We all know the quote, be the Change. It is quite tired and hauled out regularly to inspire us workers.  Ghandi’s actual words are quite different and perhaps more powerful,

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

As an action oriented, ambitious, Type A person (with confusing introvert geek tendencies), I have been living with the belief that it isn’t worth doing if I can’t see the change, then and there.

I have also been living with the invisible belief that for the most part it doesn’t matter how I show up in the world, not really. It doesn’t change anything and it definitely doesn’t affect or change people! All it does is change how hard it is for me to engage and sometimes make it easier for me to be heard.

Today I got to experience how wrong I was. All thanks to our in-house servant Leadership program that I facilitate (and on days like today feel that I learn as much, if not more than the delegates ).

Today a lady shared these words on our check out.

“I am taking Verna’s words with me.”

I was like, what ? Which ones ? (I don’t do the ‘uninvolved facilitator who doesn’t have an opinion thing… I choose to live Servant Leadership and so have a position and opinion but to hold that lightly and in a way that generates space for other different opinions…well, that is my goal, today I am thinking I might really be living this…still kinda in shock, but back to the story).

Her answer,

“To be gentle with myself and others”.

I was stunned! I had been speaking about being gentle on the course as I know all too well how cruel we can be to ourselves and this course can sometimes show us things we don’t like, so it is easy to get stuck in shame and self hatred. I never expected this result.

Up until Last November I never even knew what the word meant. Thanks to an awesome, informal (and regular) coaching like conversation with one of the most gentle people I have met and worked with  (that’s you David P), I realized how hard and unkind I am. I also couldn’t do my usual rapid descent into shame and guilt and self-loathing, that wouldn’t be gentle. So instead I have been ‘challenging’ myself to live more gentle every day – especially with the people who aren’t ‘deserving’ of being gentle and especially when it is hard to be gentle and takes effort (gentle effort).

I knew in my head that being gentle was a gift, I just didn’t know know what that meant…and then she showed me!

The story gets even weirder as twenty (is it really that long ago ?) years ago a work colleague kept on telling me to be gentle with myself. I couldn’t understand what she meant. It seems the lesson wasn’t intended for then, but for now.

So to all you peeps who believe that who you are doesn’t matter – what if my story is there in your life, right now ?

What if it does matter and how you show up creates changes in a more powerful, silent way that we can imagine?

And to all those peeps about to give in because you can’t see the change – what if you aren’t looking in the right place?

What if you need to be looking ahead to see it?

What if you are the culture ?
Live with Dare people!
Dare to love who you are and live a life you love!
Dare to look deeply and see what you believe and change it to suit you!
Dare to be awesome and amazing! I know you are, even if you don’t t dare to believe it because I see people find this out for themselves in every servant Leadership course I facilitate…to their surprise and no longer mine!