Creative Tension – Part 2B of 7

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:
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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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The Rhythm of Journey – Part 1 of 7

Introduction to The Rhythm of Journey

I must be near The Stream, with the stream consistently. The stream is in me. And when needed−which is quite often−I hike to the Trust View to see and remember that all I Hold & Release into the flow is part of a larger reality of Life & Living.

It was an early Spring morning when I stepped into self-induced worries around things that do not require such energy draining attention. In those moments I decided to own the fact that I must learn to truly let go. How? How indeed.

At that moment I had a heart thought:
“Just be grateful.”

So that day, I simply walked in gratitude. After the day of walking as such, I found myself journaling a prayer of sorts:

Let gratitude go deep
deep into the heart of who I am
deep into the soul of self
of others
of everything.

The next day I simply took action instead of wasting energy on any worry. The doing was what I knew to be good and right in my being.

For a while now I’ve been very attentive to the rhythm for my own Life & Living.
~ Forgive Everything
~ Everything Belongs
~ See the Unfolding

Forgive Everything gets me down to The Stream where I wade into the flow and mindfully place things (including those self-induced worries).
Everything Belongs is The Path−my evolving journey as I learn continually to honor paradox (a practice in leading with a non-dual mindset).
See the Unfolding; as I place all in the flow and let go of the need to judge/separate, I rise to the height of the Trust View.

The Rhythm of Journey

The Stream
Hold & Release …
 The Paradox (Stillness/Flow)
The Path
Life & Living     … The Paradox (Being/Doing)
The Trust View
Desire & Intent … The Paradox (Attachment/Detachment)

Introducing this to you, my reader, has been a significant challenge. I hope you will stay with me as I continue through the next six pieces.

I desire that you know your rhythm. My intent is that these pieces of writing from me will take you into conscious presence with the rhythm of your journey; and that you will see such rhythm as the energy source for your Life & Living as a leader in this 21st Century.

A Poem at WadingtheStream.com: A Walk in Gratitude

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Presence – Pour Yourself

Constantly I am encouraged by the leaders with whom I am privileged to work. There is wisdom residing in them ahead of their experience.

I feel the call to fill them as they pour themselves into the world.

On the morning I began this I found myself meditating on the word pour. Upon visiting a thesaurus, I discovered the push and pull in the brief definition: be or make flowing.

I don’t know about you, but for me I am more attentive than ever to where I direct my energy, and in how I replenish. This is, I’m sure, because of my stage and place in life & living.

“What you focus on grows.” —Ted Senf

Consider the truth of this; consider both danger and power. Focus is dangerous when you give power to negativity and limitation. Focus is positively powerful when it flows forth from the connection of Passion to Purpose to Presence.

To live with and for Impact is to live the flow.

To focus is to allow the clarity of your intended impact to guide you in the present. And impact flows through simple focus. Focus as a noun is illusive; as a verb it is thoroughly frustrating—if we feel we have to chase it.

To be in-focus is to know what it is you really do. The how of focus is in making choices and decisions that flow forth from your what.

In my brief meditation I considered how and where I pour myself. Along with that I considered the source that fills me again. To pour oneself is what it’s all about. This is fulfilling, if one pours from the integrity of Trueness. It takes a lot of work to learn presence and the art of being present with Trueness.

It fulfills me to watch a leader put passion into motion toward purpose, and then observe the transforming power of their presence as they learn to pay attention; pouring themselves into the flow.

A Poem for Your Pouring

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The Work of Trueness – Desire & Intent

Your Desire & Intent is a melody of flow.

It is the energy of desire and the vision of intent that cooperate to release Trueness into this 21st Century age of consciousness and awareness.

How do you consciously root a bit deeper into the soul of your Trueness?

Driven down into desire, our distorted self is confronted by our true self. Drawn out toward intent, Trueness builds through what seems, at first, a contradiction.

Your Trueness is the impact of your presence.

And the reality is that your impact is in the melding of desire and intent. In the desire that drives you, control never appears in the cross-hair of impact. But when you add the intent that draws you out, control enters the frame−or more specifically, what you cannot control is now suddenly brought into awareness. Such suddenness can leave you vulnerable and exposed to the elements of reality.

Desire speaks truth from the core of who you are; a selfless presence. Intent expands desire from a need greater than any selfish ego.

As you think on all this, keep in mind that your Trueness is reality.

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21st Century Skill Paradox – Part 2

Communication does not achieve connection when the communicator has not made the effort to hold the paradox associated with Skill 2.

Skill 2 is Communication and Connection; number 2 of 7 skills I’ve found to be critical in leadership as we’ve fallen forward into the 21st Century. The 21st Century leader has become conscious of the power transferred through the energy of Desire & Intent. The power is in communication backed by purpose (the Why this leader does What she does). And such reinforced communication makes the connection intended.

Learning to hold & release comes about in that tense intersection of the desire that drives you and the intent that draws you out. Motivated by internal desire we are drawn to see more clearly the intent drawing us out. And while we want what is intended just as much as what is desired, we begin to realize the distance between desired reality and intended possibility. And thus a tension blasts into our consciousness. What a wonderful welcome into presence!

Passion evokes Passion.

Separating the internal energy of desire needed for communication clarity from the external intent of connection buries passion. In my work I continually find individual after individual whose passion has been buried in the avalanche of 21st Century busyness−a belief that we are too busy to spend proper time for self. If too busy for self, then one is inevitably too busy for those led−too distracted to truly absorb information, and so busy wiping away the swarm of data that listening is nonexistent.

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” −Simon Sinek

Your Desire & Intent is the energy for successfully exercising the skill of Communication and Connection. The melody of your passion is composed in Desire & Intent. Yes, communication is a skill that when properly applied creates connection. For communication and connection to come together and form this second 21st Century skill, you must become very attentive; placing Listening at the heart of articulation and association.

Skill 2The paradox of Skill 2 that must be held is with our desire to speak with credibility and the intent that our associated voice find resonance with the receivers. Your intended connection gives your desired communication a structure in which to come together as Communication and Connection, and subsequently deploy with impact.

This is holding the paradox of Skill 2, allowing credible articulation to overlap with associated reception. Confident openness flows from an authentic core; this is organic transparency valued in this 21st Century.

See post Shadow Strengths – Chapter Two (Desire & Intent)

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Transformation and Legacy

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

In my past corporate life it was natural for me to consistently share what I was learning along the way. The same has been true in the solo-preneur part of my journey. However, at this stage of my life and living, it feels very different. The trained accountant in me so wants to pick up the mechanical pencil and figure it all out (yes, I have an accounting degree; go figure).

It is not just about sharing, or even teaching. there is a push, and pull, to leave the gift of my work to another.

Is this Legacy?

Entering yet another transitional period in my life and work has me a bit preoccupied with my legacy. For a very long time I’ve worked hard not to separate my life into compartments. This fed a commitment to do the work before me with purpose and eventually to do work that elected me.

Talk about beginners-mind! In this challenge I am taken it seems back to the very beginning. In my review and research for this writing, I was reminded of a poem I composed three years prior.

Present Passion (From Love to Vision)

What others see as risk, you see as reality.
Passion allows vision;
It is in the crosshairs of your present.

What others fear losing, you claim for energy.
Energy funds passion;
It is the source of art in your work.

What others desperately desire, you gladly share.
Love is energy;
It is an advocate for their confident passion.

This transition from passion/work to passion/legacy is one of the toughest challenges with which I’ve been confronted. And so for me, legacy is leaving the gift of a work and love that chose me.

Who are those who will remember me? Clearly, in my mind, it is only those whose life and living were enhanced by the interaction. As my favorite writer David Whyte says in his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea; “Death is not impressed by what we have done, unless what we have done leaves a legacy of life; … What is remembered in all our work is what is still alive in the hearts and minds of others.”

We leave a legacy one person at a time.

The world cries out for the energy of your impact. And your impact is born in your passion. In my transition this is an encouraging reminder.

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