A Story and Three Questions

Toke Moeller has been a friend and colleague now for 20+ years. We’ve co-hosted trainings together in North America, Europe, and Africa. We’ve walked rain forest together in Zimbabwe that left all of us massively soaked. We’ve conjured questions together that insist on the human heart being present. We’ve grown — the way that friends and colleagues do — in interesting configuration. An ongoing appreciation that I have in all of this with Toke has been his combo of wise sage / young boy (in the body of a now 70s ish human). I keep learning about how to trust all of that within me.

Toke offered a snippet of story a few months back, some of his relating to his commitment to the Tao.

I confess
that there is
nothing to teach:
no religion, no science
no information which
will lead your mind back to the Tao.

Today I speak in this fashion,
tomorrow in another, but
always the Integral Way
is beyond words and
beyond mind.

Simply be aware
of the oneness
of things.

Now I love these words that point to the simple. They point to a keenness of awareness and presence. They point to a story behind a story behind a story. I would suggest such attentiveness to layered story gives us much broader set of choices for how we be in the first layer stories that so many of us live in — jobs, tasks, teams, accountabilities.

Now I’m the kind of human, and professional, that tends to think in questions. When I hear / read / see a passage like Toke’s above, I can almost immediately see a few questions to engage a group. To create further connection and learning. I see these questions in a way that is akin to Ron Heifetz, Harvard Scholar known often for his work on “adaptive leadership,” who shares — “One can lead with no more than a question.”

My three questions to go with Toke’s Tao:

  1. What is the bigger story (for you, this team, this community, this family)?
  2. What have we forgotten about that bigger story?
  3. What is important now to do / be to reclaim this story?

There is a ton of leadership available in a story and three questions. I’m glad for that. And 20+ year friendships / colleagueships that grow in interesting and surprising configuration.

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