Transforming Trueness – Focus (We walk in the Art of Holding)

For your Trueness
holds your soul well
while you free voice
in the story you must tell.
−verse 6 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)

Oddly enough, I began composing this piece on trueness and focus at a moment when I was questioning my focus in this work I do. From the standpoint of Trueness, I had stumbled in my walk with the art of holding. It Happens.

The stagger in my step came as I found myself looking at a barrier instead of around it. Instead of seeing opportunity beyond, I gave attention to the barrier itself−consequently attaching me to an outcome that is not my desire, my intent, and certainly not in the middle where the two meet and lead me to hold a steady, flowing presence.

Years ago we lived in the deep south in a house that backed to a bird sanctuary. The region in which we lived was on the migration path of the ruby-throated hummingbird. This beautiful little creature was among the many we enjoyed watching right in that backyard. It was fun watching the hummingbirds play and compete for the ports on the feeders loaded with sweet water.

As they drank continuously−storing up energy for the long journey to Mexico−they would get a bit rambunctious with each other. One day while watching them I noticed one bird hovering near the ground and tipping down to look at something in the grass. A tiny head struggled to peer upward and acknowledge the airborne comrade.

It seems in the intoxicating, exuberant play there had been a collision. I opened the sliding glass door, stepped onto the grass, located the little bugger, and placed him in the palm of my hand. I carried him inside and, as it was very early, I stirred my wife from her sleep so we could attend to our little friend.

By the time I had retrieved the bird from the grass, he was pretty out of it. As I carefully held his limp body in an open palm, and as Becky searched for a straw to offer him some drops of energy, he began to buzz in short bursts. Within a few hums he was carefully in flight edging along the glass door and then through the opening to freedom I had left.

Maybe what I’m being asked to learn is, that to more steadily walk in the art of holding, I must allow myself to be held by my own Trueness.

So what exactly is this art of holding? In our own Trueness it is indeed the way we are held; gently, without judgment, and with an openness freeing us into a flowing presence.

Now here’s the best part of my encounter with the little bird. For the remainder of that season, and all of the next, whenever I would walk into the yard while the hummers were playfully feeding, they would all scatter−except for that one little friend. He would land on the limb above my head and sit with me until I returned indoors.

The art of holding is a way with freedom−being with something or someone long enough to understand while releasing promptly into the full and present flow of the larger story.

BCL Blog 4

Advertisements

Transforming Trueness (Repose)

Transition, one then another
dispensed on a soul
is to an individual
proof simply one is living.

Suffering it may seem
and so suffering it is;
but impairing it is not.

For each transition
successive will be
when committed one is
to truth and reality.

And the deepest of reality,
an original endowment,
is the intricate truth
of who one really is.

Surprising it may seem
and so surprising it is;
but deceitful it cannot be.

For your Trueness
holds your soul well
while you free voice
in the story you must tell.

And in the telling itself, a living performance,
into and through our own soul
we are transformed …
we become who we are.

−J. Brunson

IMG_0288

Listen Deeply – Love

The more I listen deeply in things, the more grounded I feel in the brand of love given to me. Yes, I see love as a pure gift. We do not earn the right to possess it nor can we demand conformity in order to give it to another. For what is given in reward to conformity is not love, but control. And not one good thing comes from control.

Impact
Release yourself from any unnecessary standard−usually placed on you by yourself−holding back the flow of your authentic self; and thus restricting your impact in the world.

Desire & Intent
Unrestricted, you freely honor the reality of desire. This opens the flow toward intent. Desire & Intent now cooperate as one releasing you into your living methodology … where living = flowing and methodology = rhythm:

A flow alive with the rhythm of who you are.

A New Confidence
The more we listen in the flow of impact, which is internal to external, the more grounded we become in a new confidence−which is what those whom we lead, influence, and serve need from us.

Voice
Personal purpose brought to a free, aware level composes your contribution in this world. This is your impact individualized by your unique voice.

Presence
Voice awareness gives us power to simply pay attention. As we are freed in our own true voice, others find more and more power of authenticity by our presence.

Focus
Freed  by purpose, you focus through each success and above every failure. Such leadership keeps us in the unfolding story together.

Love
Our unique brand of love is pristine freedom, allowing us to hold opposing truths we find in life−and that become more clear to us as we listen deeply. To hold is not to control. As we hold the freedom of love, we see more clearly, hear more succinctly, and feel with wholeness.

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.

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 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.

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