Deep within each of us simmers a spark of genius, our own special kind of brilliance born from our innate gifts and tempered by seminal life experiences. Sometimes the spark gets lost or forgotten or simply hasn’t been discovered.
As a visionary, I try to free and strengthen the spark in people so they can move directly and unrestrained toward their dream. That kind of vision isn’t about seeing something in my mind and painting a picture of it for others to see. No… serving as a visionary catalyst for others first requires slowing time down and listening deeply to a person: hearing not just what’s said but what is in the spaces between. It requires feeling their energy and hesitation, their vibrancy and resignation. It means being in the moment with the whole person, their hopes, their dreams and their fears—whether they are overtly expressing or hinting at them. It means being present for what is, what wants to be, and what isn’t.
Secondly, it requires allowing light—vision—to reveal the obstacles to the spark: to reveal walls and blockages that have been put up, often in fear or uncertainty, inner beliefs and habits, and echoes of repeated and internalized warnings.
This kind of deep listening casts light onto that special space of personal, inner time each person carries, and seeds fresh vision of what their individual genius can achieve—"oh the places they could go!"
I see possibilities in people every day, all the time. I was inspired to found WomenLaunch so that I can do something about the potential I see in the women I meet. To create experiences and situations where women can have the time and the light to bring out their absolute best and leave constraints behind. We do that together, in committed community, for each other. At WomenLaunch, we envision a world full of powerful women CEO’s running successful businesses of all sizes in all industries.
Birgitte has inspired me to think about vision in a new way. Her observation of what lies beneath the surface in the busy crowds of the city:
a procession of self-proclaimed civilized professionals enslaved by the ticking of a linear Gregorian clock that beat the same drum as their pseudo-unipolar neurons
This speaks to me of the never-ending sameness life can easily become when it’s driven by external measures of success. As does this next quote—although this is more descriptive of the gilded cage we can unknowingly build for ourselves:
not one of them ever saw the light because it bore no importance in their world it had no place in their world this world they had been building for all those years ever since they left business school and that was the year a thundercloud passed over their vision their psyche their heart their soul and like the polluted jet stream spun in place ever since, raining all over their young childhood mind that lay dying in the muddy river of the new idols of degraded social values that now poured the foundations of the structures of success, the idols of positioning and politics, of spin and self-interest, of delay denial and defense, of undermining and fragmenting breaking tearing apart the cohesion of well being well meaning and living well and with meaning
And they all pressed on through the revolving doors that had learned not to resist
Birgitte’s accounting of our constant exchange of time in pursuit of material gain with not a thought to the inequality of what we’re trading away made me realize that we need to slow down time to see into our own hearts and each other’s.
a 30-second spot to sell your soul for the pleasure of a warm pat on your own back
An insight about time, vision, choices, and shedding light on our lives came to me in the following quote:
on and on they live under the gray sky of material delusion supporting each other’s deepest fears lest one of them break away and discover real happiness far away from it all, or worse: right here in the midst of them all
We all have gifts and we all have dreams. But we collude in our focus on achieving externally valued goals and accumulating status-worthy goods perhaps because we are afraid of our differences—our uniqueness—and want to highlight to ourselves and others how alike we are and that we belong, that we are not strange and don’t have different, unusual talents or interests.
In the equation Birgitte introduces in her work, Time / Light = Vision, I saw for myself that these forces create an imperative in my own life: to allow light into the depths of everyday thinking, to take the time to ponder, and to nurture the vision that is generated.
Stop mortgaging time for your name in the lights don’t measure don’t squander don’t kill it don’t sell it to the highest bidder for the lowest value it is your worth your asset your exquisite value your unique and individual talent your time is you
~ Kathryn Gorges