed to give to, and from whom I receive so much. Like me, your unique Desire & Intent is a tangible objective important to the balance called for and called out by your own words.

I’m loving what I do now because I know what I bring to the table, confident in my strengths and my authenticity. –Robert, loving leader

Feel, Hear, See

Your Desire:
You must test feel against desire–what you know as real.

Your Voice:
You must be present and open to hear–as you stand in the confident middle.

Your Intent:
You must hold intent next to what you see–both reality and possibility.

A poem for your work: Words

"Walking in Peace" by Dan Roller

“Walking in Peace” by Dan Roller

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I tell stories about the year 1996. It was a year focused on becoming the best listener I could be. Spending the year learning to listen led me to a deeper experience in what it meant for me to be a leader. Further, in the process of study and learning application, I was molded into a coach whose only desire is to encourage individual Trueness.

Now, I will remember the year 2016 as one for critical transformation, opening me ever deeper to my own Trueness. Meaning comes from Trueness, the true self since the beginning. As Ric Gonzalez and I have discussed in our podcast work, it doesn’t matter which comes first, passion, presence, or purpose. We’ve found individuals getting to meaning as each stands with her/his own point of origin−a voice of passion, a voice of presence, or a voice of purpose.

In our first formal session together, Sean asked me how he would know when he had made the transition from what he values into beliefs that translate into conscious behavior, to that space where he would be doing what it is he does while being his true self. The vessels in my brain almost popped with excitement. I wanted to lay out all at once everything he and I would do over the next few months, but that would’ve definitely been too much for him to process in that moment and in the mysterious space he opened with his wonderful question.

My answer, for the time being, was that he would know he was in the mysterious movement of such transition (really transformation) when he found himself being present with each interaction and each experience. Sean and I talked about flow, in the sense of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work, as presented in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. In the last paragraph of this book, Mihaly states, “Just as we have learned to separate ourselves from each other and from the environment, we now need to learn how to reunite ourselves with other entities around us without losing our hard-won individuality.”

Unfortunately in modernity we have come to see mystery as something to be solved. In our effort to not know mystery, to be uncomfortable with what we don’t understand, we move quickly into fixing mode. In the process we have become very judgmental. Judgment is a barrier to any positive, collective outcome. The need to fix, judge, or control comes from fear. Fear becomes a shared emotion only because we allow it inside ourselves as individuals.

Letting go of judgment is part of opening to mystery. We contradict mystery when we allow expectations to control us, and attempt to control with expectations. It is an absurd cycle.

“We cannot be present to anyone or anything in judgment.”
–David G. Benner, Presence and Encounter

I cannot wait to show Sean his voice. Voice is a gift of being. Your voice knows its stand right in between your desire and your intent. When standing there, voice in full flow, letting go is simply part of your art!

Whatever opens you to Trueness − passion, presence, purpose − stand there, confidently. If anything in life & living can be trusted, must be trusted, it is your Trueness. Stand in the middle of your own Desire & Intent with voice in service, gathering, giving, and growing in the mystery of letting go.

Silent Freedom

Mystery
not the agent of fear,
of what we are afraid.

The absurdity of it all,
our angst, our anxiety,
fixed in a demand to control.

Whatever is missing
has been dismissed
in the waste of fear.

And mysterious still
how one might believe,
ever was there
any chance of control.

What then was dismissed
from fear, without thought?

Was it loss?
Was it love?

Providence not trusted,
in the flow of it all, it all
moves with us, or without us,
but so wants the divineness
of our presence.

In a loud world,
a distracting swirl,
silence is a mystery.

But silence we need,
for more than a bit, to hold,
and without judgment, release.

Letting go,
how can this be,
possibly be,
the way to steer,
a source to guide?

Simple it is,
to be led out there
one has to be guided
in here.

And the source,
the guide,
from your beginning,
is away from the fray.

In the silence,
in the depths
of The Presence,
is the middle
of your being.

Here, in the middle
of who you are,
since the start,
is inclusive freedom.

–J. Brunson

The Moment - by Anna Sabino

Presence – by Anna Sabino

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A Flight of Gratitude

Feel the Rhythm

One weekend evening, sitting in my easy chair watching TV, I heard a scratching sound. It seems it was coming from downstairs in the den next to my office. There is a wood stove in that den and something was in the chamber just before the stovepipe connection. I wondered if it was a leaf moving to a draft coming down the flu and into the pipe. I simply tried to ignore the noise for a few days.

Eventually, I became concerned that it may be a living … something. I got my tools and prepared a contraption to cover the opening once the pipe was disconnected. My improvised cover was a halved, gallon milk jug. Upon placing over the opening, I saw an arm-like appendage slowly reach toward the white glaze of the covering letting in light that hadn’t been seen in days. It was the hand-like portion of a bat’s wing.

I pulled on some gloves, placed my hand inside a black garbage bag, removed the covering constructed from my fear of what I’d find, and pulled the helpless little creature from his iron prison. And that is when the coolest thing happened.

I took the bagged bat outside and gently uncovered him on the ground in a clearing among the trees in our yard. It was a breezy day, and to be sure he was okay I stood right there with him. The little mammal was weak, but soon opened his wings and allowed the breeze to lift his body into flight. He began to circle me in a tight spiral for several rounds that kept going until he reached an altitude sufficient for going home. I’m convinced to this day that it was a flight of gratitude.

The Melody of the Middle

Through the years, Allen’s dad taught him about the flight with gratitude. Without gratitude we are grounded by the politics of resentment and the politics of vengeance.

I wanted to interview my friend, Rev. Allen Huff, and write about him because I know him as an individual who truly lives, loves, and leads from the middle, a position and stand where one can generously hold what too many quickly lock away in cast iron judgment.

The need to win over others (be right versus do what’s right), Allen believes, comes from fear; and fear is the source of vengeance and resentment. Strong in the middle with a commitment to gratitude is where we constantly find the energy needed to forgive, and be forgiven. To forgive is not about assuming an authority position over another. As Allen’s dad exhorts us, “Be grateful in the presence of the person where you find yourself.” To be grateful for the person, regardless of the circumstance, is a present moment practice.

“Doubt is welcome. But fear? We must learn to manage our fear and to Love like our lives depend on it. And, in truth, they do.” –from Sermon, 4/3/2016

Leading from the middle, in the power of gratitude and unafraid presence free of judgment, is where we practice forgiveness in our individually unique brand of leadership love. And, when you get here, to this middle filled with gratitude, you can now let go of either/or and truly understand, and live, both/and.

Your freedom is your rhythm. Freedom within your own rhythm is not to the left with desire, not to the right with intent. You only find your rhythm in the both/and−by consciously and creatively holding the tension of the middle.

Strategic Gratitude

Allen’s dad taught him to cultivate a powerful present-moment strategy for gratitude: to move his attention from “in order to” to “for the sake of.” Attention focused “for the sake of” changes the whole feel of the rhythm that is your Desire & Intent, and your solid, present stand as a leader.

Allen told me that to forgive is not about adding to one’s suffering, but about freeing all parties into the flight of relationship. In the realm of leadership, and as a leader standing firm in the grateful middle, forgiveness is always about more than just the issue or situation at hand. The leader who becomes accountable with forgiveness always sees farther than the manager of simple process−she gratefully holds accountability to the future, our future together.

The challenge we feel with topics like gratitude and forgiveness in the world of our work exists because we so easily judge one another, and assess situations as if there is a requirement to separate into right or wrong, and left or right.

What is it we have to forgive? It is paradox. Where is gratitude found? In the present. Paradox exists in everything we are faced with doing, especially in leading. And leading, in its truest form, occurs in the present and in the presence of others.

Living one’s Trueness, a true life, and the individual and collective rhythms associated, is essential to individual completeness and to collective wholeness in a needy world. Leadership is not about power; power over another. Leadership is about generosity−a practical appreciation (gratefulness) for those you lead, influence, and serve.

Thank you, Allen, for being a champion for freedom, gently showing us the opening that is there for our own flight of gratitude.

Allen Huff is the pastor for Jonesborough Presbyterian Church in Jonesborough, TN. Allen loves nature and is a skilled photographer.
Allen’s Blog

A Leadership Poem: Graceful Tension

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Listen to the Rhythm

 Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances. –Maya Angelou

As I read the previous post from Jeff, I too was struck by the words he shared from Parker J. Palmer; especially,

“Pay attention to rhythm.”

This simple, yet powerful, statement reminded me of the clear messages shared by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in the book The Power of Full Engagement. Rhythm is all around us.  It’s in nature as we move from day, to night, to day again; as we move through the seasons, and the years. There’s rhythm in the universe around us. And there’s rhythm in the universe within us. Our heartbeat, our breathing, our sleeping, and as we move through our day, there’s a rhythm we “dance” to – sometimes like a puppet on strings.

But our natural rhythms have been overridden.  With the fast pace of life and Jennifer 2B-1advances in technology that is meant to keep us connected, we’re wired up, but we’re melting down.  We have laptops and tablets and smart phones. There’s a wifi hot spot in just about every coffee shop, restaurant, sports center. We get pop-up reminders, and text messages – all designed to help us manage our time, and our connections, better.

Our capacity to be fully engaged, to be our whole selves, our strong selves, depends on our ability to periodically disengage, slow down, and listen.  Listen to what the universe is trying to say to us.

Recently a good friend shared a story that has stayed with me. Maritza exemplifies what it means to truly listen. Like most of us, she was caught up in the hectic pace of the life and work she chose for herself. And like many of us, she was tired, stressed, and not fulfilled. Then she made a change. She quit one career and took a completely different path and found her calling, her purpose, by listening. Some may call it the universe or a guiding spirit. Maritza calls this her angel. Even though she has never seen him, Jennifer 2B-2she’s felt him, and listens to his “guiding voice”. Maritza’s interpretation of what she hears when she listens to her angel is her strength. Through her listening, she gathers what she needs to help others. And by sharing her strength, her calling, she can feel energized as well.

We all have our own “angel” trying to speak to us when we are faced with a problem or puzzle or decision. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of how to listen. We have a way that feels natural for us to renew our energy and maintain a natural rhythm. Whatever your preference, the point is to recognize when your rhythm is off and make the time to set it right. Some ways to do this are:

  • Practice “strategic disengagement”. Consciously and deliberately create new boundaries for yourself.  Disengagement doesn’t have to be long. It just needs to be intentional and conscious.
  • Discipline yourself to see the patterns around you. Then use what you see to help others.
  • Deliberately look for people with opposing viewpoints to engage in conversation. Look for evidence that contradicts what you believe. Doing this will help keep you from becoming complacent and keep your mind energized.

Even as we do this for ourselves, as leaders, we need to remember that others look to us for guidance. It may be our voice that speaks to them as their “angel”. So not only do we need to remember to disengage and renew our own energy, we need to be aware of the rhythm of those we lead and encourage them to do the same. In doing this we open ourselves to the rhythms around us and the creative tension that will help us to gather what we need to lead others.

So as you think about what you do and whom you lead, and I know you will, remember that you have a rhythm and the universe is speaking to you. Sometimes we just need to slow the rhythm, listen to our angel, and then get back in the dance.

Jennifer 2B-3

Photos courtesy of https://pixabay.com

Jennifer Rainey "Natural Information Curator"

Jennifer Rainey
“Natural Information Curator”

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

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.

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The Stream – Hold & Release

Letting go into trust (The Flow) is a challenge daily−and moment-by-moment. It is a challenge you must face with courage. This does not mean that no action is taken. Quite the contrary … but, each action must emanate from a contemplative, soulful place built and maintained in the moments with the flow.

A secret to authentic leadership in this 21st Century:
“Ultimately, we perceive the coherence of the world as we extend forgiveness−to ourselves and to others.” −William Isaacs, Dialogue

Faith, as I am continually reminded, is less what you desire to be at some future, perceived point, and more about who you are now−and in the flow.

Those who know me well get what I mean when I talk of The Flow. For me, it is the flow-of-it-all; and this oneness is that about which I write:

The Stream
The Path
The Trust View

The Flow will lead you to simplicity−and you will better understand, and hold, your service in this world; a service simplified by your Hold & Release into the freeing flow.

In this part 2 of The Rhythm of Journey, I focus on The Stream. With each note in this rhythm there are two topics I want us to consider together: Paradox and Creative Tension.

The Paradox of Hold & Release

The paradox of the stream is Hold & Release. Paradox is a breath, complete only with both the inhale and the exhale. There is spirited balance in the art of Hold & Release.

As a leader in this 21st Century, it is imperative that you learn to consciously hold what is most important while releasing any expectation of control. Even though you may not have learned it explicitly, there is an implicit pull to know as one the requirements you feel from both internal and external forces.

In our leadership, paradox is a perpetual reality. And once you know paradox as a binding-together, you can then learn in each opportunity as you hold such long enough to see truth in the binding.

In only our second coaching session, Kaye and I opened a conversation of paradox. One of her core values is that of Connection. As with any of us, Kaye at times focuses on this value to a degree where, if not conscious of spirited balance of Communication and Connection, she can find herself reacting in the shadows of authenticity.

As we talked about a specific situation, she began to hold together the two truths of communication and connection. Now Kaye can know the freedom of a binding-together as she more consciously leads from an authentic middle.

Holding the two truths long enough, you then know the reality of releasing what you learned into the more fully formed truth … which is the living flow-of-it-all.

As Trueness evolves into your living performance you are transformed; interestingly into who you’ve always been.

A Poem at WadingtheStream.com: In-Between Time

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Beginning several years back, I became separately fascinated with the desire of a leader and the intent of a leader. Over time, and a field of practice, my active fascination moved the plural of desire and intent into the singular focus of Desire & Intent.

In this singular and creative tension is an individual leader’s flow of passion to purpose to presence. The tense swirl of desire and intent hands you over to the pulse of purpose. In unified form, Desire & Intent brings purpose to a conscious and practical level.

I am still trying to understand all I know about the power held in one’s Desire & Intent. Here is what I know about my own—and yes, your—Desire & Intent. The Passion of my desire drives me. The Purpose of my intent draws me toward impact. And my Presence can then honor the flow of internal to external; as I now lead, influence, and serve from Trueness.

For the pulse of your purpose draws our trust to your brand of leadership love. The rhythm we experience is formed by your dedicated desire and actionable intent.

Regardless of your age, your Trueness is in tact. And regardless of the practical experience you may yet require, all that is needed to empower your authentic leadership is right there inside you … Now!

I know also where this practice with Desire & Intent has brought me. What I don’t know is where it will now take me. I suppose I’m simply along for the ride.

Bring your Desire & Intent to a spoken, conscious presence.

Then … enjoy the ride.

A Poem for your Desire & Intent

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