Life has meaning for us when it is lived from a core set of values through which we can influence others in a way that leaves them better than we found them. Whatever our personal or professional context these values are our Source.
Source gives us clarity of purpose. Knowing why we do what we do adds quality to our relationships, purpose to our actions and makes the potential of a new day worth getting up in the morning for.
When we are connected to Source we have a vision that can see beyond current reality to what could be. Connection to Source allows us to forge meaning from even the most extreme situations.
"When you have sufficient WHY you can endure any WHAT" (Nietzsche)
Dis-connect from SOURCE
Having said that, periodic disconnect from Source is part of our reality for at least three reasons:
Firstly, every human emotion passes. No matter how enthusiastic we are to make a difference, there will come a time when the energy of that enthusiasm fades. This natural ebb and flow of emotion means that we can expect to routinely lose connection with the Source of our inspiration. The invitation then is to do it when we no longer feel like doing it.
Secondly, we live in a time of global disruption. Fuelled by an unsustainable lifestyle, this disruption is characterised by the Presencing Institute as an ecological disconnect (knowingly consuming the resources of one-and-a-half earths), a social disconnect (increasing use of human beings as commodities and massive gap between rich and poor) and a spiritual disconnect (manifesting in a global increase in suicide). The invitation then is to co-create an alternative, sustainable life-style.
Thirdly, when we empathise with someone in pain we feel their pain. Contemporary neuroscience introduced us to the reality of the 'mirror neuron system'. This is the neurological mechanism by which we are hard wired to feel the emotions of others. When we seek to make a difference to those who are disconnected from their Source and are in pain, and we do that well, we too will temporarily, lose connection with our Source. The invitation then is to creatively Re-Source ourselves through increased reflexive self-awareness.
"Burnout rarely if ever comes from hard work.
Rather it is a by-product of work that is disconnected from Source."
The journey back to SOURCE
Protracted disconnect from Source can lead to the experience we use the word burnout to describe.
Disconnect can often feel like a betrayal of self, a personal let-down, becoming other than who we want to be. However, if we can suspend judgement, this disconnect can simply draw our attention to the ever-existing gap between our vision and our current reality. Peter Senge helpfully describes this as a 'creative tension', full of potential.
At the Centre for Re-Sourceful Leadership we are committed to supporting individuals and communities on the journey of re-connection to why they do what they do, re-sourcing themselves.
We do this by nurturing rich relationships, characterised by acceptance, compassion and courage; hosting generative conversations, characterised by ‘listening to ignite’; and facilitating next action steps, characterised co-creativity and co-accountability.
"Who do you choose to be?" Margaret Wheatley
Making the reflexive turn is the first step in transformational leadership. Asking, "who am I becoming as a leader", it recognises that leadership belongs to everyone in the community.
Reliable leaders are there for the long-haul. They hold themselves and the community accountable to standards of excellence while grounding transformational leadership in sound ethical frameworks.
When leadership is done well, leaders resonate with the distress of those they seek to support. Sustaining leadership over time requires a strong commitment to self-care and resilience.
Could you envisgae yourself facilitating learning for leaders and practitioners in pastoral settings. CR-SL has teamed up with Institute for Pastoral Supervision and Reflective Practice (IPSRP) to offer the upcoming Diploma in Refelxive Supervision.
The programme is also suitable for those who want to develop a practice in supervision even if not particularly with pastoral leaders and practitioners.