Absencing and Presencing – Soul-Tapping (Part 1 of 4)

               Soul-Searching Life-Planning: Refreshing Your Professing              Pathways to Embedding Professional Resilience

                              Absencing and Presencing: Soul-Tapping                                  Pt 1 of 4 Soul-Searching Life-Planning for Professionals 

The upcoming CIP 2018 National Conference in Winnipeg, on the theme of Soul, provides an opportunity to revisit some related aspects of the CIP 2017 Conference in Calgary, when the theme was Building Resilience. The College of Fellows contribution then focused on ‘Building a Resilient Career’ – on the possibility of ‘built-in resilience’.

As a panelist I was inspired to explore the connection between ‘life-planning’ and ‘professional-self design’. The life-planning foundation developed three themes rooted in ‘soul-searching’ – to refresh one’s professing. As Neil Seligman observes in ‘The Conscious Professional’ “You are always at choice as to how you respond to any situation, event or person. It is a skill that can be taught, practiced and learnt. That skill is Professional Resilience”. Resilience may be regarded here as the ability to find the inner strength to bounce back from a set-back or challenge.

The overall framing of my 2017 panel offering reflected an interest in insights from the application of Theory U, an awareness-based social learning technology, associated particularly with the work of Peter Senge (et al) (2004) on ‘presence’, and Otto Scharmer (2009) on Theory U, and (2013) with Katrin Kaufer (on ‘leading from the emerging future’).

The ‘U’ symbolizes a learning journey, beginning with a consideration of what might be being ‘absenced’, en route to a focus on what one might more consciously ‘presence’. This includes enacting open mind, open heart, and open will; the latter – at the ‘bottom’ of the U, at the core of ‘you’ – can be regarded as soul-territory… ‘connecting to source’.

‘Touring’ the U may be regarded as a form of soul-searching, to refresh your professing. Taking this tour for myself (for my Self) I was motivated to give particular attention to what I may be ‘absencing’ – to then better discern the ‘presencing’ I might wish to call forth.

In the context of a professional conference on building resilience, this crystallized in an interest in the presencing as ‘prof-essencing’ – as a ‘rub’ for resilience, potentially ‘oiling’ the often necessary transformation, automatically making the best of any problematic situation. And coming to better terms with certain ‘voices’ – judgment, cynicism and fear – that might lead to undue absencing, unless consciously noticed. Going ‘down’  the U entails a conscious ‘suspending’ of the voice of judgment, ‘redirecting’ the voice of cynicism, and ‘letting go’ of the voice of fear…. Pt 1 of 4 Soul-Searching Life-Planning for Professionals

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Ian Wight

A Canadian Scot. Ex-professor, now senior scholar. In re-firement. Passionate about (planning as) placemaking, as well-being (by design). Advocate of transformative professional learning, as professional-self design. Attentive to the making/s of professionals via praxis, ethos and poiesis.

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