Transforming Trueness – Desire & Intent (Shaping Can be Painful)

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

−verse 2 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

The life sciences perpetually teach us about the natural, life-giving tension of transition, and therefore transformation. We observe it collectively in the transition of nature through the overall transformative flow of seasons.

Change, as we most often use the word in western society, is momentary−usually focused on some specific. Transition may fire off some change, but it is never limited to one specific. Transition differs from change in that, while fired possibly from a specific, it immediately begins to connect across the spectrum−across the internal and the external, across individual and collective.

Robert has been an important part of my work for years. He has sent many individuals my way giving me the privilege of Coaching in his diverse treasure of connection. He is a courageous individual who stands consistently firm in his brand of leadership love. But for Robert it has not been a steady, upward progress in his leadership journey or in his overall evolution as an individual.

Robert has suffered.

I admire much about this man. He has often felt guilty about the times we’ve talked through some of this suffering; a guilt focused on the mere technicality of not being currently engaged in a “paying” coaching process. For me these times of conversation were a smart business move as I simply cared for someone who has been a partner in building my practice. But mostly, and deeply, it has been about doing what I can for someone I love and respect.

So perhaps the purpose of experience is to wear us free of our names. −Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

The tension of transition may indeed feel like suffering. And if it feels like such, then for you it is suffering. And hence the pain in transition−it is not some thing being made different, it is You. We are always being shaped; shaped by forces internal and external and by influences individual and collective.

Change, some thing made different, is just that; specific and focused. Transition serves a broad evolution. Change is doing something in a different way. Transition is doing different things. So yes, transition is evidence of life flowing in and through the individual. And yes, transition does not always feel good.

Indeed, Robert has suffered; and many times he was his own worst enemy. However, not all causes of his suffering were self-inflicted. Through each suffering Robert’s spirit would reenergize as he would consciously root a bit deeper into the soil of his Trueness.

Yes, it can be painful to have the name we may have assumed in our life worn away. Or, as Mark Nepo suggests, we may rather embrace experience as the story of a larger, truer name.

Like Robert, your Trueness can keep each suffering from impairing you into a downward spiral of despair, never to return. If you do not stop the spiral, the world will be horribly cheated.

The reality is that we come through our suffering stronger, better, Truer; and all are blessed in the process!

BCL Blog 4


You, The Stream, and Focus

For me, navigating the stream in high and cloudy water conditions registers high on my foolish scale. I don’t ignore the stream during these times. I know it is there and I patiently wait for the clarity that reunites me with its presence. I love the stream in all conditions. −The Stream and Clarity, Focus Chapter, page 184

The writing of the manuscript for Wading the Stream of Awareness was not the beginning of my radical journey inward, but it was an extended experience that forever changed my inward journey, and ostensibly any outward excursion.

Standing by the stream, intellectually I know it will clear by designed process. But I sometimes grow weary waiting for the next providential wonder. Too often in this information rich world we are pulled into the impoverished spotlight of what we do not yet have. This negative removal from presence is a tragic cause of much despair.

Back by the side of the stream, with cloudiness still in flow, I once again feel the certainty drawn through the capacity of hope. I don’t know about you, but in the black-hole pull that seems to always accompany a fearful visit to the future, it is impossible to truly focus in the now. You are conceivably no longer even here; at least not for any good thing in the present.

Remember, what you desire for your impact in this world demands your present attention and focused intention. The stream will clear and flow once again for a clear wade.

You, The Stream, and Voice

I wish I could explain what attracts me to the stream. I know it has become an essential part of my life. There are times even though miles away I hear its song. I hear it calling my name. I have all my life. −The Stream as an Attractor, Voice Chapter, page 125

Were it not for the call of the stream−the softness of a name given me in grace−I believe I would have become lost in the past few weeks of reflection at the pool.

Sometimes we fervently crave something new when the real pang is for what is already present and established. What is already present is your voice. There is an energy−a power−that resonates from your core. This is your voice; that one element you hold so close that it must be present (flowing) for each interaction to be as it ought.

In this time of contemplation, that has providentially included a necessary suffering, I was made aware of an intonation in my voice that had become muted in the sometimes too plentiful insignificant clatter of 21st Century living. My thoughts then turned to doing what I must to free this energy into active articulation; a delivery firmly placed by the strength of my voice.

Know then the essential things. Be still in the flow and listen for the call. Chances are what you hear will not be for the first time, but maybe specifically more recognizable than ever before. Has the message (the call) changed? No. You have.

Your voice will clear the flow of your individual character and allow us safety in the experience of who we really are.

You, The Stream, and Desire & Intent

I love the concept, the experience, of flow. When in flow, my voice active, I tumble, break, and turn; and where I can, slow into a pool—an ordained location and time to gather consciousness of the journey and full experience before moving once again. -The Stream and Flow, Desire & Intent Chapter, page 56

I began this post just before slowing into a 13 day pool. I was definitely in need of time to gather myself for the next stage of the journey.

Had something dampened desire?

Did I lose focus?

Was it time for a change?

If so, to what would I turn?

Then I was reminded that the turning is after the tumbles and breaks. Let me tell you, the tumbling and breaking is painful at a deep, personal level. As Richard Rohr calls it in his book, Falling Upward, “A necessary suffering.”

Until we are led to the limits of our present game plan, and find it to be insufficient, we will not search out or find the real source, the deep well, or the constantly flowing stream. −Richard Rohr

In times of significant change in my life, commitment was followed by the beautiful flow of providence. I know that my desire and intent have joined internally to create the dance toward the impact of my voice.

In this pool−which may go beyond the 13 days−I’ve been lovingly reminded of another authentic fact: The core of my voice is authentic encouragement of the individual.

The Building of Confidence – Jim’s Story

Jim began our Story interview by saying, “I apologized to my staff the other day.”

There is quite a bit of change occurring in his organization and he was not sure he had been clear enough as of late. He felt he may have been short with them; not giving the amount of attention they really need from him. Internally, Jim was asking, “Have I served them properly?”

Our precarious economic environment has been a distraction for many leaders. Jim’s role as CFO has him on the firing line as his organization is reinvented in the atmosphere of an acquisition. These factors have pulled Jim away from his brand of leadership and challenged his voice. Typically, Jim leads in a manner that supports his commitment to serve each individual in the organization; they are all important to him.

Jim begins with trust. His style  of trust is grounded in personal accountability; that others need to own their behavior. He trusts people to own their impact through conscious, personal potential. With the heart and nature of a servant, Jim said, “I love to help people do things.” While he currently does not see himself as the best at delegation, he knows he needs others to accomplish his vision. His eyes were focused past me as he asked, “How can I pass responsibilities to others in this time?” How can he get others to take on more? It can be tiring.

Jim cares deeply; about the business and its success, and about each individual and his or her success. He is focused on the best outcomes and makes plans and changes accordingly. Jim is becoming more conscious of his deep, driving desire to serve.

In this stressful transition, Jim is aware of a powerful principle: In order to do some thing for others, you must be able to do this thing for yourself. When the oxygen masks drop, you will be no good to others if you do not carefully place yours first.

The uncomfortable questioning Jim is experiencing internally is right where he needs to be. It is hard to find answers if we do not ask the questions. Jim’s strength for process will continue to benefit him, and others, in the present as he clears his path to serve and frees his voice of Trust.

Jim Haselsteiner is a leader serving others toward a common goal. He is a calm presence in a time of transition and uncertainty.

An Environment of Focus

This is being written as I continue to process what I perceive as the end of a long run of work with an organization. I am reminded how easy it is to blame. The most appropriate response for me may be to say, “It is what it is.” However, I realize in writing I can bring closure to the processing and move forward.

In one of the 7 Habits, Stephen Covey asks us to “Seek first to understand … .” Understanding opens the mind. I need an open mind just now as I make some important decisions about my work. Understanding releases one from the prison of a closed mind; thinking that is unable to focus.

From the beginning of the last two projects in the aforementioned organization, it is clear there was a lack of focus both individually and collectively (of course, this is very clear in retrospect). Throughout the organization, busyness distracted everyone from the presence of success. Confidence for each person was shaken and trust eroded rapidly as one reactive change fell against the next.

For now, and in the energy of moving forward, I must consider lessons learned. A New Confidence opens you fully; opens you to the clarity of focus which sustains collective action through the downturn that is a natural shape in the cycle – the flow. And, I renew my commitment to the individual as I ask my question of impact: What does it look like to create an environment promoting the personal accountability of each individual?

Relaxed Focus

The constant change, and consequent demand for action, of the 21st Century can be described by many terms; the likes of which would not include “relaxed.”

As Mark and I brought to an end the process of documenting his Personal/Professional Development Story. I was swept up in the question I had to ask. Mark is a trained, experienced engineer now leading a large group of the same. In light of the goals and actions we had formulated in the process, I asked how often he took time to disappear and think strategically. From the look on his face, I struck the nerve I was seeking.

More than ever we need our leaders to invest energy in this private time. It is less about strategic ‘planning’ and more about strategic ‘preparation.’ Planning is linked to action (how). Preparation is linked to focus (what and why). Preparation is understanding; and understanding releases tension in subsequent action.

The purpose found and spoken in Mark’s intentional strategic time will open doors that busyness will never be able to do. The excellence Mark values so innately is a natural result of the focused.

Relaxed focus is a state of being grounded in the what and why and flowing through the how.

NetworkingWe need you to be focused!