sun rises slow, I
breathe in the last of night, and
wait, the sky aflame.
sun rises slow, I
sun rises slow, I
breathe in the last of night, and
wait, the sky aflame.
As I close my eyes to the sky,
and breathe in deep, it occurs to me
that time as we understand it has stopped
belaboring me, while the vastness before me
unfolds and expands with a specialness that will
withstand all contrivances that the mind has planned.
Disrupting the pattern created over millennia,
I watch silently, as the breath moves in and out of
my body, and my heart slows down, to match the
hidden, and ever so mysterious criteria.
Listen and believe in the unseen, for even when
in doubt you can be sure that there is clout and
integrity in the system of stars and constellations that
remains, at times, hidden, yet always smitten.
And at others, it’s all we can do to catch a glimpse
of that magical consideration, and watch
as the dance of the cosmos plays out,
and all our dreams come about.
Believe, I say, in the unseen, and dream big right
into that emptiness, knowing all the while that
that vastness is where all of life’s
greatest gifts are awaiting your
focused attention, and future
In response to the WDYS #75 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje.
contemplate and meditate
on the nature that
surrounds you, while moving in
the silent dance of intrigue
and one imagination.
This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon my emotions, as you might have noticed and/or read about in some of my poems. As we continue to move forward with vaccinations, it occurs to me that there will be emotions about the pandemic that will arise for all of us. Some we will see coming, some we will not.
Before we discuss this topic more, let’s take a look at the writing that occured this week, and the writing slated for next week.
This past week, I found myself drawn more to poetry. In fact, in the past two weeks, I’ve written about 10 new poems. All of which, I will share in the coming weeks. I’ve been feeling moved this week by several concepts, which did make their way into the following pieces.
The poem Keeps was initially inspired by the WDYS #74 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. The prompt this week reminded me of my hikes in the local area in which I live. Hikes where I am present to only my footing, the scenery, such as the earth, the foliage, the beautiful sky, and any wildlife that comes by. Beautiful.
As thoughts enter my mind, I let them pass through, and remain in that moment, just walking along the trail being one with the Nature that surrounds me.
It is quite meditative to walk, practice your breathing, and just listen and watch. There is healing in each foot step, each breath, and in each moment. If you’ve not tried meditative walking/hiking, I suggest giving it a try.
The poem Elixir was an acknowledgement to the present moment and the illusion of time. I’ve written several times about the social construction of time, and when you really understand that time, in fact, is illusory, you are freed from self-imposed limits bound in time.
We all live outside of time, yet also live in it, as we choose. A paradox, and not.
As I mentioned previously, I’ve created a bunch of new poems, and am excited to get them scheduled. I feel more poetry coming, so will continue to write and reflect on new concepts and insights as they come.
I am also continuing to work on a post on silence. I had an insight this week about a post on communication, and will probably start that sometime in the next week or two.
Alas, I’ve not made much progress on the Leadership from Within series. Though I’ve not made much progress yet, I will continue to endeavor to write this series. I see it as a possible book in the future, and have a lot of thinking and feeling about the topic to share.
Vaccinations are opening up more here locally. In fact, I am pleased to report that I am on an official waitlist for my first dose. I was told I should get a call in the next week or two.
Though I am pleased about this progress, both as a State and a Country, I realize that there is much work to do across this country and the world to ensure that everyone that wants a vaccination has access.
I will not pretend to know the answers to this issue. I will say, however, that I look forward to a day when those in legislative positions and positions of power in this country and around the globe think more collectively and collaboratively about serving the common good, which includes all of humanity. Everyone, everywhere.
With anticipation and excitement also comes apprehension, fear, and indifference. It’s just how it works. Which means that whereas some people will feel the former, some will feel the latter, and many of us will feel both.
When I was told that I would be put on a waiting list for my first dose of the vaccine, I was excited and anxious. Excited about the movement, and anxious about the unknown.
It is important for me to stay grounded in the current reality, which, yes, includes the vaccination being distributed to more and more people across the State. The current reality also includes, however, the fact that some people will not want to get the vaccine and some will not have access to the vaccine due to systematic inequalities in this country and around the world.
The latter of which fills me with sadness.
It also occurs to me that the landscape of how the pandemic, and respective responses to it from a systems and organizational perspective, are still completely unknown. Which simply means taking things as they come, developing plans and iterating those plans as needed, to ensure we continue to serve as many people as possible with educational options that fit their needs. Important.
The invitation I will send out to the team this week will be to recognize the emotions as they come for what they are. Responses to stimuli in your environment, and in your mind. Meaning, emotions are something we get and feel, they are not who we are.
Emotions, like our thoughts, do not define us. We choose.
Alright, that’s all for this week.
Have a wonderful week and please stay healthy and well.
As I walk, I always wonder.
Wonder about the path underfoot,
gravely in spots, wet and muddy like another,
and semi-solid in some others.
Ponder the present, all that I see,
yes, beneath me, and also out in front in that lea.
Tall grass swaying in the wind, brushing each other,
like kith and kin, a dance of the neighborly ties that bring
us together in every kind of weather.
Fascinated by all that I hear, off in the distance,
and more close with such persistence. Overwhelming
at times, just like a nursery rhyme read aloud to the young.
All grown up now, lost in the brilliance of each moment
together under the sun.
Astonished by all that I feel, a gentle breeze, cold
and prickly on the skin, rustling goose bumps from
their slumber, as I along lumber.
Amazed at all that I smell, that flower off yonder,
and the fresh fragrance of the tiled blue mosaic,
encapsulating the essence of herbs and spices,
as I continue to wander.
Senses are interesting to figure,
as they continue to flitter.
All of the above bring joy to my being,
filling me with a knowing of all
A moment and an eternity,
all wrapped up in one precious instant, so
when you’re next out and about,
please don’t forget to consider.
Well, it’s been a little while since I’ve written an installment in this series. Busy, just like you. I am also continuing to work on a new leadership series, Leading from Within, the first post of which will be out in the next month.
Alright, where we left off in the last installment of the leadership series, was discussing relationships, process, and systems. All necessary and needed to prepare yourself and the team for being in action and gaining traction.
In this post we will look at roles and responsibilities, getting into action, and the resulting traction. Ready? Good. Here we go.
In a team environment, defining each team member’s work and areas of expertise is important. If you don’t know, you won’t know who to hand the “ball” to, who to go to when you need help, and you will not understand what your team members do at work.
Being on a team means defining roles and responsibilities. The first time the team and I completed this task, it was hard. Hard because I came from outside of the department, and most of the people in the burgeoning department knew of each other, yet didn’t really know each other. Meaning, there were acquaintances, yet for what this team would eventually begin to create and build, acquaintances wouldn’t be enough.
We needed to really know each other, to really get each other; and, to do that, you need to dig into the individual work.
I’m sure there are many ways to define roles and responsibilities, yet I only really know how we did it, so here we go.
As we created our roles and responsibilities, we also worked through the results we intended to achieve in our respective positions.
Here is an example of what that looked like.
Yep, that picture is a little askew, yet you get the idea.
Setting your intention early on in a team’s formation can really assist everyone, especially if you are in a leadership position. It tells you what people are passionate about, and how they plan to achieve their goals, and results.
Once everyone’s roles and responsibilities are declared and results are clearly articulated, it’s time to create a system for getting into action.
The past two weeks I’ve been reflecting more upon the system we’ve created over the past three years, which I’m going to walk you through momentarily. One thing you will notice is that within the system, there is a focus on both people and performance.
As I wrote about in the post, Causal Loop 101, a focus on people only results in a lack of action and traction, whereas a focus on performance only will result in declining morale and burnout.
Here is a very simple system anyone in a leadership position can use to move from inaction to action to traction. Ready? Good. Here we go.
When people on a team feel safe, know what each other do, understand their goals and priorities, and fully support the vision, you will get traction. One way to ensure that happens is to install systems into the team to ensure that there is predictability and stability.
Though our systems are mostly home-grown, they work; and, though the type of education we work in changes rapidly, just like businesses in the private sector, there is always a sense of predictability and stability amidst the chaos. Important.
You might be thinking, what does traction look like?
Well, it can look lots of different ways. One thing it is not? Just hitting a metric. That’s not it.
Meeting your goals, objectives, priorities, and metrics is only one part of the equation. Just one. The other? Developing high-quality relationships with each other that can withstand changes and chaos that will come your way. It is inevitable.
If you have the former without the latter, the team will eventually falter. If you have the latter without the former, you will achieve the former in time, and the resulting traction. Guaranteed.
Alright, that’s the last entry in The Leadership Series. It was fun. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am currently working on a new Leadership Series, the first post of which should be out sometime in April. That will also be fun. Until then, lead well.
The piano plays, just like a display,
And, yes, sometimes, I do feel flayed,
And swayed by my emotional state.
Coming in waves at times, overwhelmed
And feeling lost in translation, or, rather,
Maybe it’s best in preparation for the next
Round, say, did you call?
Or, was that just a whisper of something
I thought I caught on a second chance,
No need for romance, it’s all as it should be
In this dance. We’ve moved on from the choreography,
And are now simply living in full blown practicality.
Just as it is. See. Simple. And, not. Oh, what
A paradox, and yet, it’s not even that, my friend. It’s simply
This, this moment here with you, typing what comes, and becoming
What’s, from the start, always been the end plot.
I could be remiss, second-guessing
all that I’ve missed, and guess what,
that’s also been done and sealed with a kiss.
Of love forevermore, for the losses and also
For the light that blossoms in my heart, as time
Passes, and aging happens.
Be still when you have a moment, reflect
And heal those wounds deep in your soul,
For the love you feel will bloom even more.
breathe in deep, knowing
the beautiful fragrance of
the flowers elixir lives
in the eternity of
this moment. I weep in
the ecstasy of this presence
as the concept of time passes
the sun sets slowly
pause, breathe, mind at rest.
The trail winds to the left, and, yes
Sometimes I do feel bereft, yet not usually
When I’m in this scene, which is just like a dream.
Something from the fiction books, beautiful and deeply
Colored earth underfoot, stunning shrubbery and foliage
Descending and ascending on either side, reminding me
Of such kinder times. Trees as tall as the sky, looking up, feeling
Dizzy, and completely in love with this misty morning.
A deep grin catches my eye, as I continue to fly
Along the trail, listening to only my heart beat,
and the sounds of the forest underneath.
Being present, I let the thoughts drop back,
One foot in front of the other, breathe in deep,
and remember we are all in this play for keeps.
In response to the WDYS #74 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje.