Coming Together

Demands surround me
they fill my mind
they shush my heart

This must be done now
that needs worried attention
And in such an operating system
fear runs in the background

Found nowhere in such activity
is purpose
In no way drawn out is
my passion
And no one is heard by
my presence

But then
you
you arrive listening
to be heard
wonderful

Being heard I’m drawn out
passion freed
purpose applied

Presence draws out presence
coming together
energy joins energy
we work on
inspired

−J. Brunson

Poem Grounded from Skillfully Generous – Focus

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Shadow Strengths – Chapter Six (Focus)

Focus is greatly valued in the 21st Century. It is one of the most common things my clients talk about. While focus is highly valued, it’s not the answer. The answer is Authenticity. The Question?

What opens your portal to focus?

I was reminded of my mission one morning as I meditated on caring. I had been challenged in some recent study to reflect on who I am and what such authenticity was calling me yet to do. And I’ve not stated my mission to anyone in quite a long time: “To Love, Serve, & Understand.”

For some reason I focused on the aspect of caring. I believe others see me as caring, but then I wondered how such had evolved. Had caring moved to a point of being both external and internal? Then one of Patricia Ryan Madson’s tips for sharing control came to me; “If you see something that needs to be done, do it.”

Soon after reading, and seriously considering, Patricia’s tips, I was on my way to Oklahoma to work at a client location. I had to change planes in Atlanta (a usual process considering where I live). I exited the jet onto the jetway only to be halted by the human traffic jam. The gate-checked bags were being unloaded and an elderly couple was standing in the middle of it all waiting for their piece of luggage.

Realizing the jam of people, the husband suggested to his wife that she proceed forth to the top of the jetway and wait on him and the bag. Another piece of challenge was that he was also waiting on an airport wheelchair and attendant. The attendant and chair arrive, he gets seated, bag gets loaded, and everyone begins to hurry past as their movement clears the way up the incline toward the terminal.

As the very tiny attendant began to push the average-sized man, and as I gathered my own bag and start to pass, that long awaited piece of baggage slips right out from its shelf underneath the wheelchair. Seeing something that needed to be done, I called out, “I’ve got it” and snatched up the bag and proceeded to the top of the jetway.

I stopped next to the wife and asked if that gentleman approaching belonged to her. He did of course. I placed the bag beside her and moved on.

So, why do I tell you this story?

Your own good process for living moment-by-moment is your cycle of strengths applied to lead others, influence others, to serve others.

It seems as I was meditating on caring that this experience came to mind. And I was greatly surprised, as I relived it, that the service of this act was not about the wife, the husband, and not even getting baggage to the top of a jetway. The act was in service to a petite airport attendant.

When it comes to focus, the strength in the shadow is good process for living moment-by-moment. Thinking through this story helped me−brought back to consciousness−the process in my own mission.

Love opens me to see. In seeing I can serve. And at some point, often times much later, I understand.

BCL Blog 4

Transforming Trueness – Focus (We walk in the Art of Holding)

For your Trueness
holds your soul well
while you free voice
in the story you must tell.
−verse 6 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

Oddly enough, I began composing this piece on trueness and focus at a moment when I was questioning my focus in this work I do. From the standpoint of Trueness, I had stumbled in my walk with the art of holding. It Happens.

The stagger in my step came as I found myself looking at a barrier instead of around it. Instead of seeing opportunity beyond, I gave attention to the barrier itself−consequently attaching me to an outcome that is not my desire, my intent, and certainly not in the middle where the two meet and lead me to hold a steady, flowing presence.

Years ago we lived in the deep south in a house that backed to a bird sanctuary. The region in which we lived was on the migration path of the ruby-throated hummingbird. This beautiful little creature was among the many we enjoyed watching right in that backyard. It was fun watching the hummingbirds play and compete for the ports on the feeders loaded with sweet water.

As they drank continuously−storing up energy for the long journey to Mexico−they would get a bit rambunctious with each other. One day while watching them I noticed one bird hovering near the ground and tipping down to look at something in the grass. A tiny head struggled to peer upward and acknowledge the airborne comrade.

It seems in the intoxicating, exuberant play there had been a collision. I opened the sliding glass door, stepped onto the grass, located the little bugger, and placed him in the palm of my hand. I carried him inside and, as it was very early, I stirred my wife from her sleep so we could attend to our little friend.

By the time I had retrieved the bird from the grass, he was pretty out of it. As I carefully held his limp body in an open palm, and as Becky searched for a straw to offer him some drops of energy, he began to buzz in short bursts. Within a few hums he was carefully in flight edging along the glass door and then through the opening to freedom I had left.

Maybe what I’m being asked to learn is, that to more steadily walk in the art of holding, I must allow myself to be held by my own Trueness.

So what exactly is this art of holding? In our own Trueness it is indeed the way we are held; gently, without judgment, and with an openness freeing us into a flowing presence.

Now here’s the best part of my encounter with the little bird. For the remainder of that season, and all of the next, whenever I would walk into the yard while the hummers were playfully feeding, they would all scatter−except for that one little friend. He would land on the limb above my head and sit with me until I returned indoors.

The art of holding is a way with freedom−being with something or someone long enough to understand while releasing promptly into the full and present flow of the larger story.

BCL Blog 4

Choose a Love Focus

As one, one always has a choice,
no other one has power
to select any thought for one
save only one that power transfers.

The choice of power
for what is good
for what is right
is always inside.

What is inside
is indwelling generously
is guiding courageously
the one who from love leads.

What does it look like
to have love as the energetic core
and presence as the method?
It indeed looks like my life!

Presence, personal, attentive, confident,
is interest lovingly directed … and
interest received is energy given,
furthering our generous delight as loving leaders.

−J. Brunson

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Our Inner Territory – A Source for Focus

No doubt, when one-on-one, presence is a critical ingredient in creating a meaningful and productive experience. Such presence also serves you in the company of many.

In the one-to-many and many-to-one interaction, personal presence, confident and open, is the source for focus.

Yansi is a very talented and skilled Administrative Assistant. She was asked to present a personality tool and how it may be utilized to improve personal and professional interactions and general communication.

We can all LEARN to work together; the key is understanding.

This was her focus in the presentation to the leaders.

I met Yansi one-on-one after my own facilitation experience with the collective of women of which she was a part. As we talked it became obvious something specific was on her mind; and then it appeared. She told me of this upcoming presentation and how she must go study the material. It was clear from the respect others sent her way during my workshop that Yansi was very good at what she does. So I knew the issue really on her mind was not the material, but rather her concern of standing before this group of leaders as the expert.

After telling her a brief story to which I believe she could relate, I asked one question: What is the one thing you want them to know and walk away understanding? As she answered with the statement quoted above, her eyes widened and she broke into a broad smile. My response was simply, “There you go.”

Yansi now had her focus, the source was her passion; all other “material” aligned in support of her passionate message. The impact of her focus was validated as employees began to thank her for assisting their leaders in learning about different personalities and practicing better ways of approaching and talking to them.

See companion truth – Our Outer Accountability – Living Focus

Listen Deeply – Focus

As a leader it is important to celebrate the collectiveness of each success. Such generous appreciation keeps us energized for the next challenge together.

The more mature you become in your leadership the easier it is to return to a core focus−your purpose−and not lose footing on the slickness of success. Richard Rohr, among others, teaches that we learn much more from our failures than our successes.

He can’t lead after he succeeds. −Bob Dole

I was intrigued by Mr. Dole’s comment. It is not important to identify to whom the words were directed, but to hone in on possible truth.

~ Do you know how to lead after you succeed?

~ And, what does it mean to lead after success?

To me it means to not lose focus: focus on a purpose greater than any single success. For the immature leader it is easy to see “a” success as a well-deserved, personal accolade. Pinning such a badge on one’s lapel causes great damage and limits the energy the leader will need very shortly for the next challenge−and they come along one-after-another in this 21st Century.

In leadership, maturity is less about age and more about practice; consistently seeking knowledge and putting into perpetual practice-learning for impact. True success comes from your purpose-filled focus. In such trueness we find congruency between purpose and outcomes: seeing each success for what it really is and honoring each effort in the specific manner required to position us for the next thing.

The joys of success are not in a moral, but in the journey of the story itself.

A Flow to Simplicity through Focus

The path of genuine sharing is along the trail of focus.

What others need most from us comes from the best of who we are; our trueness.

In my flow to simplicity I very often get in my own way−wrapped around the axle as it is said. This occurs as I fight through my work to free others from debilitating judgment while questioning myself more than is necessary or productive.

My coach guided me through an enlightening perception exercise. Her closing summary was, “You live a true life. Relax into the fact that this is so.”

The exercise included asking a select few who have known me for a significant time the following:

  1. What 3 words define me best?
  2. What are 2 things I could do better starting tomorrow?

In the gift of this feedback−the sharing of these important few−I was lovingly and specifically encouraged to hear and hold a few things.

  • It is important to hear the questions without the immediate urge to answer.
  • I am being encouraged to more boldly hold the “trueness” in the long-term value of this work I’ve created.
  • As I push hard for what I need in this work I must float into the effort of each push−Let Go.
  • It is critical at this juncture that I hear what those I serve feel over time because of my impact.

I was taken to a deep part of the flow as I absorbed−with Coach Judy’s help−the feedback. I was taken into custody with the energy cycle of my focus: Gather to Give to Grow.

A sharing methodology around which I’ve built my life.

It is now time to trust it as never before.