Today I started writing something from a place that felt new. It flowed forward — indeed, I wrote more today in a single sessoin than I had in a while. It felt like it had a flow. It feels like it’s going to inform some things. It has a shape that wants to come forward. I think I can honestly say that it’s the first time that I’ve had something like that come through me.
I share this only so that I can acknowledge it for myself. Not to brag, but to reflect back — to myself — that trusting the flow of these things opens up what needs to be said. What needs to be revealed.
It’s in this that healing happens. And from healing, expression.
This is a topic I’m going to be exploring quite a bit in the near future. Where do we come from? And how does that help shape us? And how can reaching back, prior to the point that those who came before us had to sever the part of their identity rooted in their linneage heal both ourselves, as well as our ancestors.
There’s a lot to explore here. Here’s to reaching.
None of us are in this alone.
Yesterday, talking with a client, I found myself saying to him, “We have put all this energy into leadership development, like you’re supposed to go into your office and figure out how to be better at this. That doesn’t work. And, to boot, it’s not what leadership even is. At the end of the day, leadership is everyone, together, participating. It’s your team. It’s your boss and their boss. It’s a vast web of relationships. You can’t figure this out on your own, nor should you. You need them and they you. All of this is embedded in relationship. That’s the heart of it”
Or something like that, anyway.
The more I think about this — and reflect on its meaning in my life — the more I think it’s true if everything. Our culture has lost the plot. We’ve become disconnected from a core truth: we’re in this together. No point in it being otherwise.
May we find our way back to that.
Life as a blessing
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
Life is a beautiful mystery. And yet, for some reason, we have built societies around systems and structures that prevent us from seeing and experiencing this on a day-to-day basis. We look forward to weekends and dread Mondays. We plan for retirement while trading our labor to sock away for that future that isn’t guaranteed. More and more, we live hand to mouth, while surrounded by the greatest amounts of resources that have ever been assembled.
I’m aware that I write with a very United States-centric perspective, and that other cutlures be they “western” or not hold slightly different ones. That said, this thing we call “western” has been spreading across the globe for decades. I fear that what we see as the primary goal of life — to produce — will be the primary goal globally before we realize it.
I fear that more and more, we will make life short. How I do this in my own life is a central inquiry. What can I do, day-by-day, moment-by-moment, to expand that life to its fullness? The only way I can imagine is to put everything on the table, to take a stand for the things that are truly important, to cultivate the relationships that matter, to do the work that expands the heart and mind, to feel into the divine nature of each moment and each place, and to honor the gift of being alive through the divine blessing of being present to my life. This is the legacy I wish for us all.
Whose timeline, exactly?
Currently, there are two contracts floating out there that will represent a good amount of what my fall will look like. One’s been in the works for some time, the other is more recent, but had a much tighter turnaround. At least, so I thought. And they are both out there. And here I am, with a story of waiting. More on that in a minute.
A couple of months ago, my partner and I sent out a series of feedback requests to some former clients. We heard nothing. And then, about two weeks later, we got one back. Another three weeks, one more. Just about 5 minutes ago, another.
Earlier today, I had a video call with a good friend of mine in Canada. We’ve known each other for around eleven years, and have long wanted to do something together. Earlier this year, he approached me about engaging in a kind of learning jounrey with him around a practice he’s developed. I was excited. I won’t bore you with all the details, but it’s been a winding journey. We’ve talked to others, sought to crate something around this learning journey; it’s been a bit up, a bit down. Today, as we talked about things, he said something to the effect of, “I trust that it will happen. We just need to remove time from the equation. Time can get in the way.” In essence, he was saying that perhaps our idea of time, and what should happen when, can make it seem like things that are unfolding are stuck.
And thus, my story of waiting. It’s easy for me to sit here and be like, “sign the contract!” Sure. That’s a stance I could take. But what does it serve? Something is happening. The contracts are coming. That is clear. There is an order to these things, and who says that I’m in a position to understand what that order is? Perhaps we never really are. This, I think, is what faith is about.
Somewhere in this moment, there is a kind of poetry that expresses exactly what is being felt. It’s not there to show off. It’s not there to convince you (or anyone) of anything. It’s simply there to offer this experience. The experience of the one experiencing. Perhaps it’s one of those poems that can only be written in the mind, for words — images even — reduce it too far.
Maybe it’s hiding just after this next breath.