Living #OnPurpose

“Do I grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?”  Live and die in fear?!  Never!  So, the choice becomes clear.  To me, living #OnPurpose is growing up and relating to life directly, no longer reduced to living in the false dichotomies of “either/or” but living purposefully in the “both/and” that coexist in both my strength and my struggle.

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The Sound of Silence

In times of change, we often find ourselves feeling like we are alone, like we are going through the change process by ourselves, and no one understands what we are feeling or what we are going through. And often, in organizational change, the people with the most power have the least ability to hear those around them, and as a result, those who aren’t leading the change feel like their voices aren’t heard…like they are silent.  And even if those who are leading the change ask for feedback, those who aren’t part of the change are so afraid of what will happen to them if they share what they really think that they remain silent about the things that matter most to them.

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Jennifer Mayer-Sandoval
Trust Me

Our relationships matter, and proximity to people making decisions and the information that is informing those decisions also matters.  Margaret Wheatley writes that “The role of information is revealed in the word itself: in‑formation…For a system to remain alive, information must be continually shared.  Information is necessary for new order, an order not imposed, but order self‑organized…Intelligence emerges when a certain level of organization is reached which enables the system to process information. The greater the ability to process information, the greater level of intelligence. We begin to see that organizational intelligence is not something that resides in a few experts, specialists, or leaders. Instead, it is a system‑wide capacity directly related to how open the organization is to new and disconfirming information, and how effectively that information can be interpreted by anyone in the organization.” And this is where proximity to information matters – those of us closest to information feel a part of the formation of what lies ahead; those of us who don’t feel informed may feel removed from what is forming.

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Living in the "Unknown"

Emotional avoidance can make a lot of sense as a short‑term strategy to avoid pain and potentially hurting ourselves and other people we care about. But when we deny our feelings, it prevents us from being able to take action on things that need to change and we get “stuck.” And, the consequences of emotional avoidance are also painful – so we avoid the thing we need to change but instead feel depressed or anxious, we isolate ourselves, we can’t sleep or we sleep too much, we overeat or starve ourselves, and we unintentionally hurt ourselves – and sometimes other people when we just can’t contain our emotions any more and they come out bursting out directed towards other people who may (or may not) have anything to do with the emotions we’re experiencing.

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