I recently had dinner with a group of friends with whom I have a deep love, respect and admiration. Individually, they are each mentors, spiritual guides and advisors to my own journey. In coming together for the first time a a group over dinner a short time ago, we became a collective ‘wise council’ for each other. And given that we each live in different part of the world, our ‘physical’ time together extra special. Our time together also reminded me that Universe provides when the student is ready!
We had a wonderful evening of connection and meaningful conversation. Personally, I felt that I reconnected with my work for the world during our time together and through their thoughts gave myself permission to follow what my heart and soul tells me is the right path more me at this time. At the time I was struggling with an inner tension between my career history being predominantly within the corporate sector and a yearning to work more within my local community. Together we explored this tension as it was one we were all feeling to varying degrees. Our time together got me questioning my definition of ‘community’ and what assumptions arose for me as a result of my definition. I learnt during time together that the most resourceful definition of community for me at this time is one without geographical constraints.
About a month later – after a pretty trying few weeks – I spend an afternoon thinking about what was happening in my life (and work) within me, to me and around me. I began thinking about that conversation over dinner the month before. I started writing my thoughts. What arrived for me in this personal reflection time were the words of my ‘wise council’ and the generative power of participating in conversations that matter. The personal ‘harvest’ of that dinner conversation and the key things that keep keep bubbling to the surface for me from that one conversation include:
- in work and life go where the positive energy is;
- be present to others and meet them where they are at – because it is also where you are at;
- be with mates – don’t try and do your work for the world alone;
- stay true to your work and they way you need to work in service to your client and the work that is needed and the world – and be prepared to step away or ‘change the rules’ at any time if it does not feel right;
- continue to explore the question – “What is the simplest thing I can do right now?” – it is from two foundational ‘movements’ in Aikido that thousands of moves become possible;
- Practice is key – use all opportunities as avenues for practice so that when you step up to work you are ready and can hold the space deeply enough for transformational change to occur;
- consider my own life as practice – stay mindful to what is arising within and around me … and cut myself some slack when things don’t go the way I had originally thought they would; and
- create spaces of non-judgement and work with others in those spaces with open mindedness and open heartedness
There are many other insights that continue to emerge. So in the wise words of Robert Fulgrum, “Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”