On Your Bike

December 29, 2014 at 3:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“There are many spokes on the wheel of life. First, we’re here to explore new possibilities.” – Ray Charles

This time of the year sees many of us reflecting on, celebrating, contemplating, and definitely counting down to the end of the current year. Part of this process usually involves also considering all that a fresh start in the new year might bring. New Year’s resolutions are being dreamt up, goals and aspirations might be written down, plans and daily practices are being formulated, and if we are feeling courageous we might even be sharing some of these with others as a way of binding some accountability around all of our new years hopes. It sounds pretty simple doesn’t it, work out what we want, then allow the changes to happen. Right?

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

While catching up with a good friend about a week ago I was telling him of some of my plans for this summer break. My friend rides his bicycle everywhere, so I was sharing my looking forward to more time on my bike rather than being in a car. During the conversation I kept having connections come to me around our experiences of pursuing our resolutions each year, while navigating belief, skills, support, confidence, successes, obstacles and challenges, with varying motivation levels at the beginning, during and at the end of the journey. Metaphors were created through the theme of being on your bike, here are some of the thoughts I had:

  • It is our choice and our responsibility: To ride or not to ride? Repeat.
  • To get anywhere, we have to pedal: It is going to involve effort on our behalf.
  • Each of us has to find and adjust to size a bike that suits our particular needs: It’s always more challenging, frustrating and disheartening when we try to force the riding of someone else’s bike or one that isn’t designed for the journey we are taking.
  • There’s a difference between being aware of and prepared for potential bike maintenance issues or scrapes and bruises, and expecting bike failure and serious injury before you’ve even got on, your whole time riding and when you are considering your next time on the bike.
  • Shifting or changing gears only works when you have first created and are maintaining forward momentum.
  • That not utilising all the available gears on your bike impacts your ability to respond to the various terrains that the journey will present.
  • The energy, connection and inspiration created by being on your bike ripples into all areas of your life.
  • One negative experience on your bike doesn’t dictate what the next experience will be like.
  • Where we stop for a break for varying amounts of time or whether we change direction or alter our course is again our choice and our responsibility.
  • That riding is always more fun when I have a smile on my face and eyes open to all that is unfolding around me.

 “The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.” – Heraclitus

What are your dreams, goals and aspirations for the coming year? Below I have included a short paragraph from our website that we use to describe the path we strive to embody each and every day. What would your paragraph say? The (insert your name here) Way. All the best as you prepare for the new year and all the potential it may bring.

The EDA Way™ is embracing the journey of exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically. Each experience that we have provides opportunities to develop, practice and reflect on our skills, attitudes and behaviours, while deepening connection to self, others and the world around us. This process opens us up to experience genuine connection, opportunity, achievement, success, joy and love. It does not eliminate challenge or vulnerability from our lives, instead reminding us that we have choices in how we engage, grow and contribute through empowered daily thoughts, words and actions. Viewing our interdependent journey through this lens influences the fulfillment of our individual and shared potential. So with a smile on our face and compassionate awareness and appreciation of our own and others humanness we can consider;

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely” – Unknown

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Celebrating 2014

December 22, 2014 at 4:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot

Wow, the final week of the 2014 school year has passed, Christmas week has started and the holidays are here, what a year it has been. This post is my chance to celebrate and reflect on the year that was, and also express my gratitude for all the individuals and groups with whom we have had the privilege of engaging and working with. We started 2014 with the mantra of ‘Choose Connection and Contribution’. It has guided our daily thoughts, words and actions as we have continued to journey towards our vision of ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’.

“Cameron’s ongoing connection with our school and students is very evident with every visit, and the program continues to build leadership values in our kids.” – Feedback from Assistant Principal/Stage 3 Teacher from our last L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program for the year

We are so grateful for the school communities that we support through our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program. It really is a privilege to engage, challenge and inspire each individual and group with whom we work. We understand the amazing commitment teachers and school communities have for the welfare and educational opportunities offered to their students. Education is definitely a complex and interdependent journey, with many important pieces of a puzzle supporting students, staff and school communities to achieve the best outcomes for each individual. It is our privilege to be a piece in this puzzle for our client schools by supporting and enriching their student’s learning and leadership journeys in Years 5 and 6.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

The students who we facilitate the program for constantly inspire us through their energy, enthusiasm, courage and readiness to join in, have fun, thoughtfully process, learn from and then make real leadership within their own spheres of influence. It is feedback like the comment below that reminds us of the positive ripples that are created through exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically, as we as individuals and groups strive to make a difference in our own and others lives. We keep coming back to this quote, ‘Leadership is action, not position’, within the program and ongoing communication with the students within our EDA Action Squad community because it reminds us that each of us can ‘be the change’.

“The High School Principal came over to report to our teachers that over the past two years the cohorts coming through from our school are willingly identifying themselves as leaders and seeking leadership opportunities in the early years of their new environment. This was a noticeable change to past cohorts and unique within the feeder schools. This time frame is since you’ve been supporting our school community, thanks.” – Feedback from Assistant Principal/Stage 3 Teacher from our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program earlier in the year

So as this year comes to an end we are excited for all that 2015 will bring. We will be launching a new connection and mindfulness program for Stage 2 students to further support our clients, be holding some fun community events to raise funds for some worthwhile local projects, continuing to grow and develop our L.E.A.D. with Courage™ Program, attending some exciting professional development experiences, as well as all the other opportunities that will present themselves as we also Explore the possibilities, Discover potential and Act authentically.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us this year through this Blog and our other Social Media posts. We wish you, your family and friends a connection filled Christmas and holiday season. Wherever you may be, whoever you share this time with, however you may celebrate, may we remember that our ability to show up and be present within complex interactions with self, others and the world around us provides opportunities to deepen connection and make a difference in our own and others lives. Our daily thoughts, words and actions are choices, with the lens that we view this journey through influencing the fulfillment of our individual and shared potential. Merry Christmas to all!

“IT IS IN THIS MOMENT YOU HAVE THE POWER TO BE THE SOLUTION!” – Ileana Kane

Creating Space

December 8, 2014 at 5:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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Poem

There are moments when rules are meant to be broken;

when bursting out of context is the sole way to see with new eyes.

There are fences built only to be torn down.

The slats look solid, but no one drove the nails in tight.

There are barricades around the heart asking to be breached.

Sooner or later we all run out of excuses for staying small and safe.

– Dana Faulds

Surf’s Up

December 1, 2014 at 5:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

shutterstock_117660574“I tell people that I didn’t develop or create the code. I simply wrote down what was out there all the time in my heart and in the hearts of many surfers, always there but sometimes overlooked. I like to think the code was always there, a part of every surfer’s life, unspoken maybe, but in our hearts, ever since the ancient Polynesians started surfing so many thousands of years ago.” – Shaun Tomson

When I work with groups I have the privilege of witnessing, listening to and feeling the inner wisdom that lies within each of us. I think that’s why I have also always loved reading books or listening to speakers who share a message from the heart that has be born through the deepening of connection they have experienced within their own journey of potential. While spending time in and around the beach over the weekend, sliding into summer with the beautiful weather that we had, I was reminded of The Surfer’s Code by Shaun Tomson. It is an inspiring little read with some powerful connections and simple life lessons unfolding throughout its pages.

Like all of us, Shaun has experienced a full gamut of successes and challenges throughout his life. What I know for sure is that no one gets a free ride, each of us has to navigate varying degrees of complexity, turbulence, uncertainty and even the unimaginable. A commonality in each of our journeys is that life goes on, with each of us having to courageously align and realign regularly our thoughts, words and actions to our own personal ‘codes’ that have been developed over time within a myriad of experiences and expressed through our individual and shared values. Below is a summary of Shaun’s 12 Simple Lessons for Business and Life that he shares throughout the book;

  1. I will never turn my back on the ocean: Passion
  2. I will paddle around the impact zone: No short cuts
  3. I will take the drop with commitment: Courage, focus and determination
  4. I will never fight a rip tide: The danger of pride and egotism
  5. I will always paddle back out: Perseverance in the face of challenges
  6. I will watch out for other surfers after a big set: Responsibility
  7. I will know that there will always be another wave: Optimism
  8. I will ride and not paddle into shore: Self-esteem
  9. I will pass on my stoke to a non-surfer: Sharing knowledge and giving back
  10. I will catch a wave every day, even in my mind: Imagination
  11. I will realize that all surfers are joined by one ocean: Empathy
  12. I will honor the sport of kings: Honor and integrity

Source: http://shauntomson.com/projects/books-films/surfers-code

So as I swum at my local beach yesterday, thinking about The Surfer’s Code, I took some time to reflect on what I have learnt and continue to be inspired by within my interactions with the surf.

  • As much as I may wish the waves or conditions to be different on any particular day, they aren’t and won’t change just because I may wish it to be. So accepting what is and being fully present with the conditions of the day allows for gratitude, enjoyment and a deepening of connection within each experience.
  • There is so much beauty within even the most turbulent of conditions, if I choose to keep my eyes open to it and let it in. Whether it be the light shimmering in different patterns on the sand below as I dive under the crashing waves, the clearness of the water below the churning water above or any of the other wonder full sights or sounds, it is there whether I see it or not.
  • We need very little to be able to experience presence, connection, play, joy and fun. There are so many smiling faces on the beach, with maybe just a single tennis or soccer ball, a spade or bucket, pet dog or best friend, as the only accompaniment.
  • The surf can be perceived very differently from various spots, like on the shore to when you’re actually in the water. In the end though it is exactly the same surf, regardless of where it is being viewed or experienced from, and can only be navigated one wave at a time.
  • Through community we can support each other by being there and reaching out when another gets into trouble. The Council Lifeguards and local Surf Life Saving Clubs inspire me with their training, practices, patrolling and the rescues that are performed.
  • The importance of doing things that we love regularly as a way of aligning and realigning our thoughts, words and actions as we navigate our journeys of potential. The way that I feel after being at the beach, and in particular after being in the water, is a constant reminder of this for me.

 “All surfers are joined by one ocean.” – Shaun Tomson

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