Find the Soul of the Work

December 16, 2008

I just completed an utterly delightful phone conversation with Glen Lauder in New Zealand. To be with Glen is to feel an invitation to be completely authentic. A beautiful ease of feminine and masculine. A gorgeous blend of funny, angry, serious. I received many gifts in this call with this friend.

Glen told me a story of working recently in Australia. He was preparing for the work, which included some planning with 10 people. Glen has a coach that challenged him to not show up as a pleaser. Gifted pleaser, but none the less pleaser. Rather, to honor the integrity of spirit.

I so relate to this story. I have a pleaser that feels I must know much, or move a meeting along, or be fast and efficient, or be profound even at times. I recognize in me that as I am doing so, I'm not actually doing the work that I think I need to do. And for that matter, the work that people are asking me to do, which is more rooted in this integrity of spirit. It is the difference between scripting and letting spirit speak it through me, using whatever tools, resources, stories, and relationships I may have.

Together, Glen and I found an alternative description for our work. To find the soul of the work. I'm quite liking how this sounds. Whether working in community, in corporation, in family, in relationship, or in self, how would it be to find the soul of the work? This is such a strong issue for me. I have worked in so many contexts where I felt like I didn't have the ability to help find the soul, the center. Or I didn't have the courage. Or the confidence. I know how lousy that feels. How time-filling. How hollow. And how I have felt shame that I haven't been able to hold myself in it or hold others in it. I also sense that some, maybe many would reject such framing. And some might just come fully awake.

Glen shared a bit more. With this kind of clarity, the question he was asking is how he would find people to work with. I relate to this again. I fear a rejection for not being concrete enough. I can think of little now that is more concrete and more effective than finding and helping people to see the sould of the work. We laughed together. Our conversation was infact a manifestation of the very question we were asking. Immediately in front of us is each other.

Thank you Glen, for an invitation to imagine 2009 in a very inspiring way.

1 comment:

Christie said...

Ah, Tenneson - I thank you for sharing this. The notion of shifting the focus off the details and onto the essence or 'soul of the work' somehow makes me think that then it is possible for the details to fall into place, and the doing to be done from a grounded, connected place of clarity. There seems to be a peace about this. I like the idea of carrying this forward into the new year and seeing what happens!

Thanks for sharing these pearls, your presence. :0)