Courage Elemental

Is it painful,
caterpillar to moth?
To the creature,
probably yes and no.
Yes, in possible struggle from cocoon,
in the unfolding flow of wings.
No, in the middle of joy,

Even cocooned, wrapped
in transition,
already a lepidopteran,
secure in process
courage elemental.

What comes forth
from encasement seeming,
appearing new, is not
at all truly new.
What sightfully emerges
beauty original, always
and already present;
as it is with you.

From your past, interest driven.
From your future, strength drawn.
In your present, energy delivered.

–J. Brunson



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

Shadow Strengths – Chapter One (Impact)

In my last assignment before leaving Chicago, I had on my team a brilliant, vibrant young woman. At the time, Pam was 30, married, had a young son, worked fulltime, and was studying for a degree in her evenings. I admired her very much.

Occasionally, like any normal human, Pam would get in a bit of a funk. One particularly funky day she came into my office to talk about the future. It was soon clear it was not the future that had her feeling insecure; it was the comparison she was making between her ostensible progress by 30 with a female executive of the same age.

It is impossible to experience your own Trueness when entangled by unequal comparative perception.

Out of touch with our own Trueness we darken our shadow. Yes, when we think about the shadow we automatically think about the dark part of ourselves. Such thinking can lead us to avoid the shadow at all costs. This is dangerous.

It is important that we cease all attempts to hide from our shadow. For in that seeming darkness are treasures to abundantly fund our Trueness.

Jimmy is a dear friend building yet another adventure at 68. In preparation for a meeting we were to have about this direction of his work, he sent me the transcript of the TEDx talk he had just delivered.

I have known Jimmy for 12 years and ‘succinct’ is not a word I would use to describe him in his work. “Precise” yes, but not succinct. However, in the transcript of his talk, he was incredibly succinct and focused with a brief and compelling story.

For Jimmy the shadow is darkened by the overuse of his skill of preciseness. The TEDx talk clearly revealed the treasure of a key strength he needs at this time in his journey. “Structure” is his Strength that was hidden in the shadow.

Jimmy must hold his strength of structure in his light as he moves forward. Those impacted by his work need the application of his structure strength−delivering for Jimmy the ultimate preciseness so deeply encoded in his core.

“People are as frightened of their capacity for nobility as of their darkest sides.” −Robert A. Johnson, Owning Your Own Shadow

As Pam stood against the temptation to compare herself to another, she was better able to own her own shadow; and there courageously face and embrace her own treasures. Hidden with such treasure so often is a key strength that needs your light.

I encourage you to hold together your light and shadow. Hold them long enough to see the natural and beautiful contrast that is within. And as you do, we will better experience the balanced you−Your Impact!

BCL Blog 4


Transforming Trueness – Love (and in the Full Process We Become True)


And in the telling itself, a living performance,
into and through our own soul
we are transformed …
we become who we are.
−verse 7 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

Each transition serves a larger transformation.

We are being transformed into who we really are.

And yes, who you really are is … Trueness.

This post closes my typical series of 7. I have hopefully safely navigated through the flow of chapters in Wading the Stream of Awareness.

I have been presenting the power of experience in the unfolding of one’s Trueness. So as I write this last piece, I first take you back through the flow of the previous 6 chapters; so you may see a full process toward Trueness.

The impact needed today comes through you as you learn to be then do. There is an order and a balance. As a leader, if you feel the tension of such order and balance, then you are standing in the right place.

Desire & Intent
Desire & Intent is a unique moment of opportunity to root a bit deeper into the soil of Trueness. The tension of transition indeed feels like suffering. It is not some thing being made different, it is You.

A New Confidence
A New Confidence is indeed an evolution. Confidence becomes new when your true self moves more clearly into your consciousness and takes precedence over the unconscious false self. Safe in Trueness, you are completely open to the connections.

In the connections, voice clears. You need the vibrations of these connections. If you walk with others and allow them to walk with you, then you come to know the art of holding in the deepest of reality.

It is in a deepening commitment to presence that you extend your reach in this world and deepen your impact. In presence you are emboldened to stretch beyond self-imposed limitations and see the transformative energy in congruent action.

To steadily walk in the art of holding you must allow yourself to be held by your own Trueness. We are released into the unfolding story by your wonderful ability to be with us long enough to understand and then release us into the larger story.

And now …

In the work you do as a leader there is simply no priority higher than that of Love. In Trueness you are free to love us in the balance of your strengths applied.

Trust me, we want to know the story of the real you. And we are thrilled in the blending of our stories.

BCL Blog 4

A Flow to Simplicity through Service

2012 was for me a year of transformation, an immersion in deep and comforting reality.

Allow me to expound a bit on See the Unfolding.

As is obvious through frequent reference, the writings of Richard Rohr continue to be in the flow of my evolution. In conscious diligence with his writing−and flowing encouragement−I discovered a beautiful methodology serving my own Confidence Cycle (and business model) of Gather to Give to Grow.

Think of your service in this world as I share this methodology with you. Like my confidence cycle, this methodology is expressed in the rhetorical power of 3:

  1. Forgive Everything
  2. Everything Belongs
  3. See the Unfolding

In Forgive Everything I repair the basket so what I Gather isn’t lost along the path. In Everything Belongs I embrace what the basket holds: no need to label, as labeling would impede Giving from the bounty in the basket. And only now can I See the Unfolding as I Grow and travel along with those who receive from the basket.

As the flow for me has simplified, I continue to better understand and embrace my service in the world. This service is simplified by this beautiful methodology and freed to flow in the network of relationships−the true space of service.

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.

Step into the Middle with Love

Remember … those who follow your loving lead depend on the rhythmic frequency of your unique Desire & Intent. Your brand of leadership love resonates in the service of voice freed and intuitively applied. We need your leading love to be directed at us and filtered through an authentic self-love.

Holding the intensity of self-love funds the transformation into your brand of love for us.

Wading to the Middle
My wade to the middle of the stream is not about the exclusion of either bank. Quite the opposite. My stance in the middle is about wading in the confluence of the best from both sides.

Throughout our individual journeys we experience a bit from each bank of the stream of living. Some of this we experience privately and some openly. Many things we accept because of the expectations of others, and some things we approach by choice; these are few and usually on the bank not so normal or comfortable to us.

Once you’ve stood on that other side, you find further confidence in moving to your stance in the middle of the flow. It is such experimentation and navigation that helps wash the fog from the lens that is our core, true self.

Wading in Love
While love is universal, it is not universally defined; meaning, we are each a part of the definition and execution from the stance established by our own brand of love. It is a love uniquely our own but not owned by us. This leading love was given to each of us in the beginning.

It seems the wade to the middle is the process designed for individual discovery and release of our individually branded love.