You never know what you’ll find when you read the label – all of it. Wanting to fuel myself with atypical airport food on a recent trip I was pleased to find a spot that featured GT’s Kombucha and a tasty black bean chili. It may sound like an odd combination, or zero appeal to you. To me, I felt like I was nourishing all of me. Then I read the label and I felt an even deeper sense of nourishment for my soul.
“How are you?” It’s a simple and powerful question.
I’ve been paying close attention to this question lately, and here are a few things I’ve found:
1. You have a choice in how you respond to this question.
2. You have a choice to authentically ask it of other people.
Global corporations, government, public and private agencies, community benefit organizations, and businesses of all sizes and types have so much in common when we look at them in their simplest sense. However they are grouped and organized, they are all comprised of human beings, each individual being a community member.
When all the labels, categories, and org charts are removed, we can clearly see that we all want the same thing: A healthy, thriving and resilient community for everyone. When we are willing to remove our blinders and table our assumptions, we can aim our collective wisdom, skills, experience, passions and resources at building just that. The highest potential for any community will be reached when community members are engaged, valued, and feel a sense of belonging. The path to that is simple, yet so often overlooked. It starts with relationships. It starts with getting to know each other. By taking that essential time, trust is built. It starts when we are willing to dip our toe in the pool. And for those who are willing to cannonball off the high dive, we say “come on in!”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the sweet spot as the point or area on a bat, club, or racket at which it makes most effective contact with the ball. That long drive is the combination of many scientific and mathematical factors at play; all of which I’m sure I studied in Mr. Bross’ physics class. The moment you make contact with the ball in the sweet spot, you know it. There’s a feeling of strength, balance, and being centered.
A few years ago, I was listening to a keynote presentation by Hildy Gottlieb. I was about to explode. Front and center was a kindred spirit speaking so powerfully about what I felt to my core. I’m not usually a head-nodder when listening, but that day I was nodding vigorously, grinning, and shedding a few joyful tears.
Copies of Hildy’s books were at my office, dog-eared, underlined and stacked in close proximity to my desk for easy access. That day she was talking about The Pollyanna Principles, her latest book about creating the future we want with our communities. Hildy also spoke about Creating the Future, a living laboratory for accelerating change and the Creating the Future Fellows all around the world who are a part of the organization. I no longer felt alone with thoughts I had about community benefit (nonprofit) organizations and community building. Here was a thought framework and approach that was screaming my name. Incredibly brilliant souls were freely sharing their wisdom, experiences and passions. I didn’t just dip my toe in the pool, I cannon-balled off the high dive.
This space has been a long time coming for me. Creating a blog has been on the “to-do list” for many moons. I’m grateful it didn’t launch until now. Otherwise, it would continue to be on the list with “write a blog post, ” as an recurring to-do to myself. Now, it is a space that allows me to breathe, to be, to explore, and to share freely.
Over the past year, I’ve come to understand and hold sacred the power of reflection. It’s what I unleash by hitting pause and getting off the productivity train. We live in a world where the focus is on DOING, without appreciation for the power and potential that comes from BEING. I also realize what is possible simply by creating a physical and public space to share inspirations, reflections, and questions. Welcome to this shared space.