Chris was 40 feet up in the air, moving with such beautiful grace and ease as he walked on an eight-inch limb of the old shag bark hickory tree that shades my office. I stood in awe as I watched him maneuver his way around the top of the tree, sawing off dead or damaged limbs, and installing a cable to strengthen the two trunks of the tree that reach to the sky. As he would finish working in one spot, he would grab another branch and fluidly swing over to balance himself perfectly on yet another limb. Yes, he was wearing a safety harness for protection at that great height, and his focus on what he was doing was incredible. Yet at the same time, he appeared to be very relaxed, as if there was no danger at all. Moving around in the top of the tree seemed as natural to him as walking on solid ground. Saws and power tools hung from his belt, yet they never seemed to get in his way. It’s as if they were just extensions of him. Every move appeared effortless. He was completely at home up there.
When Chris had completed his work and slid down his rope to the ground again, I remarked to him how amazing it was to watch him. He shyly replied, “Thanks.” I told him I couldn’t imagine doing what he did – that it was incredible. I went on to compliment his balance and coordination, and I asked him if it was fun to swing around up there in the top of the tree. He shrugged his shoulders and smiled a bit. “I don’t know; it’s just my job.”
What was completely ordinary to Chris and something he does multiple times a day was extraordinary to me. On the other hand, the way I perceive things, or the way that I sense what question to ask a client next, might also seem extraordinary to him. In the moment, I don’t think about what I’m doing during a coaching session. I just get into the flow with my client and follow what seems to want to happen. And that’s what Chris does with a tree. Though he probably wouldn’t use these words, it seems to me that he gets into a flow with the tree he is in, senses which limbs he can trust to walk on or grab onto, and literally enters into a dance with the tree. I dance with potential. He dances with trees. Both of us are just dancing with energy, sensing where things want to go, and following where we are led.
Two things stood out for me from my morning with Chris and the old shag bark hickory. First, we all do things in the course of our everyday lives that to us seem quite natural. Yet to others, what we do or how we show up may seem extraordinary. They marvel at our ability, approach, or awareness. Yet to us, we’re just busy doing what we do or being who we are. What if we were to acknowledge one another more for what we find extraordinary in each other, as well as acknowledge to ourselves what others find extraordinary about us?
The second thing that stood out for me is that, while life and leadership can get complicated and complex at times, we can cut to the essence of what is happening if we just “dance with the energy.” There are messages all around us. Like Chris in the tree, if we tune into the energy of our surroundings, we can sense what needs to be taken away and where extra support needs to be added. We can sense where it is safe to walk and where challenges may lie ahead. We can feel where the energy is stuck and where there is flow. We can intuit when it is time to act and when it’s time to take a step back. If we are struggling, chances are we are pushing against the moment instead of dancing with it. I won’t say that “dancing with” is always easy, but at least we aren’t struggling, and things are starting to move forward. When we “dance with the moment,” doors open, possibilities emerge, and we find our way forward.
Do you acknowledge others for what they are really good at? Do you do the same for yourself? Do you fully inhabit your gifts and talents and use them in service of a greater potential waiting to emerge?
Know your gifts and share them. Dance with the greatest potential of the moment, sense what wants to happen, and you’ll find your way.
P.S. If you want to learn more about how to dance with the moment, Chapter Eight of my latest book, Create A World That Works, is filled with exercises to help you further develop your intuitive senses. The book is also available in digital format.
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