Over the last few months I’ve been posting an alphabet of odds and ends, ideas, images, links, the occasional profanity. I didn’t want to lose them to social media so, before I start the next round (same alphabet, different words) I’m posting them in batches here:
A is for Alive and in particular for noticing what’s alive for us at any moment. Marshall Rosenberg, who gave us NVC, invites us to check and communicate our feelings and needs rather than speak in the language of blame, criticism, threat and demands. Here he is explaining how 8000 years of domination structures might mean it takes quite a bit of practice. https://lnkd.in/drRCQ5T
B is for Bravery which can’t exist without fear. I guess that’s why only you know if you’re brave, it’s not something anyone else can judge. Free climbing might be no braver than getting up in the morning and opening the curtains. Just depends.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve done today?
C is for Compassion. I find myself talking about this quite a lot at the moment. It’s that feeling you have towards someone, including yourself, which embodies that truly human sense of caring deeply, being alive to whatever arises, and being 100% on board with an intention that is genuine, positive and kind. I think it’s what religion means when it talks about love. It comes from surrendering judgment blame and criticism, and if it could be bottled, would undoubtedly save the world.
What small act of compassion could you show yourself today?
D is for Daring. It’s for Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, and these lines that she shares at every opportunity:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”
Theodore Roosevelt 1910
What do you dare yourself to do today?
E is for Enquiry. This is most of what I do, compassionately, carefully, curiously and reflectively. It’s not my enquiry. There’s no fact finding, or agenda, or interest in following a specific trail of questions. It’s your enquiry. I am like the breadcrumbs that show you where you’ve been and the waterproof torch for the way forward.
F is for f**king hard. Life just is sometimes. Allow it.
G is for Goals. About which I want to say two things:
thing one – it’s tempting to believe that the job is about reaching a goal, but sometimes the real work is finding out what the goal actually is;
thing two – then it’s tempting to see the end result as the goal, when in reality (and as a matter of practicality) a goal is really a thousand smaller steps, each as important as the other, some hard, some easier, each to be celebrated.