​​a heart filled with love

heart opening up to new realities,
I see much more today than any other day,
when dismay was more present, the gifts all around,
did sway

in the breeze gently, head down, furious pace,
lost, and wondering where to turn about…

looking up, the sky always tried to offer solace,
and a way to stay

keeping the pain at bay,
and as

clarity dawned, after much work on heart,
and many tears did
pour forth

cleaning and cleansing all the broken parts,
offering a healing in the light, when at its darkest
was the night

a shining, there was, and meet it, I did, where
time stops, and we’re present to all we’ve done,
and give thanks to

a heart filled with love, that always was…


Photo by geralt, Pixabay


#poetry, #broken, #darkness, #emotion, #feelings, #healing, #heart, #insight, #life, #light, #love, #nature, #pain, #poem, #realization, #whole

open hearts have healed

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I stared
at the screen,
and nothing came

forward,

until
a whisper
of something
quite different
came flying by,
in pure insistence

unannounced
at the time,
was this tiny flicker
of insight,
waiting to be seen
on just
the right night

feeling
first,
is how it works

a stirring,

awaiting
recognition,
as it
makes its way
to the floor outside
our open hearts door

knocking
for entry, realizing
we’re retreating,

it waits,
wonders, and
all the while
saunters,

back and forth
pacing,
and relishing
in the journey
at our hearts very core

sending
messages unheard,
unseen,
yet felt
by those
with the ability
to be free
from constricted sense-

abilities

arising
more,
while numbness
subsides,
resulting in
a most fantastic
grin,
which I adore

ages
come and go,
yet,
wherever
we do travel,
human beings
on this planet
know one thing
for sure

open hearts
have healed
for ages, and
will continue to
far past the time
when
we’ve left this plane
forevermore


I sat down last night to write my diary entry, and, well, nothing came forward. That was, until I opened the document I use to write poetry drafts. Then, this piece came forward. How fun it all is.

Have a beautiful week, everyone.

#poetry, #connection, #contemplation, #emotion, #healing, #hope, #humanity, #insight, #instrospection, #life, #love, #open-heart, #poem, #poems, #realization

the darkness dances

Photo by Vasily Kozorez on Unsplash

the darkness
envelops me, I
cannot see, sweat
routs my brow,
my heart skips a beat,
and my legs
begin to twitch,
feverishly

fear encases me

wrapped up,
frozen solid, unable
to move, a tear slides
down my face,
and I
realize,
feeling is something
that’s left me
for the time being

numb,
confused,
withdrawn, and
disengaged
from life, love,
and even
the loss
presenting itself
to me
on a daily basis

waiting, and
wanting to know
why this happens,
not being able
to hold on

any longer

as a momentary
pause ensues,
a gift

is given
understanding
dawns,
mind takes
hold,
heart,
explodes, as
light pours forth

and,

the darkness
once fraught
with fear
and anguish
begins to dance
to a language
all its own


Utmost Feelings – Just Released!

If you’ve not yet checked out Astha’s Anthology, Utmost Feelings, well, you can now order it online. Here’s where you can find it:

Paperback-

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/9390817455

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/9390817455

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/9390817455

Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/9390817455

Amazon ES: https://www.amazon.es/dp/9390817455

Amazon IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/9390817455

Amazon JP: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/9390817455

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/9390817455

Ebook

Payhip- https://payhip.com/b/DjE8x

Kobo Books- https://www.kobo.com/in/en/ebook/utmost-feelings

B&N Press- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/utmost-feelings-astha-srivastava/1139758293?ean=2940162372431

#poetry, #consciousness, #contemplation, #dark, #emotions, #humanity, #insight, #introspection, #letting-go, #life, #light, #love, #poem, #poems, #quietness, #realization, #stillness

Devotion

Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

They befall us all,
for it’s a part of being a walking
and breathing kaleidoscope,
on a planet so full of hope.

When they come,
it’s very normal to withdraw,
and look for reasons for this flaw.

Asking questions to the sky above,
yet, that might not be where
the answers are located, my love.

Tragedies are a part of the calamity of
this thing we call life.
They are part and parcel of the
seen and unseen,
and everything in between; conjoined
forever in an illusory dance with,

Blessings

my friend are all around you,
so when you have a moment,
take a minute, and stop. Stop
moving, and just be
with all that surrounds you, and
is within you.
And, in that silence,
listen, feel, and always
keep it real.

Reality holds a lot of promise,
when we move out of the way,
and let go of our preconceived notions.
When we stay in motion,
and let our hearts open,
allowing the silence within to
determine our devotion.

#poetry, #contemplation, #insight, #introspection, #intuition, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #quiet, #slience, #tragedy

A Developmental Moment #2: The 3 C’s of Authentic Productivity

3 Reasons Why Being Authentic Will Increase Your Productivity

Photo by Arno Senoner on Unsplash

A few months ago I wrote the article, The Reflection Series Part 2: What Does it Mean to Live an Authentic Life?, where we discussed living an authentic life. The basic premise being how living an authentic life is an empowering experience.

Now, in this article, we will discuss how we can increase our productivity by simply being the human being we know ourselves to be. Yep. Ready? Good here. we go.

Have you ever seen behind the scenes of a theatrical production? Yes, no? Well, either way, there is a ton of work that goes into creating a stage production, even a small production at a local high-school.

I remember taking, what was then called stagecraft, in high-school, and that was our job. Creating the stage, or, in sociological terms, creating the visual context for the play. Was great fun.

Erving Goffman, an American-Canadian Sociologist from the 1950’s, talks about life in terms of a play. Noting that we all take on particular personas based on socialization, yes, the context we are working or living in, and the ideas we have about who we are, and, yep, the ideas we believe others hold of us. Phew. That’s a lot of information to hold, which, hint, hint, is part of the point of this article.

I digress, back on track. Here is a short, well, relatively short, synopsis of what Goffman terms dramaturgy.

Dramaturgy is a sociological perspective that is a component of symbolic interactionism and is used in sociological analysis of everyday life. Developed by American sociologist Erving Goffman in his seminal 1959 text The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, dramaturgy uses the metaphor of theater to explain human behavior. According to this perspective, individuals perform actions in everyday life as if they were performers on a stage. Identity is performed through roles. Here, the term “role” works in two ways, referencing both the name for a theatrical character and the ways in which individuals fill roles in reality by acting as a mother, friend, husband, etc. Dramaturgy argues that the presentation of oneself through role is a way of engaging with society.

Social Science

Alright, now, you may be asking, okay, and?

Well, think about all of the roles you take on each day. Seriously. Count them real quick. Here, I’ll do it too. I came up with 7. And, that was just a quick inquiry. A more focused inquiry would reveal many, many, more. And, you? How many did you come up with? Yep. Good.

Now, with all of these roles, and what I will now term performances, how much preparation do you do to create, deliver, and sustain these performances? Hm. Quite a bit, I bet. And, time? Yep, preparation is time. And time is energy.

Alright, so we spend a lot of time backstage, in Goffman terms, preparing for our individual performances, even when we are unaware. Yep. And, then frontstage, delivering them? Exactly. We spend a lot of energy there too. True.

And, now, let’s add in being inauthentic. If we are, let us say, working even harder on our performances, because we believe we need to look, act, and behave a certain way, either because we feel we should, or, we feel that others expect that of us, that is even more tiring. Phew. That’s a lot of tiring. Yet, there is another way. How?

By being authentic. And, guess what? Yep. When we are authentic, we save energy.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Authenticity and Productivity

When we are authentic, we save energy because, quite simply, we work less hard trying to convince ourselves and everyone around us that we are someone we’re not. As we’ve already seen, it takes a lot of time and energy just to perform our various roles, which does not include trying to perform them in ways we think we are supposed to.

Further, we all have a limited amount of energy to utilize throughout our day. We can think about our day in terms of exchanging units of energy for each task, project, or activity we take on.

As we exchange our units of energy, our stores become depleted. Now, we can recharge these energy stores by doing various things, such as taking a walk or sitting and breathing for a couple of minutes.

However, we should also covet these energy stores by being aware of our energy levels throughout the day. And? Well, when we are continuously thinking about our performances, our energy is depleted at a faster rate. Why?

Because we are distracted with thoughts and mentalizations that make the work we are engaged with more arduous. Pretty simple.

Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

However, when we aren’t concerned about our performances, meaning we are being authentic and true to the person we know ourselves to be, our energy is saved from tasks such as worrying and overthinking. Important.

And, when we save our energy we can be more productive.

Alright, here then are three productivity byproducts that come from being authentic. Being who we really are. Just for fun, we will call these the 3 C’s of Authentic Productivity.

  • Capacity – when we are authentic, we have more energy for the aforementioned reasons, and we also have more capacity. More capacity to do the work we need to do, free from the constraints of spending time and energy concentrating on performing in ways that we think we are supposed to, or we think others expect us to.
  • Concentration – when we are authentic, we are also able to concentrate more easily. Our minds are not busy fretting about our performance. For instance, wondering what someone thinks about what we just said, or how we are acting in a particular context. When we are free from these mentalizations, we are much more clear.
  • Clarity – and, yes, when we have more capacity to concentrate on the work at hand, we are also more clear. We have more clarity in general about all things, and are able to complete tasks and projects with much greater efficiency and effectiveness.

There is one more bonus to being authentic. Insight.

Photo by Kyle Tran on Unsplash

When we have more capacity, are able to concentrate more effectively, and have more clarity, we create the possibility of receiving more insights. Insights occur when our minds are quiet. When we are quiet.

And, we are much more quiet when we are not in a continuous internal battle about who we are. When we are authentic, this battle drops away, and insights come more frequently.

Wow, that was fun.

Alright, that’s the 3 C’s of Authentic Productivity. Know there are many more benefits to being authentic. Seriously. Many more.

Pretty much everything we do, we do more effectively and efficiently when we are authentic. As we’ve seen in our discussion, worrying about our performances depletes our energy levels.

However, when we are authentic, we save our energy, and in doing so increase our capacity, ability to concentrate, and overall clarity.

You are already just as you are supposed to be. So be who you are, be authentic, embrace yourself, and enjoy each moment of every day.

Oh, yes, and, remember, when you do so, you’ll also enjoy more insights along the way. And, believe me, that’s super fun.

#authenticity, #authenticityandproductivity, #capacity, #clarity, #concentration, #energy, #humandevelopment, #insight, #leadership, #productivity, #selfawareness, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement

The Reflection Series Part 4: What Do Coaching, Communication, and Insight Have in Common?

A 3-minute Reflection on Leadership and Systems Thinking

Photo by Cam Bradford on Unsplash

What do you think that coaching, communication, and insight have in common? Hm. Not sure?

Or, maybe, you’re thinking it’s that they’re interactive, and that’s what they have in common, and, yep, that is true. Yet there is one more. Yep.

They are all part of a single system. Each one, coaching, communication, and insight, all of them, is a piece of a larger whole. Let’s take a look at these pieces so we can see the whole. Ready? Here we go.

Creating Coaching

Alright, I’ve written about coaching before, and, even wrote about a developed model that works pretty well. Yet, guess what? Yep. That model has iterated. Today? Here’s what it looks like now.

  1. Creating Safety
  2. Current Reality
  3. Future Reality
  4. Define the Gap
  5. Create Next Actions
  6. Create Safety

Yep, it is a complete system. And, yes, it is a system within a system. Meaning, that coaching is, yes, one piece in an overall system, and, yep, you begin with safety and end with it. Every time. Why?

Because creating safety for people is one of the most important aspects of developing high-functioning teams. Seriously. Watch.

What does it take to have a high-functioning team? Any ideas? Yep. Here we go.

  1. Trust
  2. Reciprocity
  3. Vulnerability
  4. Innovation
  5. Execution

There’s five. And, to have those five? Yep. Safety. Always.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Creating Communication

In order to have high-quality coaching conversations, good communication must also be present. And, what, pray, are the components of good communication. Here are a few.

  1. Listen
  2. Be present
  3. Tell your truth
  4. Reciprocity

Sounds simple, yes? Well, it is, and yet, is a paradox, like most things in life. Why? Because it takes practice, and a commitment to persevere. You will make mistakes. And?

That’s okay. It’s part of it.

If we think that good communication feels good all the time, or looks one way or another, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Most of my favorite conversations today are loaded with work, for both people.

Here are a few more important concepts to develop good communication.

  1. Patience
  2. Grace
  3. Compassion
  4. Understanding

It takes work and time. Yet, when you practice listening and being present, all kinds of wondrous things happen. Really.

Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash

Creating Insight

Ah, yes, one of my favorite topics. Insight. Beautiful.

Well, what’s the deal with insight anyway? When we typically think about insight, we think about that moment of clarity where we learn something we’d not considered before. Right? Yep.

However, insight can come in many forms. Seriously. Here are a few.

  1. Self
  2. One-on-One
  3. Team
  4. Organization
  5. Community

Yep. Insights are created through collaboration, whether that is through collaboration with yourself, yes, that’s true, or with another individual or team member, or with the entire team, organization, or community.

Insights are a product of high-quality communicative contexts that are safe. Period.

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

A Single System

Alright, so what does creating coaching, good communication, and insight have to do with each other? Yep, you got it.

They are all a part of the relationship system. First, the relationships we have with ourselves, then, the team, organization, and community. True.

And, the relationship system is applicable in all social contexts. Meaning, you can substitute family with the team in the aforementioned example, and you have a whole and complete system for the family. Same.

There we go. That’s my 3-minute reflection on the relationships system, and why considering these pieces as connected and a part of a larger whole is very important for leaders, and, well, for everyone. Really.

In fact, one could argue, as I would, that your very relationships depend on it. Truth. Phew. That was fun.

#coaching, #communication, #insight, #interactions, #leadership, #relationshsipsystem, #selfdevelopment

An Insight Poem

Photo by Guzmán Barquín on Unsplash

Insight is such a delight,
A fancy quite bright, which lives
Beyond the pale moonlight

Of your hearts desire,
A mystery
Hidden deep inside
Of a lifetime broadly acquired, and
Lived to its fullest as time transpires

Without notice, so please
Pay attention, and
Remember to mention
The insight you are delivered, which

Promises to be quivered
Possibilities
Unsheathed, and ready to take
flight

Upon this night of joyful, and
Ready delight, a birthright
For each of us, even when

We feel disconnected, and
Not protected, knowing
Is always there, so don’t despair
Because life is fair,

A beauty in no need of repair,
Connected
A tranquil pair,
In love with all that’s there, so

Sit quietly and take measure
Of your hearts deepest pleasure

The insight will hum,
A breath whispered, of times yet to come

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

#aninsightpoem, #insight, #lifeandlove, #poem, #poems, #writing, #writing-poetry