At Home with Self

The fog soupy, implying unawareness.
I call out, Can you verify my heading?

A generous bearing I desperately seek,
a heading once grasped, now loosed.

I stumble, I fall
in the vaporous air
I hear a call.

Yet again I step
sightlessly forward I hope.
Why do I step
disengaged from the rope?

The call I hear
not a great distance
but oddly very near.

And again I step
confidently forward I know.
For now I step
regenerated by the flow.

The fog breaks, revealing consciousness,
I call out, echoing back is my purpose.

A generous bearing held all along,
a secure home accepted, now freed.

−J. Brunson

Poem Grounded from Skillfully Generous – A New Confidence



Shadow Strengths – Chapter Three (A New Confidence)

“The light of personal purpose illuminates a confidence we need to see in you, our leader.”

Awakening from a typically strange−and way-too-complicated dream−I found my mind applying possible interpretation to this writing I planned to begin the same morning.

I formulate a story from this dream experience to encourage you into A New Confidence; your steady walk in purpose. The details of the dream are not important. Thank goodness I cannot remember them! What I do remember is about a series of doorways that seemed to always present great difficulty in order to pass through. In the dream I faced the uncomfortable entry and indeed passed through. It seems I had a good friend with me and the pass-through was made easier as I explained to him the steps for entry.

Inside, all the wacky dream-stuff occurred. But when it came time to exit with my friend, the doors were all wide-open and the light streaming from the outer space beckoned us to simply step through. And maybe that is where the deepest application was discovered.

I began to confidently pass through sure I knew what was in that beckoning light, and just as certain why I should hurry right on through. But my friend was not by my side as he had stopped at the first exit threshold, staring back at the flurry of stuff inside, now darkened in the shadows created by the streaming brightness of the outer space.

Yes, with light comes shadow.

It seems the brighter the stream of light the easier it is to lose from individual view certain things in the shadows. For the sake of my point here I refer back to the wacky space inside once my friend and I had passed through the doorways. This space is symbolic of how easy it can be to get one’s Self lost in the fray of busyness.

The serious danger of busyness occurs when we mistake such for purpose.

A New Confidence flows forth through conscious Purpose.

It is an impossible task of opening something for someone else when the same something becomes closed to us by the repetitive difficulty of passing through.

In our organizational life it is too often true that the strength in the shadow is Purpose (individually and collectively). The strength of purpose is not something you find only after you walk through the clutter of busyness. Quite the opposite is true. The diversions of busyness begin to move out of your way in the streaming light of purpose. Now you confidently move through, around, over any remaining difficulty. You are walking in A New Confidence.

We must walk in this steadiness individually and together.

Let’s commit to personal purpose, strengthen a focus on collective purpose, and make a difference in all we do in this world.

This is the blessing of A New Confidence.

BCL Blog 4

Transforming Trueness – A New Confidence (It all connects, if we but let it)

For each transition
successive will be
when committed one is
to truth and reality.

−verse 3 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

As I write these words, I begin year 13 of this work I practice out here in the solo struggle. For the entire time I’ve journeyed into this work I have kept a business journal. And just like I do in my personal journaling I often review past pages.

Continually I’m amazed at how one thing has built upon another and bestows what is before me in the present. This year will show me my 60th birthday. What else will I be shown? Over the last several years I have been immersed into the true second half of life−and it seems this baptism has been by the fire of transition and the clear flow of transformation.

Let me say this: I am truly thankful to be at this place I find myself. There is no time or place to which I would wish to return. The journey is giving me more than ever.

And yet … there are still moments when in doubt I question my own truth and reality.

Recently in my business journal I asked myself, “What are you really doing?” This question was in reference to certain activities and energy investments I was making coming into year 13. Ultimately this self-imposed questioning was challenging my commitment−and that’s okay.

The one question led to other questions. And the answer to each surprised me. As I saw in the answers the eloquent thread through the years, I gratefully realized a still alive and kicking commitment to truth and reality. In this immersion into what is true and real, and into each successive transition, it becomes frighteningly easy to trip right into a hole of doubt. Questions are not just okay, and good, but deep-reaching questions are critical to the transformative process.

Clearly in my own journey, A New Confidence is an evolving critter. Confidence becomes new at some juncture when the true self begins to move more vividly in one’s consciousness than the unconscious false self. This newness−a now demanding awareness−has arrived simply because of reconnection with an inward source; your own authenticity.

Safe in authenticity, you are ready for the connections when clarity presents itself. This is A New Confidence.

Just like the mountain stream I love to wade, my flowing presence can become suddenly cloudy. At such times it is important to step out of the flow, observe what is passing, and allow clarity to once again be made known.

I complete this composition in one such moment beside the stream of all I know. Before I put a pencil to the task of figuring it all out, I must arrive back at the side of the stream once again committed to truth and reality.

BCL Blog 4

A New Confidence (to Hear and to Hold)

To listen is a gift,
both giver and receiver
reaping richness
in what is said and heard.

In listening, truly hearing,
curiosity consumes
and what is consumed
swells large
into one specific question,
when asked
clears the present
and floods the soul.

He spoke.
I heard.
I gave.

Oft said by self
not heard by self
is lost to the soul.

We reconvened.
I reminded.
He received.

Oft said by self
heard and held by another
is persuasive to the soul.

From tongue to ear to heart
listen, hear, and hold.
In the warmth of such connection
we will never grow cold.

−J. Brunson

Our Inner Territory – Standing with A New Confidence

“Perhaps our development of a sustained ability for mental and emotional worry was the very apple into which we gladly bit, defending ourselves consciously against creation while at the same time expelling ourselves from the garden where we felt unconsciously at home.”
David Whyte, The Three Marriages

It had been just over a year since John and I had worked together in a coaching relationship. We had stayed in touch as I had always included him when emailing articles of interest to my leaders. John had been promoted as we wrapped up our first coaching engagement. Less than a year into this new role he was promoted once again. That is when he reached out to me to reengage for some transition coaching.

As we agreed on the customized method of our new work together, John told me about his plan for me to assist he and his leadership team with divisional strategy−leveraging my work with story. As I learned more about John’s objectives for this strategy work, I saw powerful validation for me, for John, and for our work together. You see, John is the person who said to me in our very first coaching session, “I contemplate the fictitious nature of our work world.”

I soon learned that John was a leader who truly loved his work, and in his work, loved.

In our second transition session, John set his 9 month objectives for his new role. As I sorted his objectives/actions under his points of Desire & Intent, it was clear John had come home−playing right into the best of who he is at the core.

John’s leadership journey has brought him to this place he now stands. He is consistently becoming more consciously at home with who he is and what it is he gladly has to give as a leader.

See companion truth – Our Outer Accountability – Living A New Confidence

Listen Deeply – A New Confidence

Should you hear a voice telling you to place all your energy externally and to forget about directing any internally, to the inner journey, ignore this voice. It is not your own.

I followed up for weeks before corralling this new coaching client into locking down our first scheduled session. In the message stream where we set the date, he thanked me for following up with him. He also stated, “Personal Development is not always at the top of my to do list. Might need some prodding to keep it there.”

A New Confidence is the result of hard work (diligence) focused inward−as the flow is from the internal to the external. This inner work is selfless (not selfish) as you make yourself better for those you lead, influence, and serve.

A New Confidence is the result of a balance of cycles. There is the cycle of your core values; there is the cycle of key strengths when you are at your best; and there is your Desire & Intent

… the cycle that forms the infrastructure of your Living Methodology.

Desire & Intent channels your energy into a creative, fertile flow alive with who you really are in the unfolding moments of impact. Listen deeply in the calm of your moment by moment impact in this world. Impact is not just an outcome. It is a consistent collision of desire and intent keeping you in our presence and us in the power of your living, loving flow.

So with my new client, I will use my living, loving flow to prod personal development to the top of his to do list.

A Flow to Simplicity through Clarity

As Richard Rohr said in an interview a few years back, “How you look at anything is how you look at everything.”

Consciously seeing anything as part of the unfolding is calming. It is looking at my own actions for what they are in the moment; they are part of a much larger picture−one where I may participate in the painting, but one where I do not have control.

Like those beautiful days of 35MM film photography where I participated in the art by composing and selecting settings, but the result came from a process that had to develop. I was not necessarily in control.

My own work these days is similar. I am searching in the moment for the right settings, all the while looking for the inspiring composition.

What am I seeing these days?

Am I too focused on the outcome, desiring a control that isn’t mine? In the confidence of clarity, the safety of purpose propels you forward and opens you to better see the inspiring composition. The bounty of such inspiration is discovered at the rich intersection of unique message and individual story.

Confidence and self-belief are contagious; they are not a matter of pure arrogance or overweening egotism, they are the sense of being part of a greater story others have not yet discovered and giving off an almost physical sense of invitation to join that story, that disarms and then changes potential enemies into allies.” −David Whyte in The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship (Riverhead Books 2009)

In this crazy 21st Century, there is a necessary pause in order to see what is good around us. This is to open the flow, yielding the clarity needed and desired.

Let go, compose, and see the unfolding.