Intense Influence

Suffer we must
at some locus
and junctures many.
Yes, no one immune.

For him a suffering visitation.
What the trouble was
for certain known by only he.
Certainly most cared not.
But most certainly not you,
you cared intensely.

Intense, a moniker
for you, presumably.
But only to those
seeing with eyes depthless.

abundantly more befitting
to the abundance of impact,
the consequence of your care.

So care you do
and caringly you did
what you knew was right
what you knew was good.

Ultimately, what effect
from the cause of care?
Time does tell, to be sure.
Telling as well, your leading hand
lent with intention
guided by your Trueness.

Driven by connection, purposefully
Drawn toward vision, fulfilling
intentionally you act
in presence clear
clearly trusting
creativity inciting.

–J. Brunson

Accompanying Post: Courageous Influence


Present Value

A grand grandfather
things he would say
in manners unforgettable
a rhythm in one word.

“Presently” he would respond
when very close we shared
a time between
then and then.

The past
speak it does not
silent to most things new.
The future
too, is mute
of value present and true.

A voice
resonant, clear
calls our name.

Call it does
from a moment.
Call it does
in the moment.

Listen we must,
to hear
is to trust.

And presently we know
then in now,
now in then.

As the grand father taught
resonant and clear
the voice within
in presence only we hear.



Photo by Anna Sabino

You Are Someone

You are someone in whom
I delight

You are someone with whom
being, I enjoy

I like to be with you
and how you are with me
I like who I am with you

So hard it is to believe
any arrangement than this
such present delight would bring

Impossible it is to trust
the lack of such
brings anything less
than anxious obstruction

Thus thankful I am
and openly and silently
thankful we are
you are someone

You are that someone
someone who
confidently holds
together for us
what’s real
what’s possible

You are that someone
someone who
in the present
gives from your best
leads from our best

–J. Brunson


Shadow Strengths – Chapter Five (Presence)

Bringing forth your own unique Voice into each interaction is difficult, if not impossible, if you are not committed to Presence.

The strength in the shadow is Listening.

There is no more present activity than truly listening−either to another person or in simple observation of what is before you in the moment.

In her book, Improv Wisdom, Patricia Ryan Madson presents several tips for sharing control. These tips are helpful and easy to practice. But being a typical western society control freak, I’ve found one in particular very difficult.

To me, Madson’s tips are really about being present; especially the one where I’m having the most difficulty. This one tip says I must adjust to the way it is versus how I would like it to be. Please understand, this tip is not saying you shouldn’t have a vision, or a dream.  It is asking us to focus on what is before us in the moment and not become distracted by the flow that has already passed, or that may or may not come.

The shadow strength of listening is about paying attention; a freedom to be in the moment with what is.

On a recent trip I had way too many hours alone in a rental car. During this driving time I thought about this tip. I began to notice how much my thinking gets in the way of practicing with this tip. For example, I would pass a lovely house and immediately begin to put myself in residence and process what I would change. Why? Why does my mind find it necessary to do that? What benefit is there in such an automatic response? I will tell you what benefit there is for me: None!

The more present option is to notice the house, take in what I see, hold it for what it is in the temporary view I’m allowed, and then let it go into the flow. This is why I write so much about Hold & Release, not to teach you as much as encourage myself.

This tip of adjusting to where I am is about standing firm against the two emotions that can so easily throw me into the darkest part of shadow: past regret and future fear. Giving in to either of these two emotions will defeat me in moving on, leaving me too frustrated or afraid to take the next step.

So how do you pull the strength of listening out of the shadow and put it into beneficial, present leverage for self and others? I wish I had the answer. But this I can tell you, the answer begins in determining what keeps you from adjusting to what is, in paying attention to what distracts you from the moment.

My guess is that you’ll find something similar to my own discovery. If we go too quickly to how we would like it to be, skipping over presence, we will create limiting conditions when, if at all, we do come back and try to stand in the moment.

Presence is an output of paying attention.

BCL Blog 4

A Voice of Your Own

Darkness assumed
anything in depth; lightless, afraid
with soul though, brighter it grows.
For descending into soul
is to ascend into glory.

What was that sound?
From what source
was such clarity?

A soul speaks,
soul deep.
Listen deep.
Soul has voice.
That voice is yours.

Attention proffered.
Free to see.
Love directs.

A need visible,
like never before
clearly you see.

You saw clearly.
You were present.
You chose to act.

Did you choose Trueness?
Did Trueness choose you?
In the flow, choice and chosen
are one and same.

−J. Brunson

Our Inner Territory – The Art of Presence

DSCN1052We live a short drive from Mt. Mitchell, NC. So on a recent Saturday we decided to visit this magnificent place. As you approach the summit, the first stop is at an elevation of 6,578 ft. I parked our vehicle, and my first thought was to step out with camera and capture the high beauty before us.

As you might imagine, we were visually, and joyfully, stunned. But upon stepping out I was instantly frozen by the astounding silence. There was not a peep, cheep, or chirp. No cars rolling by, no motorcycles, bicycles, no one talking; not a sound. I stopped breathing momentarily to fully experience a volume of silence I had not known in years.

One incomparable method for understanding the art of presence is to experience the presence of art.

It is such an experience that another feels when the beautiful scene of our own inner territory is suddenly expressed−usually at a moment when who we really are is precisely what that individual most needs. In the beauty of trust you simply show up.

“Showing up is the key principle when we offer service to others. So often it is our presence alone, rather than some special ability, that makes the difference.” −Patricia Ryan Madson, Improv Wisdom

Sadly we are too often physically there but not present. In such a situation, there is no art.

Letting go into trust, a silence of service allows the other person the simple, powerful presence of art−the art of who you are in the stunning inner territory.

The art of your presence is just that; Your Presence.

See companion truth – Our Outer Accountability – Living Presence