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Mid-year Musing #6: Wholeness matters

musing wholeness Aug 18, 2019

Once at a conference, as a way of giving the table teams something to talk about, the organisers gave us a sheet to fill in. One of the questions was: What is your favourite form of transport? I wrote down hammock and the rest of the group looked at me as if I were slightly deranged. Still, the idea of resting beneath the shade of a beautiful tree, rocking gently, is somehow irresistible. Especially at the time of late summer.

It is incredibly mesmerising to watch branches sway in the wind. The leafy green and the blue of the sky seems a perfect colour combination. Being that relaxed necessitates surrender and letting the edges go fuzzy. Suddenly I am not just me the individual, but one tiny part of a much larger whole. Somehow I am the leaf, the tree and the sky all at the same time. There is a great peacefulness when I rest in this knowing.

Trees are a great role model when it comes to practicing wholeness. They appear as individuals. You can clearly see the trunk, the branches,...

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Mid-year Musing #5: Generative boundaries

boundaries flowgame musing Aug 12, 2019

When I was young, I watched a steady stream of Roadrunner cartoons. Wile E Coyote tried everything to get that roadrunner, but always found himself holding the short end of the stick, or running off the edge of the cliff. I was like that too with my own energetic pattern.

I have a very determined will and I when I can see the end of the task in sight I tend to keep going — even if it’s 3:00 in the morning! It took me a long time to learn that my will is stronger than my body. I would often work myself into tiredness, or worse, illness.

So I began to practice in my mind. I put a neon sign at the edge of the cliff with a big, flashing arrow. Time and again I would notice that arrow as I went flying by. Oops, I did it again!!! It took me a long time to sync up my mind and body and to realise that they were better together (and still colleagues will tell you that I have a great capacity for work when I’m excited about it!).

Recently while playing a Flow Game with women...

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Mid-year Musing #4 — Little things make a big difference

makingadifference musing Aug 06, 2019

So many of us can see we are facing challenges that feel overwhelming. We feel divided from others who look different to us or have different languages and customs. We see tensions in our media and reflected on the streets. Climate change appears to be insurmountable. What can one person do?

As a human, it is easy to feel paralysed and to assume that what we do as an individual doesn’t matter. We get stuck in the past or the future, running all the “what if” scenarios on instant replay. Maybe part of this frozenness lies in forgetting that we are part of a collective and that collectives have power that begins in changing small things.

No ant, beaver or wolf believes themselves to be powerless. They simply focus on doing what they are doing in the moment. While a human can lose their head at a mere thought, an ant is capable of lifting 5,000 times its own bodyweight before it loses its head — literally. To us, what an ant can carry seems minuscule, but...

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Mid-year musing #3: Invite others in

listening musing Jul 29, 2019

Sometimes listening is an act of patience. It can be like going to your partner’s family reunion and realising you don’t have much in common with your in-laws. Maybe you want to give up. Maybe you want to walk (or even run!) away, but instead you breathe deeply, sharpen your focus and continue listening.

If you can bring compassion to your listening and reach down into the ground of common humanity, then you can move at the pace of grace. Sometimes that listening allows all the chatter to blow away and the genuine person underneath to surface.

Let’s face it, humans are messy creatures. Therefore human relationships are messy too. It takes a lot of personal reflection to realise you have a choice in every moment. Viktor Frankl pointed to that choice so elegantly in his work “Man’s Search for Meaning“. In it he said that when every other choice is taken away, all other freedoms are gone, you still have a choice. You have the choice about how you...

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Mid-year Musing #2: Listen louder

listening musing Jul 22, 2019

Taking time out during mid-year is a wonderful practice. When you step back from the rush of your life it gives you time to see it from a new perspective. As one of my colleagues likes to say, if you stay on the dance floor and never make it to the balcony, you’ll never know who’s playing the tune.

We talk a lot about the world being a noisy place. It is interesting how we have co-created this phenomenon. We like to think the rush is exhilarating, but I’ve noticed that actually it is over-stimulating and most of us feel exhausted way down in our ground. It was a profound shock to me to move back to the United States after 35 years away and find TV screens in almost all restaurants and so many public places.

Under the guise of “ambience”, music is played loudly. Once I was in a dentist’s waiting room and asked for the music to be turned down. When they refused, I told them they could find me in the hallway when it came time for my appointment. They...

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Mid-year Musing #1: Be master of the small

mastery musing Jul 16, 2019

Suddenly here we are — at the midpoint of the year. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere you might be sinking into the lazy days of summer. In the Southern Hemisphere, I’m hearing of mid-winter Christmas celebrations aimed at keeping the cold out and the fire warm.

Whatever you’re up to, now is a good time to move away from the detail you’ve been stuck in and think about the big picture. Take the eagle as your guide and rise up in your mind until you see the whole landscape of your life in front of you.

The eagle has amazing vision. From way up there on the thermals, an eagle can see everything from the patterns of the winds moving through the atmosphere to the detail of the rabbit moving through the grass. The eagle can navigate the winds of change with mastery. They know how to ride the thermals, catching a lift to higher altitudes. That means they don’t use a lot of effort, skilfully rising up in the sky. They use their effort to target a goal...

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