Welcome to Living Intentionally, a newsletter
from Matthew Rochte and Navigator Coaching.
In every issue:
Reality Concepts: Tips & Techniques.
What's Next: Upcoming News/Events/Programs.
Where Credit Is Due: Public Thank-Yous.
Intentionally is a week late this month because I was considering what impact I wanted this month's book to have on this newsletter. The book is
To One Another; simple conversations to restore hope to the future by Margaret J. Wheatley and I have decided that it is very relevant and timely. . The topic of the book is conversation and
what happens when we have the courage to engage in conversation.
In the continuing theme of Living Intentionally, I think this an excellent pairing with last month's
topic about how your interaction with the world/life/the environment impacts
your own life. This is often the first step to Being Present. So this
month we are adding another piece to Living
Intentionally - Conversation.
"Conversation is the natural way we human beings think
I want to share with you an experience I had a few weekends back when I
combined these two ideas - Being Present and Conversation. I went to St. Louis
with 310 youths (13-18) and their advisors (chaperones) for a church youth
conference. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of the year for me.
I came to the conference with just one thought - Stay Incredibly Curious. As
a result, the conversations with both the adults and the youth were expanding in
nature. We spoke about our passions, life, and beliefs - not idle chit chat.
Every encounter was a growth experience.
(As an aside, I want to say that youth always amaze me. They are
incredibly curious, thoughtful, and puzzling people. They don't have their walls
made of stone yet. They and their beliefs are still amenable to change. They
want to engage, if given the opportunity and on their terms. What an ideal
scenario to be present and engage in conversation.)
"We can't be creative if we refuse to be
I would love to share two experiences from that weekend that rang true with
me. The first was an experience of Being Present. 3-year-old Noelle, the
daughter of my host family, found me to be the world's greatest jungle gym and
back slide. This was not what I had in mind when I volunteered for the
conference. I did not know what to do. Then I shifted my thinking and become
present and curious. I realized that what was going on with Noelle had nothing
to do with WHAT I was doing but rather WHO I was being. She was interacting from
where she was at and with who I was with her, not what I was doing. I chose to
BE PRESENT with her. We had a delightful time.
"What is my unique contribution to the whole?"
Margaret Wheatley - conversation starter.
The second incident was with a young musician. This was an experience of what
happens when you engage in conversation rather than just talking. The young man
was extremely talented with the guitar and piano. Everyone wanted him to play
pop or favorite songs and he willingly obliged but seemed to hold back. In
listening and sensing who he was, I decided to ask him. "What do YOU WANT to
play?" He stopped talking and fidgeting and looked directly at me and said
"No one has ever asked me that before." So I asked again. There was a
palpable pause and then came forth this absolutely beautiful and sensual guitar
solo straight from the heart. We were all stunned. His earlier playing was good
however, this was amazing. I asked what the piece was. He replied "I wrote
it, but I have never performed it. . . Thank you for asking me what I wanted to
play - I don't think I would have played it otherwise." With that he floated
off to join his friends who were surprised that he was hovering 6 inches off the
ground. Amazing things happen when you listen and engage people in a
conversation from the heart. Conversations are not always about words.
Both of these experiences are about Being Present / in the moment and
both are about Conversation. Conversation starts when you are there and
ready to listen. Amazing things can occur. Be Present, Stay
Join the Conversation.
~ Matthew Rochte, Navigator Coach
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