The summer before last I found myself “picking up the pieces” of my failed master plan…lol! In doing so, I was doing odd and end jobs: drywall, graphic design, brake repair and yard work. Ironically it was the yard work that helped me think most clearly. The raking of leaves…
I bring this up because it felt like as soon as I got there I had all sort of “stuff” come up. It was like the minute my life became a bit more silent all of the things that lie below the surface came bursting up in an overwhelming rush.
But I’m not trying to make this post about me and my process. What became evident to me is that we all share in this human condition, that we all have all sort of “stuff” lying below the surface and that it seems we all collude to create lives and environments to try and keep them out of site.
I am wondering about this shared pattern. I am wondering how much of the interpersonal “stuff” that we have to deal with at work, how many of the little or big fights, the dislikes and frustrations that keep like minded people from working together, how many of these are just escape valves for all the “stuff” that lies below our shared surface?
For a long time I’ve been musing about what it takes to build a contemplative organization. How do we design spaces and processes that allow us to more boldly look at the “stuff” that we don’t want to look at? The goal is not to turn our workspace into our therapists couch, but to find healthier ways to come together and build a world that works for all – to practice ways of living in the world we are trying to build.
All the upheaval, all the “stuff” I had to face as I was simply raking leaves with great intention, all of it became very small in light of the sense of freedom that I found beneath it all. The self-effort and contemplation inevitably paid off night after night as I went to bed exhausted but with the deep understanding that I am part of something greater than all the small stuff in the way.
I try and show others that we must look at the yard and start raking it one stroke at a time. Some of us have large yards with LOTS of leaves on top, but if we take some time and clear a little off at a time, the grass below will soon become lush, green and a wonderful place to plant a thought. Take your time, relax, be at peace and be intentional with every stroke of the rake.