Go directly here, to Kanesha Baynard’s blog, and experience how our passion is the force that moves us into a universe of possibility. And all we have to do is ALLOW it. Not fight it. Such a beautiful reality. Such an optimistic reality.
Of course she says this better — with mechanical bulls, corsets, the passion socket, and a Passion Passport that she just happened to have on hand. Seriously.
Kanesha’s reflecting on Chapter 8 of the Zanders’ book The Art of Possibility as part of our ongoing blog-hopping-book-club. Each week, one of four professional coaches ponders a chapter in our current book and offers up a custom-made tool and/or discussion opportunity. The book club schedule is available here.
Here in Week 8, I find myself even more in love with this book than I was when I devoured it in one sitting during the first week. Perhaps I am finding out there is something to be said for savoring a book slowly, reflecting on it in writing, over time, with others. Anyway, I really recommend buying it and reading this book. Next week, I look at Chapter 9, “Lighting a Spark” (my favorite chapter so far!). And so, this week I found myself summarizing our journey so far, to see the long line of how the pieces fit together:
Kayce Hughlett, Chapter 1, “It’s All Invented” — click here — “All of life comes to us in narrative form; it’s a story we tell.”And, as Kayce summarizes, since we’re making up a story, “why not make up things that enhance our quality of life and the life of those around us?” This is the basis of the whole book, I think. And of an ever-expanding life.
Me, Chapter 2, “Stepping Into A Universe of Possibility” — is here — The Zanders’ find there are two general kinds of frameworks that shape our daily human stories and therefore lives. We can choose: “The World of Measurement” or “A Universe of Possibility?” I love this chapter’s summary of the differences between the two narratives as well as its’ overarching picture, of how grace, awe, connection, joy… are available to us at anytime. The rest of the Zanders’ book gives us specific practices — for each of the differences — for accessing possibility.
Amy Steindler, Chapter 3, “Giving Yourself an ‘A” — is here — A practice that “lifts [us] off the success/failure ladder…It is a framework that allows you to see all of who you are and be all of who you are, without having to resist or deny any part of yourself.” Simply give yourself an automatic “A” right at the beginning of a venture. Or in the middle. And give everyone else an “A” too. The fine print: ponder all the reasons you/they deserve that”A.”
Kanesha Baynard (our glorious founder!), Chapter 4, “Being a Contribution” — here — “1. Declare yourself a contribution. 2. Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference though you may not understand how or why. The contribution game transforms conflicts into rewarding experiences.”
Me, Chapter 5, “Silent C0nductor” — is here — A leader’s “true power derives from [the] ability to make other people powerful,” and the Zanders invite us to do so by setting the context we want (i.e., how we we want to feel: passionate? lively? engaged?), listening for that in others, and asking how we can nourish that in them (e.g., “How can I speak to their passion?”). Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves, “How much greatness am I willing to grant people?”
Kayce Hughlett, Chapter 6, “Rule Number Six” — here — Gives us a peek at how people living a life of possibility see themselves: “Don’t take yourself so damn seriously.” Kayce was fresh from leading a group of pilgrims in Vienna when she wrote her lovely post, so it’s peopled by her photographic images of winged cherubs and this reminder from G.K. Chesterton: “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”
Amy Steindler, Chapter 7, “The Way Things Are” — here — Paradoxically, “when we accept the way things are, without resistance, possibilities abound.” Seems like it would be the opposite, huh.
This chapter’s practice of distinguishing the facts from our stories, eliminating “shoulds,” clearing our judgements, and closing the exits (not running away) permits “acceptance without resignation… allowing yourself to simply be with whatever circumstances exist, and hanging out for a while with the reactions and feelings that arise as a result.” And this opens possibility because: “Abstractions that we unwittingly treat as physical reality tend to block us from seeing the way things are, and therefore reduce our power to accomplish what we say we want.” Aha — revelation. THAT’S how it works!
Key to the “without resignation” part is optimistic language — a language of possibilities — that keeps you out of “downward spiral talk” because “what we say creates a reality; how we define things sets a framework for life to unfold.”
And that brings us back to Kanesha Baynard and this week’s Chapter 8, “Giving Way to Passion” — here — The Zanders spell out two steps: “1. Notice where you are holding back, and let go… let the vital energy of passion surge through you, connecting you to all beyond…. 2. Participate wholly.“
Oh, is that all????!
This seems easier said than done! And…. scary. Luckily the authors — and Kanesha, whose own site is not NAMED “Bold Living today” for nothing — give us some quotes, stories, tools, and hints to get brave.
Foremost is “following the long line.” In music, this is what they call the overall flow, the coherence of the piece as a whole, the inherent structure.
“Life flows when we put our attention on the larger patterns of which we are a part.”
All we have to do is allow our passion — our life energy — to have its way:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is not how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. it is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” ~ Martha Graham
Amen. See you next week for a look at “Chispas!” (My favorite Spanish word. Coincidence?! Ha.)