When I was eight years old, our family's home had a spring in the back yard. I thoroughly enjoyed watching water spit out of seemingly no where into a ditch, which in turn flowed into a larger drainage system in our neighborhood. With my limited world view and knowledge of where such water could come from, this small little spring fascinated me. Some days is would be nothing more than a drool from the clay in the embankment, others is was as though the earth turned on a faucet as the water flowed into the ditch around our house. Water ultimately finds it way to larger bodies of water, no matter how humble its beginnings, it finds the path it needs to expand and grow.
The human spirit has this same tenacity, the same need to find ways to grow and become larger, to join other stronger and more expansive places to be. Yet it has humble beginnings. It begins in the form of a simple thought, an idea, an epiphany and then bubbles up, joins other thoughts, feelings, ideas and experiences. From there it forms beliefs, values, and life choices until it reaches the heart and the other areas of the body from which the thoughts pour out into streams of action, response, and influence.
It is in these tangible outpourings, we are able to see the true person. We have the chance to experience what lies inside the hard exterior and visualize the spirit which lives and breathes within the heart of another. Once this is released, the heart is exposed and presents itself in ways we understand, such as the human spirit compelled to feed the hungry, who yearns to travel; his heart is revealed to a starving, third world village. We see this in the cancer survivor, determined to educate women about getting annual exams. We see this in a child, challenged by the condition of local animal shelters, take a wagon and coin jar to his neighbors for donations.
What are we doing as Artistic Leaders to create spaces for this spirit to pour out into our organizations and communities? What outlets do we provide for this spiritual energy to be release in positive ways?
Are you forging rivers or building dams for the people you lead?