On the morning of the second day of the Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training program, we talk about “healing” as a part of our work as people committed to making a difference in the world.
That’s not a topic that comes up often in conversations about leadership and coaching. Most people think of “healing” as going from being sick to being well. “Healer” is not a word that most leaders or coaches would put on their business cards or use in describing who they are and what they do.
However, the root of the verb “to heal” is the Old English word haelen, which literally means “to make whole.” And at the most fundamental level, that’s what transformational work is all about. It’s about helping people, organizations, and societies come into their wholeness. It’s about supporting those we serve in being their absolute best, in reaching their greatest potential, and in making the difference that they feel called to make.
A few weeks ago, Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem, “All Will Come Again,” appeared in my inbox. It’s been a long time since I first read this poem – a beautiful invocation to wholeness – a powerful beckoning to the human spirit to stand up in service of a greater good. As I read the poem again, it gave me pause to remember that these words were written more than a hundred years ago.
All Will Come Again
All will come again into its strength:
the fields undivided, the waters undammed,
the trees towering and the walls built low.
And in the valleys, people as strong and varied as the land.
And no churches where God
is imprisoned and lamented
like a trapped and wounded animal.
The houses welcoming all who knock
and a sense of boundless offering
in all relations, and in you and me.
No yearning for an afterlife, no looking beyond,
no belittling of death,
but only longing for what belongs to us
and serving earth, lest we remain unused.
(From Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God,
translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)
All will come again into its strength. No divisions within; no dams blocking the flow of the naturally creative spirit. People, organizations, and societies standing tall in their integrity and wisdom, building walls not for separation, but rather walls that support the innate strengths and extraordinary diversity among the many peoples of the world.
All will come again into its strength. A sense of boundless wonder as we consider the vastness of creation and the enormity of life. Tasting the potential of connection and communion between human hearts, and resting in the unspoken yet conscious acknowledgment of an infinite creative source.
All will come again into its strength. Accepting what is – right here, right now. Making nothing bigger or smaller than it is. Just letting whatever it is – opportunity or challenge – be here with us on its own terms, not ours. Trusting that, if we listen and pay attention, we can meet whatever is in front of us with the very best of who we are. Heeding the call to fully develop the strengths and talents that belong to us, and to use those strengths and talents in service of something bigger than us.
“Healing” is about coming again into strength. Transformational leadership and coaching is about helping those we serve come again into their strengths.
We are entering a new era in human consciousness. There is a great “breaking open” happening globally on all levels of society. Families, communities, organizations, businesses, countries, and even continents are “breaking open” on a scale rarely experienced before. This “breaking open” – difficult, challenging, and confronting as it might be – is an essential step in letting old structures dissolve so that new structures can be created.
If we are clear in our intention and disciplined in our thoughts, choices, and actions, we can create new structures that support wholeness. We can create a world in which everyone is supported and encouraged to develop their greatest strengths. We can be facilitators of healing.
As leaders, coaches, and people committed to making a difference, this is our job.
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