Aim for the Bottom of the Berg

With icebergs, what you see is not what you get.  We know that what moves the iceberg is its massiveness under water.

In working with people what you see is not what moves them.  We need to get beneath their surface fast.

Yet we don’t.  Most groups and organizations sacrifice depth for speed.  There’s work to be done – just do it!  

Or we fear intimacy.  Or we put up the “armor of being busy,” as poet Naomi Shihab Nye says in her wonderful poem, “Red Brocade.” Continue Reading »

Who Will Save Your Life? Swim in Your Stream.

Imagine you were born in a stream. Your stream is uniquely your own. No one else has been born who has the same gifts and talents as you. Your stream is a place where you’re authentic. You’re vibrant and alive when you’re in your stream and things flow for you in it.

Being in your stream is linked to finding meaning in life. The closer you are to your stream the more you’ll feel you’re living a meaningful life.

But now, as an adult, you have a sense that something has gone wrong in your life. There’s a quality of aliveness that’s missing. You feel lost.

And you look to things and other people to show you the way. Perhaps you seek a big thumb’s up sign from an authority figure. Continue Reading »

The Unconquered

“Invictus” (Latin for “unconquered) is a short poem written in 1875 by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849-1903). The poem appears in the recent film Invictus, which is a look at the life of Nelson Mandela after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, during his term as president, when he campaigned to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup event as an opportunity to unite his countrymen.

The title comes from the fact that Mandela had the poem written on a scrap of paper in his prison cell while he was incarcerated. In the movie, Mandela gives the “Invictus” poem to his national rugby team’s captain Francois Pienaar before the start of the Rugby World Cup.

The real story of the poem began when, at the age of 12, Henley became a victim of tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly below the knee. It was amputated at the age of 25. Continue Reading »