Step into the Middle with Presence

Purpose finds life in the present and flows through your presence to others. There is spirited validation in being with what is happening in the moments that unfold before us.

Donnie loves golf. He values the engagement and camaraderie associated in the playing. We had documented his one goal and had moved our focus to the first of three strategies of balanced action. At this point I made my observation; “Donnie, I bet when playing a round with someone less experienced, you cannot help but to coach with a few helpful tips.”

Just prior to our session, Donnie had his performance review with his boss, Steve. Steve and Donnie had also recently played a round of golf with a client−a man who seemed a bit self-conscious of his quality of play. In the performance review, Steve recounted Donnie’s observation of what was unfolding with this client, and how Donnie stopped, placed attention on the man, shared a few tips in his focused way of interacting, moved back, and watched as the client relaxed into the flow of the collective game.

Steve had observed an unfolding which, in the sharing of the story, helped Donnie see his Brand in action; and that this very method was valuable to Donnie’s employees.

From this story, Donnie and I documented this strategy:
Acting on my desire for others to understand why something is important, I then coach for a level of empowering understanding by:
1) First helping the individual see the obvious barriers to a better  understanding and good process
2) Creating a dialogue that opens a space for teaching & learning in a collaborative, interactive manner–connecting the “how” of the situation to the vision
3) Empowering the individual to commit and act on what has been learned while creating the accountability and expectations to support success

As I pointed out to Donnie, this strategy of focused interaction was not new. Like with Steve’s story, we simply brought it to a conscious level−to now be used intentionally and consistently.

In the balance of Desire & Intent, others feel care in focused interaction. This is service with purpose.

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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

Encouragement for Your Desire & Intent (A Place to Stand)

What gives your intent uniqueness in a larger purpose is, for you, the essence of desire. This is what my friend Judy might call significance. At her core−of all that is important to her−is the desire to give her energy in enterprises where she both adds value and knows that same value is respected.

A narrow focus, guided by desire, broadens your impact. A place to stand−a focused individual has a method. Albeit often unconscious, she has worked hard to develop, through trial and error, her unique methodology.

But finally you will have both your lever and your place to stand−and from there, you can move your bit of the world, because you are being moved yourself inside a much larger Flow. −Richard Rohr, A Lever and a Place to Stand (2011)

Step through the narrow opening that is your expertise−your place to stand−and find the bounty of broad impact.

Step into the Flow:
1) The Flow demands commitment.
2) The Flow distributes providence.
3) The Flow deposits bounty.

See companion post, Invite Others into the Flow

Encouragement for Your Impact (Trust in the Unfolding)

Society’s opinion toward results and outcomes is evolving in the 21st Century to an approach that calls on a balance of the internal and the external−a call to use all the creativity at one’s disposal based on who we are as an individual. −J.Brunson, Living a Story of Impact (2010)

I cannot even begin to articulate the transformation which is in the turbulence of where I currently stand. Consequently, I remain open to what the unfolding demands in the flow; the certainty of both rising and falling. Impact is the living measure; confirmation of one’s willing participation in the unfolding−the flow.

In this 21st Century, we need you to step into, and love, the flow of revolutionary authenticity, drawn by purpose.

Purpose brings awareness:
1) Awareness flows from your core.
2) Awareness surrounds you.
3) Awareness draws in life.

Awareness in the flow−Awareness is the flow.

Be aware.

See companion post, Drawn by Purpose

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 Presence

The stream was formed for a specific purpose within a larger story. The stream is confidently content in this purpose and flows through its course respectively. Its voice amplifies the joy of living purposefully and as a visitor it implores me to listen. In listening, in being in its presence, my heart is captured. -The Stream as Restoring, Presence Chapter, page 160

We give from our best self only when fully present. In full presence we listen fully.

I believe that there are two necessary paths enabling us to move toward wisdom: a radical journey inward and a radical journey outward.”Richard Rohr, Simplicity

Our outward hearing is strengthened by the internal ear; the ability to listen in the flow of individual, unique story. In the flow, aware and listening, my heart is captured and encouraged by the broad spectrum of life. In true presence, I am no longer surprised by the movement of providence; but I am continually amazed.

The structural principle of authenticity: Whatever you desire to do for others, you must be able to do for yourself. This principle is not about perfection. It is about childlike charity in the present. We have become too rigid in accepting and receiving in ourselves. As children, we were open to parental charity−a charity that was obligation for the adult and a bright expectation on the part of the child.

There comes a time to be free again in the larger story; to receive in order to give, and to have your heart captured by what is carefully heard in the flow.

You, The Stream, and A New Confidence

Confidence of experience allows me to wade the stream when clear. Respect, and just plain common sense, keeps me out of it when the bottom disappears. Love of the stream sustains me while I wait for it to clear. -The Stream as Treacherous, A New Confidence Chapter, page 83

Acknowledge the difference between tenacity and offensive stubbornness. The offense is against your purpose. Even though you may feel justified in an obstinate posture, this is usually driven from the negative. This strikes heavy of the old confidence.

The new confidence moves you from the positive, from your strength of purpose; and the strike−now a blow for impact−is lovingly guided by Desire & Intent. And yes, sometimes desire and intent become cloudy in the flow of life.

Stepping out of the stream when the bottom cannot be seen is not about fear; fear may be present and is connected to respect for our protection. However, the level of respect to which I refer is more about how we adore the stream and attend to our own, unique experience with the stream.

Clear or cloudy, the stream requests our presence; whether wading or waiting streamside. The stream encourages our attendance−the way we care for our self and the manner in which we apply our individual self.

The stream is patient−continuing purposefully in flow−as you move from the need to control in the old confidence to the conscious freedom of the new confidence.