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.
I have been walking a lot recently and listening to podcasts from astronomy to creativity as I step out… yesterday I listened to a Bluegrass singer, Abigail Washburn… aside from an astonishing and haunting voice, her story had a deep resonance for me… that your purpose doesn’t always have a linear progression and you have to trust that the “how” of what you feel deeply passionate about, will show up in unlikely or unimagined ways… so for me I know I want to work with women and leadership and incorporate mental agility and emotional awareness and soulfulness and of course the power of physical presence… but I endlessly wrestle with trying to squash this into a linear format that I am not sure serves my purpose best… so back to her story… she was intent on making a difference to Sino-US relations by moving to China and becoming a lawyer… fate intervened and she ended up at a Bluegrass festival with banjo in hand… was discovered by a Nashville scout and has been a beautiful Bluegrass singer since and travels the world… the twist is she sings not only in English but also in Mandarin using a genre that is so specifically American… and travels to places like China and brings her gift and of course her purpose about making a positive difference to Chinese/American relations… only the “how’ comes through music and not law… much more heartfelt and yet the purpose is so beautifully served…
Had to share that over the last 10 days I have had a series of dinners with people from my past corporate life… it’s like a switch went off and they all decided to make contact again… nostalgia is such an extraordinary thing… all the dramas disappear and you’re left with this essence of sweetness, a kernel of joy… so to all those I have recently broken bread with… Thank you. And then in the spirit of time past, I had to drop something off at my mechanic today and there on a hoist, an ancient old mini… immediately transported back to the 70’s and my mother’s identical red one in which she shlepped us 3 kids for 17 years…
have you ever just felt an idea needs to be explored… in my case my intuitive sense is that the idea has enormous merit but at the moment feels a little uncontained and am trying to break my thinking into bite-sized chunks… there is this magnetic pull to at least review and take a look at the business implications. It matter less to me as to whether it comes to fruition and more about the research and the examination in a thoughtful and methodical manner… an invigorating change for me. Interestingly it involves technology and of course incorporates what I am passionate about – women and leadership and developing that holy grail of senior women in organisations… Any ideas on a what makes a compelling and stand-out business plan will be most welcome 🙂
As a friend sat in synagogue on Saturday he found this prayer…for anyone who has wondered why they’ve picked a less than easy, simple path…
Once or twice in a lifetime,
a man or woman may choose
a radical leaving, having heard
Lech l’cha – Go forth.
God disturbs us toward our destiny
by hard events
and by freedom’s now urgent voice
which explode and confirm who we are.
We don’t like leaving,
but God loves becoming.
I just finished watching the invocation at Obama’s inauguration… a beautiful and lyrical piece by Myrlie Evers-Williams… the first ever woman to deliver the invocation… Her blessing at the end is profound – from the hearts of the collective grandmother: “There’s something within me that holds the reins. There’s something within me that banishes pain. There’s something within me I cannot explain. But all I know, there is something within. There is something within.”