Taking My Seat

I’m blessed.  I’ve been struggling a bit of late and my ability to delve in, dive in and write has been impeded. I wasn’t entirely certain about what was going on but, as the weeks of the summer faded, and back-to-school time kicked in, I connected with some of the reality. The recent blessings came from conversations with Fred and Brad. I went to them for a little coaching…some reflection on thoughts that have been percolating for months.

“It feels,” I imperfectly remember saying, “that yet again things are shifting for me.” I remember years ago when I began much more earnestly building my coaching practice. At the time, Fred laughed and said something like, “Ah, so you’re serious about this now.” I had signed a lease on my own office space.

Another time, about two years ago, having been prompted, prodded, challenged and ultimately coached by Ann for some time before, I took another deeper step towards being serious. So over the last year I stepped up two aspects of my work: public speaking and going deep with client companies.

This year I collected 12 visa stamps–four from countries I hadn’t visited before. At times, I measure my happiness by the number of stamps in my passport. What’s more, I made friends and connected deeply (that is, made people cry) in all of those places.

I also started working more fully with teams–even dedicating whole days to working within a company. In those instances, it’s felt like I’ve had a different, larger impact.

This all unfolded against a backdrop of the launch of Cojourneo, the platform for online workshops, which Kevin and Dan and team have worked so well and so hard to manifest and about which I feel a deep pride.

Sitting in Fred’s office a few weeks ago, just days after walking and talking with Brad through the streets of Boulder, I spoke about the cooking that seemed to be underway for me. “I’m marinating,” I said, “and I’m not sure what’s next. I like the trajectory that I’ve been on but there’s more out there and I’m not sure what’s next.”

Practiced as he is in getting to the point, Fred  quickly responded: “You’re loving having an impact. You want to have more of an impact.”

Yes. I have loved my private client practice. I am blessed (there’s that word again) with having borne witness to folks’ personal work. I consider myself like Lou Gehrig: the luckiest man in the world.

And yet I do want more; I do want to touch even more lives and impact more folks.

So yet another transformation is occurring. Several months ago I asked a brilliant brand strategist friend of mine to think about the brand of Jerry (presaging, I suppose, this transformation). She’s come back with a series of recommended changes to the way I present myself, my services. A redesigned website and blog are being cooked up now. The hope is to have a more coherent message about my work and my offerings. I see it, if you will, as a redesign of the container to clarify and make sweeter the contents.

Cojourneo is a part of that…next week we officially launch my first paid workshop. It’s a version of the explorations I’ve done around surviving life in a startup. It feels like an important turning point in this process of becoming  more impactful. We have a number of incredibly gifted-teachers and writers lined up to use the service to support their work. Check out the roster here and, if so inclined, sign up for one of the workshops. My upcoming workshop is nearly sold out.

In my Buddhist lineage we have a saying that we use when we describe someone coming into their own. The imagery is of a king sitting on their throne, a warrior sitting on their meditation cushion. We say “they have taken their seat.” My clients know I often encourage them to take their seat, to sit upright and unafraid and embrace life as it is.

I’m taking my seat with new depth, clarity and what the Tibetans call Lungta–Windhorse–the energy that flows like a horse running in the wind.

I’m not certain what, if anything, will change. I suspect I’ll be speaking more, spending more in-depth time with more clients. In effect, perhaps, fewer “clients” but those that I have I will spend even more time with.

I wouldn’t be honest, though, if I didn’t add that this is coming with changes in my personal life…the inner one-third from which my lungta arises. With these changes, I foresee spending even more time in solitude reading and writing. Feeding, if you will, the parts of me that I use to help and feed others.

I have a new house in Boulder, for example. I hope to spend more time there. I’ll be working, of course (When you embrace the notion that work is simply another aspect of life, you don’t stop working until you stop living.). I imagine that these changes will also enable me spend more time with me. And that’s a precious gift to myself.

Lately at night and early in the morning I’ve been hearing this poem:

SONG OF A MAN WHO HAS COME THROUGH

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!

A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time. If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!

If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!

If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the

chaos of the world

Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted; If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge

Driven by invisible blows,

The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul, I would be a good fountain, a good well-head, Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

What is the knocking?

What is the knocking at the door in the night? It is somebody wants to do us harm.

No, no, it is the three strange angels, Admit them, admit them.

D.H. Lawrence

I’m wondering what will happen when the rock splits. What will the angels say to me? Nevertheless, I’ll admit them.

 

 

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  • http://www.richardwinters.com/ Richard Winters MD MBA

    Spoken like a bodhisattva warrior. A path that resonates.

    • jerrycolonna

      Thanks so much Dr. Winters. 

  • http://www.startupmanagement.org/ William Mougayar

    This is great news Jerry. Very happy to hear about this evolution of yours. This is a bit along the lines of what I wanted to talk to you about when we were trying to connect for coffee in NYC. I wanted to share my experience knowing and working with others that have take a similar path into the “next level of impact”. 

    • jerrycolonna

      Well let’s still strive for that coffee. I appreciate the thoughts.

      • http://www.startupmanagement.org/ William Mougayar

        Sure! I’ll email you.

  • http://www.alearningaday.com Rohan

    Onwards… and upwards, dear Jerry. :) 

    • jerrycolonna

      :) Thanks Rohan for the support.

  • http://reecepacheco.com/ reece

    excited to see your continued evolution and helpful to know that you, the mentor, go through the same stages of self-reflection and “figuring-it-out” that we, the disciples, experience 

  • http://www.feld.com bfeld

    I love love love the concept of “feeding.” Love.

    • jerrycolonna

      Solitude. Reading. Writing. Deep connections with people. They all feel like food to me.

  • http://about.me/carl_rahn_griffith/ Carl Rahn Griffith

    Beautiful. 

  • http://www.thelancasterfoodco.com Charlie Crystle

    Feels really good reading this. Interesting… did struggle lead you to taking your seat, or did taking your seat lead you out of the struggle :)

    Oh for the wonder…

    • jerrycolonna

      Thanks for that question. Struggle creates possibility. Here’s a great quote from Swami Kripalu (aka Bapuji):

      “The Angel of
      Struggle”

      In the entire world there
      is not one human being who is free from pain… Despair oftentimes precedes the
      next level of consciousness… Yet no one welcomes struggle. Everybody hates
      it. But without regard for respect or insult, struggle continues to do whatever
      it pleases…

      It keeps one from being
      sluggish. It keeps a human being aware and keeps him in activity. Struggle
      bestows true knowledge… When one has persevered, Struggle lays attainment at
      his feet and walks away slowly.

      Struggle is the prana of every
      individual’s life. Struggle guides the life of all individuals

      It
      is proper to welcome struggle. Its arrival is always auspicious. It is such a
      noble donor. Struggle is a very skillful sculptor. It creates a very beautiful
      idol from an ugly rock.

      Unhappiness
      is a preliminary stage of happiness…Struggle
      is the life of everybody. Whether struggle is big or small, it will always give
      something to an individual, then disappear.”

      Struggle causes the rock to split; struggle admits the angels.

      • http://www.thelancasterfoodco.com Charlie Crystle

        thanks. welcoming it in. 

  • http://twitter.com/friedmank Kevin Friedman

    Thank you so much for sharing Jerry. Beautiful writing as usual. You are an inspiration with your honesty, transparency, and your attention to your self. I love the “sitting” imagery. I feel like we often associate power and progress with working/running/standing. So, the notion of an even greater power and clarity coming from “sitting” really speaks to me.

    Personally, it makes me really happy to hear that you will spending more time feeding your soul. And, I know there is no dichotomy here: that feeding will feed countless others. I’m incredibly thankful to be a small part of helping you to feed others.

    … I have a hunch what will happen when the rock splits: the masterpiece emerges.

    • jerrycolonna

      Well we shall see what unfolds. Thanks Kevin.

  • Jeff

    It’s not always easy to know how to listen to yourself carefully when restlessness sets in. I’ve been stuck here before…maybe still am.

    • jerrycolonna

      Amen Jeff.

  • Abhay Vardhan

    Good luck with the transformation. I love your thought and the deep humility that you have. Looking forward to workshops and more great stuff.

    • jerrycolonna

      Thanks Abhay..if you’ve not already. Check out the workshops. You might enjoy them.

  • panterosa,

    Interesting juxtapositions of struggle and sitting, lithe angels and rock splitting. I wondered first who the angels were (figuratively) before wondering what they would say. It reminded me of A Wrinkle In Time and the three witches. 
    It also reminded me of the chinese word for crisis – which is the character for danger and the character for opportunity married (conceptually one of my favorite words). I’ve always looked for the opportunity in crisis, something I would say defines me as an optimist, but also a realist that struggle begets new and change.

    Good luck with the sitting and feeding. I deeply wish I had more time for that now. 

  • Tim Bates

    It take courage to face a void and sit. The image of wisdom throughout history is one that listens. Then it takes Courage again to act. Greatness balances these states

  • Renita Kalhorn

    Thank you, Jerry. I, too, appreciate your humility and transparency. 
    You’ve provided a reassuring reminder that — no matter how far we’ve come, no matter where we think we want to go — life is easier (and more interesting) when we settle into embracing the uncertainty and enjoying the process of letting things unfold.

    Renita