Where does the conversation about serving life start?
I have this image in my head of leaders knocking on my door at Earth Converse, to say “I want to step up to my people and planet responsibilities. I want to serve life”.
But that’s not what happens in reality.
It seems the Buddha was right, usually our awakening comes from suffering.
A pain point.
A personal pain point.
Points as individual as universal.
And on the earthconversepodcast, we talked about this. These four in particular seem to echo starting points for many a leader. See if they resonate with you.
1. A ‘middle-age crisis’
“Okay, I’ve achieved what I want to achieve. Why don’t I feel better? why don’t I feel complete?, why don’t I feel satisfied?”.
This was Roy talking about the middle-age crisis, felt by himself and the many managers he was responsible for.
It has the seeds of an awakening in the chaos but it feels like a crisis, coming with a sinking, stirring, stuckness, sickness, substance abuse…
2. It’s meaningless
We are meaning-makers but sometimes we get cloudy on it. This was Diana, living her dream, feeling “like an important person”, being in THAT business meeting and being hit with the emptiness of it all.
“In that moment, I remember, I was listening to those words that were around me, and they just felt empty. There was no meaning. There was absolutely no meaning. And I was thinking, What am I doing here? what, who am I serving? where am I putting my energy? what’s the meaning of this? Where am I right now in my life? And what am I doing here?.”
3. ‘Burnt out’
Maybe you are a high achieving extrovert, working and partying hard, stretching yourself to maximise life and all its possibilities. And dancing with the shadow side of doing your best. This was Thurstan high flying and burnt out, unable to put his oxygen mask on before helping others. “Am in one of the top environmental jobs if you like, but barely stepping outside of an office and..am losing part of me with it.”
4. Something’s missing
“Something was not quite square, something was missing”. This was Jim, working hard, juggling his career and family, excited about having the chance to live and work in bella Italia… and yet he was feeling disconnected. At the time he didn’t feel it was burnout because he was doing what he loved and was energized by it all. And yet he “wanted the world to grab me by the shoulders and shake me a bit”.
Noticing and nature
Even if as leaders we have our business and team in mind, the real collective awakening is individual. These moments of pain, are personal and systemic. If we can see these moments in life for the learning gift they are, they will inform and transform us and society.
We can try and ignore the pain. But the soul is tenacious in calling us forth to a better version of ourselves.
If we are willing to pay attention, life is always inviting us to come into deeper connection with ourselves, each other and the earth that is our home.
And that is a key theme of everyone on the earthconversepodcast– everyone has sought nature’s balm to reconnect with themselves. It is literally the most natural path to take. And what we invite leaders and teams to do at Earth Converse. It is where the commitment to a more ongoing conversation starts. One towards healing and greater wholeness, about who we are, and how we can step up for people and planet.
And it all starts with noticing ourselves.
I wonder what you are noticing?
Knock on my door here
(photo of an #earthconverse group)