Last week, we shared on The Paths of Love. Indeed, throughout September, we have been taking an eye to love and self care. We have shared on Love and Grace, and The Long, Cool Road … and through the broadCAST September 2019. We recommend the reads and reflection, and we continue the deeper dive now.
In my last post, I finished with… “In life there will always be moments to love ourselves enough to rest and take care of our basic needs. But how we come to do that is the real test. This is where we are doing the best with what we have, or what we know. We are taught by people around us how we should and shouldn’t love ourselves. We mirror what we have watched growing up. We allow people to plants seeds, such as, selfish, lazy, high maintenance, or needy. When in all reality it is a basic need of ours. We NEED to care for ourselves. However that looks to each of us may be completely different or one in the same. Now like I said, we are either taught how to love ourselves or we learn. So, let us learn.”
Since then, I have thought:
- Self-care is whatever you feel it might be. It is the things that fill your tank. For me that is cuddling into my boy, going for a nice meal by myself, or just going for a walk amongst nature. It can also be a pedicure, or a hot bath, or dressing up in your nicest clothes and getting out of the house for a bit. It honestly doesn’t take much. I find myself becoming depleted when I don’t try to do those things for myself. I guess what I am saying, is the notion of self- love and self-care is wonderful, but to really kick ourselves into gear to do it seems to be a problem within many these days.
- I just sent a text to a dear friend to say hi and to let her know I missed her. I asked how she was, she mentioned she was exhausted. She has had a full summer, with visitors and adventure and has yet to slow down. But in that text, I knew that she was clearly feeling the tired lagging feeling that we all feel in moments. My response was “Go rest, listen to your body and rest.” Sounds simple right? But it isn’t as simple as that. She feels the need to entertain and accommodate her guests. And that’s cool. But she needs to entertain and accommodate her body, and what her body needs. And in little moments our body will tell us. It will scream at us. It will begin to shut down. Whether it is through pure exhaustion, or anger, or irritability or tears. WE NEED TO LISTEN!!! I have to listen. I will share more after I do. 🙂
Love it, Jenny. Listening is a manifestation of love. Listening is a power of L.O.V.E.. If L.O.V.E. is LOOKING inside ourselves for our strengths, seeking out OPPORTUNITIES where those strengths are most needed, having a VISION of how applying those strengths to the opportunities will make life better, and then ENGAGING the action… then listening is one of those powers in potential.
Listening is love in action. It is sincere. It is worthy of trust. It is empathy in action. And, it is in the now. It is present. In the Virtues Project™, we suggest Companioning is listening. It is 7-step, character driven process of sincerity, trustworthiness, empathy and presence, in the now. It has no agenda but to be present with sincerity, trust and empathy. It has no answers, but a love to be that presence, with ears and heart.
You can find a copy here, or here. Or you can connect with me at barry(at)epicengage.com and I will send you a copy.
Either way, I suggest listening is a manifestation of love; and a powerful one. And, I suggest (as does Jenny) that we listen to others, and ourselves. Be your own best companion and you can be a better one for others.
Until next time…
Together, we continue to be committed to living a joyful life and work.
Best friends do that.
Together, we will continue to explore our own perspectives on love and character and how they can build a life of work, play and service that is right for each and all of us.
Join us, stay tuned and engage us. Our lives matter.
Peace, passion, prosperity, and a whole bunch of Love and Character
Benny and Jarry
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Benny and Jarry
Jenny Dearing speaks to love in action. She brings talent, experience and learning around love, trauma and care. With a passion for Child and Youth Care and Addictions, and a background in same, she connects, and memorably so. Her work spans children and youth care with addictions, personal and senior care, respite work, and business leadership; delivering on all. Jenny is a Certified Virtues Project™ Facilitator, with professional training in child and youth care with addictions support and home support services. With certification in ASIST Suicide First Aid, Autism Awareness and Understanding, Trauma Information Care and Child and Youth Care Practice, Jenny brings it, with zeal. On top of all that, she loves singing, and is an accomplished multi-media artist … and brings both to her work. Artistry is a path to love and healing. Jenny knows it. She believes in it. She drives it.
Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal. Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community. Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart. The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.” With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire on together strong.
Last week, I published Summer Cookin’ with the AL’s. I am holding true to it. I have met with Felicia Newell and Jon Butler on plans for my health this Summer and into the Fall of 2019. And, I am excited about same. In a nutshell, and drawing on my last post, I reiterate my vision:
- SpirituAL … I am a spiritually connected man, and Baha’i
- EmotionAL… I am a Simple Man, best friend to my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda
- PersonAL… I am a singer, dancer, cartoonist, writer, archer and storyteller
- PhysicAL… I am a man of 36″ waist and 100 kilos
- MateriAL… I am a man of simple beautiful home and car, with new bed, telescope and wardrobe
- FinanciAL… I am a man of healthy WEALTH, not extravagant but allowing me to do the work I love and love the work I do, to live the life I love and love the life I live, and support the causes and people in which I believe most
- VocationAL, ProfessionAL, OccupationAL… I am an educator, for life
- EntrepreneuriAL… I am The Unity Guy™ of Epic Engage™, the global Character Leadership Company
- EducationAL… I am a master student and teacher on character leadership, education and unity building, able to speak in English, Mandarin and French
And, now, I am taking 6 days to disappear and cleanse. I will get more clear, with a much deeper dive. Some niggling things demand such. I will pray and meditate. I will pray and meditate, and act. I will be that spiritually connected man, Baha’i.
I will pray and meditate on what it means to be that Simple Man, and best friend to my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda. I will pray and meditate on what is speaking to me about singing, dancing, cartooning, writing, and more. I will pray and meditate on my physical vision; a man of 36″ waist and 100 kilos. I will pray and meditate on my simple beautiful home and car, with new bed, telescope and wardrobe. I will pray and meditate on being a man of healthy WEALTH, not extravagant but allowing me to do the work I love and love the work I do, to live the life I love and love the life I live, and support the causes and people in which I believe most. I will pray and meditate on my work as educator and entrepreneur.,, as The Unity Guy™ of Epic Engage™. And, I will pray and meditate on being a master student and teacher on character leadership, education and unity building, able to speak in English, Mandarin and French.
Yes, I will pray and meditate; and be open. Shoghi Effendi once said that there are 5 suggested steps to prayerful problem solving:
- Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of contemplation for a few minutes.
- Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment but if it seems to be as answer to a prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.
- Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step.
- Have faith and confidence that the power will flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the right thought, the right message, the right principle or the right book will be given you. Have confidence, and the right thing will come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once the fifth step.
- …lastly, ACT; Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for the Divine power to flow through you.
You can find more, here. Most importantly, I will act on that clarity that comes from such prayer and meditation; as the advice is given above. I will enter such with open mind and heart. I will be relentless. I will carve out my own best truth.
My thought to you is four-fold.
- Cleansing of mind, body and spirit requires honesty, openness and courage.
- Doing so is an investment.
- Doing so requires us to be open, adaptive and relentless (your OARs in the water).
- The return is high, on Clarity and Confidence.
How can you see yourself cleansing and getting to the essentials? For me, I have done much of such this past year, but, of late, I have come to see that I need this one big push… to truly get back to me. It may not radically change things (or it may). But, it is always best to get on your best path.
So, I am disappearing for a week. I will have conversations with those I deeply trust. I will take actions needed. I will meditate. I will pray.
It is CAMP, for me. 🙂
See you on the other side.
In the meantime, and in related news, consider the latest Leaducator July 2019. It has relevance, resonance and links worthy of consideration I humbly offer. Engage and enjoy.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy
Some time ago, I referenced the notion of dealing with the ducks. So many things can grab our attention and disrupt and distract… and more… taking our eyes off the prize. Of late, I have been experiencing the culmination of a strategic reflection over the last year or so in particular; a reflection intended to get a sharper focus on the most important path for me. A manifestation of that culmination is found in Manifest, Oh!. In so getting to this space of late, I have been exploring patience in posts on:
- The Pit Stop of Patience
- Patiently, Something Fierce
- Strategic Patience
- and, indeed, through 2019, Here We Come.
The journey has had a last minute spurring from a reading and reflection on:
- broadCAST January 2019
- The T’ra’at is Talking
- A Best Piece of Advice I Got
- The Leaducator 2019
- Character Leadership and Education
- Ballard and Ballast
- Self Care: Putting on My PJs
- and, Your Sound Track
I offer these up for two reasons. First, I humbly suggest each is worth a read and reflect as stand alone. Second, the value in my own going back on what I have written is not lost on me. When we record, we must always remember that there is value in the review and reflect. Record, review and reflect offer a powerful, simple process for learning. I might suggest that record, review, reflect and re-engineer are a powerful foursome. I guess I just did. 🙂
That being said, in Manifest, Oh!… I stated that:
A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions and motives. Mine now goes something like this.
- I believe in humanity and its future and I am prepared to stand for it in faith, thought, will and action. It is my best birthright. I believe it to be all of ours. I unapologetically believe in the nobility of the human spirit and choose to explore and celebrate humanity and the best and truest of heroism, humility, helpfulness and humor. Yup, there is a bunch of H factors worth hoisting and honoring. In so believing…
- I teach business leadership at College of the North Atlantic, in class and online; and love my global work with Epic Engage™.
- I work with noble minded and hearted leaducators, communitrepreneurs and emergents in advancing character leadership and unity building.
- I deliver in English, Mandarin and French to bring that work to the world.
- I have also engaged a deepened level of spiritual studies and practice through The Ruhi Institute, and more.
- I am living a life filled with love, song, dance, cartooning, writing, epic stories, archery and more of what and who I love. My #bestlittledogintheworld Panda is by my side in enjoying it all.
- I am 110K in weight (slim for my body structure) and benching same; healthy and strong. And, I am financially ready, willing and able to support special projects in which I deeply want to invest and contribute.
- I am loving it! All!
My 90 day strategic plans for 20022020 as referenced in 2019, Here We Come… they remain, and aligned. Having a powerful set of 90 day plans aligned with a truly resonant vision is a powerful thing as well. This is why I suggest some rereads of the above, on and of your own. But, the core of this blog is truly around an a-ha for me this morning.
My Best Contract
Years ago, I discovered this prayer by Abdu’l-Bahá. I fell in love with it, and then, after a time, took it for granted somewhat. In saying it this morning, I realized that it is a contract between God and myself. Let me explain.
What I ask of God is this:
O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers.
What I promise to God is this:
I lay all my affairs in Thy hand.
What I expect of God is this:
Thou art my Guide and my Refuge.
What I commit to God is this:
I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
What I accept from God is this:
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself.
What I give to God is this:
I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.
That being said, I have my free will, or I would not be choosing to offer up what I do in this prayer. I could chose not to do so. That is my right, and responsibility.
So, why is this important? For me, I now see that the path towards my Vision 20022020 with its 90 day strategic plans, and the living of my manifesto, must needs be best guided by this contract in the form of this prayer. As I walk resolute towards, I need to remember what I ask and what I promise.
I Ask, Expect and Request
- I ask to have my spirit refreshed and gladdened, my heart purified of questionable motives, and my powers illumined. I ask and expect that God be my Guide and Refuge. I ask and recognize that God be my better friend.
- I promise that I will lay all my affairs in the “hand of God”. I promise, in so doing, that I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved and that I will be a happy and joyful being. I promise that I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I promise that I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. Full of anxiety and dwelling on the unpleasant is my promise to avoid. It does not imply that I will be free of same but that I will not dwell there. That is significant. I will have my moments but I will not stay there. Most of all it means that I promise myself to my best understanding of God.
Whether this resonates for you or not, it does for me. Whether prayer and God resonate for you or not, there is value in understanding that:
- a powerful and resonant vision is important
- 90 day strategic plans are very useful in getting there, and
- a “spiritual” contract or commitment to guide the walk is advisable.
I have my vision, my plans and now my contract. Time to up the work and business.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy
I have been pondering Patience a bit of late. Last week, I shared on Patiently Something Fierce. I suggest it a worthy little read, with links. That being said, I am pondering the strategic application of Patience.
Patience is a powerful strength of character in moving forward and facing the future. Patience is not simply biting our tongue or holding our breath. It is a knowing that we will get there; wherever there might be. Water is patient. It gets where it needs to go, eventually, despite blocks and dams and obstacles. It will find a way. Sometimes it will roar and rush. Sometimes it will flow, or even trickle. Sometimes even, it will seem stagnant but it is either evaporating or seeping into the water table. Either way, it will get where it is going. It is Patience, as strength. Much of nature knows this too. Do the work, and inherently trust in the outcome.
I saw this same quality in Chris Ballard, GM of the Indianapolis Colts in his season closing remarks. Patience is a quiet but powerful knowing that, as we focus on our work, things will happen. Patience is a powerful form of confidence. It is poise personified. It trusts. It understand that there is work to do, but it trusts in the process. So, going forward, it is a powerful, practical strength of character, and it is grown in practice. For me, the T’ra’at is indeed talking.
When we look on other matters, we need to be strategic in understanding when Patience is called upon, and not. I strongly suggest that Patience is a noble practice in working and living with others. Everyone has a journey. That being said, I have fallen prey in my life to excessively waiting on people with respect to work and projects and initiatives, often over accommodating for their hesitancy. Unfortunately that hesitancy is often grounded in their inability to say that they are not truly ready, willing or able… and in their desire to politely agree so as not to disappoint. While we should and must be patient with people, that does not imply that we should accommodate thusly. Great advice given to me years ago, but only now fully gotten is…
- … go fiercely in the direction that your soul calls and see who shows up. Do not entertain the well -intended. Engage the intent. Do not accommodate the polite “cannot say no” travelers. Ride with those who have identified they are going there too. Be patient with those who cannot or truly do not want to ride with you, but not patient in waiting on them changing their hearts or minds. The train is rolling, and the right ones will catch up.
I am munching on this; digesting it. Patience is a strength, and a strategic one at that. It is wise to know when and where and with whom it is required.
As Joe Calloway puts it in his book The Leadership Mindset, “As the leader, you are the prime keeper and defender of the culture. It is your job. While everyone is part of the culture, you can’t delegate this one because you are the embodiment of the culture. Regardless of what it says on the poster in the break room about ‘Our Culture’ everyone looks to you, what you say, and, more important, how you behave to know what the organization stands for.” You must assert same. Patience tells you move forward and trust in the process. It also tells you that, if some are not on board, you must keep moving.
Whether in school, at work, in business or throughout community… the strategic strength that is Patience must be considered. As of tomorrow, I have 400 days left for my 20022020 Vision.
- It is 20022020, and I am a master and lifelong student of the global body of work around character leadership and unity building. I have learned conversational Mandarin and French to bring that work more global. I have also engaged a deepened level of spiritual studies and practice through The Ruhi Institute, and more. I am living a life filled with love, song, dance, cartooning, writing, epic stories, archery and more of what and who I love. My #bestlittledogintheworld Panda is by my side in enjoying it all. I am teaching business leadership at College of the North Atlantic, in class and online; and doing my global work of Epic Engage™. I am loving it! I am 110K in weight (slim for my body structure) and benching same; healthy and strong. And, I am financially ready, willing and able to support special projects in which I deeply want to invest and contribute.
Slow and steady patience in building that vision; I am reminded.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy
- broadCAST January 2019
- Leaducator 2019
- broadCAST December 2018
- Developing Character Leadership
- The Character of Leadership
“Somethin’ fierce” is a phrase I have heard turned locally over the years. “That weather was somethin’ fierce” … meaning it was definitely intense. Last week, I posted on The Pit Stop of Patience and the importance that the virtue that is Patience plays in living our best lives. I believe that it was Elizabeth Barrett Browning who wrote of what we could learn of Patience in nature.
‘O DREARY life,’ we cry, ‘ O dreary life ! ‘
And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife
With Heaven’s true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle ! Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land, savannah-swards
Unweary sweep, hills watch unworn, and rife
Meek leaves drop year]y from the forest-trees
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory: O thou God of old,
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these !–
But so much patience as a blade of grass
Grows by, contented through the heat and cold.
Panda, my #bestlittledogintheworld demonstrates it. This morning, I am still reflecting on its power to wait and believe, and trust. This morning though, I am also reminded of the strength that is fierceness. Panda demonstrates such as well. The word fierce can conjure up images of violence and aggression. But its meaning can also illicit thoughts of strength and assertion. I consider the former to be faux fierce, and the latter to be the real stuff. I need the real stuff with my buckets of health, education, service and love this year. I especially need it with respect to continuing getting back to a healthy, strong body. Patient and Fierce, oh yes.
Fierce is that strength of both veracity and tenacity. Veracity is that strength of character grounded in Truthfulness. Tenacity is that strength grounded in Determination. Now, imagine Patience with this twin winged power of Truthfulness and Determination. This does not imply that one has to be the proverbial bull in a China shop. That, I still consider to be the faux fierce.
It does imply that we know our best destination; the one for which we have the utmost resolve. It does imply that we not obsess on that which distracts us… our frustrations, fears and idle fantasies. It does imply that we are (as my dear soul sis and I refer to as) holy all in full arse. We are wholehearted with being fierce. We are stronger than our fear. Indeed, the only and true fear we have is in not reaching for that destination, of service and life. We are willing to give our very all for it.
Imagine the strength that is the balance of Patience and Fierceness. Imagine the Trust and Certitude in having a clear and strong sense of who you are and where your soul knows you need go. Imagine that Patience to know you will get there. Imagine that Fierceness that will bring you the resolve to do so. One is your ballast. The other is your sail.
For me, I am pondering such capacity this morning as I continue my journey, and into a new year. I am reminded by colleagues of the capacity that this time of year potentially brings. I am reminded that I need to be patiently something fierce.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy
On New Year’s Eve, I wrote this on And So It is New Year 2019. It concerned itself with vision and goals, purpose, meaning, character and more… and I truly and humbly do suggest the read.
Last night and today, January 1-2 in the Northeast Avalon including St. John’s and Mount Pearl, we were met with this storm. At first it promised to be a blizzard, but it turned and is turning out to be two storms in one. I even liken it to a bit of a snowy hurricane; high winds and snow, lightening up with rain and freezing rain for a bit, then returning to snow and very high winds. It has grounded the city, at the very beginning of the new year. For a snapshot look, notice the shovel handle in the far right of the photo, just outside the door.
Yup, walloped a bit hard, and amidst all the plans for the new year. Social media has been filled with messages for a great new year, and I am sure many had plans to hit the ground running, myself included. For me, the intent was and is to launch the new EPIC Speakernet…. 26 expert speakers coming together to be available for conferences and events in Newfoundland and Labrador… effective and officially today. The thought was and is to launch the introduction of #hUmaNITY and Project BLACKWING™… this week. The thought was and is to launch our now 19 free services… including DELIVER™, CAPS Cares, and Speakeasies™. And yes, our updated site. Yes, there were great intentions, and I guess, by noting them here, I have kind of introduced and/or launched each. Still, I am reminded that journeys require patience. Even just two days in can test the journey. We are eager to get at it. Then, right at the beginning, a wheel can fall off.
Patience is not about biting our tongues or holding our breaths. Patience is the power (or at least one of the core powers) of the hunt, and the journey. The hunt is not simply about the chase, but the wait.
And that can be weighty for many of us. I know that it can be for me. But then and tonight, I think…
The Virtues Reflection Card says it is hopeful and expectant, un-rushed and gentle with mistakes. It says it accepts where we are, with an essential confidence that that is not where we will stay. Patience does not panic or become disturbed or doubtful. It breathes well. It trusts that we will make it. It is the tortoise over the hare. It has a quiet confidence, and sense of certitude. It know it will get there.
As my back is “gone” and the snow keeps coming, I need to understand this. As we each reach for that which we most soulfully desire this year, in whatever areas and arenas of our lives, we need to remember that Rome took more than a day. Our souls know that. Our egos struggle with it. Listen to your soul. Our lives are journeys. Our years are segments. Our days are miles. Some miles are pit stops and we (I) must remember that the pit stops are necessary. Indeed, I believe it was the remarkable Stephen Covey who once referenced that sometimes we are too busy to stop for gas, and we must stop for gas.
So, as you venture forth in 2019, enjoy the ride, be alert to the times for both movement and stillness. If it helps, I offer up this prayer I say in remembrance of my sister.
- Make me ready, in all circumstances, O my Lord, to serve Thee and to set myself towards the adored sanctuary of Thy Revelation and of Thy Beauty. If it be Thy pleasure, make me to grow as a tender herb in the meadows of Thy grace, that the gentle winds of Thy will may stir me up and bend me into conformity with Thy pleasure, in such wise that my movement and my stillness may be wholly directed by Thee.
Among other things, it speaks to me of the necessity of movement and stillness. It is not all up to me. I am simply to be ready. This storm is out of my control, as is much in life. What is within my grasp is the ability to be ready. In education, leadership, business community building and more… certainly, in life … in 2019, I wish that you live your life ready and to be alert to the things that come your way.
Listen and live.
Peace, passion and prosperity…
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy
Back on October 10th, I posted this on An Invitation to Bucket. In it, I suggested that I would focus on 5 “buckets” going forward:
- Educational, which will include my MBa, Mandarin, French and even spiritual
- Joyful… which will include emotional, and inspirational
- Work and Service… including vocational, and social
- Physical… my health
- WEALTH… including material and financial
First, I suggest you might find it of value to read that post. The notion of buckets is particularly of value to me. From that, I developed my “five buckets statement” to be filled by 20022020 (my 60th birthday)… an application of Ikigai for me personally:
It is 20022020, and I am a master and lifelong student of the global body of work around character leadership and unity building. I have learned conversational Mandarin and French to bring that work more global. I have also engaged a deepened level of spiritual studies and practice through The Ruhi Institute, and more. I am living a life filled with love, song, dance, cartooning, writing, epic stories, archery and more of what and who I love. My #bestlittledogintheworld Panda is by my side in enjoying it all. I am teaching business leadership at College of the North Atlantic, in class and online; and doing my global work of Epic Engage™. I am loving it! I am 110K in weight (slim for my body structure) and benching same; healthy and strong. And, I am financially ready, willing and able to support special projects in which I deeply want to invest and contribute.
Since then (and if you want to follow the journey), I have written on:
The learnings and evolution continued on this sense of vision. Then, it heated up with this on GREAT Goal and the Hunt… whereupon I set my 90 Day Snapshots as building blocks for my vision. I do suggest a good read of that post.
Since then, I documented and developed on:
,,, further “sharpening the blades” on this path of commitment. To date, it has culminated in last week’s post on THE EPIC ENGAGE … wherein I asked “Who are you? Who do you want to be?”
All of this is to offer up a path upon which to reflect in possibly reading these posts, and to say that this morning I see them as a boarding of the plane, if you will. You see, yesterday was a day that started with intense challenge and yet a focus on getting up and at it. Through it all, I called upon Courage and Certitude, a deep sense of Faith and Trust in what I know… of me and my Commitment to my vision. I was not going small. By day’s end, much had changed… had been accomplished, and even re-evaluated. The getting at it had gotten me to it. It had revealed nuanced but important realizations. Yesterday was my pre-flight check, having spent the last few weeks boarding the plane.
What did it reveal? Well for SNAPSHOT 1: November 15, 2018 through February 12, 2019… 90 days…. it revealed success and otherwise.
- I am walking as a daily student of the practice of character, unity and spirit
- I am learning the first basics of conversational Mandarin and French
- I am continuing my education studies, completing my current course
- I am prayerfully engaged in my Ruhi studies, Books 1 through 7
- I am singing, writing and living daily, with my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda
- I have re-launched the new Epic Engage™ in January, with:
- Project Black Wing™ for launch January 1, 2019
- DELIVER™ sessions November 2018 and January 2019
- Thinking CAPS™ national chats December 2018, and January and February 2019
- NLAWS™ and Speakernet officially launched January 1, 2019
- new blog-comic strip called Aukwords™ launched in January 2019
- momondays St. John`s December 10, 2018
- Speakeasies™ starting in January 2019
- I am sharing epic stories, via video and momondays
- I have strong connections with the business development community, including:
- Futurpreneur, and
- I have successfully completed the Fall term, teaching business leadership at college
- have completed and constructed my 20022020 462-day W.E.A.L.T.H.™ Plan.
I am successfully on track and even ahead on most of these items (the blue). There is but one that is currently “woeful”.
- I have a 38 inch waist, eating “more than right”, walking daily
Actually, it is more “whoa-full”. I had to go whoa and realize that something was not quite right. The systems check has found an issue. Yet, that has changed in the last two weeks too. With the pre-diabetes warning of my doctor (a new piece of news as past tests have never show such a sign) and the promise that it can be thwarted in its advance… I am now eating so much better; so very much better. I am not on track with the snapshot goal, but I have found the track. Success!
THE BOTTOM LINE
I offer all of this to say that my pre-flight check and its revelations have demonstrated and reinforced to me that:
- having a clear and palpable vision is powerful
- having snapshot goals as building blocks towards that vision are equally so
- systems checks on the validity of both are vital… and are more productive than shaming.
As you get clear on your vision for 2019 (and I hope and suggest that you do), and identify your snapshot building block goals in getting there… please approach them and evaluate them not as pass or fail, but as learnings to help ready for flight. See the “glitches” as gifts. See them as teachers. For me, there have been real successes with the practice of character, unity and spirit, Mandarin and French, education studies, Ruhi studies, and singing, writing and living daily with my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda. In addition and over this Christmas Break that I have just started, it will see me finalizing on the new Epic Engage™ in January, and constructing my 20022020 W.E.A.L.T.H.™ Plan. These are successes for me. But so is my learning on health. There is no shame in learning, only strength. For me, what I have learned on that front is that I needed to get deeper on my sense of commitment. The pre-diabetes warning was just that. It has galvanized me, not shamed me. As an educator, I understand that tests are not meant to fail us but to teach us what we know and need to get better knowing. I am learning.
I wish you a year of vision, goals, learning and growing. I will share more in a few days.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy
Last week, I wrote on Optimist Primed and Ready. I think it worth a read and reflect. For me. 🙂 I also wrote on my 3 Cents on Leadership. Another reread for me. I need to reread and reflect… and munch on these yet again.
This week has been eventful. With work on the new Epic Speakernet™ we are launching and my full slate of work, there have been successes indeed; milestones in the making. But this week has also tested Optimism. That being said, Optimism is up to it.
Optimism is not about ignoring problems. It is not about avoiding the negative. It is about recognizing the good, the bad and the ugly… and knowing “we got this”. That requires a range of virtues including Detachment, Patience, Faith, Trust, Determination, Steadfastness, Flexibility, Endurance, Forbearance, Fortitude, Courage, Resilience, Integrity and more. I say this because virtues are latent within us. They but need practice. Practice makes permanent.
Back on September 26, it was world Character Day. I love the fact that there is a recognition of its importance, and the need for it in this world. We need character every day. That requires, nay demands, practice. If you have ever wished or prayed for more patience, I suggest two things. First, don’t be surprised if the world gives you an opportunity to practice it. Second, you do not simply receive Patience. You practice it. You work at it, like any craft.
Every virtue is latent within us, in potential. To develop them, we need practice them. We practice Acceptance and Confidence and Joyfulness. We practice Strength and Unity. Practice makes permanent and we are building a deeper understanding and mastery of a virtue as we become it’s student. Character matters; and it requires work.
So, yes… this week tested my Optimism. But, that is the point. It remains within me. It always has. Indeed and now, its access is strengthened. I am even better at putting it into practice now. I have always found it a natural virtue for me but now I understand a deeper dive on it. Optimism shines in the face of trial.
So, for November, I am running a very personal journey called November Reign. I will spend the next 30 days working on my vision with a fierce and defiant Optimism. I will own it. It will be my reign. Actually, and more specifically, it will be a reign of Nobility, Optimism and Wholeheartedness (NOW). I will be the poster child for being a student of these three… Nobility in seeing and honoring the best in life, Optimism in living it, and Wholeheartedness in the energy I bring to it. I will live my slightly and newly updated 20022020 vision of…
- It is 20022020, and I am a master and lifelong student of the global body of work around character leadership and unity building. I have learned conversational Mandarin and French to bring that work more global. I have also engaged a deepened level of spiritual studies and practice through The Ruhi Institute, and more. I am living a life filled with love, song, dance, cartooning, writing, epic stories, archery, boxing and more of what and who I love. My #bestlittledogintheworld Panda is by my side in enjoying it all. I am teaching business leadership at College of the North Atlantic, in class and online; and doing my global work of Epic Engage™. I am loving it! I am 110K in weight (slim for my body structure) and benching same; healthy and strong. And, I am financially ready, willing and able to support special projects in which I deeply want to invest and contribute.
… as if it already has manifested. It has. I will walk this month fired up with the practice of Nobility, Optimism, and Wholeheartedness strengthened by Certitude.
More specifically, for November…
- I will walk as a student of character
- I will learn the very basics of conversational Mandarin
- I will prayerfully engage in my Ruhi studies
- I will sing, write, and live with my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda
- I will teach business leadership at college and do my thing with Epic Engage™
- I will eat “more than right” and walk daily.
I will. I will listen to The Hero Within… and a slate of Shinedown tunes like I Dare You… they are my band after all … and Wake Up … and more. I will listen to MY music, not in some superficial pumping up kind of way … but to feed my soul. I will reinforce the insatiable hunger for Optimism that already resides within.
I am inviting you to join me on November Reign. It requires nothing but to take on your battle cry. Where do you need to BRING IT this month? I mean bring it. What do you need to do this month that will send one big cool ball hurtling into motion?
Yes, this week has had cool and great moments and conversations; and it has had walls to climb. Yeah, Optimism is practiced. It is built, with work. It shines greatest when tested. It shines greatest when we deal with the walls. These times in which we live are a test. But Optimism is up for it. I am too. How about you?
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy
Leader ToC™ is back with a special interview (but they all are special truthfully). Still… this month, with our new iteration of editions about to launch in 2018… and now 14 in the series of Leader ToC™ Blog Posts:
- November with Jamie McCabe
- July with Trent Langdon
- the June edition with Jean Marie DiGiovanna
- the May edition with Sheena Grobb
- the edition for April with Krista T. Walsh
- the March edition with Joel Sweeney
- February’s edition with Ray Hollister
- our January edition with Stephanie Staples
- … and a compilation of the first six in the series from 2016.
… we are thrilled to have Bruce Templeton contribute to the conversation around leadership and character at Leader ToC™. We hope you engage and enjoy.
INTRODUCING Bruce Templeton
Bruce is a special, humble and generous man. He knows Santa Claus very well; much better than most. Here is a little on Bruce.
Bruce Templeton has assisted Santa Claus in St. John’s, Newfoundland for 39 years and has had more than 1500 visits in a red suit. Those visits have generated some amazing memories for the children, the families and yes, for him. Bruce is the only living Santa in Canada, of the 20 in the world, to be a member of the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame. He has also been knighted as a Knight of St. Nicholas. Bruce has written three books and, through those efforts and with matching funds from Rotary and the Gates Foundation, he has bought polio vaccine for 300,000 children. Now Bruce would like to stand in front of your group and talk to you. He would like to tell you a few stories and take you on a journey with him. Join him in the parade, on the Flight to the North Pole and in the children’s hospital on Christmas Eve. Check out his TEDx Talk. You can also connect with Bruce directly at Man in the Red Suit.
So, let us…
Engage the Leader ToC™
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
Hi Bruce. I am so glad that you agreed to contribute because I know that you can bring a special perspective to the dialogue. We typically start with two questions in one … “Who are you and what is it you do?
Thank you Barry. I am Bruce Templeton and I have the privilege of assisting Santa Claus for more than 1500 visits over 38 years. Some of these visits are happy, some are very sad but what turned out as an “act” has become a ministry.
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
A ministry? Fascinating, and I love it. There is a deeper level of Service in that. With that in mind and heart, for whom do you do this work best? In other words, who is your best audience?
There are many “audiences” for my work. I start with the Santa Claus Parade were there are 60,000 people. I finish holding tiny children in the Neonatal Unit of the Children’s Hospital on Christmas Eve. My “best audience” comes in the broad smile of an enchanted child when we keep the dream alive.
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
I can only imagine. And, I can feel it as you say it. There is a sense of real “magic” in it. Then, how do you best serve them in doing so? In other words, how do you offer what you do?
I serve best when I can bring hope and reassurance. When I can make the “not-so-normal” seem “normal” again; then I know that I have met the challenge. Some of the questions are not easy at all. The answers require careful thought. “Santa, my daddy died last month. Was it my fault and will you see him in heaven at night?”
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
Wow, and that is an understated wow. That takes such Service and Courage and Empathy. I admire your Strength in such work. If we look at it from another angle… based on your work over the years… in these times, what are the challenges and opportunities of leadership… from your perspective and experience?
When you portray one of the most trusted figures in the world, the greatest challenge is simply living up to the responsibility for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Everyone in my community knows what I do. It is not enough to have police screening done each year. It is how you behave and conduct your daily living such that your reputation never is tarnished. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and you can tear it down in 5 minutes.
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
Indeed, and in deed. I hear that, loud and clear. Trustworthiness is such a valuable “commodity” in the world… at home, school, work, business and community. And character matters. So, when considering the strengths of leadership as they might relate to character… what virtues do you consider to be paramount as strengths and why do you believe them vital?
I don’t think that any course can teach “integrity” and “doing the right thing.” Always tell the truth, always put the other person first. Always do what is in their best interest.
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
Indeed, and agreed. My own work with The Virtues Project™ for years is premised on the reality that all matters of character are sourced inwardly. We all have access to practicing character and it is our choice. All that anyone can do is encourage it. Given that, what is one piece of advice you might have for our readership on developing leadership and strength of character in these times?
We do seem to live in uncertain times. My own experience is teaching me that our value systems are all developed before we are 18 years old. So I believe that the memories for children are what determines those values and they can only be formed through family experiences. What do you remember about your Christmas? I’ll bet you can’t remember one thing you got under a tree. Go sliding, roast marshmallows, make cookies, go and visit an elderly relative. Quietly, give Thanks. Just do some random act of kindness with a child and feel the warmth you will receive from your priceless gift.
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
The only gifts under the tree I remember have special meaning in their giving. The joys of the memories are not grounded in the “stuff”. I could not agree more. I am hearing the importance of presence, not presents. I am hearing the importance of time over toys. I am hearing much we need to hear; and I truly appreciate your perspective. So, with that in mind and appreciative of your time, how can someone connect with you for more information on your work?
Barry, I can be reached through the website https://manintheredsuit.wordpress.com/… or you can read one of my three books. Start with “The Man in the Red Suit.” (Find a quiet corner for an hour. Get a box of tissues and a cup of tea or a glass of wine!)
BARRY LEWIS GREEN
Love it. I am sincerely thankful that you took the time Bruce… and encourage anyone to connect with you. It has been a pleasure.
Thank you Barry, and Merry Christmas.
Leader ToC™ out…
Folks, please check out Bruce. I very much encourage you. Very much. And, yes, we continue on. Continuing into 2018 … we will engage and explore with experts and leaders around the globe. We invite you to join us.
Until next month… Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!!
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unityand resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.
Some other reads, of note…
- 9 Perspectives for The Season
- Lead to Last
- Life and Care Hacks
- For Leaders and Educators
- Three Teachers
- Character Matters: Leader Thoughts
- Leader ToC
- Character First
- Developing Leadership Character
PPS (Other Resources)
- Our work is all about character. We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe. As part of that work, we offer you …
- and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.
The broadCAST™ is a monthly weigh in by members of The CAST™ of Epic Engage™. Independent experts in their own right, and I am humbly proud to say friends of mine… members of The CAST™ have an opportunity to share their earned insights right here, for you, each month. With that in mind, we wholeheartedly encourage you to connect with these experts on their respective bodies of work and how they might be of service to you. They each bring such great value in service to their respective work and audiences.
This month, we are launching a new look, feel and delivery to the broadCAST™. As we head towards that “magical season” in December, we thought to bring some new sparkle going into 2018. Focusing on Campus, Creativity, Communications, Life, Music and more… we hope you engage and enjoy. 🙂
THE CAMPUS CORNER…
Trent, Ray and I are offering a section called The Campus Corner where we each offer a short tip or idea on teaching or learning or some aspect of education and leadership; one simple idea from each of our bodies of expertise. To start…
TRENT LANGDON SAYS
Joe Dimaggio, the epitome of ‘coolness’ in the 30’s and 40’s; not only a professional baseball player and Yankee slugger (no less), but married to Marilyn Monroe! Holy moly, can you have a higher profile career and relationship built into one package? It was an era that saw movie stars and sports figures become ‘larger-than-life’ and evolve into heroes of the ‘super’ kind. There were fewer of them (as compared to this day in age) and their names were synonymous with greatness during a time when people needed escape and a reason to dream.
One of Joe’s famous (and most mortal) quotes often sticks with me and can be a mantra for any leader who seeks excellence while maintaining a deep sense of humility – “I played my best everyday; You never know when someone may be seeing you for the first time.” This is a message that, as educators, we can entrench within our students as they approach the challenges of each day, build the skill set necessary for post-secondary options, and enter the unforgiving workforce. It can also become the foundation and standard for our own professional practice. To read more on Joe and this thought, check out the Leaducator Experience™ for November 2017.
Trent Langdon is all about finding identity & building ‘life legacy’ through character education, integrity-based living, and social-emotional development. He is a junior high school counselor for nearly 700 adolescents and is dedicated to serving his students, their families, and communities. In addition, Trent works on behalf of his colleagues to build identity, protect professional roles, and to give teachers ‘a voice’; he is serving as Vice-President of the Newfoundland & Labrador Teachers Association (NLTA) for the 2017-2019 term of office. Trent is also a Canadian Certified Counselor with the Canadian Counseling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). And last but certainly not least, Trent is a proud contributor to the Epic Engage™ team and co-author of The Leaducator Experience™. Check out Trent’s blog.
RAY HOLLISTER SAYS
Whose Opinion Matters? This may ruffle some feathers – especially if you’re under 35 – but it is 100% accurate and necessary. When you are in the classroom, whether you are 14 or 41, there is a disturbing trend that seems to be emerging among students that is sadly working against their ability to learn effectively. That trend is the concept that the student’s opinion is paramount when considering what grade they have earned. The two key concepts here are “Student’s Opinion” and “Earned”. When it comes time to record the grade that a student will receive (for ANY class, assignment, paper, etc), the MOST EFFECTIVE WAY to help a student genuinely learn and grow is to give them what they EARNED. For this purpose, it is important to realize that in this moment, the only opinion that *should* matter for assigning a grade is the TEACHER! This is especially important in younger grades, specifically early education thru Junior High School. If you will take it to heart that a Teacher’s mission is to HELP you grow, HELP you learn, and HELP you succeed, then it should stand to reason that the teacher’s opinion is the only opinion that matters when it comes to your grades. With this in mind, if you will simply take the time to ASK your teacher what you can do to improve and/or to be even more successful in their class, I promise, you WILL get an answer! And if you genuinely LISTEN to what they say, AND put into practice, you will find that you not only reap the rewards of better grades, but you will also reap the rewards of better learning, better growth, and more success in the classroom – and life.
Ray Hollister is all about strength, excellence and potential. In fact, he has a very special connection with students – he’s helped thousands achieve average scores of over 90% for 20 years! His love of learning… and his ability to teach anybody the same easy strategies he used to study far less than everyone else while maintaining outrageously high test scores… quickly earned him a lot of ‘friends’ seeking his advice. Ray has personally conducted numerous studies to develop an intense, focused, and results oriented program for college students. With the success of that program, Ray set his sights on helping younger students in Junior High, High School, and those just entering University. The end result is a program that will help any student – especially YOU – learn more, study less, and earn consistently high grades. www.rayhollister.net
BARRY LEWIS GREEN SAYS
I share some thoughts around defining moments. Remembrance Day is a day of honor on November 11 in Canada. I also think Remembrance is something powerful for each of us; if we but focus on the constructive learnings. When we do, we build a track record of personal and healthy confidence. Indeed, here is a post from another 57 year young person on such reflection and worth a read. And here is a post on doing just that for identifying your strengths. I believe and contend that Remembrance is a powerful teacher. When we look back at challenges and see them as defining moments… they can be the most powerful and effective of teachers. When we help others… our students and colleagues and friends… to remember their defining moments, we help build character and confidence and capacity. This is leadership.
Barry Lewis Green is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about voicing, exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. His book Human Being Being Being Human speaks to that. and that is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday. www.epicengage.com
JAMIE McCABE SAYS
Clay Cafe’s Creative tip for November is how affective art can be as a source of therapy and relaxation. Life can be stressful and busy but when you take the time to ART, it is relaxing and fun. It allows you to just focus on the task at hand and nothing else. Art helps us communicate in a different language. Self expression! It’s also a great way to communicate and connect with those that paint memories with us. Believe it or not… it also helps with critical thinking skills as you concentrate on a vision, color options and design elements. They say that a picture is worth a 1,000 words….we often times communicate through our painting and work of art with colors and designs that we “feel” would be great for our masterpiece. Grow as a person and an artist; drop by to Paint today!
JOEL SWEENEY SAYS
Joel Sweeney is all about effective communications. He has been speaking, training, coaching and writing about it for over 20 years. He is the author of The Wedding MC Handbook and Little Helpings of Food for Thought. His third book, The Speaker’s Tool Box – Perfecting the Craft of Speaking, was released in the 2015. He is the owner of Professionally Speaking (established in 1995). Joel helps entrepreneurs and business professional become effective, engaging and confident speakers. www.JoelSweeney.com
CRAZY COOL CORNER…
LIZ BURT SAYS
One thing that I think readers of the broadCAST™ should always remember is that “you will obtain your goal if you maintain your course”. This life lesson came to me a long time ago, on a fortune inside a fortune cookie of all places, but it is the one piece of wisdom that I try and remember daily. It reminds me that it basically comes down to consistency and sustained effort if you want to achieve anything.
Sometimes we can be working towards something that just feels impossible, and the road to the finish line seems way too far away. That’s when I try to remember that I just need to focus on the tasks at hand and eventually I will get to where I want to be. We often give up on things we want in life when it becomes difficult and we get discouraged by small setbacks. But whether your goal is to write a book, loose 100lb or go back to school, don’t focus on, “holy crap that’s going to be a lot of work” and give up. Instead, just focus on creating sustainable daily habits that will move you closer to your goal, day by day. Make a commitment to yourself to write one page a day, switch one unhealthy meal for a salad a day, or sign up for one course each semester. And even if you fall off track, don’t beat yourself up, just get right back at it. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and we have to roll with the punches. We might have to readjust, re-strategize and refocus, but, small steps in the right direction are better than none.
So, fall in love with the process, create good habits and be proud of yourself sticking with them. When you feel unmotivated and you want to quit, just remember, through consistency and determination, you will get where you want to go.
KRISTA WALSH SAYS
Krista Walsh is about productivity and creating cash flow. Krista is an award winning entrepreneur, author and speaker. From dental assistant drop out, to family business builder, to emerging leader for Atlantic Canada (twice), Krista will share her journey from failure to success and explore how to increase your cash flow and productivity. In 2005 Krista established “KC COLLECT,” a credit, collection and resource company. It would be the first and only female-owned collection agency in Atlantic Canada. Krista’s informative presentations engage and challenge audiences to effectively manage and build their businesses, professional relationships, and enhance their profiles. Andrew Oland- President, Moosehead Breweries says “Krista is a smart, dedicated and passionate woman. She is an engaging and practical presenter who adds tremendous value to any audience.” Her breakout sessions will assist you in navigating the practical tools you can implement immediately to increase sales and productivity, enhance and build relationships, and strengthen and increase cash flow. Krista’s determination and vision has been recognized by her peers and she has twice received the Atlantic Canadian Emerging Award as one of Canada’s leading young entrepreneurs. www.kccollect.vpweb.ca
MUSIC and MESSAGE…
Going forward, Mark and Sheena will be contributing quotes and music respectively in our new section called MUSIC and MESSAGE… to lift the mind and heart. For November…
MARK BLACK SAYS
Starting this month, Mark will be offering motivating thoughts in visual form… going to be cool. For now, Mark has offered…
Mark Black, CSP is all about wellness and resilience. He is a Heart and Double-Lung Transplant Recipient, 4-time marathoner, resilience expert, speaker, and coach. Mark helps people “Thrive in Challenging Times”. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mark has inspired more than 100,000 people in more than 350 presentations. At 23 Mark faced an unimaginable challenge. His doctor informed him that his heart was failing. Without a rare and dangerous heart and double-lung transplant he would not see his 25th birthday. Three years later, after receiving his second chance at life, Mark ran his first marathon. Mark spends his free time with his beautiful wife and two kids. www.markblack.ca
SHEENA GROBB SINGS
Moving forward, Sheena shares in song, and message; and I am ever thankful. This month she shares a beautiful message on GOOD FORTUNE. We love it. Hope you do too.
Sheena Grobb Singer/Songwriter and Speaker… is humbly amazing. “It is without a doubt a masterpiece of songwriting and soundscape. Really incredible, soulful music. She will definitely get a huge audience in time, trust me.” Alex Wharton, Abbey Road Studios. A songbird from the age of two, songwriter at ten, with 3 albums under her belt, a nomination for the Western Canadian Music Awards, and over 500 tour dates across Canada, the US, and the UK, Sheena Grobb (one of Canada’s best kept secrets) is spilling over. With the release of her newest album, The Breakless Heart, mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, and a life changing music video created by Lindsey Nelko (past choreographer with So You Think You Can Dance), Sheena is embarking on her most meaningful project yet – The Living Compassion Project™ – inviting others to “unlock their lives” through sharing their stories… as she begins to share hers. www.sheenagrobb.com