Leader

June 13th, 2012 § Comments Off on Leader § permalink

Under the watchful gaze of wisdom,

one awaits

two arrives

three leaves.

Integrated selves folding over and unto life.

Fully Human, Faith in Future, Belief in Others

May 6th, 2012 § Comments Off on Fully Human, Faith in Future, Belief in Others § permalink

What does it mean to feel a vocation to be fully human? 

Singular moment unlocked,

radically making meaning,
knowing nonsense,
loving other as self.
A wondrous celebration

of every
timeless
second.


What is your faith in the future?

The wheel of time continues to turn. Patterns unfold, collapse upon themselves, and unfold again. Light and darkness collide with passion, dancing delicately upon fractured chaos.

S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S

All existence is now.


What do you believe about others?

You,
An(other).

True,
My mirror.

 

Artwork by Brittney Williams. ©2012

 

Mornings, Creative Space and Natural Flow

January 10th, 2012 § Comments Off on Mornings, Creative Space and Natural Flow § permalink

Creativity is at its greatest when the conditions are in place for natural flow to occur. To create the conditions for maximum creativity, we need to place conscious attention on what type of activities, spaces, people, interactions and objects we need to feel nourished and engaged in our work.

One morning, try clearing your schedule, waking up and doing nothing except listen deeply to what excites you and pulls your attention. This isn’t what you think you have to do or should do, but what you realllllly want to do. Then get up, follow it and see where it leaves you.

When faced with distractions, I find my energy pulled quickly away from any creative exercise or endeavor I’m attempting. This is especially true in the morning—the flavor of my morning sets the tone for the rest of my day. If I let my laundry list of to-dos or email or a dizzying rush to an appointment set the pace of my day, I find creative voice grows fainter and fainter at an alarming rate.

Mornings are a time when I’m most creative and alert, able to pull out the stops and let ideas and images flow from me without being overly critical or judgmental of myself. Morning pages, playing the harp, meditation, listening to music, cuddling up in my favorite corner to do some reading, banging away on my great grandmother’s typewriter…all these things inspire and stimulate a deep wellspring of whimsical peace and joy within my soul that I can carry on into my creative works.

I’ve spent the better part of a year making compromises with myself about what my creative needs truly are, ignoring the little voice inside me politely raising its finger in the air weakly, saying “excuse me…I could really use some space, some attention, a bit more openness to letting me explore the world.” I found my needs in conflict with other peoples’ morning habits, schedules and desires and made changes in my routine that don’t suit me well.

From now on, I’m declaring my mornings sacred, re-claiming this most creative time of the day for myself, making the space I need to feel comfortable and safe allowing my natural flow to guide my creation, and using it to explore my natural talents and abilities to the utmost.  Pay attention to what you need to feel safe and excited about being creative and make it possible—by placing more attention on what nourishes and engages, we begin to cultivate a deepening sense of self-awareness that aligns us more closely upon the path of living our right livelihood and manifesting our dreams.

On Acting as a Guide to Hades…

June 13th, 2011 § Comments Off on On Acting as a Guide to Hades… § permalink

I have endless respect and compassion for the gatekeepers of conflicting realities and their noble charge to help reveal the truest of truths that all humans with open hearts can strive to connect to.

A Slap in the Face, and I’m Watching the Light

June 13th, 2011 § Comments Off on A Slap in the Face, and I’m Watching the Light § permalink

I’m watching
the light
flicker
grow bright
as we struggle and toil
scream and fight
for all we believe in that’s true and right.

Then dim
with our snickers,
judgements abound,
the darkness seeps in,
a dampening sound.
Our faces hollow
and gaunt with despair,
denial, indifference,
living in fear.

When will the lightness
illuminate each face
so we can see each other,
acknowledge more than race
and move past indifference
fear and pain,
recognize
“me” and “other”
as one and the same.

Surely my overall awareness has increased through this experience–I am more awake to the reality that people are judgemental, selfish, unaware and uncaring of those around them, and it has been a painful awakening. I know I can use this information to strengthen myself, but first I need to process how despairing I feel about it. I have long been awake to the reality that people also mean well–that their hearts are frequently in the right places even if they lack the knowledge or tools to follow through on their good intentions. But this is not enough.

Recipe for a Social Justice Learning Conversation

June 13th, 2011 § Comments Off on Recipe for a Social Justice Learning Conversation § permalink

Recipe for a Social Justice Learning Conversation:

Take one group of awkward, eager MBA students,
mix them into a classroom together,
ask them to talk about how they’re different.

Throw in some blind faith,
some hope,
and patience.

Wait for the projections to begin flying around the room.
Wait for the anger, the mistrust, the blame, the denial.

Take a deep breath. More patience.

“But we’re all the same…and we’re all different, too.”
“How can I face myself now that I realize how blind I’ve been to other realities?”
“How can I own my privilege without feeling guilty for it?”
“I never even realized that I was being oppressed. What does this mean in the context of how I’ve been living my life?”

At the beginning of our first intensive, I found myself excited to continue the process of exploring diversity in our social justice class. In our group at school, I felt like maybe I’d found a place where I could be open about the wide range of experiences I’ve had in my life. I thought maybe we all shared a vision, a common ground, where we could come together and see eye-to-eye, and we did…sort of, on some levels, in some ways.

Little did I know, I had a big reality check coming…

Social Justice 101: Setting the Stage for Self-Expression

June 13th, 2011 § Comments Off on Social Justice 101: Setting the Stage for Self-Expression § permalink

It’s all about creating a safe space for radical self-expression.

Setting the stage is 80% of the battle.

At our first intensive at school, if anything could have been done differently to help our class begin to dive into learning about social justice, it would have been for our professors to spend more time doing some teambuilding and trust building exercises to pave the way for the students to feel more comfortable with each other stepping into the space of openness, compassion, humility and vulnerability.

How have we experienced privilege or oppression in our world? Can we speak up loud and clear about those experiences, own the good, the bad, the neutral, and create a common language of love together?

It’s asking a lot of people to step out of our defenses and stand naked among our peers to discuss something many of us are entirely unfamiliar with. After our first initial group conversation about Social Justice at school, I found myself curious to see where this would lead…

Systems Thinking Sketches

March 18th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Chaotic Systems and Structure Generated Behavior

March 18th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

A chaotic system is one that is unpredictable and exists in dynamic instability. If you like chaos, fractals and systems thinking, the inner geek in you will love Chaoscope, 3-D strange attractors rendering software.

Sometimes, I find it simpler to draw concepts rather than take notes. My thoughts on paper:

I like how the image above on structure generated behavior seems very similar to a drawing of the Samoan Circle method of generative group discourse we learned about and practiced in our Leadership and Personal Development course the same weekend:

Systems of Love: Maintaining a Relationship of Love

March 17th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Maintaining a relationship of love isn’t easy. There are a lot of emotional potholes, traps and stumbling blocks along the way that can trip us up and send a treasured relationship spiraling away from a place of love and toward an unhealthy, unwanted place that breeds unhappiness and suffering.

On the other hand, there is an endless list of healthy, positive emotions that one can nurture to help nurture a state that not only maintains love, but enhances it; potentially creating a positive feedback loop that continually amplifies love in our lives. Love is available to us in infinite quantities–it is up to us to identify the ways in which we can tap into it and build a system of love within ourselves and with others. Love is limitless, and I find that essential nature of love is such that the more I give it away, the more I receive.

This diagram (formally called a Causal Loop Diagram) is an exploration of love that I drew for a Systems Thinking class on Valentine’s day:

On the left side of the diagram, you will see a set of interrelated systems involving contempt, indifference, stress, jealousy, fear and stagnation–a set of emotions that are often detrimental to maintaining a relationship with love within ourselves and with others.

On the right side, we have systems involving respect, compassion, insight, compersion, faith and creativity that have the potential to generate a continual cycle that creates more love in endless quantities through understanding and nurturing them within ourselves and others.

Nestled between these two polarized systems are states of peace, balance, mindfulness and our capacity for learning. I believe that using these central states to process our emotions provide us spaces wherein one can begin to make a conscious choice about how they want love to flow through their lives.

This diagram was inspired by countless life-changing past and present experiences I’ve had with love in my personal relationships (if you’re reading this right now, you know who you are!), and an ongoing dialogue about love with a special someone that is opening up incredible new layers of richness and understanding about the meaning of love in my life. I am infinitely grateful.

I leave you with a prayer I wrote yesterday morning:

May I remember the journey that brought me here,
the kindness and love that nurtured me,
the incredible stillness nestled deep within my soul.
May I dwell in a space of ever-growing gratitude,
and seek to bestow upon others

the blessings that I have received.