Shadow Strengths – Chapter Two (Desire & Intent)

In our country’s history we once said, “The United States are … .” We now say, “The United States is … .” Somewhere along the line of history it all became one. The desire of a people intersected with the intent for liberty and created a singular union. This union is not without its tension. And that’s okay.

Desire & Intent is a singular gift hidden in our shadow.

We, in our western society, for some reason see tension as bad. Indeed there is a level of stress that, over time, causes all sorts of ills−or at least takes blame for these ills. And there is a degree of tension that is the energy of human equilibrium.

The gift of tension is created by the powerful union of the desire that drives us and the intent that draws us. The union of desire and intent−becoming Desire & Intent−brings a key strength out of the separateness-created shadow: Creative Tension.

I will allow my own Desire & Intent to be the illustration. Where I am given the gift of connection with you, this is my story of purpose: My Desire & Intent is that you lovingly lead others to their own authentic confidence as you embrace the power of who you are and act on this Trueness!

The rhythm of this story is the pulse of purpose for me. In order to honor the flow, I have come to see and embrace the universal strength of creative tension in the shadow of my desire and intent. As I learned, internal desire and external intent seem to stay separated in our culture; maybe even in opposition as they seem like contradictions. However, they become one as they intersect in a spoken, conscious presence.

My own Desire & Intent speaks to my purpose (why I do what I do). And in the collision of the desire that you embrace your authenticity and the intent that you lead others to do the same, I am thrown into the creative tension of how I do what I do. All I do−coach, write, facilitate−flows through the creatively tense portal of my belief that I can encourage your confident Trueness. This is the energy of my balance. This is my Trueness acted upon.

Acting on your own Trueness, from the partnership of desire and intent, strengthens you to confidently explore what is in the shadow. The shadow strength of creative tension is leveraged in the balance of internal and external when you hold together your desire that drives you from the inside and your intent that draws you out.

The tension delivered to you by the collision of desire and intent is creative because it forces you to hold together what you see as reality and possibility; and in the holding you are opened to the how you do what you do.

“Our intention is not to conquer the shadow, but to draw it out into the light of our awareness and compassion.” −Richard Rohr

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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.

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Transforming Trueness (Repose)

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

Suffering it may seem
and so suffering it is;
but impairing it is not.

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

And the deepest of reality,
an original endowment,
is the intricate truth
of who one really is.

Surprising it may seem
and so surprising it is;
but deceitful it cannot be.

For your Trueness
holds your soul well
while you free voice
in the story you must tell.

And in the telling itself, a living performance,
into and through our own soul
we are transformed …
we become who we are.

−J. Brunson

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Desire & Intent – The Singularity of Trueness

Driven.
Drawn.
Delivered.

Driven down into desire,
at first lightless, intimidating,
distorted self is confronted by true self.

How did I get here?
Who is this?

Drawn out toward intent,
holding fast, releasing slow,
trueness advances through the contradiction.

I see substantiality.
I feel authenticity.

Delivered into the present,
in and through a presence,
joy amazing from depth suppressed.

I know purpose.
I sense impact.

Driven.
Drawn.
Delivered.

Clearly, solidly, finally;
It’s me.

−J. Brunson

Listen Deeply – Voice

My work of the last 17 years in particular has progressively blessed me with awareness of the power of my own voice. More recently however, I’ve learned the imperativeness of constant and consistent awareness of voice.

It seems without fail that when I am blessed by an individual’s words expressing the impact of our work together, I am reminded of work where voice was in full flow. Where flow means being fully present in the collision, and consequent tension, of desire and intent; and remaining in the presence of the one to whom I offer my voice.

We must find a way to live in the continuing conversation, with all its conflicts and complexities, while staying in close touch with our own inner teacher. −Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

My Living Methodology is the rhythm that is the flow of unique Desire & Intent. There is an energetic resonance alive in this rhythmic stream of authenticity.

Your inner teacher speaks; often very softly.

One must learn to be still to hear this teacher. The teacher speaks in tune with your distinctive resonance allowing you the opportunity to hear true self in a quiet, safe inner space.

At the core of true self is Voice.

Your impact in this world is individualized by your unique voice. Listen to it−deeply: hear it, pay attention to it, and choose accordingly.

Step into the Middle with Voice

Partnered with my wade to the middle of the stream of awareness was a conscious journey with voice. Voice is part of your story and your part in a larger story. Feel this accountability and hold it carefully.

Doing this work I do, I often reflect on bosses I’ve had: Who was a manager? Who was a leader? Marilyn may have been one of the two best bosses; and a true leader. She knew something about who I am at the core, and she held me accountable to that goodness−my voice.

Voice is the resonance of authenticity intended in everything one does. At least that is ideal. At times, the intent of voice does not translate through to action; a sure sign voice is not flowing. Voice is however always present. Trust me on this. It has been there with you, in its uniqueness, since the beginning.

I remember several times, when spouting-off from some emotional response, Marilyn looking at me and lovingly pushing me back into my voice; “Jeff, you know better than that. That’s not representative of who you are.” Voice is not meant to be held close and tight within. This is the sign of a voice silenced by a distracted world and a false self; confined by wind-blown opinion and limiting expectations.

Even in repression voice is consistent. Whether they can name it or not, those who know you best, who have experienced you authentically, see this core consistently. And they want to see it freed and flowing. This is your foundation for service in this world.

Step into the Middle of A New Confidence

The source of your confidence (confidence formed in the authentic self) is present long before the requirement of any situation. What is the source of this confidence? It is first of all grounded in your authenticity. Rooted in that fertile grounding is your purpose.

Purpose is made manifest in your story as you allow desire and intent to consciously join and flow toward impact−your purpose flowing out to others.

The Old
The 21st Century follower does not value an old confidence, a false narrative rooted in insubstantial expectations of being right−a win/lose position mistaken for leadership.

In this challenging 21st Century, full of distractions, purpose can keep you on a straight and narrow focus of what is best for you as a unique individual; and this is best for us.

The New
When we are receiving what we need from you, we find your confident stance in the middle of your designed impact. This path of purpose will direct your managing energy toward things and your leading energy toward us.

The Now
From the middle of A New Confidence, and an ever-evolving presence, you lead purposefully. Purposeful presence is a guide to others.

This is what others need from you, a focus on them founded and grounded in your authentic, powerful purpose.