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Posts Tagged ‘Desire’

Surprising it may seem
and so surprising it is;
but deceitful it cannot be.

−verse 5 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

Trust has to begin within.

Sitting down to write, I often find myself in the sludge of thoughts, wanting to write, but not knowing where to start. The one thing that always seems to calm the whirling thinking and open me to the pen and page is one particular song, which I select on my phone and play through the ear buds, often over and over as the words start to come: Love is the Answer, by Todd Rundgren.

With love being my voice, the lyrics and music open me to trust the flow, and the moment with what needs to be written. It is almost always a wonderful surprise.

A Story
My desire to write goes back quite far, at least to the time when I wrote the essay on work when in elementary school. I didn’t know why I wanted to write. Once I was in high school, there were more assignments requiring one to write.

I remember high school English, getting many writing assignments, and seeing the less than average score on most of them when the teacher handed them back, always in an impersonal fashion. I didn’t know if I just couldn’t write, she just didn’t like my writing, or some combination thereof. Consequently, when I got to college, found myself in American Literature, I dreaded the first writing assignment.

The time, of course, came. Sandra Boyd was her name. I shall never forget her, my teacher. She graded that first assignment and the time came to hand them back to us. She went to the first seat in each row and handed the graded essays to the first person to pass back, except on my row.

She brought my paper to me directly, placed it in front of me (I saw the A at the top), and said, “I can’t wait to read what you write next.”

It was many more years before I made the commitment to not only write regularly, but to become diligent in the process to become better at the craft. To help in the matter, I was blessed to find Pam and Susan and we formed our own writing group for practice.

One day, several years into our time together, we were doing our normal thing; writing a piece from an impromptu assignment and then reading to each other what had been written. They shared something with me that became a gift of energy leading me to find focus in my writing.

I had just read my piece, where I had shared a story. They said, “We like it when you tell us a story. Write more stories for us.”

I hope I’ve done a good job since then to keep my commitment to Pam and Susan to write more stories.

A poem for your work: Encouragement is Love

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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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Shared Love

See the Impact

The more aware you become of your brand of love the more you see the alignment, the movement and order of things, that flows your love out into the world. The shared love of my friend Ric is the reason I now have a treasured relationship with Jen.

Jen’s desire, through the life of her work, is that others realize their potential. The intent drawing her forward is that those influenced by her work find the creative tension of comfort and challenge, as they live more consciously.

If I were employed once again in an organization, I would want Jen to be in charge of the learning experiences designed to make me more fulfilled and impactful from the core of my authenticity, ever evolving from my strengths.

Jen’s Change, and Influence

Like many others right now, Jen is between gigs, not currently employed in a typical job in an organization. Recently, she found herself empathetically identifying with the questions of a friend: “Who am I, really? Who do I want to be? I’m all these things to all these different people in my life, but I don’t know who I am for me.”

Several years ago, when in the Navy, she and friends were out for dinner. Jen’s fortune cookie strip said, “You are the warmth that illuminates those around you.” She said to me, “I’m not much of a luminary if I’m stumbling around in the dark.”

Her purpose type (see Imperative.com) is a Luminary, shining a light on others and what they need to see inside themselves. Jen is an instinctive connector; people to people. She is passionate about opening the other person’s vision toward impact of individual purpose, and being the provider of resources supportive of individual impact.

She may be in transition (between professional jobs), but she is not in-between; the way in which the world often thinks of it, in neutral, not in gear, not moving. The change upon Jen is really not so much change, per se. It is much more accurate to say that she is now, in what feels like transition, becoming more free in being who she really is.

The Rapids of Influence

Jen is asking herself “What does it look like to put more energy into being with my purpose?” Answering this question is at the heart of what it means to be a leader in this 21st Century. Taking the time for herself, to step back and look at her Trueness, Jen has become more conscious of what she values most, what she most wants from her life and work. Everything she needs in order to gain what is most desired and intended is already right there inside. Trusting her own Desire & Intent, she can now more freely experience the pulse of Feel, Hear, and See.

Feel the Rhythm. You get a feel of your own rhythm as you open to the gratitude that wells in your core. To forgive your own assumptions, about self and others, requires courage and frees the flow of your voice.

Hear the Middle Melody. To stand in the middle with any clarity requires you to listen to the leader within. From this firm stand in Trueness, you hear the voice of self, singing over the rocks in the streambed of experience.

See the Impact. The more conscious you are of your own true rhythm the clearer you see, and your confidence crescendos with your brand of love that must be shared as you wade the confluence of Trueness, your true self and that of the other.

For Jen to feel is the inner part of her work of being human, and to know her unique interest to energy connection. To see is to embrace the impact of her work in the world, and to know further opportunity. And right in the middle of feel and see, she will hear what really is, brightly aware of the impact of her own rhythm.

Finally committing to the rhythm of your Trueness, you can now grasp the truth of your love. Our individual, unique brand of love has been given to us to share. What may feel like change and transition to Jen is more likely her own Trueness finding its place in our needy world, and in her Trueness finding the ways to share her love.

A Leadership Poem: Here’s the Thing

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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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Growth is a Journey

In some earlier writing, I ask a question: What opens your portal to focus? I asked this after stating the answer; authenticity. And, your authenticity–your own good process for focus in the moment–is your cycle of strengths applied to lead others, to influence others, to serve others.

To more steadily walk in the art of focus, you must allow yourself to be held by your Trueness.

The word, and act, of focus is thrown about quite a bit in the work world. Unfortunately, we have placed too much energy in a direction that has our actual action, a multitasking craziness we call focus, more aligned with the antonym of focus versus the true meaning of centering and aiming attention. To focus means to aim attention on a purpose greater than any single success.

Only through our Trueness do we find congruency with our purpose and the outcomes of our focus. In reality, you can only focus when you let go of other, not-so-important, things. Purpose will never be honored, or even found, in a long list infected with busyness.

Genuine growth is found on the path of purposeful focus.

Purpose is centered in, and flows from, your Trueness. In the concreteness of Trueness you know focus and play your part in an unfolding story. The growth you desire–consciously or unconsciously–is natural and enduring when your choices and decisions flow from the center of your authentic self. Focus then becomes how you aim your intention with the power of attention.

“Failing has been exceptionally empowering to me because it has highlighted for me those things on which I must focus my energy.”
–Ric Gonzalez, Woo Woo Leadership

Growth is a journey.
It is an unfolding process that never ends.
For this, be grateful.

The Creative Tension of growth is found right in the middle between your desire and intent as a leader. It is at this living and active intersection where others experience both what you really do and who you really are. To have the impact you desire and intend, you learn to hold the tension of attachment and detachment. Holding as such releases purposeful and focused energy.

To see, hear, and feel the impact of energy released through your Trueness:

  • Gather in support of authentic purpose. Hear the questions of your journey without the immediate urge to answer.
  • Give from your purposeful focus. Be determined in catching what you need in order to properly give, then let go.
  • Grow in purpose by trusting yourself. Know your work is valuable and, when the rare opportunity presents itself, truly hear what is said by those you serve–what they see, hear, and feel because of your impact.

A Leadership Poem: Precipice of Being

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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 Trust View – Desire & Intent

In The Stream I talk of the flow and of the need to stand still in it. In The Path I speak of the steady walk.

The Trust View holds both movement and stillness.

The Trust View is a place you go internally to make balanced-sense of all external experience. This view is metaphorically real when B.J. and I go into the heights nearby and hike a trail leading to a summit; a high point that balances ascent and descent.

At such summit we pause and consciously open to all that can be seen. Without words we find encouragement for the journey to continue.

To see the unfolding is to trust. Put another way, if we don’t trust we will not see. The  Trust View is a place to see, a place to be in the moment of totality. The Trust View is the third note in the rhythm of journey.

The Paradox of Desire & Intent

I am blessed deeply at a refreshing level by those with whom I have the opportunity to commune through this work I’ve been given. I am rich beyond any measure with which I previously dreamed. Such fills me with a clear and flowing sensation known as gratitude.

I was led to this work of encouraging leaders over a lifetime of experience. Each experience of what I loved to do was accompanied by one I didn’t so much love. This is the paradox of experience.

At each point of desire–that something I cannot help but want through my work–I am driven to act by that which seems to wonderfully control me. At each point of intent–what I want for the other through our experience together–I am drawn to persistently encourage in spite of the reality that I cannot control the outcome. This is the paradox of Desire & Intent; the binding-together of passion and purpose.

Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us. –David Whyte, Consolations

In this 21st Century it is important that we experience leaders who desire to live into passion, and intend action with purpose; and find fulfillment in presence–while leading others to the same participation.

To see the unfolding is to stand in the place where observation and participation meet and swirl together, creating the joy of experience, a beautiful blend of being and doing.

Stand first in the presence of your own Desire & Intent, then presently lead us to focus on the story that binds us together, influenced by presence within and presence without.

A Poem at WadingtheStream.com Presence Within & Without

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