Fido’s Morning Walk

September 19, 2016 at 6:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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To start with I have to apologise for the title of this post. The dogs name that I’ve chosen isn’t very original is it? But truth be told, I don’t actually know what his or her name is. So Fido will have to do. You see, this dog I’ve never meet in person. I only see ‘Fido’ going for his or her morning walk if I happen to be standing near my front window at that time.

“Hold the vision, trust the process.” – Unknown

I remember when I first started noticing Fido’s morning walks quite a while ago. He or she definitely seemed like quite the distractible new pup. Sniffing here. Pulling there. Bouncing around everywhere. And there was Fido’s owner. Patiently and purposefully stopping and redirecting every time. The small rewards given regularly seemed to be such an important piece of the puzzle as well. They came out a lot at the beginning. Then slowly became less and less visible.

“Moving towards better rather than moving away from bad is an attitude of embracing life rather than rejecting it.” – Dalai Lama

One thing that has struck me most along the way is the joy this morning walk brings both owner and pet. This has been evident from those early days right through to noticing them this morning. Some days definitely seemed more challenging than others. But looking out my window I see the progress that has happened through commitment, perseverance and resilience over time.

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso

Integration Made Visible

September 12, 2016 at 3:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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(Slide from Dr. Daniel Siegel’s Optimal Leadership Masterclass in Sydney – June 2016)

“You were made for the place where your real passion meets compassion, because there lies your real purpose.” – Ann Voskamp

Compassion is definitely something that comes up a lot within our programs. It’s always then really interesting how a sharing of many personal stories, thoughts and ideas will be sparked within the participants when it does. Usually after that a conversation starts about the different responses compassion produces compared to when we experience empathy by itself. This second part of the conversation is mainly within our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program. This is not really surprising though I guess; courageously choosing to lead (using our daily thoughts, words and actions to make a difference) and compassion (for self, others and the world around us) walk hand in hand.

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” – Buddha

If we are going to deepen connection to and then make a difference for ourselves and others we are going to be moved to act. It’s why the quote, ‘Leadership is action, not position’ underpins our L.E.A.D. with Courage™ Program and philosophy. As expressed in the slide above from Dr. Daniel Siegel’s Optimal Leadership Masterclass in Sydney earlier this year, it’s through the expression of kindness and compassion that we see ‘integration made visible’. These vital daily practices really have to start with ourselves before they can most effectively ripple out to those around us though. As American researcher/storyteller Brené Brown says, ‘We can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly’.

“The difference we make, is from the action we take.” – Tim Fargo

How important do you view kindness and compassion being within our individual and shared learning and leadership journeys? Is it easier expressing kindness and compassion to others or yourself when we inevitably experience challenge, failure and vulnerability? How would you finish this simple leadership phrase – Integration Made Visible is …? We love Dr. Kristen Neff’s work around self compassion; especially the practices of mindfulness (paying attention in the present moment), then using self kindness over self judgement, while remembering our common humanity over isolation. What practices do you use to help you express kindness and compassion for self, others and the world around you every day?

“Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Note to Self: D.EA.R. ______________

September 5, 2016 at 5:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Every now and again I’ll wake in the very early hours of a new day with such clarity around a thought, idea or themed framework. It usually involves jumping out of bed at about 3am and grabbing a journal so I can start writing down whatever has come to me. Some of these early morning inspiration strikes have seemed to be fully formed. While others seem like they are a starting point or a piece of the puzzle of putting together something bigger. Note to Self: D.EA.R. ___________ was one of these.

“You can’t change what’s going on around you until you start changing what’s going on within you.” – Zig Ziglar

It has been an incredible privilege to have worked with such a diverse mix of individuals and groups in various parts of the world over the years. I feel indebted to the amazing participants, colleagues and collection of teachable moments I have witnessed and been apart of in that time. Courageously choosing to, or not to, (there are so many teachable moments through the full spectrum of choices we make) explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically has provided us as individuals and groups incredible connections, reminders and new ways of being within our learning and leadership journeys. It has really helped me cement my deep belief in the potential of each individual and the fact that we are all capable of making a difference in our own and others lives. This now underpins all that we do at Explore Discover Act.

“Desire is a teacher: When we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame, or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allows us to embrace life fully.” – Mark Epstein

Awareness, awareness, awareness. How often do our daily thoughts, words and/or actions get dragged along by blame, uncertainty, anger, resentment, frustration or feelings of inadequacy (fear based)? Our power (or feeling a lack of power) is projected onto another person, a circumstance or event. We play small so we don’t have to confront failure, challenge, feeling uncomfortable or change. D is then for DESIRE – helping us to peer behind the door when we become aware of our thoughts, words and/or actions slipping down this path. Compassionately bringing ourselves back to our core desire of love, connection, belonging and contribution (love over fear) can open new and exciting pathways and choices to navigate ‘what next’.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Gail Devers

An attitude of I CAN, a belief in YOU CAN and inspiring WE CAN. EA is then for EMPOWERED ACTION – helping us to peer behind the door when we become aware of our thoughts, words and/or actions slipping down this path of inaction. Compassionately remembering our own and others authentic potential and our ability to make a difference in our own and others lives through empowered action can open new and exciting pathways and choices to navigate ‘what next’.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

Choose connection and contribution over competition and control. R is then for RIPPLES (not Results) – helping us to peer behind the door when we become aware of our thoughts, words and/or actions slipping down this path. Compassionately remembering that life isn’t defined by titles, possessions or external achievements, rather it is the way we interact with and treat ourselves, others and the world around us (accepting that our thoughts, words and actions matter wherever we find ourselves) that can open new and exciting pathways and choices to navigate ‘what next’.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

This practice of Note to Self: D.EA.R. ___________ has become an important one for me. I am enjoying getting playful with it when I notice myself slipping into fear based choices. ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me’ through taking the time to check in and peer behind one, two or all three of these doors walks me back into progress over perfection, allowing me to continue striving to embody and purposefully foster exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically.

“If you’re going to affirm something, affirm the truth. Then go do something about it.” – Jim Rohn

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