Your words a song
Your power the beat of a drum
Your grace notes filling the air
A resounding instrument
Your song leads me
Who I want to be
My favorite word coming out of the transformational Radical Leadership retreats I attended back in 2005 is possibility. As I’ve reviewed my writings over these past dozen years, curiosity, openness, wonder and hope fill my experience.
In 2009, I began to play with the possibility (smile) of writing a book of poetry. I had a rough collection of some 25-30 poems that I titled “She Just Left Neverland: In Search of Possibility”. My journal has a description of what was happening for me at the time:
It’s coming together
These flashes, these little ideas
Hinting at something
Glimpses of what I can create
when I slow down
And am open in my looking
Through the haze
I see the possibilities shining
And leading me to action
I wrote Music about a colleague, Otema, who gave me the courage to play with my words and explore writing poetry. She was an inspiration and invitation that opened the possibility of poetry for me, and put me in action. Her early advice was so brilliant:
- Look for themes in what you are writing
- Identify your purpose in sharing
- Read lots of poetry
- Be authentic
- Leave spaces for the reader to fill in
* I took this photo in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland in 2016.
Through You I See
I speak the truth that I see for you.
Only to discover that in really seeing you,
I discover what is true for me.
In the summer of 2005, I attended a couple of Radical Leadership weekend retreats that changed my life. I came out of the first workshop having found my joy – even though going into the workshop I was not even aware I had lost it! 😊
Therese Kienast, the founder of the program and an amazing Master Certified Coach, brought me out of my slumber – and truly opened me to possibility. Diana Bing, my leader at IBM who sponsored her entire organization attending the retreats, was instrumental in my opening and seeing the abundant deliciousness of life. I am forever grateful to these two incredibly inspiring women and leaders.
Through You I See is a poem I wrote about a Radical Leadership experience. I remember vividly participating in an activity with my 11 other workshop teammates. Each of us had a turn sitting in a chair at the front of the room, with the rest of the group sitting in a circle around the room facing the person at the front. Those in the circle wrote down two things about the person at the front that would support them in reaching their full potential. Then we went around the circle with each person sharing their ‘gifts’ with the person, who sat in receiving mode, palms open on their thighs, simply saying thank you and nothing more. Hearing other people’s truths about you is very humbling.
The most powerful part of the activity for me came as I completed the homework – going back through the list I had created to consider how each of the gifts was true for me. My discovery: my view of others is powerfully filtered through my own personal lens, and what I see in others is a reflection of myself.
I first shared the poem HERE on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog. You’ll see it was initially much longer. I thank my sister-in-law, Liz , for the power it has in its brevity now. She took to heart my request for feedback on an early draft of my book, and my writing is stronger thanks to her insights and ideas. I am grateful.
* I took this photo from Hotel Costa D’Or, Lluc Alcari, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain