Participation (Falling in Love with Reality) – Wade: Part ID

Contemplation & Flow
To experience something gladly, paying attention with love.

Forgive Everything

The Beginning; I often refer to this phrase of measure, as in, since the beginning, from the beginning, etc. I do this as a matter of encouragement, saying to you that what you most need is already present within. My propensity to encourage is an example of something within me endowed since the beginning. Anytime I include such phraseology, I am referring to the powerful simplicity of present grace.

I want to tell you about my brother. To begin, I share a somewhat incomplete poem, composed on a long walk as I thought about him. It is incomplete in my mind as it relates to its inadequacy in speaking to the reality of this man.

A brother I have,
father and mother
a shared bond.

Deeply I trust,
even deeper I respect
this brother in blood.

Trust and respect I give,
but earned both are.

 It’s true, I suppose,
that over time
what you say
and what you do
come together in truth.

 A powerful thing it is to say
a wonderful thing it is to claim
I trust your truth.

This attempt of putting words to what I know of this man came in the year after his daughter Molly’s death. Molly was the most courageous person I’ve ever known, and her spirit was bright, loving, and compassionate for all others. And right there in courage with her were her mom and her dad.

In spite of medical prediction, Molly made it beyond her 39th year (she was the longest-living liver transplant recipient at the time of her death). Those years were brutal to her body. When I consider such reality as the perpetual sickness of the entire life of a child, I am sadly amazed at the ease with which we humans give our energy to the insignificant; things in life and work made dreadfully significant by our false belief that we can exert control. Such belief is unreal, because it is formed in the space of false expectation: untruth we too freely allow.

In the last months of our mom’s life, my brother and I worked together around key components of securing credible care for her, most of which fell under his watchful eye, which was a loving duty well beyond just his geographical closeness to her. Being personalities of very different preferences and gifts, we worked well together in the processes required for mom’s care. I have been privileged through the years to be inspired by the grace of my brother’s strength.

It is a graceful privilege to know someone for many years. My brother is four years my senior. We therefore didn’t do a lot of things together growing up. I do remember a lot of front yard wiffle ball games; totally played within his situational rulebook to assure his victory! We were both in our thirties when we became close, spending quality time fishing, allowing us both to find respite from some parts and parcels of reality.

My brother and sister-in-law are, as they say, tough as nails. They have had to be, for the sake of all their children. They have both come to forgive reality. If it were not so I would not see the generosity and love that flow through them. Molly’s love and compassion was learned from her parents as well as gifted to her since the beginning. And she too was tough as nails.

Here is what I know: My brother is true. For this he makes no apology. I am not referring to opinions or any other superfluous view. I know his Trueness. I have seen its steadfastness all my life. His wade through both joy and suffering has washed him onto a path where he contemplatively walks. This is what I know, the grace of this man.

To get to what has been present, within you, since the beginning, it is critical to learn the tenacious call to forgive reality, to forgive everything.

Washed into the Open

The journey of learning,
road without end, reality.
To forgive such, necessary
for the sake of flow;
limitless, uninhibited freedom.

Experience is a teacher.
But do we learn?
Rhythm, the acquisition,
the purchase of mastery
with the currency given
since our beginning.

Yet, what do we master?
Surely not others,
probably not ourselves.
The mastery, less about expertise,
more about tireless contemplation;
compassion for oneself,
and all,
as One.

And within contemplative freedom
we learn
to walk
in the cadence
of simplicity and truth,
the reality of our own currency,
our poetry and our love.

Realness, buried under the sediment
of expectation.
Spirit, attentive to the strokes
of Trueness,
sluicing deposits of limitation.
And, stepping
into the stream
of who we really are,
we are washed into the open,
delivered yet again onto
our own path.

–J. Brunson




To follow one’s passion is to embrace, along the journey, both invested love and experiential loss.

Passion, from original definition, is a word of true paradox. To live and act from passion is to hold the tension in the eddy of enthusiasm and suffering. We suffer when, in the lack of fullness, we allow the pressure to divide and separate to invade our thinking and behavior.

Freedom is in the middle, standing firm in each true paradox. With this confident stance we forgive each act of division, and without apology hold the pieces together for the sake of informing more fully our own Trueness.

The Passion Paradox

Before we effectively
outside of self,
we must affectively
inside of self.

A proper encounter
love of self
usually settles a matter.

And in the disposition,
necessary it is
self to forgive,
fusing within one’s passion
enthusiasm and suffering.

All that remains then
to do, externally,
is to forgive,
to hold in love
the paradoxical self
of another.

–J. Brunson

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 A Life Must Be Lived


Skill 5: A Generational Alliance

As Brian Whetten teaches his clients, you market self and service in this 21st Century by Giving. I have been focused on this approach for 11 years.

Ironically, the most genuine, authentic forms of giving require the greatest level of detachment. When we are emotionally invested in a pre-conceived outcome, then our act of giving is more about our own feelings and desires than it is about the benefits to the other person.  If you can remove emotional attachment to the outcome, then the outcome actually changes.  The outcome is no longer the observable reaction of the individual but the actual impact of the gift given. −Ric Gonzalez

Mentor as Teacher/Learner of Experience
(Skill 5: Giving)

Here is my creative tension that is sometimes hard to hold; giving as an elder while still having to make a living in this challenging climate.

We no longer need to change or adjust other people to be happy ourselves. Ironically, we are more than ever before in a position to change people−but we do not need to−and that makes all the difference. −Richard Rohr, Falling Upward

Where am I in this eldership? Richard again says it best; “We do what we are called to do and then try to let go of the consequences.”

Mentee as Learner/Teacher in Experience
(Skill 5: Discovery and Cultivating Confidence)

Help us develop the confidence to assume increasing levels of responsibility. Give us the freedom to create our own path and the support to make the story our own. When the time is right, give us the support needed to close one chapter of our story and begin a new chapter. Realize that because of our strong commitment to the networks we create, it will be difficult for us to find the courage to leave that behind and begin making our own vision a reality.
−Jason Guinn

To give is to be in a joyful space. No matter your generation you have something to give now. Be present with your gift and allow us the gift of your presence.

Skill 2: A Generational Alliance

The most connective, effective performance management in my career was when there was no process. None. Except … my boss, Gene, and I talked consistently.

This was my first job after graduating  from the university. Gene’s skillful mentoring and dedication to organic dialogue proved to have a foundational impact throughout my entire career.

Mentor as Teacher/Learner of Experience
(Skill 2:Communication and Connection)

The generations looking to those os us older and more experienced need the offer of 3 basic things:
1) Paint clearly the picture of what is expected
2) Guide in the freedom to deliver in the picture
3) Review often, and mutually, how the picture is developing

What is important to you is a powerful guide to those led, influenced, and served. But only if you consciously act in this power. This is your unique Desire & Intent. Trust it and you will be energized for all communication and connection.

Mentee as Learner/Teacher in Experience
(Skill 2: Effective Communication and Motivation)

Make a genuine effort to understand at a high level what is important to us. Carrots and sticks are increasingly ineffective. We value individual autonomy, a culture of connectedness, and an opportunity to leave our world a better place than we found it. Strive to maintain trust and credibility by keeping communication lines open and efficient. Let us know the value related to why we are doing what we are doing. −Jason Guinn

As Jason coaches us, communicate clearly and expect a connection.

Skill 1 Encouragement – Drawn by Purpose

Seasons transform the year; light and darkness transform the day. … There seems to be no other cauldron of growth and transformation. −Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs (2003)

There comes a time for each of us where we are given the opportunity to unlearn. Many turn down this contemplative occasion. Courageously entering introspection (contemplation as a leader) opens you to the process of tearing down and building up that is necessary for your transformation. You are transformed as you learn anew and find form for external sharing.

We are transformed into our purpose−it is the source for sustainable impact in this world, this arduous journey. Purpose must draw you out of the fray−while you paradoxically remain in the fray−in order for you to become the individual you were intended to be.

To support your continual transformation, I (thanks to Richard Rohr) encourage you in the following:
1) Let go. Freedom is in releasing the need to control.
2) Hold the tension. There will always be the rising and the falling.
3) Trust in the unfolding. Trust yourself−your impact unfolds through who you are at your core.

See companion post, Trust in the Unfolding

A Purposeful Teacher (Expertise)

No longer am I satisfied by (and was never fulfilled by) divisional thinking with everything. What a distraction from the Story!

It was both challenging and freeing to realize I was not my opinions. Simply put, opinions come only from what is external to you: they are not representative of who you really are. If you are not judicious, these externally generated assumptions may saturate to a degree that feels internally authentic. They never are.

A common characteristic of any teacher I most remember is how he connected with us in the learning moment. The teachers that have long since been deleted from memory are those who, sometimes angrily, spewed forth opinion (a.k.a. judgment).

The teacher of purpose seems to embrace the authenticity of the student and how each individual connects for optimal learning in the moment. This is hard work. To the purposeful teacher, she is simply doing what she does best. I have yet to meet a leader who, when clear on purpose, does not also become a teacher within the realm of passionate expertise. These leaders teach from principle and lovingly expect application of what is learned.

For these leader/teachers, the message of impact is when the students become natural teachers within their own passionate expertise. Effective leadership is confidently doing the work of your spirit, eliminating distracting, divisional thinking, and modeling purposeful focus in the story.

Your Magic

It began in unaware impact;
the way you connected me to reality
and waved a wand of alignment.

In the light of personal vision,
each is a special expert.
Rebranded for balance and purpose,
you gave individual validation and holistic profit.

Now aware and authentically conscious;
in the macro, you lead me;
in the micro, you hear me.

I now know my own impact;
I gift others with powerful reality
and share magical joy in alignment.

−J. Brunson

Spiritual Service
21st Century Skill: Collective Facilitation
Book 1, Chapter Six: Focus