Good morning new life
I once heard of a tradition where a man turns his cup over each night before bed to symbolize death. Each morning the cup is turned rightside up as a signal of a new beginning.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. That's true for you, too. Let's flip this cup rightside up and welcome the new beginning, shall we?
Clarity and Humanity
At times I become rigid. I seek clarity and create boundaries because I feel unsafe and afraid.
At times I become vulnerable. I seek humanity and remove obstacles because I feel faith and hope.
How can you best balance rigidity and vulnerability?
Illusion of Time
Today was the first and only time I can remember that I woke up surprised by the end of daylight savings time. It took me a few moments to figure out why phone didn't match the clocks on the wall.
These moments felt lost, as if I were living without time because I did not know what time it was.
Every day the numbers we assign to time govern much of what and how I live.
What if we had more moments of letting go of knowing the time?
Power and peace
Power is a strong word. It often brings to mind change, exertion, and force.
But what about when power is peaceful?
The greatest powers in my world include gravity, love, and life. Each of these are inherently peaceful. No mater how much force humans create, even in the form of massive war and destruction, it does not compare to the power of the world around us.
This week I intend to reframe power as a peaceful aspect of being. Like ocean waves crashing on a beach or a lake methodically massaging it's shore; power can be beautiful and centering as it moves.
Where might you find the peace of power in your life?
Will you carry her?
If she goes limp will you carry her?
She needs you to because when she was a child no one did.
She learned to scream so that she would get love in some form of attention.
Now she is tired.
Abundant nutritious happiness available!
Yet I chase sugar and rainbows of saccharine.
Creating stories and indulging habits that keep me distracted from my truth.
Because if I embody the truth I must let go of existing ways of life.
I must die partially in order to live fully.
Am I ready?
Purpose and Meaning
I often confuse these words in my speech, but they are actually quite different.
Purpose is where I am headed. The outcome that my actions are building toward. It's why in the future tense.
Meaning is how I make sense of what is going on. What story do I tell myself that makes me choose my actions and direction. It's why in the past and present tense.
I can make meaning on my way to finding purpose, and I can draw meaning from what I choose as my purpose. I can even find meaning in my purpose and purpose in my meaning. (!)
Where are you confusing purpose and meaning?
Authenticity and curiosity are core guiding principles of my leadership. They are at the center of how God made me, and I believe that humbly seeking to live these qualities out each day keeps me close to faith, truth, and purpose.
I have been blessed with relationships of trust, faith, and joy. Authentic leadership requires a constant awareness of where others are coming from individually and collectively; so that the team's engagement is deep, culture becomes intentional, and purpose feels clear.
As a Christian, meeting others where they are coming from does not mean hiding my faith or identity. It means creating a space where everyone can feel comfortable being themselves and asking questions. I have found that leading in this manner creates opportunities for me to show my faith through actions and share my faith in words once people are curious enough to ask.
Curiosity fuels my work and leadership in worldly and spiritual ways. My intellectual hunger makes me a lifelong academic and experiential learner, so that I might be best informed in leadership, strategy, problem-solving, analysis, and communication. My spiritual seeking puts my activity into a context full of encouragement, awe, and wonder. How can my actions as a servant of God bring my life closer to His Kingdom? Questions like this fuel my curiosity to receive, let go, accept, and grow as a child of God.
I am grateful for a life where I have had such opportunities to be an authentic and curious leader. I pray that going forward my own practices of theological study, centering prayer, mindfulness, and deep listening might enrich my faith journey as well as those around me.
What are your core values of leadership?
“Twisted empty sugar sweet center”
A few nights ago I had a dream, from which I woke up and wrote “twisted empty sugar sweet center”. I don't remember the dream, but I have a feeling this phrase was associated with discovering a center that was full of promises but void of truth.
I find a twisted empty sugar sweet center in my life when I buy into my old story of the tragic hero. The mythology goes something like this: Life is difficult, and I'm working hard, but it's never enough to escape the challenges of life.
Perhaps it is the tragic hero who has a twisted empty sugar sweet center. My path to this center is one of seeing myself as a victim. My steps down the path are filled with over-eating, stuffing my emotions, ignoring my faith practices, distracting myself with media binges, and sleeping too much. I've realized recently that these steps also include pushing myself too hard, crash dieting, working out without balance, comparing myself to others, and not sleeping enough. Whether I'm running toward or away from victimhood, the tragic hero story can dominate my days.
Where is the twisted empty sugar sweet center in your life?
Agreements and Truth
I can be a stickler for agreements. Written agreements have brought clarity to confused expectations time and time again in my life. (Especially when work is involved.)
The gold here is that my tendency to form agreements helps to avoid conflict. The shadow here is that my tendency to form agreements comes partially from an unhealthy fear of conflict.
I recently had a contractor on my home blatantly violate our written agreement, so I had to fire him. I like the man. In my heart I didn't want to fire him. I wanted to give him a second chance, even though he had already had a few of those. The contract acted as my backbone, because I didn't have one to show him the door myself.
Funny how I wrote “I had to fire him”. Somehow the contract made the choice instead of me. Truth be told I chose to fire him, just like I chose to write the contract.
Even if somehow there were no contract, firing the contractor would have still been the right thing to do. His actions were out of line. Firing him was the best course of action for me to take.
Are you one, like I am, to hide in agreements instead of standing for your truth? Or are you one to hide in your truth instead of creating agreements?