Friday, 13 March 2009

Learning to Live from the Heart

I love my life! Thank God I found this work and this material. I was going to say, it saved my life and that's not true. What it did was enabled me to live more fully - to be conscious and intentional and to become more conscious every day!

So, how did I get to this place from the place of being heard! What a journey.... I guess what I am noticing is that sometimes we just don't know how to do things, right! We don't know how to listen when we are triggered, don't know how to take risks when we can't be with failure, don't know to be open an honest when we fear conflict. Sometimes we just don't have a point of reference! Wow, I remember saying something to my glorious coach in a conversation and she said, I don't know where to put that.... I have no point of reference and I thought Wow! - no point of reference, hmmm now that's something to sit with for a while! And so it happened, today coming back from the gym (in the car park, believe it or not) I thought, that's it! That's what I have been facing, in being heard and seen, in having my voice heard in the system, any system. Yes I can speak out (my friends know I am not shy) when I feel safe and confident and yet what do I do when I don't have any experience of the circumstances I am faced with. How do I know what to do....

Where this is going next is so simple, it is to say, 'I don't know how to do this' and then ask for help, from the person you want to be in relationship with or the system you can't be heard in! The words that came to me were 'I don't know how to be in a relationship with you, so if you really want me in your life then, you are going to have to teach me!' I am smiling as I write this!

As an aside, I have been reading the book 'how we decide' by Jonah Lehrer and I believe this is part of the unfolding for me. If we are trained to learn from our mistakes, by not making them again and we are rewarded (chemical reactions in the brain) when something good happens - surprise, surprise we avoid the stuff that doesn't feel good and therefore we make our lives smaller and smaller, only doing the things we know how to and not taking risks or stepping outside our comfort zone. This is how the majority of the human race lives their lives, by playing it safe and by playing small! (I notice I get a physical hit in my stomach, when I type these words, I guess I have more work to do here!).

So, where am I going with this - you know, I'm not sure. I do know one thing, I know that (thanks to my lovely friend Linda - you know who you are) this blog was part of me finding my voice and part of me being fully seen and heard. I have always wanted to write and I know my spelling is not great and I am not very well 'formally' educated, no degrees or anything, or so my Gremlin used to tell me, and yes, I have never done it before, so I have no point of reference.

Here's the exciting part, I just did 'it', I set up my blog and noticed that writing really helps me process - and I do have a little experience actually. I remember when I first got a coach, I found that when I would write an email to her before our sessions about the topic I had been working on, then all of a sudden, I started to make connections, things started to unfold and became clearer. So, I guess if we all start to pay attention to the things that work for us, the things we get enjoyment from, the things we are inspired by then its much easier to be heard! Bye the way - my singing is getting better too! Thank God! (He is getting a lot of thanks today....)

When I was in my coaching session with my Glorious coach the other day, I named, time after time in the last month, where my voice was heard, where I found my voice, and what I noticed is that when I speak from my heart not only do I get heard but also I am being a more full expression of myself. That's just really landed for me. Being more of myself.... Wow! Giving myself permission to be more of myself. I am shocked and excited by this.

I have had the most profound week of my life and the content is not important, what is important is that I just realised that to be a full expression of myself, I have to welcome the things that, up until now I have 'mostly' avoided. So, I am asking myself, what is the gift in being disorganised? Where is the gift in rejection? What happens if people don't like what they see or hear? If I am living my life from my heart and not my head (I have nothing against heads, they are very useful parts of the body, if a little over used) if I am not thinking and analysing everything and the potential outcome of everything, if its a risk or what might happen blah, blah, blah, blah.... When I am living from my heart life kind of feels easier and simplier and more powerful somehow!

I took a huge step this week in living from my heart and the response was incredable, amazing and life changing.... I am so proud of myself for the way I have showed up fully this week. (Now, I have tears in my eyes), I now have a reference point of how to show up more fully and from my heart! (I am laughing as the tears roll down my face)... I guess today I realised what people mean when they say to me 'you have a huge heart'.... Wow! I really didn't expect to get this learning from writing this blog! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Monday, 2 March 2009

The Voice of the System

So what is the 'voice of the system'... what does it mean, what do we create when we become a partner with another person, set of people or business. What do we consciously invite into our lives? When are we conscious and intentional about the things that we create with others or even the change that happens in our own lives when we invite others to share it.

Take me as a classic example, I love to collaborate with others, I love to have other people in my life and I love to be open and honest with the people that I invite into my life, for the sake of my collaboration with them. What I fail to do, is, to be conscious about, what it is they want, I check that they want to play and yes they do. However I don't ask them, how much they want to play, or how long they want to play for or do they want to play as much as I want to play or what does play look like for them, to help me understand if their version of 'play' resembles my version. No, not really, I rarely have that conversation.

What I am starting to notice is that when I invite others into my life I create something with them, which is a mixture of me and them. So, if I am very organised and I invite someone or an organisation into my life that is not, then guess what, working or playing with them will be less organised than it is when I am alone. Because this is what we create together. Now here is the interesting bit, to create relationship and understanding we have to be open to each others differences and we have to own what we create together, whilst still being individuals as well as partners. So the voice of the system needs to be heard and the individual voices that create the system have to be heard too... interesting.

I believe as leaders and coaches we get hooked on deep democracy (all the voices of the system being heard - you, me) and don't spend enough time looking at or listening for the the voice of the system itself (we). In my case above that would mean that the disorganised voice (you) and the organised voice (me) creates a voice of the system which (us) which is both organised and dis-organised - Wow! If we own the fact that we are both organised and disorganised then we can do something with it. However if our individual voices are the only thing that is heard, (and sometimes we are so in our own stuff that we don't hear the others voice) then the impact can be to separate us rather than bring us together. We have to move from a place of 'who is doing what to whom' to a place of 'what is trying to happen' in the system. When all the voices of the system are not heard and this happens, in particular, with the unpopular or marginalized voices, then issues recycle themselves. When issues recycle themselves it is a clear indication that all the voices have not been heard. The opportunity here is to celebrate the diversity of being human and acknowledge and appreciate each others differences! Easier said than done!

Similarly, when I invite a partner to work with me then I invite the things into my life that we create together by being in relationship with each other. We would never go into a business relationship with anyone without a contract or a document of understanding or even simply a discussion about our intentions..... so here's the dilemma, is it not true that our personal relationships are more important than our business ones and yet we spend less time designing our partnerships and our alliances with these people, or should I say I do.......