Letting Go into Focus

If you have ever had to focus intently on something (and you have), you achieved focus only because you simultaneously let go of other things. Think about driving. Many accidents are caused by a lack of focus on the practice of driving. Things like texting, eating, putting on makeup, and reading are examples of what must be let go in order to focus on driving respectfully, responsibly, and safely.

In light of a larger story, focus is defined as choosing direction−with its corresponding activities and strategies−supportive of your purpose and commitment to life with meaning. −Wading the Stream of Awareness (Focus Chapter)

I had been working with Vicki for a few months. In one of our sessions I began by telling her how much fun it was to work with her. She doesn’t just call and wait for the coach to tell her what’s next. She seems to always have a story to tell about something she is applying.

Vicki is mastering the art and power of focus. As she has become more presently conscious of the values and strengths already flowing in who she is as a leader, she is creating opportunity to practice. And from this practice she lives out the coolest stories.

As a 21st Century leader … you have learned to leverage the power of commitment, to lead selflessly as you strengthen self for external impact, and to harness the power of focus as you direct voice and purpose. (Focus Chapter)

Vicki has always had purpose. As she said in that session, she has simply become more conscious of such power. Yes, our purpose is power. No matter the work you put your hand to doing, it can be done with purpose−and the impact of your work is amplified through the clear focus of purpose.

See sister post, Release Focus into Skill 6

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Letting Go into Presence

I have known Joe for 45 years as of this writing.

Your relevance finds its birth in who you are. … finds life in the minds and hearts of others who are impacted by your presence. Your presence is a guide to others because you are clear on purpose−your motive, your method, and your meaning. −Wading the Stream of Awareness (Presence Chapter)

An experience is made sacred only as I am present with it and in it. In reality each experience is sacred in and of itself. It is one’s lack of presence (which is a choice) that steals away the sacredness of a particular experience. I am only now feeling the handle on the phrase, “It is what it is.” This phrase reminds me that I am in an experience−no good, no bad, just some moment to experience.

Joe is without a doubt in the top 10 of most loving spirits I’ve had the privilege to know. You could meet this friend of mine for the first time and I guarantee you the experience of instantaneously feeling the love I’ve known all these years.

Being clear on purpose means you also trust your purpose. Motive is the core of desire. Meaning is in your outcome of intent. And Desire & Intent meet in the tension of the middle as your method becomes impact.

Joe has been clear on purpose for a long time. I know this as I was present in some of those formative moments. His purpose? To love. Joe’s love is a commitment to presence−a being with that keeps him vibrantly conscious of opportunity.

No matter your purpose, know it. Trust it. Follow its clarity as you allow the merger of motive and meaning to flow through your sacred method.

See sister post, Release Presence into Skill 5

Letting Go into Voice

It sometimes seems there are barriers to our voice at every turn. As we learn to trust the flow, the rocks become an exciting selling point for the journey. Trusting the flow as a clarifying process, we learn patience as we move along. As our path unfolds before us. −Wading the Stream of Awareness(Voice Chapter)

Our behavior is driven by what we believe we can or cannot do. In honoring voice you support beliefs that empower the real you. Giving to yourself the time to learn, grow, and develop is a selfless commitment; it is nourishing for those you lead, influence, and serve.

I suppose one could become obsessively focused on caring for the internal. Some might say that about me this year. With a stressful beginning to the year, I chose to go inside (bouncing off some of my own rocks). This focus internally was to purify and protect the flow of my calling, my voice. Voice does not just flow externally, it begins from an internal stream.

I had allowed external circumstances to dam the flow. The dam was of my own construction as I continually tried to hold on−to control.

To lead, influence, and serve as called, you must nurture your own voice. The resonance of voice is purified by selfless time−time for you. There is bounty in the flow of voice. In your voice you are called into the present.

As you become more aware of your unfolding story, you create the deep commitment to care for the internal.

Everything you need you have now.

See sister post, Release Voice into Skill 4

Letting Go into Desire & Intent

Lisa and I worked together the first time shortly after she joined the organization as assistant to the development director. She is one of the most talented people I know. Her strength of process is a wonderful thing to observe.

When we met at the coffee shop, she had just moved into the vacated position of development director. We were meeting to talk about board development. I began our time together by stating that all we were about to do related to that topic, although it would probably not seem like such for a bit.

In my observation of Lisa at work, I saw something unique I could not quite describe. So, the first thing I did in our meeting was ask her to complete a personality profile. Bingo, there was the unique pattern I had observed. Before I could thoroughly explain this, Lisa asked, “Do you think I’m a good fit for this position?” Hell yes, was my immediate response−and I spent the next hour showing her why I felt so strongly in the affirmative.

You see, Lisa “had” this position; no question. It was a no-brainer. However, she had gone to the Executive Director and compelled an interview where she presented her 3-5 year plan. I asked Lisa the Desire & Intent question. She shared her answers. I then had her look at them while I asked if she could sort the detail of her 3-5 year plan under the points. She immediately said she could. “Then go and do that,” I said. “Because that is the guide for board development.”

Lisa’s plan is simply the active unfolding of her Desire & Intent. The unfolding is about seeing all things as purposeful as she moves along. Desire speaks only truth from her core. Intent grows from a need greater than herself.

Desire gives us voice to sing a song of purpose−a song with soul cleansing properties. We become like the elevated stream that is simply more consistent with its melody.
Wading the Stream of Awareness

(Desire & Intent Chapter)

See sister post, Release Desire & Intent into Skill 2

Encouragement for Your Focus (Loving Application)

Only when hope flows into committed action do we have the power for loving application.

In this time of personal transformation, a few close friends have joined me in the navigation. In collective support we are individually moving to new levels. Dan is one such friend. He is an example of this loving application. Dan expects the best of me and I of him. He does not try to fix things for me or to fix me. He leaves all definition to the flow. Yes, he expects me to find committed action−what is right for me−and he challenges me with complete respect.

It is our individual authenticity in this collective relationship that allows us to coach each other and let go. What we hold onto is not some predetermined specific tied to one issue or another, but to the relationship that is so needed and necessary on the journey.

It is the flow over rocks (obstacles) that makes the water clear. Our commitment places us into the flow with all its moving moments of paradox. This is the living action to which we are called. There is no credible action standing on the sideline. Only in the flow may we experience loving application.

The flow of loving application is present focus; and you must:
1) Expect good−do not over-define it.
2) Respect all relationship that blesses committed action.
3) Be authentic, and let go.

See companion post, The Capacity of Hope

You, The Stream, and Love

The stream does not desire tragedy to be a part of its story, but embracing complexity, the stream accepts this as unavoidable. As a participant in the stream’s story, I take accountability to wade in a manner contributing to the joyful telling of the story. −The Stream as Dangerous, Love Chapter, page 220

Embracing complexity: We are not independent of the whole, separate from the larger story. Independent control is an illusion.

Authentic encouragement: “All things work together for good …” is a hard one to embrace if still a prisoner of divisional thinking. Fulfilling participation in the larger story requires one to be presently consistent in holding the reality of what is collectively good: success and failure, rising and falling, clarity and cloudiness, good and bad. Without the ability to embrace complexity, which includes your uniqueness in the story, you cannot be in the flow of the stream.

Freedom in A New Confidence: You enter a new confidence the moment you commit to holding the tension of contradiction in living−of wading the stream. As I process this very writing, I hold the tension of whether flow is found in each experience of the unfolding or if each experience places one in flow. Maybe it is both.

Experience−The freedom of a captured heart: An inability to confidently walk in the reality of life’s contradictions is to hold on to opinions and the need to be right−a false faith in divisional thinking. At the core of life in A New Confidence is Love. Only in love is one’s heart captured, and thus freed.

Your love as a leader builds my confidence for the flow. Please … courageously love and lead us in its freedom, and encourage us as we learn to hold ourselves confidently in the complex balance.

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.