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Archive for the ‘Voice’ Category

The Mystery of Tension

The origin of the word tension is about stretching. Like other words in our language, we’ve forgotten original source and attributed only a positive or only a negative connotation. We are so often the sole point of supply to the negative scripts that haunt our doing and suspend our being, the ability to be present.

As part of ongoing introspection, I have questioned a few things. One of those was the energy behind, and within, my writing. When you’ve been doing something within a proven, stable process for a long time, it is a tense space to open to such questioning.

In this introspection, this standing in the flow of Trueness, I continue to connect more deeply with who I am, what I do, why I do it. It seems my writing to leaders has become much more about writing to the leader within each of us. Such a shift has had its impact on what I’m saying, doing, and who I’m being with the individuals I work with as a coach.

Being the person we are means enjoying the gift of our own creation before and beyond all desire, all expectations, all demands.

–John Main, The Way of Unknowing

Your voice embodies wholeness from an original source. As my friend Joy says about things like voice, “It’s the energy that picked me.” Voice is proof of your being. It is an energy that stretches you. Your voice is worthy of trust. In fact, not trusting voice is certain suppression of your resonance and power in this world. This variety of tension is something you definitely do not want.

We do have power in this world; not a power over another, but power to be there for the other, for her/his true being. While possible to encourage another without the new confidence of loving one’s self, such encouragement can only scrape the surface for another’s confidence, their way of being in this world. This only leads to misguided expectations that corrode relationship.

Tension is a mystery because we think it is something from which we need to be free, something we must dissolve, or avoid at all costs. Instead, we must first grasp tension as the healthful stretch intended, and then consciously step into the middle full of creative tautness and secure joy.

What is it that has taken me to this place to consider and remember this thing? It is a commitment to be present with what is, and to more consistently honor my voice in each interaction. Love is my voice, and the strength of my voice is encouragement. So, for one thing, I am being much more vocal and courageous about sharing this, and doing so with and for each person.

Your voice has been there in you since the beginning. Hold its tension gracefully and release unique resonance into a world desperate for the confluence of our stories, and our ability to be present with one another.

Everyday Dignity

Each wonderful, we are,
an engaging story,
for need in the world,
to be told.

In the ordinary, is power,
constant opportunity,
To Feel before and beyond
any limiting expectation.
To Hear our own resonant
capacity to be present.
To See the mysterious ease
of everyday things.

The abundance of mystery,
expectation interrupts.
No longer by narrowness be,
misguided by and into judgment.

Permission, allow me to give,
relieving you of the stress,
attempting to create
what you already hold.

A voice from the beginning, free,
resonant strength limitless,
authentically equipped to speak,
gracefully, in the transient flow.

In the space of everyday,
a story to be told,
you are, I am.

–J. Brunson

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Voice of the Leader Within

Hear the Middle Melody

Fortunate I am, and a blessed place to be on this interior journey, as I continue to learn how to firmly, openly know this middle space.

The exterior part of all experience has equally been a series of blessings. For so long I wondered why the rub against judgment was placed in me, in my spirit. Now, I feel I know why in my soul. It is because my calling needed a beginning, something on which to build a journey. I suppose it’s like the grain of sand inside the shell.

For this grain I am thankful, for it has played a part in a pearl of great price. On “price,” and such pearl, I have to wonder if the great part of price refers more to the cost along the journey than simply the generic value of a pearl.

Mayra’s story begins with a point of suffering on the inside–the illness of a child. I am certain you agree that we don’t need all the details to imagine, or feel, the sorrow of such a reality.

As a child, Mayra knew what she wanted to do with her life. She wanted to teach peace. Peace is what she now teaches, in literally everything she does. It is how she does so that is the impetus for this piece.

The Messy Middle

Mayra is a very contemplative person. She is deeply moved by things, by experience. In each experience, she listens deeply to both intuition and to feeling. Everything she does and sees has meaning to her. This includes even the smallest of activities where many of us so often find our minds wandering to the next thing on the list.

Mayra’s challenge to us as leaders is to try to do everything from a place of love – not a place of obligation (moving our attention from “in order to” to “for the sake of” as Allen Huff’s dad taught). Her entreaty is to only do things out of love: while the outcomes may look the same as those done from obligation, the intentions are totally different. To not act from this place of love can be degrading, to self, to others.

While one may be “obligated” to do something, it behooves one to learn how to do it out of love. How does Mayra remain in such presence, and act in such grace? She said to me, “I’m inspired every single day. Challenges in my life have only brought me closer to who I am, to my humanity.” In limited human terms, she could find every excuse to hide under a blanket of self-pity. Instead, she released the leader within, the leader born in her Trueness.

Failure is not the opposite of success; it is just on the other side of the seesaw that is the reality of life & living, and of being a leader. There is peace in the middle melody –the middle stand as a leader. Only at this fulcrum of the middle do we truly release the leader within. Mayra calls this level of awareness the messiness of the middle.

In this beautiful, middle space, the external and the internal become one, the inner life and outer life are one. This is the point of the middle melody, if we only listen.

 Voice and Tension

Mayra’s voice is Respect (Civility). From this voice, she talked to me about how the work of a leader is the work of protecting humanity and the environment in which we find ourselves working together. We need each other. Although we may do individual work in our separate spaces, we are all connected. It is all about you and not about you at the same time. Welcome to the creative tension of the middle.

As she had described herself to me as a contemplative person, I asked Mayra to give me a visual of what it looks like to be a contemplative leader. Here is what she said:

A contemplative leader is present. You are aware of not only what is happening in the environment, with the people involved, but also very aware of what is happening with you. We are very complex beings.

Further, she said that if we operate only from our minds, and our ego, we do damage to those we supposedly lead, and to self. To avoid such individual and collective damage, Mayra implores us to “Stand in the freaking tension that hurts like hell!” I know that Mayra has learned to do this! From within, she leads. From within, she feels with us, hears in the present experience, and sees the impact–a rhythm made possible by trusting the unfolding.

We Lead Who We Are.

Parker J. Palmer, an impassioned teacher, believes that we teach who we are. In studying his book, The Courage to Teach, I found myself replacing teach with coach, and eventually with lead.

Coaching hundreds of individual leaders brought me to the conviction that we indeed most effectively (and affectively) lead from the ground of who we are. Imagine the discoveries we could experience if we consciously navigated with the sextant of who we are at the helm – our Trueness.

Working one-on-one with leaders–building individual confidence–has taught me many things. These many individuals, through the generosity of trust, opened me to what I’ve been teaching, and so passionately desire to continue teaching, Rhythm.

Like Mayra, I’m still finding a more abundant answer in how to continue teaching from the powerful calling of voice. She and I are learning to continually trust the unfolding. The essence of such trust can only flow because of voice–a courageous, conscious application of Trueness in each circumstance.

A Leadership Poem: Peace Betwixt

Mayra Porrata

 

Mayra Porrata is an educator, writer, publisher and  speaker on community health promotion, social-emotional health, personal peace, conscious leadership, social entrepreneurship, and establishing cultures of collaboration and support.


Sunny Day Publishing
Follow Mayra on Twitter

Cuyahoga Morning – by Anna Sabino

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The Path of Genius

“Towering genius disdains a beaten path.
It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.

~Abraham Lincoln

As I read through Trustworthy Timbre, Jeff’s latest post in our series, there are several key words, phrases, and themes that keep calling for my attention. Not surprising, calling the loudest is Voice, supported with resonance, flow, and the metaphor of the tree. And while Jeff and I share our thoughts, our words of wisdom for Gather – Give – Grow, it’s important to understand that this is not a linear process.Jennifer 4B-1 Like the roots of the tree, the acts of gathering, giving, and growing are intricately intertwined to touch, nudge, guide, and provide energy to nurture the tree that we are as we grow strong and share our voice.

Even as we journey to explore a previously unexplored area of ourselves and engage in divergent thinking, I’ve noticed a pattern in the messages Jeff and I are sharing. We have shared messages of being intentional, disciplined, and strategic. Our journey becomes even more significant when we “deliberately disengage” and “consciously learn to apply our voice”. In moments like this we encounter resonance – that feeling of being in sync with the universe. This is when we are calling on our Genius.

So what is our Genius?

I’m not talking about the diluted definition that is used to depict intelligence.  If we look at the original Latin meaning of the word, it means “to beget, to create, to bring into being.”  In ancient Rome, the word genius often referred to a person’s “guiding spirit” and over time took on the meaning of a person’s natural, inherited abilities.  So in this sense of the word, we are all genius.  We just need to determine exactly what our specific genius is.  This is when I often wonder what else can I do?  What else can I do for my own development?  And what else can I do to help others?  So I share this last bit of information from Marcus Buckingham.

Though your genius is ingrained, the right way to channel it is not.

Knowing that you have strengths, or as Jeff has shared, a voice, isn’t enough. Even knowing what your strengths are, isn’t enough. You need to OWN them. You need to really understand them. And then you need to consciously decide how best to apply them. As leaders, we do this in support of, and in service of, those we lead.

As an example I’ll share another story of my daughter, Shannon. I clearly remember the day I received a call from her school principle. She had hit a classmate (not very hard) in the face. When I spoke with Shannon that evening about the incident and asked her why she did it. She told me that the teacher was teaching and her classmate would not stop talking. So she hit her!

Shannon was 5 years old and in kindergarten at the time.

She’s 10 now and I’ve seen many times where Shannon has “taken charge” of the situation. She definitely has a talent for being in command. Unchecked, she could grow up to be a bully. But consciously developed, I see the future leader she is.

My point is this, know that your strengths will come out no matter what. You just want to make sure that you are in control of them when they do. To help you with this, remember these three Principles from the book StandOut by Marcus Buckingham.

  1. Your Genius Is Precise – Take the time to identify when you feel resonance. This is when you see, understand, and learn much faster and more efficiently.
  2. You Can’t Respect What You Don’t Remember – Apply your Strengths consciously – every day!  Don’t sit back and wait for the world to hand you opportunities.  Make your own opportunities. 
  3. Reach Beyond Your Role – Push yourself within your strength zone.  Investigate what your strengths may be and how they show up in your role as leader. Then sharpen your edge by honing how you leverage your strengths, your voice, and be more intentional.

GatherGive – Grow

So while I still have regions yet unexplored, my own strengths journey has come a long way (Grow).  I’ve learned to recognize when I’m leveraging my strengths (Gather), and I’ve learned to recognize when I should leverage my strengths (Give).  And I hope that on our journey together, you have too.  Because the path we choose as leaders in the work of trueness will make all the difference.

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost (1874-1963

 

 

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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Trustworthy Timbre

While Jennifer and I write about the rhythm of Gather-Give-Grow, you may notice we seem to emphasize the middle, Give.

IMG_0112As I compose this, it’s autumn in the mountains where I reside. Color is the fruit of rhythm in the trees. Allow me to ask you to look upon your leader-self as a tree. With the roots of who you objectively are, you Gather. Desire originating from such authenticity drives your gathering. Intent draws your authentic self out and up to Grow and spread your limbs of reach for others. And with this image we are back to Give, depicted by the trunk, the reliable Trueness of your presence.

Finding oneself on the firm landing of the middle is what our rhythm as leaders is all about.

Jennifer reminds us that being a leader is not about position or power; it is about the presence we have that inspires another toward possibilities. Your voice is a perpetual reserve of energy for the creative tension that is the power in the atmosphere of your middle stand.

One’s voice, like water, will find its way. More joyous, however, is the journey when we more consciously learn to apply our voice in those significant middle-moments. It is a stunning moment of simplicity when you realize–in words or picture–what it looks like to stand in the moments of voice generously applied.

In a moment of attentiveness, stop, and answer this: “What is the one driver of goodness that, for you, must be present in each interaction for the possibilities to be properly honored?”

Your intuitive answer is your Voice.

Your voice is true resonance from a tense stand in the middle of your call to leave it all a bit better than you found it, and the freeing of your own rhythmic tune. Your voice is the energy core for balanced application of all your innate strengths. Your voice, freed in and through the intersection that is your stand, is the inspirational presence leading others toward their own possibilities.

From personal experience–my own journey–I can assure you that knowing and consciously applying your voice, as consistently as humanly possible, is a solid stand bringing to life your own unique, strength-filled rhythm of Gather-Give-Grow.

After all these years of working I’ve come to a conclusion about this work to which I’ve been called. When an individual thinks on our work together, they will find it difficult to explain what we did or how it was done; all they can do–must do–is tell their own Story!

And I will know my voice freely flows.

A Leadership Poem: The Privilege of Resonance

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The Path – Life & Living

In my book, Wading the Stream of Awareness, I wrote about how The Stream has been calling to me all my life. It seems the rhythmic flow has always been part of how I see, feel, and hear. Then moving to reside in this beautiful region where I can regularly be with the flow, I finally came to understand the power that has always been present.

When in the stream, brief as the encounter may be, I am completely present. Each wade into such presence strengthens me for the daily walk that is The Path.

It has taken all of me–all my life to this point–to open to the reality of everything belongs. Everything belongs on The Path. The path is where I am learning to journey with paradox in my pack and steadily walk with a staff of non-dual thinking.

The Paradox of Life & Living

Paradox is reality, and always present to teach us how to live without the degrading need to separate.

Life is observation. Living is participation. Life is the energy of internal focus. Living is the energy of external focus. Life must be held then released. In the hold we receive. In the release we give. They are inseparable. In the hold is life and in the release is living.

For too many of her young years, Sarah suffered internally with conditions beyond her control. There is the internal energy of life, and then there is the suffocation of internal struggle; for reasons unknown this was the suffering for Sarah.

I was blessed to meet Sarah because of Sarah.

Like most freelancers, I get messages from people introducing themselves in hopes of selling me some product or service that’s going to make me much more successful. But Sarah’s message was different. It was skillfully crafted and was written to me, not shotgun scatter fired in the false hope of hitting someone.

I tried to ignore it. I couldn’t.

So I met with this passionate young individual and was intrigued by her courageous balance of life and living.

A life must be lived.

Sarah is certainly in possession of everything belongs on the path of her steady walk. Sure, she has had every worldly reason to give up. But she hasn’t. She knows her life is to be lived.

Sarah is a writer. She always has been. It’s now time for the world to know her passion as she creates epic content for her clients–and for herself!

Life is the birth of new ideas and creative, intuitive ways of being. Living is the freeing of such energy into a needy world.

I tell you Sarah’s story to encourage the balance of your own life & living. If anyone could justify a withdrawal into an internal, dark place hidden forever from any and all things external, it’s Sarah. But for her, it’s the binding-together of observation and participation that is building her impact in this world.

How thankful I am that Sarah selected me to be a part of her journey–her path of Life & Living.

A Poem at WadingtheStream.com: A Life Must Be Lived

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Leading from the middle of her own Desire & Intent Susan calls it Being Genuine. This is Susan’s voice. Undergirding this voice are values like respect and trust.

“Surrender is entering the present moment, and what is right in front of you, fully and without resistance or attempts at control.” —Richard Rohr


Katie and I were in the session that followed the creation of her guiding objective—a conscious commitment to generate the flow of her authentic presence; and its consequent impact.

There was a particular relationship challenge she wanted to discuss. As she gave me a bit of history between she and the individual, my eyes were drawn to one phrase at the core of her objective: Trusting Relationships.

So, I challenged her to think through how this objective commitment might guide her in connecting with this person; a relationship of significance in her work. While Katie logically approached a plan focused on the upcoming debrief of the current project, I kept pulling her back to the core phrase.

Eventually she understood the difference between a structured debrief and a courageous conversation focused on improving a relationship.

After our call I began to question why I had pushed so hard on that specific phrase. Suddenly I wondered, Could it be that the phrase was also her voice? As I opened her Development Story where I would find her voice recorded, I thought, Let it be so!

And there it was …

Trust (Trusting Relationships)

What a relief!

And now I can summarize like this:
Ultimately, it seems, I was encouraging (yes, strongly) Katie to be present with what is so important to her and surrender to her voice of Trust & Trusting Relationships.

A Poem for your Authentic Voice

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In a world loaded to the brim with distraction both enticing and detestable, voice keeps you focused in the power of the present.

Voice is that one driver of all goodness in each interaction of life, living, and leading; that one thing that must be consistently present in order for interactions to honor the possibilities.

Trueness is reality−the truth of who you really are; true since the beginning. And it is your commitment to this truth and reality, for yourself and the other, that is The Work of Trueness.

In my own work of trueness I find the beautiful power of flow in the collision and respective tension of the desire that drives me and the intent that draws me out. In this creatively tense and middle space I stand in a clear and conscious presence of the experience.

The genesis of all awareness is your voice. If your voice is not engaged and clear in a conscious presence, then it is near impossible to give and gain from the particular experience. Your unique voice is a dynamic contribution into a collective, transforming awareness.

The freeing of individual Trueness is indeed a collective, collaborative effort. With such a cloud of connection voice continually clears. Your voice is authentic articulation intended to flow into and through all you do.

Voice has been with you since the beginning!

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