Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning 3 of 3: 2012: Clearing and Clarity

Direction: Coming from and Going To*
This part three of three. Parts One and Two deal with what happened last year.

Yeah yeah ok...So this post was *meant* to have been completed aaaages ago. For some reason, for the past few years this post is delayed by a few months. I've been trying to 'get it right' and choose the 'right' things I 'should' be focusing on this year.

I've been toying with one or two themes this year already but I've only really got it coherent recently. Perhaps it's due to my impending appraisal at work...
So here are my themes for 2012 (even though we're almost half-way through!)

1) Being a clearing
What I mean by this is being a space for things to happen. I read something somewhere about our bodies not actually being discrete entities - but more 'spaces' where more of us occur. Said another way, the greatest concentration of me is where I am right now...but I'm actually spread everywhere. The old Star Wars insight 'We Are All One' makes more sense when I think of it this way.

Being a clearing is consciously creating a space for something to happen.

The best metaphor for this is shown at home in my kitchen.

I do a lot of washing up at home. After dinner, after She has cooked something that tastes great, in the morning, last thing at night, during family gatherings - it's a lot of pots, pans and plates.

Washing up isn't enough though.

This year I've added in drying up and putting it away too.

What this creates in the kitchen of course is a clear space...

...to be filled up with more amazing cooking from Her and mess. Think about it: the empty space of the kitchen almost *calls* for someone to cook in it.

It's become a habit.

The empty page *calls* to be written on.

The purpose of meditation (amongst other things) is to empty our minds to achieve enlightenment.

Animals are admired in martial arts for their absence of thought - pure action.

Malcolm Forbes said "Education's purposes is to replace an empty mind with an open one".

This year is about me clearing a space for things to happen: a promotion at work, more money, great pupils and learning, brilliant family gatherings, parties with friends, happiness, a lean body...whatever I can think of - and commit to.

2) Providing clarity
Having a more senior role at school and being taken (slightly) more seriously has made me reflect on the purpose of leadership and management. Even more so being a teacher.

It's made me think about the longer-term - 3-5-10 years down the line in my life.

I thought about where this came from and realised it was something I learned from my Dad. His mind seems to work at amazing pace; he's constantly engaged in evaluating, judging and thinking about the future; choosing his course of action from a potential 98; considering the risks of each and finding the best course consistent with what he wants. It's not effortless and not always pretty - but he approaches it with the grace of a Grand Master of Chess.

From the Teachers I deal with, to my Wife, from the Pupils to my Parents, from my Friends to the people I train with at Urban Krav - if I'm providing clarity for them: about what I'm doing, what they need to get their things done - whatever it is - maybe it allows for cool stuff to happen.

In any of the roles I have in my life, this year is about providing clarity for everyone else so they can get on with what *they* want; what *they're* committed to.

Perhaps both of these things together is what it means to make a contribution to someone: providing them with a clearing and clarity.

Let's see how the rest of 2012 opens up.

The Trilogy is Complete.

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* I actually took this picture.