My research project takes shape

So I have been working away on crafting my ideas so that I have a pithy project… I have interviewed a bunch of corporate women, run a focus group with some inspiring young millenials and despite some cold feet, some sweaty palms and a swag of internal chatter… I am doing it… but not before I share this parable that was shared with me by two different women on two different days from two different sources… here goes (with poetic licence)… a farmer has six horses in his field and one day they escape and can’t be found… his next door neighbour arrives and says how terrible for this to happen… the farmer responds that he can’t be sure maybe it’s bad news and maybe it’s not – he will just have to wait and see… a few days later six wild horses arrive in his field… and no sooner arrived when his neighbour pops over to say what wonderful news to have these six new horse… (and yes you guessed it) the farmer responds that he can’t be sure maybe it’s bad news and maybe it’s not – he will just have to wait and see… a few days later his military-age son is trying to break the wild horses in when he is thrown from a horse and breaks his leg… and (yes you guessed it the nosey-parker-of-a-neighbour-from-hell) arrives to say what dreadful news to hear of his poor lad’s broken leg… and of course our farmer can be relied on for the same commentary that he can’t be sure maybe it’s bad news and maybe it’s not – he will just have to wait and see…. a few days later the military police arrive in the local area to conscript all the young men to go to war… and the lucky farmer keeps his son safe at home with his broken leg…

So no I don’t have a broken leg, nor am I taking up farming, or wild horse taming but navigating a new path with little visibility other than putting one foot in front of the other and not rushing to conclusions that shut down this journey…

The grace of Julia

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?

A deep sadness

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…

Purpose is not a straight line

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…

A Mythic Feast

IMG_3213IMG_3194_2So what started as an intimate thank you birthday dinner for 6 … mutated into an extravaganza on Monday night when two friends (both chefs) decided they were going to throw me a Moroccan-Babette’s-feast for my birthday 48 hours later… They whisked, chopped, kneaded, strained, baked, roasted (and also used every pan, pot and platter in the kitchen)… I got in the way mostly and my other jobs were to shop a lot and clean sporadically… The talented duo collaborated (may we all learn to do this in such a seamless and creative way in our leadership roles)… and eventually produced a birthday dinner of mythic proportions… From the cardamon and vanilla infused Moroccan cocktails to the fresh pomegranates seeds… homemade za’atar bread with hummus and baba ganoush… a mountain of lamb and quince tagine, whole barramundi with chermoula and a to-die-for chicken dish – bisteeya with phyllo, cinnamon and sugar… they topped their loving performance off with a delicate rice dish with orange blossom and rosewater… oh and I almost forgot… a demonstration of tempering chocolate, creating almond rocher and spice infused truffles… (and everyone got a take home lolly bag)… THANK YOU to Katherine and to Jesse for a birthday of enormous love, care, friendship and generosity … I do hope how I kicked off my new year with such magic will translate into much work and abundance for me this coming year….IMG_3223IMG_3249