Tag: Presence

Take a walk

Thames View Take a walk

Last week I wrote a post called “It is solved by walking“, itself linking to an earlier and more detailed post about the power of shifting context by walking.

I love to walk, it is so beneficial to the body and the mind. I also love to have coaching and other meetings while walking, with the London climate typically being excellent for that most of the year.

Yesterday I had one of my adult sons in town and we found ourselves walking, then walking some more, then walking some more. All in all, we walked over 20.5km (nearly 13 miles), spread over 11 hours out and about on a mile 18c day in London.

I don’t get to spend that much time with this son, so it was quite wonderful to simply share the experience of walking around so much of central London.

If you’d like to meet up with me anytime in London to have a chat, I’d love it. Offer to meet while we take a walk and I’ll be doubly keen!

Travel and Shifting Context

A one hour flight, thirty-five minutes drive, a converted shipping container on a farm overlooking a view for miles and miles of peace and tranquillity.

I live in the centre of London, an amazing bustling world city of something like 10 million people. Often it seems like most of them hustle through my local railway station, one of the busiest in Europe.

So, last weekend felt really different, spending two nights in this exquisite “tiny house”.

It got me thinking about the power of travel to shift our context, as well as the power of shifting context, of looking at things in different ways. (more…)

Taking time to recharge

Swans

Swans and cygnets in a London park this weekend

The last two weeks have been pretty intense for me, both with lots of work and also with the death of someone close then their funeral.

I thought this weekend I’d balance it between doing a little work and a little relaxation each day. However, yesterday (Saturday) morning, decided instead to take 24 hours completely away from the norm. No work, no regular routine. Instead to be outdoors and in nature as much as possible.

So, central to this was to go for a walk. Quite a long walk with a companion across commons and parks in London. Nearly 15 miles in the end, with a few stops, taking much of the day.

I then followed this up this morning with a strong ride with my usual riding buddy, so now I sit here, a little late for posting my daily musing, yet all the more refreshed for it.

So, sometimes we can recharge in a few minutes or hours, sometimes we need weeks or even months. Sometimes a day in nature is what it takes.

I guess what I did yesterday was tune in to myself and listen to what I needed. A long walk in nature was just the ticket.

Life is about the people you meet

Life and the People You Meet

A personal blog today and also one where I wish to share from what I took from a day of shock news.

I write this shortly after receiving the unexpected news that someone very close to me had passed away.

I got the news at 9am as I was about to start a day of five meetings in person and on video around the world.

I was initially frozen and in shock. I then burst into tears as I stepped onto a commuter train. A moment later I remembered a lyric from a song that goes: “life carries on in the people you meet” and I decided to carry on with my day. The dear person who had just died was all about living life in each moment, so to honour them I chose to do the same. (more…)

When a blacklist is, unfortunately, just that

Screenshot 2019-04-02 at 11.53.11

In a post last year: “Diversity of Thought – how much is too much?” I remarked upon a panellist at an event choosing to be present, to listen, then to respond calmly. Within that post I wrote:

“..brings to mind to me a quote from 1770 from the Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke:

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

A powerful phrase that has been adjusted and repeated for many years as :

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

So, today I share with you a recent article from a dear friend of mine, the brilliant, passionate and purpose-driven economist, Marla Dukaharan.

In this, Marla calmly and clearly calls out empirically obvious racist and white supremacist actions against offshore (defining that as “not large countries” though the majority are islands distant to the major economic powers) jurisdictions. For this, I applaud her for taking a stand, for saying something. (more…)

It’s not what you look at that matters

what do you see first

What do you see first in the picture above?

In looking at it, did you notice yourself slowing down and focussing closely on the image?

In my most recent three daily posts, I have focussed on a theme of reducing and simplifying.

When we do this, we are able to bring more focus to what we are observing, the person we are listening to.

When we give ourselves space to do that, as one of my favourite philosophers said:

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

~ Henry David Thoreau

 

Give no advice

marcus-tullius-cicero-quote-no-one-can-give-you-better

Yesterday’s post was called “Give less advice“. My friend Bruce Peters read it, then emailed me:

“Have you considered “no advice” Or advice is prohibited approach?
Wisdom Circles in the Quaker tradition set an example, perhaps?”

Sage man, that Bruce.

If, as I often say, “less is more”, then let us consider the next step to “give less advice”. being the power of “give no advice”. (more…)

Do you have a pile of books?

Pile of books

Only one part of my current “pile of books” to read

Do you have a “pile of books?”

Mine never seems to get anywhere near “manageable”, as I simply keep buying more and more to read.

This pile is only the ones that are loosely to do with business and leadership, there are also more that are novels, poetry, history and and and… at least twenty books on my coffee table alone.

It is a thing, you know!

I guess I could read some of them before I buy some more, but I typically spend about an hour a day researching and writing for my daily posts, so don’t really seem to read books enough.

I guess I’ll work out a solution, but for now, I am happily sitting with this huge pile of books here.

Perhaps I’ll sign off for today now and read one!

What is prosperity?

how do we measure prosperity

Recently I wrote: “Beautiful Leadership – Purpose and the Corporation” in which I talked about what I called a new triple bottom line of Purpose, People, Planet.

I fundamentally believe the world needs new ways of considering what is prosperity.

For today, I am simply considering the value of time.

Every day I post on this site. Though mostly I write and schedule my posts at least a day or ahead, this morning I am sitting quietly on a Saturday morning writing this post to go out for today’s daily post.

This Saturday I have nothing planned other than a walk to the park, and tomorrow another quiet day.

What is prosperity?

Sometimes prosperity is as simple as the luxury or unstructured time.

Today, then, I choose to write only this short post and give myself the rest of the day to read a book, walk in the park and whatever else may flow.

Enjoy your weekend, and may you have the time you wish for yourself.

The less I am present, the more I can be present

dissolve self

I love what I do and have found, over time and practice, that I have developed a level of mastery at being a sounding board, with the key to that having little to do with knowledge and experience around leadership and business, it is far more to do with the ability to deeply listen.

As I wrote about yesterday in “Presence and asking the right questions“, I am constantly looking to deepen my practice. As with yoga, it is called practicing yoga. We are never “there”, it is a lifelong practice to grow, to improve.

Today a reflection on a particular exercise we ran at the Modern Elder Academy this week, ultimately leading me to come up with the Koan:

the less I am present, the more I can be present (more…)

Presence and asking the right questions

rock balancing

This week I am at the Modern Elder Academy at a week-long workshop entitled “The Psychology of Presence“.

This is a week I am taking to “deepen my practice” in my work. What do I do? Fundamentally I listen, ask questions, reflect, sometimes (only sometimes) advise, mostly support others in finding their own answers. I call it being a Sounding Board.

Over many years of this work, yes there are many skills and practices one can learn, but at the heart of it all is one word. Presence. When we are truly present then we can truly become attuned (a word that is defined as “to become receptive, aware”) to another person or a group.

So, here I am, focussed on how I can become ever more present.

Now to the photo above. (more…)

Beautiful Moment – Guiding Light

guidinglight

Sometimes life can feel too much. Speed, complexity, demands, deadlines, all can mount up and create a feeling of overwhelm in any of us.

At such times, rather than trying to think our way out of it, to analyse to a solution, perhaps pause, get out, take a walk, be present.

Today a moment of beauty and a story about what happened for some people who took a walk on the South Bank of London a few months ago in September 2018. (more…)

Be the type of person you want to meet

be the type of person you wish to meet

My writing is around leadership and is often focussed on how business leaders can “be more”. Perhaps some may find this post title a little “woo woo” for them, but hey, to model the title, those aren’t the audience I’m seeking.

The people I want to meet, to reach, to support, they understand that beyond their skills, tools, experience, who they are and how they show up are key to who they will meet.

Take this up a level and the same is true for any business or organisation. How anybody in that organisation behaves, how they “show up”, can at any time have a major impact on what other businesses will want to connect and do business with them.

As often happens, I’m spurred to write once again about this by several recent meetings and calls that reminded me of the truth, not only of “be the type of person you want to meet”, but also that the type of person you are being will dictate the type of person you do meet.

Today then, I’ll muse a bit and then simply link back to various posts I’ve made on this theme from the archives. (more…)

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