Stories are unfolding around us in every moment. We are awash with them. We are at the confluence of many powerful stories all competing for attention. Take the United States as an example:
It's always a wise thing to know the backstory of something you're involved in and to remain curious about where it came from and what it really means. We've just celebrated Valentine's Day and there are two ways I get reminded of this, even though I'm self-employed and single. Valentine's Day was my Dad's birthday -- he would have been 97 this year. And a neighbour across the street -- who is very fond of all the holidays! -- has a full display of hearts festooning her front porch.
Where did Valentine's Day come from? How does our story of love need to change? What's your story of love going forward?
Where did it come from?
Valentine's Day is more properly the feast day of St Valentine, who apparently died in 269 or 270AD after disregarding a ban on marriage for soldiers put in place by Emperor Claudius. He married them in secret and even performed a healing on a young girl, sending her a note signed "Your Valentine" just before he was executed.
This is traditionally the time of year when people take a pause to reflect, reset and renew. It is a time for new year’s resolutions, a time when hope springs eternal about the potential and possibility of the new.
And small wonder. In the Northern Hemisphere, December equinox marks the time of the shortest day and the longest night. It was a physical reminder of the intrinsic change of seasons, and a time when nature manifested the age old dance between darkness and light. For our ancestors, light needed to be called back, and with it, the promise of spring and a new burst of life. The way Scandinavians keep candles burning and Americans love their Christmas lights is only the most recent manifestation of a very old tradition.
Winter has always been the time we’ve told stories, dreamed by the fire, imagined the new. No wonder it is the time many of us take to vision what the new year could be like. This year I’ve been co-hosting an online event called...
It was an unexpected and heartfelt invitation from my friend and colleague Holger Scholz last year: "Let's do something together!". And somewhat later on: "I've really been feeling that we need to focus on what is underneath all the tools and methods. I think our retreat should be called THE ART OF HOSTING YOURSELF." And that opened a deep and fluid inquiry between us into the heart of what it means to be a practitioner, a leader and a host. And over the time we spent together, we became a circle of 12 holding this focus between us in a four day retreat earlier this month.
Holger and I have known each other for more than 10 years now. We have taken our facilitation practices in different directions, but somehow the core of what we are most interested in has created an ongoing conversation between us. What does it mean to be a practitioner? What is at the core of deeply masterful, humanly focused leadership -- whether that is in...
So many of us believe new year seems to call for a new start. Maybe we've done the review and reflection on the year gone by. We've sifted, and sorted and clarified. We wrote a list of all the things we no longer want and one with all our intentions. We want to start fresh. We want a new dream in 2018!
Here's the challenge: New dreams call for changes. They need attention. So many resolutions are made, but it can be difficult to follow through. Why?
Every dream -- every potential change -- is grounded in your story. This is a great time to invite your story to partner you in the journey.
Whether you realise it or not, your personal story is the road your life is running on. Do you like where it's taking you? When is the last time you had a deeper look at what helping -- or hindering -- you in reaching your dreams?
The pictures you see here are my own story -- yes, I did this exercise and even illustrated it, discovering a...