Are you grasping for the moon in the water?

die Nacht des Werwolfs by itta mar via FlickrWhat is the moon in the water for you?

My profession is riddled with questions that were once as compelling as the moon in the water.

  • Leaders are born
  • Leaders are made
  • Intelligence comes in bigger and smaller packages.

It took us some time to realise that what we wanted so badly wasn’t unattainable – it was an illusion.

It’s not so bad, though, to lie back on the grass and look at the moon overhead, is it?

We’ve just got to let go and let the universe whisper its secrets to us.

 

I watch the people in the world

I watch people in the world
Throw away their lives lusting after things,
Never able to satisfy their desires,
Falling into deeper despair
And torturing themselves.
Even if they get what they want
How long will they be able to enjoy it?
For one heavenly pleasure
They suffer ten torments of hell,
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone.
Such people are like monkeys
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water
And then falling into a whirlpool.
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer.
Despite myself, I fret over them all night
And cannot staunch my flow of tears.

 

Taigu Ryokan (1758-1831)

Live the questions now. Live your way into the answer.

Last night, I stumbled on a wonderful collection of poems. Do bookmark this link and keep it for a moment when you want to relax.

For this morning, at a time when the economies of the UK and the US are about to become very turbulent, it is good to read a poem from German poet, Rainer Rilke.

…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903

in Letters to a Young Poet

It is so hard to think about living without a clear goal.  We’ve been taught to be wilful rather than curious.

Maybe the first question is what it would feel like to turn all my goals today into questions?

What would it be like to get up?  What will it like to have a shower?

Just to ask a series of questions?

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6 steps for executive coaching

Peter J Webb quotes Arlin (1990)’s 6 features of wisdom which make a neat and snappy heuristic for coaching executives and any one else for that matter.

 

Approach a situation by asking questions

1. What do we all agree about?

2. What really matters here?

3. What in our present situation is relevant and different from what we expected?

4. What would be a more interesting way of looking at the world than we did yesterday?

5. How would that perspective expand our agreement and our relationship with the world?

and

6. What could we experiment with and try out right now?

This list is also so useful for personal coaching when some one is in a jam. The “we” in step one simply becomes what is working well in the person’s life.