The Rhythm of Journey – Part 4 of 7

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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Purpose – Why it Matters

Susan is a leader with whom I worked, and subsequently wrote about, two years prior. Since our initial work she found her role expanding in a direction seemingly counter to her deeper purpose. She was thrown off-balance in her stand.

I am privileged to once again become engaged in Susan’s Work of Trueness. In a wise move she has consciously placed her leadership journey into transition. While we have only begun our work together in this transitional journey, I’m convinced of this: The important questions, and true answers, are right in the middle where Susan stands—in her Trueness.

Coach Judy (my Coach) calls it your Why it Matters. This energy is definitely the source of A New Confidence. What’s new about such confidence is its demand to hold together assurance and action; and to hold in a place, as Susan calls it, Being Genuine.

Then, as now, Susan has a deep commitment to her Trueness as a leader. And from this stand is the embedding of her commitment to the balance and harmony of those she leads, influences, and serves.

The root cause of her own imbalance was the feeling she could do nothing about the perceived imbalance of the individuals on her team.

So, why does balance/harmony matter to Susan?

Of course this is a question (one of many) she will have to answer for herself. And as my role is to assist her in doing so, I will speculate specifically.

I believe it matters because it first indeed does matter to her. Instead of pushing this belief in balance/harmony out on others, she has rather consciously decided it is more important to listen.

And why does listening matter to Susan?

It matters because she knows what listening can bring forth. Two years ago, as part of a development strategy, she said:

I take interest in the work of others to encourage the interest that gives energy for the work and supports the confidence of the individual in the work.

And this, my fellow Encourager, is A New Confidence.

A Poem for your own brand of A New Confidence

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21st Century Skill Paradox – Part 6

The 21st Century highway of management is jammed with those speeding to solve as they exercise limiting judgment, fixes, and attempts to otherwise set another straight.

We manage process and we lead the individual. As a leader you are a facilitator. To Facilitate means “to make easy.” This doesn’t mean you ignore conflict or difficulty. Quite the opposite is true as you facilitate the necessary holding together of good process and desired outcomes.

“For peace and agitation are stitched together and, tugged on, they unravel a thread of Oneness.” −Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

I was very fortunate in my corporate career to have opportunity to take advantage of good learning experiences. Such learning was in the balance of classroom and application; practicing knowledge into a skill. The skill I treasure is that of Listening. This skill has served me well in my coaching, and molded me into a facilitator who can create and navigate dialogue.

Listening is the foundation of 21st Century Skill 6: Collective Facilitation.

In my corporate experience I was given much opportunity to practice as a facilitator. Early on I knew enough to be moderately effective and dangerous at the same time. Let me illustrate.

My customer service manager and his team approached me and asked that I facilitate a session to assist them in working through an important issue with their service work. We scheduled everything, gathered together, and got to work. So there I was standing in front of them facilitating. The team came together around the information needed and I dismissed them to go and collectively implement what they thought best.

A week passed and I had not heard any follow-up or follow-thru on their decision. I called Bill, the manager, to my office and asked what they had decided to do. His response, “We did what you told us to do.”

I was stunned. I asked Bill to tell me what he had heard from me. He did. And I was stunned even further−not by him or the team. I was slapped with the reality of the lack of neutral focus in my brand of facilitation. As I supposedly facilitated, I had unconsciously also participated: participation at a level that was easily perceived as an order or a request from their division leader.

I had unintentionally held their loyalty in a manner that diminished their full creative abilities and individual and collective contribution.

Skill 6If left apart, good process and desired outcomes pull against one another.

If focused upon one at a time, as is usually the case, they are left in conflict causing us to ignore one or the other.

To expertly be with the skill of Collective Facilitation, you must hold the two circles together where they merge in support of the depth of listening required.

You then facilitate in the power of a neutral focus.

 

Read about the shadow strength related to Focus; Shadow Strengths – Chapter Six (Focus)

BCL Blog 4

 

Transformation and Yes

Because of his skill and love for facilitating dialogue, I suggested that Todd read Patricia Ryan Madson’s book, Improv Wisdom. The next time I saw Todd was during our Strategic Story work in Oklahoma. He had efficiently read Madson’s book and surprised me with his action review. It seems the imprint from the reading was effectively personal. He told me about how conscious he had become of how often he was saying “No” to his children. Todd began to look for ways to say “Yes” to them. While he found it difficult to express, it was clear this practice of ‘yes’ was having a meaningful Impact−on both the children and on Todd.

In his book, Hope Against Darkness, Richard Rohr calls us to a collective transformation. Like Richard I believe this possible only as we “rebuild” ourselves−as we allow our own transformation.

It’s the deep yeses that carry you through. It’s that deeper something you are strongly for that allows you to wait it out. −Rohr

As a dad, Todd is most definitely for his children. This deeper something makes it easy for him to open to his own transformation.

The legacy of true leadership is built by the influential presence of an attentive and active individual.

Yes, because of my own movement toward contemplative practice, I believe effective leadership flows only when an individual has balanced personal attentiveness (contemplation) and action.

We know so much “no” because of how easy it is to begin there. But why is it easy? It is unfortunately so because of reactive betrayal. We betray our true self when we immediately serve unconscious patterns of judgmental reaction.

The leadership life−yes, and all of life and living−is about effortlessly holding ambiguity; the mystery in our own Trueness. The first holding, and balance, must be for self. This is a commitment to one’s own Personal/Professional Growth. It is such obligation that sustains balance in a seemingly out-of-balance world. By holding I mean a relaxed position with reality. This is what “yes” does; opens us to see what is before us clearly−through a lens unclouded. We are continually learning to put aside all need for judgment and assessment.

Let me be clear, it is not about only yes. It is more about being open−beginning with yes, and from such beginning learning to consistently balance yes and no.

As I have delightfully discovered, it is easier to say “Yes” to others when we are becoming more secure in our own yes. Our Impact in this world demands present attention and focused intention.

Yes is transforming simply because it invites you into the present and purifies intent … right where you stand.

BCL Blog 4

Know Thyself – Desire & Intent in the 21st Century

Your unique Desire & Intent for those you lead, influence, and serve is your Living Methodology as a human being.

This Desire & Intent is what makes you a leader in this 21st Century.

This swirling together of desire and intent forces your presence in the middle; a place of natural tension from which you lead in the balance of Trueness (who you really are).

My coach said something powerful after she pointed out, making me super-conscious of, how I had built my life around my natural strengths−a Living Methodology. She said, “There is no veil between this methodology for you and this methodology for your clients. My methodology of Gathering, Giving, Growing is my story: a living unfoldment.

My work and life are rich because of this.

I desire this for you.

The Living Methodology for you must become your guidance for executing on the most important issue for you, those you lead, and all that is collectively represented.

My studies over the past few years have pushed me into the ground of who I am−my own Trueness. I have become vividly aware of two facts concerning my own Desire & Intent. One is that once committed to it, as I am, there’s no getting out of it, only getting into it. Two is the realization that it is not about soaring or running in the power of Desire & Intent, it’s about becoming a grounded being−a steady walk in my Trueness.

Do not underestimate the importance of Knowing Thyself, and sharing accordingly.

A Soul Dance with Impact

The call of the wild is a call to the elemental levels of the soul, the places of intuition, kinship, swiftness, fluency and the consolation of the lonesome that is not lonely. Our fear of our own wildness derives in part from our fear of the formless; but the wild is not the formless−it holds immense refinement and, indeed, clarity. −John O’Donohue in Beauty

George is a leader with a serving presence. He does not overshadow others as he builds individual confidence leveraging integrity and clarity. As George is bringing to my consciousness, there is no impact without clarity.

Our impact in this world demands present attention and focused intention. The soul does not dance to commercially produced music. A soul dance is uninhibited art as it flows from our wild clarity. Impact comes into view only in the marriage of attention and intention. Care, however, is required in the purification toward clarity; do not continue to invest all your energy to only attention or to attention before intention.

Attention is about focus outwardly. Intention is authored in your purpose inwardly. The flow is from the internal to the external. It is in this order that we balance intention and attention toward impact; where we perfect the dance into a soul dance.

While George and I have just begun our work together, I look forward to the grace of discovery as he courageously journeys into the coherent territory of purpose and clarity.

For George, clarity is an abiding value given in the beginning. I am excited to see what he discovers in the clarity of his own wildness. This I know, we are benefactors as his intention gives rhythm to his attention and we are dignified in the impact of a soul dance.

Release Love into Skill 7

What is your story of leadership? Is it a love story; a story unfolding in work you love and how you love in your work? Do not be afraid of making this so.

There is a narrative of meaning that is ever-present. We must learn to consciously embrace this narrative. This present narrative is there to assist you in understanding the what, why, and how of being you. … You are applying love in work you love. −Wading the Stream of Awareness (Love Chapter)

Love flows through you, but not until doing its work in you. Building a story with me is your love applied. I boldly write and speak about love in work because I have seen love produce more than all other tactics combined. From much study, it is my belief that any tactic researched was seen as effective because of who was studied−a loving leader.

The 21st Century belongs to the aware, focused, and loving leader. A sequential unfolding of why, what, and how is important in order to lead others in the flow of the collective story: Clarity to Engagement to Connection. Think on how dependent this flow is to the internal flow of a confident leader; an aware, focused, and loving individual.

We love purely when we release other people to be who they are. −Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love

As an aware leader, your inner clarity more easily translates externally for the clarity we need as we latch onto the collective story. As a focused leader, you confidently hold the tension between your desire and intent for us; this is engaging. And as a loving leader, you release each of us to authentically connect as we flow in the larger story that is our work together.

See sister post, Letting Go into Love