Break the Shell

July 26, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The good old comfort zone. Don’t we all know that feeling of sitting inside it at various times within our lives. I’m sure we have all experienced testing it too and the joy, discomfort or a thousand other emotions associated with the decisions that we took. So why do we sit in or challenge our comfort zone? What are the risks and what are the rewards of the thoughts, words and actions involved?

This is something that I am consistently processing and evaluating within the context of providing programs that are fun, inspiring, challenging and meaningful to the participants I have the pleasure to support within the Explore Discover Act community. It is the reason our leadership program is called Lead with Courage, as our journey of potential is all about navigating the opportunities and challenges that allow us to build connection to self, others and the world around us and make a difference in our own and others lives. It is also what we all go through, we are all human, so it makes it important for us all to explore the possibilities, discover our potential and act authentically.

“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” – Will Rogers

Within my work in the education field, teaching, outdoor education and experiential learning, I have seen such incredible feats of courage. To be honest though, the ones that have stuck with me as my biggest reminders of this ongoing journey are not on high ropes courses or climbing walls, it is those seemingly small individual thoughts, words or actions that connected the dots for that person in a particular sphere of their life or through shared vulnerability opened a door for someone else to do the same. This to me is so important, creating time and space for individuals to experience and process what’s real for them, rather than coming up with a definitive answer to a particular set of questions. We all have a variety of strengths and strategies, weaknesses and insecurities that help or hinder us along the journey. So as we navigate the complexity of our interconnected global village lets continue to inspire each other with our daily acts of courage.

Take the time today to reflect on your own journey. It is not about what anyone else would or wouldn’t do, could or couldn’t achieve, should or shouldn’t have done, rather an opportunity to foster a deepening connection to self, others and the world around us. This song below by India.Arie is a powerful reminder of our individual and shared journey, with all its ups and downs, highs and lows, bumps and bruises. Have a great weekend!

Break the Shell – India.Arie

I met a prophet dark as the night
She could see into my soul
Said she’d been watching and had some advice
She said shadows make you whole
A life without pain is a wolf in sheep’s clothes
Cause if you listen to the lessons that it holds
You’ll find the gold

Child it’s time to break the shell
Life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt
You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself
You cannot fly until you break the shell

I can remember when I was a child
How the grown folks seemed so crazy
Why are they so angry, why are they so loud?
And when I grow up that’s never ever gonna be me
That was the moment that I decide
That I would build a wall just shy of six feet tall
Too strong to fall

Child it’s time to break the shell
Life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt
You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself
You cannot fly until you break the shell

Courage is not being hard
It’s time to peel back all of the layers
You put between who You’re meant to be
And who You are
And go be who You are

So much disappointment to finally understand
That there is no such thing as perfect
Were all simply doing the best that we can
And we have a choice to live or truly be alive

(This is your life)

Child it’s time to break the shell
Life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt
You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself
You cannot fly until You break the shell

Child it’s time to break the shell
Life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt
You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself
A bird cannot fly until it breaks the shell

Do with these words what you will
It’s time for us to be for real
You’ll be stuck on the ground until
You finally break the shell

Wired for Wonder

July 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”

– Walt Streightiff

Wondering takes on so many forms. When we think of small children we could all highlight many of their daily thoughts, words or actions that personify the quote above. The questions. Their imaginary play. The energy and enthusiasm. Their love of games. The exploration, discoveries and firsts. Pure joy. Innovative experiments. Their persistence, creativity, spontaneity and letting go of certainty. Empowered action and being completely present in the moment. And the list could go on.

So how do our experiences along our journey of potential affect our awareness and appreciation of the limitless wonders that exist in the everyday?

I was so excited when I discovered the ‘Wired for Wonder’ conference that is being held in Sydney in just under two weeks time. I have for a long time wanted to hear American researcher Brene Brown speak live. When I saw that she would be part of this event, along with an inspiring and diverse list of speakers, I jumped at the opportunity to book tickets.

The title of the conference really resonated, both professionally and personally. I strive to embody as well as foster through our programs the Explore Discover Act way, exploring the possibilities, discovering your potential and acting authentically. This process taps into the theme of the conference, that each and every one of us are wired for wonder.

I look forward to being inspired. I look forward to being challenged. I look forward to building connections. I look forward to sharing what I have the privilege to experience at the conference within the Explore Discover Act community.

Consider how this quote below from Brene Brown’s book ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead’ could assist us when reflecting on the question I posed at the beginning of this post.

“After doing this work for the past twelve years and watching scarcity ride roughshod over our families, organizations, and communities, I’d say the one thing we have in common is that we’re sick of feeling afraid. We want to dare greatly. We’re tired of the national conversation centering on “What should we fear” and “Who should we blame?” We all want to be brave.”

– Brene Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead)

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