This much I know to be true… my blogging DNA is failing dismally… However I felt compelled to write today. I went to Documentary Australia Foundation’s launch of a new film, “The Surgery Ship” last night… Every moment of middle class woe, every bourgeois sentiment, every self indulgent thought flew out the window for little while last night. It is a must see. The story is of a medical ship that has been fitted out with operating theatres and recovery wards… staffed purely by volunteers from around the world (surgeons and nurses, cleaning staff and catering crew)… and it docks for a period of 12 months in some impoverished West African port and provides life-giving surgery to literally thousands of people…. Of course I wept but also inspired. And one of the young doctors in the movie attended the launch – Nerida, a bright-faced adventurer with a heart motivated by people in need – stirring stuff…. If you are in Australia, please watch SBS on the 10 December at 8.30pm.
So it felt like a privilege to be sandwiched into the Opera House listening to an enormously composed ex-PM on her first public outing since leaving the Lodge in late June. It doesn’t matter what your politics are, Julia Gillard is a lesson in how to traverse gracefully and with resilience events that would leave most of us bereft… It was a special evening and fitting that she should receive such a jubilant reception… the only questionable response was a peculiar answer to why she didn’t support gay marriage. I was however left with one question – Why did Julia not bring her full and infinitely likeable self to the PM role so that all of Australia could see her authentic self?
Still on the Brené Brown path… in my usual overly passionate way I bought every book written by her I could find on Amazon and am now trawling through them… I love this gem… ” When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits get crushed. It’s a tightrope, shame resilience is the balance bar, and the safety net below is the one or two people in our lives who can help us reality-check the criticism and cynicism.” Working through 360s for a number of clients this provides such a perfect and gentle framework from which to view the feedback, which for some can be really confronting.
Her Tedtalk on Vulnerability is one of the most watched of all time…and I was lucky enough to see Brené Brown yesterday… She is even more believable and authentic in person and possesses this rare capacity for storytelling that is enthralling and funny and sensitive and real… and one of my favourite gems: “Our willingness to be wholehearted is also our willingness to be brokenhearted”
I am ready to leave for Boot&Soul Camp and should be brimming with delight that we have a fabulous retreat planned with some wonderful women… the truth is I feel enormously sad having witnessed the brutal display of shadow and sabotage within Australia’s ruling party… My feeling is not about the politics or what Julia Gillard did or didn’t do as PM, rather it feels like a profound wound to all women aspiring to be in senior roles, like a profound wound to all women who seek leadership positions in government and corporate life, and like a profound wound to all men and women who have witnessed the relentless attacks on her as a woman… And then again there is all this juicy dark archetypal stuff to review this weekend…There is great article in the Telegraph today…
Thank you to Caitlin for this beautiful Sufi quote…
Before you speak let your words pass through three gates.
At the first gate ask yourself, “Is it true?”
At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”
And at the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”
Yesterday I spent the day at a workshop with the mystic and founder of the Institute of Sacred Activism, Andrew Harvey...he is mesmerising, confronting, funny and demanding… Initially I was lulled into thinking it was an interesting workshop (his language is colourful and his voice soothing) but had heard much of it before in different guises… he spoke of humility and trust… wisdom and freedom… and provided simple practices to develop and strengthen our spiritual practices…and then he managed to punch us collectively right between the eyes… the gentleness of the morning replaced by what he calls the wisdom of the serpent which is effectively profound shadow work. Now I do love work with the shadow because I believe so deeply this is where the magic happens and of course this where we constantly stumble and struggle… WOW …but he takes no prisoners… he stands unashamedly in his truth… so by the end of the afternoon myself and I think my fellow participants felt battle-weary and certainly for me this rising anxiety about my own shadow and the shadow of the wider world… huge stuff for a Saturday… He is truly extraordinary… if only to shake you off your perch.