Two months into 2018, and already there are many opportunities to live out this year’s theme of “Explore and Experience.” Some fun trips are on the drawing board. I’ve also been unpacking some recent experiences to better learn and grow from them. One thing I have noticed is that the process of making sense of things takes considerable time and energy. Perhaps this is because I am more open to fully engage at a deeper level, what life brings. It takes time to slow down and listen to my inner thoughts and feelings. I am learning to encourage my heart to speak, even (rather, especially!) on matters that seem to be purely work-related. Shifting my mind’s focus from finding solutions to framing questions is helpful. Checking in with my spirit centers me in a complex world. I’m learning to pay attention to each part of me – my heart, mind and spirt – as I explore life and reflect on my experiences.
As is so often the case, when I am grappling with new concepts, I come across someone who has gone before and helps light the way. This year, in my daily Quiet Time, I am re-reading Mark Nepo’s beautiful The Book of Awakening. He uses the metaphor of our “opposing voices” being like an orchestra tuning up to play together. Nepo posits that when we try to make sense of things too soon, before our hearts, minds and spirits are in tune, confusion results. He goes on to write: “Often, experience is the way that the heart and mind and spirt practice what they need to play. Isn’t the trail of our relationships the time it takes for the heart to practice its part in the movement we call Love? Isn’t the trail of our honest questions the time it takes for the mind to practice its part in the movement we call Wisdom? Isn’t the trail of our changing beliefs the time it takes for the spirit to practice its part in the movement we call God? And isn’t our trail of Oneness, those brief moments when everything comes together, isn’t this the time it takes for Love and Wisdom and God to bring the common place in us alive?”
What are your “opposing voices” that might not make sense at first, but that would benefit from time to get in tune with each other? How can you give yourself the grace to allow for those voices to practice what they need to play? What does this passage from The Book of Awakening stir in you, which you can apply to your life and work? We are all fellow explorers, each with different experiences to inform our heart, mind and spirit. If I can support you as you practice hearing and using each of those opposing voices in the workplace, please ask.
Sharon Keys Seal