rebel leader: a tribute

A sudden death and work unfinished. This friend of ours, wild-hearted leader to the max. Science, economics, a ruckus for scalable practical pathways to reverse climate change at the nexus of food, water, and energy.

He was at home in the gap, the open space lifted by the tension between what is (for him: data, stats, science, models, the beauty of this planet.) and what one knows that can be from the depth of knowing (for him: more science, prototypes, applied research, more models, the beauty of this planet.). Something else in this space of paradox: Heart at peace; diligence; skill; the willingness to learn; urgency, and love. The ultimate outcome of the research - shared with a cohort- was not up to him. He had just finished a book, so close to publishing. He could only show and live in what he knew to be true.

Our meditation teacher spoke of the ones more peaceful than peace itself. The ones that embody an awareness bigger than our small fearful selves. The ones that are messengers alongside old age, illness, and death. The truth where paradox itself ceases.

We who love life so fiercely, our powerful missions - we just do our work then, showing up, vulnerable, courageous, real. We know what can be. Heart at peace.

photo credit: geoffroy hauwen | unsplash

photo credit: geoffroy hauwen | unsplash

Mind at peace

"When the mind is at rest, I see the moon rising and the wind blowing gently. Then I realize that the world is not necessarily an ocean of suffering." (Caigentan, ca. 1590s.)

This is relevant. This is about our relationship with thoughts and perceptions, and - sometimes - with direct experience. An alignment with calm, clarity, insight, choice.

For me it means, when I work on my mission, when I begin to strive to make this a better world, I can step back again, and say, "Yes, I will work; Yes, I will help create a shift in our relationship to our planet, each other, ourselves; AND I can experience peace."

No striving, mind at ease, hanging with the tension between what is and can be, the tension holding me and guiding me.

Want to hang out in that gap, be with the moon, be a rebel in the wind?

photo: conrad-ziebland | unsplash

photo: conrad-ziebland | unsplash

Voice and vulnerability

"When meaningful change happens, it doesn’t mean a change in position but a change in how we live together and how we treat each other." (James Shaheen)

Violence, needs unmet, ultimate acts of cynicism. Sri Lanka on an Easter Sunday. The chasms of our collective hurt. The tears of each child, parent, person. These wounds we harbor in the closed, isolated, lonely heart... They. Us. Me. No separation. 

How do we respond, we who want to value ethical business, a better world, fairness and justice? For me, I can't join the cynics, by turning away, the bitterness of justifying myself (again) in business as usual: I don't think it works that way. 

Perhaps we can up the game. Assert our voices for love. Take risks in seeing each other, the heart at peace, yet fierce and deeply perceptive. Know some will criticize our position. Do it anyway. The vulnerable conversation. Listening just a bit longer. The loner employee, the quiet CFO. My client trying so hard. 

Who are we? What do you long for? What breaks your heart? Putting my money behind this deep calm of candid care. We are not the wound. We can be the knowing of the wound, love anyways. Whole. 

photo: kristina-tripkovic | unsplash

photo: kristina-tripkovic | unsplash

Finding kindred spirits.

"Beyond your performance, who are you? Maybe you can find a tender, vulnerable, good-hearted person—also boundless and vast—who is ready to see and be seen, someone who is ready to smile." -Edward Brown

We can't do our wild-heart work alone. We need kindred spirits, kindness, friendship. Thing is, we need to be friends with ourselves. First. Once we love our own perfect imperfection magic happens. Our own selfworth is no longer at stake. Kindred spirits everywhere. The colleague you have felt rebellious against? (Yes, that one.) Behind their performance as well you may accidentally find a tenderness, a good heart, someone ready to see and be seen.

We ask, how to change our culture? Right here. Seeing. Being seen. Kindred, kindness: The words are related. Folks get it. At least the ones for you, your team. We are infused with the same longings. We all carry a secret, us high performers seeking impact. Driven to find something. But we cannot ever find enough of what we don't really need. Because we need recognition, respect, the heart's safety first. Scary soft stuff for hard-core business. I know. But in the long run? Magic happens when we show up, boundless, vast, and finally...fearless. Nothing at stake. Sparkle eventually ignites.

credit: linda xu | unsplash

credit: linda xu | unsplash

Fierce love

We get angry at times. Okay, for me, that would be an understatement. Trigger me on some things that are happening in this world and I seethe. Righteous anger. Confused anger. The anger of feeling powerless. Mostly, I become confused about the pain in my heart.

Thing is, pain happens to all hearts. It's natural. But we aren't powerless. Not at all. Hearts break. But hearts can break open. Wide open to love. It's beautiful.

Here is part of a poem by May Sarton (1912-1995):

"Return to the most human,
nothing less will nourish the torn spirit,
the bewildered heart,
the angry mind:
and from the ultimate duress,
pierced with the breath of anguish,
speak for love."

Later she shifts the words. She ends her last line, "...act for love." Can I channel the energy of my anger into fierce and transformative love? Shall we train for this choice? 

photo credit: simson petrol | unsplash

photo credit: simson petrol | unsplash