About eight years ago this client had said to me “does it always have to be this emotional?”. It stuck with me. Seven years on I got to work with their core team again. It was fascinating. The almost evangelical way I had brought the work at the outset had meant that people had begun to build a dogma of right and wrong about how to do it. Change leadership, a practice that is built around adaptability to a constantly changing reality had become rigid and inflexible! It was quite simply, too sacred, too precious.
I no longer believe either of these things. My craft has been honed, nuanced and made more sophisticated at the rock face of getting change done. I never imagined my work would be with the very people and institutions I had intermittently tried to ignore, sought to bring down or just plain yelled at allot, as a young man. But this is where my hunger for learning and peace inside have lead me.
I find the more that learning just becomes normal, the more learning I am able to do. It is less stressful. I am able to work on multiple complex projects at once, moving between them and finding the threads that connect them. The less a big epiphany this work is, the more of it I am able to do without getting stressed out and burned out.
Learning is happening all the time along the way - there is no big moment - just an ongoing practice of adapting and re-inventing. When I lived in Japan people were happier when there were lots of little earthquakes going on - a long silence meant that a big one was on its way and that could have disastrous results. I feel like that about my learning in this work.
Awakening is normal. Every moment. Which makes me happier, faster to respond and more effective in my actions. From a poem I wrote more recently:
“Life is happening
Why question it
When I could rest in it
Why question it
When I could rest.”