Spaces in Between – Part Three

I was on the train home from a celebration last Friday when I stuck these words on Facebook:

‘Forget neat and tidy. It’s the gaps, the spaces in between which leave room, for you and I to grow.’

I confess – these words are not entirely mine, there’s a heavy borrow in there from the wonderful lyricist Mr Neil Peart. I’ll quote him fully later.

I also confess to being a little drunk at the time of scribbling, though thankfully nowhere near as smashed as the guy Keira and I saw earlier that day being helped across the road at the traffic lights. ‘There goes the drunkest man I’ve ever seen’, said Keira. He was wobbling all over the street. Anyway, where were we…

Ah yes, spaces in between. My friend Nigel Bird contributed to the flow with this:

True. The solid properties of matter are illusionary – matter is made out of atoms, which are 99% empty space, yet we see & experience it as being solid. Everything is just space with a few particles spinning around. And energy. Space and energy. Thats what it all is.

A few more likes and comments followed and then I walked up the hill to home and bed. The End.

Except not this time. On Saturday I awoke and scribbled Part one of Spaces in Between, then Ian Pettigrew and I had a useful exchange on Twitter about frameworks, models and spaces. On Sunday Part Two followed and here we are on Monday in the home straight.

Forget neat and tidy. It’s the gaps, the spaces in between which leave room, for you and I to grow.

Those gaps are full of:









And much, much more besides

I guess this Friday to Monday meander has been as much about the acceptance of the randomness of change as it has anything. As human beings we’re all unpredictable, flawed and a lot bit out of whack. We don’t often fit the mould, and yet a lot of time, effort, energy and resource is expended trying and failing to get us to fit. I understand that sometimes people need and appreciate a framework, a model, a lens through which to operate. And not always. Sometimes we just need to recognise the differences, appreciate the differences and let those differences help us to do our best work.

Heather Bussing puts it like this:

We have mixed feelings about most things, most of the time. Our culture and our brains like to label everything as either good or bad, black or white. But when we do that, we leave out all the other colors, feelings, and possibilities for insight. Things are not inherently good or bad. They just are. The way we view things is entirely dependent on whether what is happening is what we want. But when we can put that down, there’s a chance to see more clearly. Then whole new options begin to open up.

And Neil Peart puts it like this:

We are secrets to each other
Each one’s life a novel
No-one else has read.
Even joined in bonds of love,
We’re linked to one another
By such slender threads.

Just between us,
I think it’s time for us to recognize
The differences we sometimes fear to show.
Just between us,
I think it’s time for us to realize
The spaces in between
Leave room for you and I to grow.

Have a great week.

Surviving and Thriving. Community Wisdom

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece on surviving and thriving. I invited folk to contribute their surviving and thriving thoughts and ideas, so that these could in turn, be shared with you. Eleven interesting people with interesting and useful things to say got in touch with me. Some I know well, some I know a little and some I’d not met before. The ideas shared encompass leadership, purpose and great learning.

And here they are, as promised, for you. Just click the front cover image to download your free Surviving and Thriving mini ebook. I hope you enjoy reading it and I hope you enjoy putting some of the ideas into action.

Surviving and Thriving Book Cover

Thanks to Terry Seamon, Hilary Jeanes, Karen Drury, Alison Smith, Shereen Qutob Cabral, Craig Althof, Bill Lamphear, David Zinger, Dorothy Matthew, Nigel Bird, Ian Sutherland, Beth Raymond and Lisa Sansom. I’m grateful to you all for taking the time and trouble to get in touch.