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

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The Impact Encounter

The tenor I’ve been given,
from my beginning,
is to be with another
in the encounter with Impact.

A living measure is this encounter,
a bright attention to what is unfolding.

The measure lives only in the holding,
the mastery of catch and release.

As I cast for connection,
with presence a conscious method,
I net the quarry with love,
then free her into the flow of awareness.

Awareness is not constrained in physicality,
bodily absence not a barrier,
as love spans any chasm
and presence holds us soundly.

Spirit to spirit for a brief time we were banded,
and now we swim separately yet forever bound.

−J. Brunson

Listen Deeply – Focus

As a leader it is important to celebrate the collectiveness of each success. Such generous appreciation keeps us energized for the next challenge together.

The more mature you become in your leadership the easier it is to return to a core focus−your purpose−and not lose footing on the slickness of success. Richard Rohr, among others, teaches that we learn much more from our failures than our successes.

He can’t lead after he succeeds. −Bob Dole

I was intrigued by Mr. Dole’s comment. It is not important to identify to whom the words were directed, but to hone in on possible truth.

~ Do you know how to lead after you succeed?

~ And, what does it mean to lead after success?

To me it means to not lose focus: focus on a purpose greater than any single success. For the immature leader it is easy to see “a” success as a well-deserved, personal accolade. Pinning such a badge on one’s lapel causes great damage and limits the energy the leader will need very shortly for the next challenge−and they come along one-after-another in this 21st Century.

In leadership, maturity is less about age and more about practice; consistently seeking knowledge and putting into perpetual practice-learning for impact. True success comes from your purpose-filled focus. In such trueness we find congruency between purpose and outcomes: seeing each success for what it really is and honoring each effort in the specific manner required to position us for the next thing.

The joys of success are not in a moral, but in the journey of the story itself.

Listen Deeply – Desire & Intent

Consciousness and awareness employed deliver blessings from the most unexpected moments.

It may have been one of the sweetest things I have ever seen; the look in this little boy’s clear eyes.

We were on a Saturday afternoon walk when our neighbor was driving in and stopped to speak, her precious daughter and son in their safety seats in the back. We spoke to the children and the adults talked a bit. That is when Phillip spoke something to us, eyes fixed somewhere in eternity: “I miss my Grandma.”

Upon realizing the words, and seeing those eyes, our own gaze shifted to Phillip’s mom who told us of her mother-in-law’s unexpected passing.

What connection there is in this child’s life. As I am still connected to my own Grandmother after all these years, so will he be. Phillip’s Grandma is part of who he is as she lived a form of listening that flows in his very soul; and will be spoken to the world for years to come in his own profound desire.

Honor the reality of your desire; Listen!

In this deep, Grandma inspired listening, you allow the vision of intent to cooperate with desire and form a congruent method of release into this 21st Century age of consciousness and awareness.

It will not be Desire & Intent that gives Phillip purpose. It will be encoded purpose leading him in the evolution of his Desire & Intent.

Thanks to his Grandma his own Desire & Intent will unfold into his Living Methodology.

A Flow to Simplicity through Purpose

Purpose is animated into flow only in the energy of presence.

Allow me to offer a caution: Purpose is not the result of a smartly crafted strategy; a set of brilliant hows and actions. All strategy is ultimately empty without the clarity of purpose. Subsequent strategy finds buoyancy in the flow because of individual resilient purpose.

Faith, as I am learning, is less about what I desire to be at some future point and much more about who I am now−and in the wonderful flow. If I am too busy looking elsewhere I will most certainly miss what is right before me.

In the light of present faith I had a startling realization. The desire I was claiming had been craftily mitered and matted in a future frame always hanging on a wall in a place yet my own. This is not real desire but ugly judgment in a friendly mask turning my own face from the power of purposeful presence.

While the story of living purposefully is ever-unfolding−and yes, contains complexity−it is a story with you since the beginning.

Purpose is not a product. Purpose is a gift.

And from this individualized, loving gift you find your call for giving in this world.

Each act of giving is then a simple act of purpose in the present, leaving us further enriched by your faithful presence.

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.

A Flow to Simplicity through Reach

What do you need to further your reach as a leader?

In the intro entry to A Soul Dance I wrote about George and his voice/value of Clarity. In our session after that writing, George found his personal purpose statement: “I Guide Others to Put Their What before Their How.”

Simple isn’t it?

Remember, simplicity is a specifically spoken purpose. From deep inward, encoded purpose begins your reach outward.

Our garage is under our kitchen. To bring in the groceries, or unload anything, there are stairs to negotiate. I’m sometimes out-negotiated as I try to tote too much upward (by-the-way, tote is a good Southern term for carry). I am certain you can identify with this “biting off more than you can chew.”

What do you need to further your reach as a leader?DSCN0787

Could it be the answer begins with trusting encoded purpose? Purpose is the wholesome bite that can, and will, serve you in each situation.

The reach of your unique Desire & Intent is rooted in simple, guiding purpose; bringing us into your wonderful story … impacted by your brand of love as a leader.