Sunday, 21 July 2013

An Orenda moment

I know it's cheesy.... but..... I've thought a lot about what use I might put the blog to. It feels like I should write something erudite and change the world that way and I probably or at least possibly will. Maybe you will too?

Then again if you've known me for a while you'll know I had an aspiration to open a virtual museum. The museum of ordinary moments.... They were intended to capture the inspiration in the ordinary. Simple stories captured from ordinary life that hold life in them. Anyway it didn't come to much. I didn't have the self discipline  or maybe the time to write them. Whatever.....

Today I found myself thinking about what a hard week it was last week. The pervasive theme was striving to meet demands that will always outstrip capacity... such is the day to day reality of leadership in social care. It's Sunday. I started doing the loop, mentally preparing all the doing I am going to need to do from Monday. I can never remember it all and even if I write it down, by Tuesday it's already getting the better of me. Maybe I need to go on a time management course?

I don't think so. Look at what's happening here. I am trying to wind up one job and start a new business. I might have difficulty juggling all the balls, but juggling I am and both are getting my full attention. If any part of my life is getting short changed its the people indoors....I am working on it and that's another story!

So it's not busyness that's the problem here, its not capability and its not even really capacity. I am finding space to do better than what needs to be done. The real issue is where I put my attention and the discipline to focus where it matters.

So, turn down the lights, start the orchestra and lift the curtains on an Orenda moment.

Orenda means the power within people to make change in the world and in themselves...... lets see where that takes us....

Last week, in the week I just described as "hard", I was called at lunchtime to present myself to the forum of people we support. The forum didn't exist 6 years ago and it's had its' up and downs. I was invited because it's the last time they will convene whilst I am there and they wanted to say goodbye and good luck. They had thought about the occasion, they had some words and had bought me flowers. I stood at the front and said how proud I was of their journey, what a massive difference it makes to hear their voice and how the organisation's strength rests in their courage to speak for themselves and others. No compromise. That was what we agreed and I left and went back down to my office to be busy.....

An hour later E (the Chair) headed toward my door, her walking frame masking nothing of the determination with which she intended to reach me. D followed closely behind on his stick similarly fuelled with purpose and and a real fire in his belly. They arrived at my door. It's existence proved no barrier, instead they bowled right on by and took their place in the chairs we preserve for all sorts of formal business related busyness. It looked like I was "for it" and I waited pensively to find out what other bit of busyness I had not settled, sorted or resolved.

I waited. I waited more. I discovered their mission was to claim some time.... they came to demand some time,  just time. There was no shape to it, no purpose in it, no ask, no complaint, no jobs, no nothing. All they wanted, all they took, was a little time. It was close on silent or maybe there were some words but what I noticed was the ask was simple. It was to be connected in warmth and regard. Just a little spot to let the sun shine, to enjoy each other's company, to reflect and to just be.  They brought that to me. They gave it to me.

Wasn't that what I was always there for? When did the busyness become the habit? I hardly know, but what saw is that they chose to come, they shaped the space, they didn't see the door. They chose to take my time and gift it back to me.

That's my Orenda thought for today. I don't even know who did what in this story to make the difference to whom. I think its mere detail. Moving forward I am going to try to use this space to write more moments, when I see them.

You should do that too. I will make a space here, if you send me what you saw.


  1. One of my colleagues said to me last week; we are human beings not human doings. That came into my mind as I read your blog. Congrats Judith, I look forward to sharing the virtual journey with you on this blog! Xx