Tuesday, February 21, 2012
"It is only after we kindle the light in the words that we are able to behold the riches they contain. It is only after we arrive within a word that we become aware of the riches our own souls contain."
A.J. Heschel in Man's Quest for God
I am on my own quest to learn how to do this. My experiment so far...
I am taking the word PATIENCE and have started to light the word with the candle of my attention. When am I patient? When am I impatient? When do I give in to my impatience? What relationships help me cultivate patience? How am I patient with myself? When does that serve me?
I am learning that PATIENCE is indeed laden with riches. And there are links to other words. Permission. Allow. Need. Love.
I arrive within PATIENCE by giving it form and substance. By practicing patience with my full awareness. I notice an urge to get up for a snack. I wait. I feel no hunger. Only a growing awareness of wanting to be distracted. I allow the need for distraction to percolate. There are emotions bubbling up. There is fear there. There is longing. There is even laughter.
And so it goes. A slow dawning awareness of what is real and sacred within me
If this quote holds you in its hands and looks deeply into your eyes then please, tell me what you see?
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
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I was part of a conversation with Peter Block yesterday with my system coaching colleagues from CRR Global. I was already a huge fan. I became a bigger one. He doesn't just walk his talk he lives and breathes it.
"The world is committed to speed and scale. But we go slow and small and are committed to relationship...we create sacred space in secular settings."
There were many more profound things spoken in this conversation. But these words lodged in my heart. It speaks to why I do what I do. And why it can feel like a struggle sometimes. In the part of the world I inhabit, the workplace is shaking from exhaustion and nervous energy. Human relationships are a means to an end. People are valued for what they produce. Meetings are a waste if they don't result in a result I can use to perform better.
In all my team coaching sessions, there is always a moment when humanity breaks through. When eyes lock or hearts are moved. Suddenly there is silence born of awe. It is so rare.
And it changes everything.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
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"YOU DID WHAT?!"
"I threw out all my work journals from the past 6 years."
"ARE YOU FEELING OKAY? ARE YOU HAVING SOME KIND OF ATTACK?"
"I am feeling wonderful, thank you. Light headed and light hearted. Really."
So began a conversation with YDKASHOTE [aka "You Don't Know Anything So Hold On To Everything".] I call her KASH for short. KASH was hyperventilating as she watched me flip through these journals and toss them in the trash. KASH wanted to make me feel small and kept pressing me to reread these journals so that I wouldn't forget what I needed to know. She watched me sadly as I started my coaching calls thinking that of course I would fail my clients because I hadn't read the journals!
I, on the other hand, was surprisingly calm. Oh I knew where she was coming from. She and I go back a long way. Probably to my high school days. And yet, as I turned the pages and read my notes, I became increasingly convinced that I had integrated what I needed to know and the rest was filler.
I was reminded of the word for "stuff" or material things in Hebrew: Chomer. [חומר] It is also the same root as the word for donkey: Chamor. A beast of burden. And that is what these journals had become for me. A burden.
Somewhere along the way, I had developed a mistaken idea. I thought the journals were a product, a necessary commodity for my professional development. Instead, what I now understand is that they were important for the process they enabled. They helped me clarify my thoughts, organize what I was learning. Slow down.
My journals are a pathway from where I am now to where I am going. Old journals are like outdated maps. They no longer serve to orient me.
I will continue to keep journals, as I will continue to forge new paths. And I will ease my burden along the way.
How do you use your journals?