Participation (Falling in Love with Reality) – Walk: Part IIB

Poetry & Encounter
A cadence of experience, a rhythm of expression formed by graceful attentiveness.

Graceful Attentiveness

Reality, too, is conflict neutral. You may have heard it said, in response to some situation or another; “It is what it is.” This is often said in resignation, a throwing up of the spiritual hands as one gives up totally, or it can be a simple acceptance of what is, in the moment. A peaceful center can accept reality. It is not giving up or giving in. Rather, it is one’s attention magnified by grace.

In conversation with a friend, Ericka was sharing about our work together, and about what she was learning about herself. Her friend made a statement about a particular personality profile, sharing her type and stating that she and Ericka were just alike. The truth is, Ericka’s profile and her friend’s profile are completely different.

Her friend is more on the introverted side of things, gives great energy to process and detail, and tends more toward perfectionism, doing things in the right way. Ericka is more extraverted, direct, decisive, and clear, driven to get the right things done. The friend sees Ericka similar to herself because of grace; Ericka’s energy focused on this core relationship and loving her friend as she centers the best of who she is.

I can only imagine how this friend looks forward with eagerness to being in Ericka’s graceful presence, their differences coming together and belonging.

The Lie of Expectation

It is quite embarrassing as I think about it, how often I allow some expectation to tell me a lie. I’m not referring to a presupposition imposed from some external source. I’ve become rather skilled at silencing those. More so, I point toward a self-inflicted conjecture that strays from reality.

To pay attention void of grace is to tell oneself a lie.

In the petri dish of falsity, internal violence can develop in the cultures of false expectation, judgment, and comparison. When left too long to culture, and then uncovered, the spoiled combination spreads infected messages that have nothing to do with who one is in reality.

When I launched out on my own in this work that called me, I entered with a piece of expectation-baggage; anyone in this line of work must publish a book, and quickly. So, as I thought authors do, I committed time early in the morning and began to write. This expectation, with its falsity tormenting my thinking, led me through two false starts in attempting to create a manuscript. Later, upon finding my voice and my own writing process, I looked back on what had been written during those mornings. It was useless to what I was then composing in-voice, but quite necessary in getting me to that point.

When I find a wonderful writer, I read a lot of what he or she writes. While I love studying style in these skilled writers, I know I’ve had to find my own way; my own rhythm with pen and page that allows my voice flow in composing. I consequently let go of the goal of being an author and embraced the diligent duty of being a writer.

The Truth of Grace

Recently in my personal journal, I found myself expressing a need to be validated as a writer. At first it was unclear as to the source of this expressed need. Then it was time to write about the lie of expectation. It then occurred to me that I was again allowing some expectation, or set of expectations, to pronounce a wholesale judgment on me as a writer.

Four books later, and this one in progress, my methodology is still evolving and teaching me in the process. It took much practice, pain, and persistence to clear my thinking and free the writer I am. My personal journaling assured me that I am the writer I’m intended to be, and the same practice, pain, and persistence will continue with only the objective of making me better at the craft. I begin most mornings with my journal. Quite often in that time I find myself simply sitting in gratitude. Is gratitude part of grace, or at least a mark of grace? I think so. And grace is much more free to flow the more I can stay on the path with my walk.

If we are not careful, not taking enough guard to refuse false expectation digresses from our path, we allow damaging interruption to the steadiness of our walk. To know everything belongs is to have come to a confident stand, and to know a more secure and steady walk on our own path. It becomes a way of being with reality, of being less distracted by any particular want of a reality other than the one we have. Wanting a reality other than the one in front of us can freeze us in a moment of real need and keep us from doing what is good and right to do in the reality of unique encounter.

Gratitude and grace are marks of a contemplative leader. This leader can confidently stand in the middle, see things without a need to separate and judge, and walk steadily with the staff of reality; blessed by the wonders expressed in the truth of poetry and the experience of encounter.

Grace and gratitude make you stronger. Freedom is nourished by the acknowledgement of specific blessings in your walk. A litany of gratitude helps you remain aware of life & living as good things gather and unfold−and this is grace. The confidence needed for traveling the path is increased by consciously consistent praise for every event and connection.


Stepping from life into living,
from internal to external,
soul flowing toward others.

Stepping from life into living,
deeply encouraged
by the fitting together,
all things working together
for good, if but allowed.

From expectation to graceful anticipation,
Trueness navigating turn and toil.

Seeing past falsity
and into the soul,
courage grows in each encounter,
holding the paradox of being
human and divine.

Reality clears a path,
a way of being true.

Attention now given,
grace within relationship,
grace within the flow.

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 A Walk in Gratitude


Release Presence into Skill 5

Listening is the commitment allowing providence to move in the information shared between two individuals. Listening sharpens my awareness of the encounters while wading. Listening opens doors.
−Wading the Stream of Awareness
(Presence Chapter)

In listening free from judgment, you respectfully open genuine love for the authenticity of the individual. Happiness is for the present and for those with presence.

My grandmother was my best friend in my important, developing years. She listened−truly listened. She heard me in what I said to her when we had our wonderful talks. In my final years at the university, I was not far from her home. On many weekends I would drive through the small county towns to get to her house. She would cook for me delicious meals and complain that she could no longer cook well.

Commitment to your own voice and purpose opens the door for providence to bring your past and future together in the present. (Presence Chapter)

In the presence of my grandmother I was happy. I was simply and plainly just happy. She was a giver. There were no conditions. If you had a need, then she gave. In those years at the university I had a need to talk; to be heard. She gave, and gave lavishly, by listening.

It is experiences like those with my grandmother that I bring into my presence. They are treasures. And bounty such as this assures me in my future−a future that is not someday, but now.

My own voice of love, and purpose of encouragement, were so providentially influenced by my grandmother. For this I am eternally thankful … and I anxiously await the status of grandparent!

See sister post, Letting Go into Presence

Freedom and Confidence – Gratitude

It seems providential that I began to structure this post on Thanksgiving day; a holiday of collective thankfulness. Our personal liberation flows through our commitment to one another, and to gather during these moments is to honor the commitment.

This is a rather personal post as I reflect on what gratitude means to my own value of freedom and strength of confidence.

For me, freedom is the release from judgmental bondage and an organic flow of voice. When voice flows freely, it is natural to applaud the sequential acts of experience. Allowing gratitude to flow in and through the moments of each day has brought freedom to the forefront of giving from the best of who I am. It is in this flow that my confidence is made ever stronger; as obligation meets with the desire to return thanks and glorify the source of good.

Gratitude makes me stronger. Freedom is nourished by the acknowledgement of specific blessings in my life. A litany of gratitude helps me remain aware of life as good things gather and unfold. And the confidence needed for traveling the path is increased by consciously consistent praise for every event and connection. As Father Green would say, “Blessing the wind and wave.”

Skill 4 – Part C: Collegial Connections

The composition of this section was begun before an evening meal with colleagues. Our collegial gathering began eight years prior with a small number of freelance spirits in need of each others company.

Like career connections, creating connections in the collegial arena must be done intentionally and confidently. This gathering to which I belong was founded with no distracting structure and one singular purpose; collegial support.

Anne-Marie is an elegant spirit who became a vital part of this support group. At that recent evening gathering, I shared my present activities in marketing my book and in attempting to move business forward in a challenging time. The next day I made a post about slow business, high stress, and the resulting visit to a mountain trail to relieve some of the stress. Anne-Marie read this post.

Combining the brief post with what she heard at the dinner gathering, she sent me the following:

… over the years I have gone through several down periods, due to the economy, cut backs, etc.  Every time business was slow I would think “this is it, I am out of business, I must have done something wrong, did I make a mistake somewhere,” and I would worry so much.  When business picked up, I would be reassured that this slowdown was not my fault and I would be so angry with myself and thinking “why didn’t I take advantage of that time to do the things I don’t have time to do when I am busy? ”
In a way it is good to have down times, it gives a chance to regroup, rethink, revitalize, reinforce, renew….  Down times are part of the plan to improve one’s business.
On Monday you told me that you are thinking of ways to contact your clients, and that you are contacting them to remind them that you are there, you are also marketing your book, so you are doing everything right. 

A collegial connection is someone you have asked into your network because of who you are. This connection has been invited because of mutual need. You must be conscious of what you need as you build your collegial network. This is not selfish; not if you approach this part of your network from a dedication to growth and development – progression that makes you better for those you lead, influence, and serve. This is not about perfection; it is about simply getting better.

Collegial connections form in the light of mutual contribution. Anne-Marie was invited to be a part of our collegial gathering by one of the founders. Through mutual contribution, we have formed a collegial bond. To me, Anne-Marie is representative of the blessings that flow from a confidence and trust in the spirit of attraction.

For more like this and the developing series around the 7 skills, see: 21st Century Leadership Skills

Pool of Experience

The mountain stream is a special place for me. I catch more trout in the mountain rivers near my home, yet I find myself driving a bit farther to a favorite stream. It’s at a higher elevation and therefore sings louder.

Even when fishing the rivers, I find that I stay close to the breaking water not because there’s more fish, but because of the soul cleansing properties of the sound. The higher stream is simply more consistent with its melody.

So there I am, wading the rapids and stalking the plunge pools, carefully looking into the depths for content and opportunity. Sometimes I even purposefully put aside my reason for arriving at a particular pool and simply rest in its beauty – even choosing to make a photo versus a cast.


An ‘attitude of abundance’ means that we understand abundance beyond what we possess. There are many components to true abundance.

For each individual leader, abundance includes personal and professional values, driving focus, innate strengths consciously applied, and the power of those you lead made confident through your leadership. When an individual you lead finds their own confidence, he/she becomes a leader in their own right.

Be grateful in all things.
Gratitude is the glue holding together all the components of abundance.