In this issue:
Hello and Happy October,
Welcome to the last issue of the first Volume of DadsNews!
Yup, it's been a full year. Eleven issues, one lap around the Sun, and here I sit watching colorful leaves flipping and floating through the Adirondack foothill air - witnessing Autumn in full swing...
The school year is well underway up here in the Northcountry. All indications are pointing toward a great one for all of us, and we're celebrating everything from Cai's spelling tests and my recent leadership position with the Coaches Training Institute to visits with family to the changing of the seasons themselves.
And if I'm not mistaken, it sure smells like snow outside once the sun goes down!
There's genius in this seasonal change. Yeah, I know there are folks out there who love to live in places where the mercury stays pegged at 80 degrees Farenheit 24/7-365. If that sort of thing works for you... hey, I suppose someone has to see to it that the pineapples make it to market! Me, I've discovered that I thrive on change, regardless of it's source...
All of which brings us to this month's feature, "The Meeting," about which I shall say nothing, leaving the discovery up to you.
If I may make one request: Will you send this issue of DadsNews on to a few dozen (or just one or two) other folks? As always, I'm deeply grateful to you for continuing to spread the love... Thanks!
Keep those virtual cards and letters coming - let me know what you think of the direction and "look" of DadsNews. I love to hear from you!
Grab a cup o' your favorite reading drink, and away we go...
Feature Story: The Meeting
It came out of the blue... something we couldn't have anticipated...
Sure, I like to think that I truly know my family, that I have their "moves" down to a science and, given that I'm a pretty intuitive fellow, I even have a leg up on what's coming down the pike.
Personally, I've been known to pull a spontaneous ritual out of thin air, but I never suspected that the apple who is my son would have fallen so very close to the tree that I am...
It happened about a month and a half ago. Danielle, Cai and I were sitting at the dinner table joking, munching and carrying on with our daily reports. Cai had stood up and sat down a dozen or so times already. It was shaping up to be a normal evening at home - until...
Cai looked up from his cookie crumb-strewn place and announced, "We have to have a family meeting."
"We have to have a family meeting tonight. We can tell each other how our day and week and year are going..."
First thought: "Isn't this kid a bit young to be bobbing for apples in the organizational development-Deep Democracy barrel?"
...mischievious kangaroos halfway around the globe...
A few weeks ago, I returned from a gathering of fellow Coaches Training Institute course leaders. Without going into too much detail, I walked away from that experience feeling as if each teeny, tiny strand of my DNA had been elasticized, stretched, strummed and otherwise re-ordered. I had listened to lessons on Quantum Physics, Sentient Reality, local and non-local energetic events, and the notion of being dreamed into various states of existence by mischievious kangaroos halfway around the globe. Evidently, one of those pesky marsupials had decided it was time to shake things up in our neck of the woods, and my poor son was possessed...
Second thought: "Pure, unbridled genius! That's my Boy!"
Whether or not the notion had been channeled through wayward 'roos, Danielle and I agreed that the family meeting was a pretty cool idea. After mopping up in the kitchen, we made our way into our living room (family room..?) for our first-ever family meeting.
Cai took a blanket of a nearby chair and placed it - just so - on the living room floor. I suggested we locate a "talking stick" and within a few minutes, we were seated on the blanket sharing one of the finest family moments we'd had together in months.
"He sits," I reasoned, "all day at school."
While I had played with the concept of family meetings, I never took the idea too seriously. I figured Cai - at the tender age of seven - was too young, and would probably be bored with anything that required him to sit still for more than a minute or two. "He sits," I reasoned, "all day at school..."
What I failed to factor in was that when an idea comes from him, the details have a way of working themselves out without much influence, finesse, or manipulation on my part. (C'mon, I'm human... When my brainy ideas and enlightened self-interest come to a crossroads, I can manipulate with the best of 'em...)
When I stop and really look, the desire for gathering as a family has been with us for a while. We adults in the household had found sophisticated ways of dancing around it. Cai had the wisdom to give voice to that desire, unfettered by notions of judgement, rejection or "proper timing." To him, the moment had come.
We've had three or four family meetings so far. When we missed our usual evening a week or so ago, it was Cai who, sitting on his bed, announced, "We didn't have our family meeting tonight!" His sense of longing was palpable. Indeed, something sacred had been skipped over - something he had been instrumental in creating...
As I sit cross-legged on our red blanket, look into the eyes of my small family and listen to their voices, I can't help but be moved. This way of being with one another feels new and ancient at the same time. The conversation on the blanket is different - somehow more connected, more real, more evenly paced. On the blanket in our living room, we stop - breaking the silence to share our truths - to honor, acknowledge and appreciate one another. For a few precious moments, the rest of the world slows down, too.
"Ah," I think, "So this is what they mean by 'family room...'"
Then it hits me: "Smart kid..."
Quote of the Month
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
"A Better Way to Work"
Here's a quote from an article entitled "Make your Passion Pay" in the October, 2005 issue of Men's Journal:
"According to a survey by Harris Interactive, just 45 percent of employees in the United States are happy with what they do for a living. A Yahoo! HotJobs study shows that 72 percent of Americans are not in their dream jobs.
"That's unacceptable. No man should have to slog through a job that fails to stoke his soul and fire up his imagination, especially when, according to HotJobs, three out of every four Americans believe that their dream jobs actually do exist and 50 percent of them would even take a pay cut to make it happen.
"Making your passion your profession means finding what you really want to do, figuring out the way to make that profitable, and devising a plan to put things in motion."
Personally, I couldn't say it any better! If you think "yup, that's me..." and you're ready to actually do something about it, then it just may be time to take a look at A Better Way to Work .
Send me a note or gimme a ring at 518.580.0550.
Third Monday Calls: Taking a Closer Look at Masculine/Feminine Energies
Monthly calls exploring the nature of Masculine and Feminine energies in our culture, our work, our relationships, our families, and ourselves... With Debra Wilton-Kinney, Sam House, Mary Kuentz, and Ken Mossman. Come over and have a look at the Third Way blog for more info...
Watch for Third Way Teleclasses and our upcoming Workshop
Riding the Edge
Coming in April, 2005... Chamonix, three experienced leaders, one experienced guide, snow, speed... What has skiing to do with leadership, anyway?
Curious? Stay tuned...
On the coaching front, I'm setting up sample appointments for late November and early December. Ready for a 45-minute test drive? Let's set it up! On the house, of course!
Feedback for DadsNews - or a simple "howdy!" - is always welcome. Send me a note!
More cool stuff is available at the Cirrus Leadership website!
Next issue of DadsNews: Mid-November. Until then, listen to the children. If you don't have your own, spend some time with someone else's!
DadsNews ©2005, Kenneth Mossman, MFA,
CPCC, PCC, Cirrus Leadership®