Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

Archive for the category “Heartful”

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

clock

Ever hear the ticking of the clock that defines the parameters of your day. This clock tells you to hurry up or you’ll be late. Later in the day, looking at this clock brings up a sense of all that is yet to be done or will be left undone as the day ends.

What about a new relationship with your clock? What if the clock you feel is telling you that this moment is the most important moment of your life. Your clock becomes a constant reminder of the changing nature of life and the only thing that you can truly do is to experience all you can RIGHT NOW.

No longer is the sound of TICK, TOCK stalking you like the alligator in Peter Pan. Instead is the steady rhythm of life as you live fully every moment of every day.

Clearing away confusion about being a member of a community.

I find my involvement in communities to be confusing. I show up with different concerns and expectations than others. I’m not sure what I can reveal and what I have to protect. I’m afraid to give my all, in case things don’t work out and I have all my eggs in one basket.

These concerns are at the core of why great communities are challenging to create and even more challenging to grow. Yet, communities are at the core of our humanity. For millennia, we needed communities in the form of tribal villages to survive. There were animals that wanted to eat us, and later other tribes that wanted to conquer us. As we evolved, we found communities to be a vital structure for agriculture and cultural development.

Most of the U.S. population lives in cities that bring out the challenges of living together in communities with modern concerns. There is an even greater lack of clarity about what it is to be a member of a community as many of us participate in them online.

Rather than let my uncertainty paralyze me, I sought help. Last year, as part of the Inside Out Radio program, I invited three guests who are leaders in developing successful communities.

My first interview, which is provided below was with Margaret Wheatley. I first encountered Meg when I read her book, A Simpler Way, where I received insights into seeing organizations as evolving systems. Since then, I have read each of her five additional books with great interest and gratitude.

Meg is the founder of the The Berkana Institute, a global charitable foundation. Berkana works in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment.

I hope you find this conversation valuable. If you do, drop me a note.

Download MP3

Reflection – The Heart Aroused

Whether you are man or woman, the uncertainty of who we are in work and at home is a common experience. This uncertainty is the theme of many books and teacher’s commentaries. Understanding how we came to this spot is interesting, but not critical. What is vital, is engaging in the daily practice of seeing ourselves clearly, beyond the impressions of others, looking into the room that is the I AM.

In 1994, a dear friend gifted me with the book, The Heart Aroused. Poet David Whyte offers this stirring gift to anyone who walks in the modern world with its complexity, relentless change and loss of humanity. This conversation guided me through a “dark night of the soul” several years later.

Today, as I again was drawn to The Heart Aroused, I read this poem of David’s that moved me, and I offer it to you.

The half turn of your face
toward truth
is the one movement
you will not make.

After all
having seen it
before.

You wouldn’t
want
to take that
path again.

And have to greet
yourself
as you are
and tell yourself
what it was like
to have come so far
and all in vain.

But most of all
to remember
how it felt again
to see
reflected
in your own mirror
the lines
of abandonment
and loss.

And have those words spoken
inviting you back,
the ones you used to say,
the ones you love
when your body was young
and you trusted
everything you wanted.

Hard to look,
but you know it has to happen
and
that it takes
only the half turn of your face
to scare yourself
to the core.
Seeing again
that strange resolve in your new reflection.

With gratitude for our shared journey,
Thomas

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