I Choose Love

Attempting to be smart
but smart doesn’t arrive.
Strategic absurdity sets in
action stalls and plans crush.

Calculated anticipation is admired
expectations rule, future pulls,
and no one is here to engage.

A friend has said
wise she was
Interest creates Energy.

Voice is the core of energy
an articulation of authenticity
the rhythm of presence.

Suddenly it seems
but more gradual is reality,
One stands firm with voice
and love stands solid and present.

A self given
to the self
of the other.

A self given
but first given
to itself.

Thus the path of Impact
in a needy world,
A world in need
of soulful participation.

−J. Brunson

Poem grounded from Skillfully Generous – Impact




Shadow Strengths – Chapter One (Impact)

In my last assignment before leaving Chicago, I had on my team a brilliant, vibrant young woman. At the time, Pam was 30, married, had a young son, worked fulltime, and was studying for a degree in her evenings. I admired her very much.

Occasionally, like any normal human, Pam would get in a bit of a funk. One particularly funky day she came into my office to talk about the future. It was soon clear it was not the future that had her feeling insecure; it was the comparison she was making between her ostensible progress by 30 with a female executive of the same age.

It is impossible to experience your own Trueness when entangled by unequal comparative perception.

Out of touch with our own Trueness we darken our shadow. Yes, when we think about the shadow we automatically think about the dark part of ourselves. Such thinking can lead us to avoid the shadow at all costs. This is dangerous.

It is important that we cease all attempts to hide from our shadow. For in that seeming darkness are treasures to abundantly fund our Trueness.

Jimmy is a dear friend building yet another adventure at 68. In preparation for a meeting we were to have about this direction of his work, he sent me the transcript of the TEDx talk he had just delivered.

I have known Jimmy for 12 years and ‘succinct’ is not a word I would use to describe him in his work. “Precise” yes, but not succinct. However, in the transcript of his talk, he was incredibly succinct and focused with a brief and compelling story.

For Jimmy the shadow is darkened by the overuse of his skill of preciseness. The TEDx talk clearly revealed the treasure of a key strength he needs at this time in his journey. “Structure” is his Strength that was hidden in the shadow.

Jimmy must hold his strength of structure in his light as he moves forward. Those impacted by his work need the application of his structure strength−delivering for Jimmy the ultimate preciseness so deeply encoded in his core.

“People are as frightened of their capacity for nobility as of their darkest sides.” −Robert A. Johnson, Owning Your Own Shadow

As Pam stood against the temptation to compare herself to another, she was better able to own her own shadow; and there courageously face and embrace her own treasures. Hidden with such treasure so often is a key strength that needs your light.

I encourage you to hold together your light and shadow. Hold them long enough to see the natural and beautiful contrast that is within. And as you do, we will better experience the balanced you−Your Impact!

BCL Blog 4


Transforming Trueness – Impact (Transitions Shape Us)

Transition, one then another
dispensed on a soul
is to an individual
proof simply one is living.

−verse 1 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

The Impact needed in this world must come from those who have learned to be then do. In any situation, ask yourself what you most desire. The substance of the matter−the truth you need−is right there with you. The substance is in who you are much more than in what you think you might need to do.

Impact−Trueness practiced−is less in the doing and more in the being.

Concerning the root cause of any sense of lack, worry, or inadequacy, David Whyte says in his book, The Three Marriages; “The root is our desire to have any other reality than the one we are confronted with in the moment.” This is misplaced desire: A freedom with its base somewhere in the future. And if based only in a future−where seeing is focused−then your unique freedom is unattainable in the present.

Yes, both be and do are important and there is an order and a balance. If you as a leader feel the tension of this order and balance, then you are standing in the right place. Your most powerful stand as a leader is not some future vision (although a necessary tool). Your stand is in reality−the present.

In so many situations the pressure we feel is the shaping touch of a providential hand. Change, one then another, assures that we, as individuals, have ample opportunities for alteration−momentary modifications in doing that serve a transforming being.

In my writing some may say I’m too spiritual. Spiritual? I would not disagree. Too much? You decide for yourself. For I do not write these things to make you spiritual. I write these things so you may live in reality (in your present−in your Trueness).

From my personal journal:
I am grateful in the pool of each conscious moment. I am free to ‘be’ now and to not have to wait on some future state or status: Aren’t we all? And … that is my purpose: To open minds and hearts to what already is; to open an individual to who they already are−a present enfoldment that is all poised for unfoldment.

For the attentive (contemplative) leader, Impact is the living measure; confirmation of one’s willing participation in the unfolding−the flow.

Each transition is providential opportunity to say Yes.

And so it is that we are shaped by transition−one then another. Yes, we are being transformed into our very Trueness … if we but say, “Yes.”

BCL Blog 4

Transforming Trueness (Flow)

I wrote the poem, Transforming Trueness, while in-between one writing theme and the next. Not knowing what to compose in the subsequent series I gave self-permission to repose. This quietude opened the space for his request. My friend, and artistic writer, Ric Gonzalez called and asked if I was open to do more writing together like we did when he was in Northern Ireland.

While I may not have been able in that moment to articulate a clear goal (long-term) for writing  together again, I instantly knew Providence had moved in relation to the individual and mutual commitment Ric and I have to giving ourselves in the world through our love of exposition and story.

We committed to our writing project and decided to give our attention to Transition and Transformation.

This is how being lost can be a prelude to a deeper way. Because once we admit that we’re not sure where life is taking us, then we are ripe for transformation. Then we are shapeable. −Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

What is shaped … is you−the True Self.

This brought me back to the poem:
Transitions shape us.
Shaping can be painful.
It all connects if we but let it.
In the connections, voice clears.
We become committed to here.
We walk with the art of holding.
And in the full process we become True.

Join us in this part of our journey as we write from the power of experience.


The Impact Encounter

The tenor I’ve been given,
from my beginning,
is to be with another
in the encounter with Impact.

A living measure is this encounter,
a bright attention to what is unfolding.

The measure lives only in the holding,
the mastery of catch and release.

As I cast for connection,
with presence a conscious method,
I net the quarry with love,
then free her into the flow of awareness.

Awareness is not constrained in physicality,
bodily absence not a barrier,
as love spans any chasm
and presence holds us soundly.

Spirit to spirit for a brief time we were banded,
and now we swim separately yet forever bound.

−J. Brunson

Our Inner Territory – an Accountability to Impact

As we step out onto the path that our design has for us, we only find courage to journey with associated accountability as we hold the creative tension formed by the union of inner and outer charges.

“It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

In this work I do as a Coach I’ve come to realize some important truths; one of which is that I am ultimately coaching an individual to that space where the internal and external collide.

Without a guide the resulting bang of this Impact can be deeply terrifying as one most instantly begins to search for what is wrong. Although my question leading to individual articulation of Desire & Intent is, for the person, a freeing revelation, that freedom can be accompanied by pure terror of a territory ahead, a ravaged hillside in the past, or even the view of the beautiful country suddenly brought to light.

In order to arrive at any understanding of my own creative tension, forming my commitment to Impact, I had to accept the attachment to desire while simultaneously realizing how crucial it was to let go into intent (for there, I have no control).

As we become more conscious of the need around us to which our Impact is called, we cannot allow the eagerness to fill such need take away any energy to do so.

Only in your creative tension may you let go of the narcissistic victory (a need to win/control) and flow with the Impact experience.

See companion truth−Our Outer Accountability – Living Impact

Listen Deeply – Impact

Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent. −Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

It seems her life was being held in measure to a book of values written by the life of her mother−at least the perception of her mother’s life to which she held tight. So tight in fact that it created an irreconcilable tension between perceived standard and authentic reality.

You know those times when a voice speaks something that makes you say, “Ouch!” And then you slide into deeper shock upon realizing it was your voice! Such was the case with the question I posed during one particular session with Susan.

Susan had been telling me in great detail about her mother. As I listened I remember thinking how unbalanced such admiration felt. That’s when I heard it: “Do you think there might be a need to separate your admiration for your mother from your need to be like her?” When I realized that the voice was my own, my eyes quickly scanned for sharp instruments on the table where we had just dined. Fortunately Susan did not try to hurt me. But if looks could kill …

After our mutual shock subsided we talked freely about the intent of the question. Susan began to see the unnecessary standard she had placed on herself; holding back the flow of the authentic Susan. It was particularly powerful when she was able to embrace another question: Wouldn’t it break your mother’s heart if she thought she was part of anything holding her daughter back?

It thrills me to know Susan opened that day to listen deeply and stepped through a portal to authentic reality and unique impact.