Dare To Be

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People often say to me things like ‘I don’t know exactly what you do.’ If I was an elevator pitch, I can see the complexity, that elevator shaft would have to be pretty long, or high (depending on whether your shaft was half full :-) for me to work through explaining my current projects at any time. I used to have quite the uptightness about this, as the inference is that professionally i’m either a) confusing or b) inconceivable or c) flighty. I’m not any of those things, (but if I was i’d choose B, because, Princess Bride.)

I was musing on this with one of my go to brains and hearts the other day, and she said to me ‘what I think when I think of your work is how courageous, how marvelous, so much inquiry and such bravery to keep exploring big, difficult ideas and taking us all with you.’

It was one of those great moments when I realised that I was completely ignoring the advice I dispense so freely to people about following their dharma, and was instead sitting uncomfortably in a tepid pool of ‘the stories i’m telling myself about what others think’.

The truth is, I have raging curiosity.

Always have had. Show me a rabbit hole, i’m down it, throw carrots if I don’t come up in a month. This trait has led me from place to place, job to job, degree to degree, each one adding another layer of nacre to my pearl. It’s not everyone’s jam this no harness no safety net life, and I shouldn’t be surprised if it gets queried every so often in a WTF-you-up-to-now way.

The other truth is I can be this way because I have deep rooted friendships that hold space for me, a partner of 20 years who knows when to throw me a rope of his gentle wisdom, but mainly just keeps waving his pom-poms as I run on to the field again - maybe to kick a goal, maybe to get smashed in the face. Bring orange quarters, ice packs and champagne at half time please.

Knowledge without experience is purely information, it needs to be lived in the bones, and dosed up with compassion to become the kind of wisdom that is reflective, self aware, and ultimately valuable. As I live longer, I feel a greater urgency to do more, to live more, to feel experience in my bones, always building towards some unknowable situation when all the doing and being makes sense in how I can be in service in that moment, or right now.

The purpose of that Les Murray (RIP buddy) length preamble leads to the unboundedly joyful news that in a matter of weeks, i’m being trained by Brene Brown at her Dare to Lead Facilitator training. I thought was pretty much lining up with Buckley when I applied to be accepted, I knew it was highly selective and places were going to be super competitive. I was wilding when I got the email that I was in, and have been ever since, as her message and methodology around compassionate, kind and courageous leadership resonates so strongly with my values and leadership training style.

I can’t wait to be in the room, alongside one of my besties and collaborators Zoe Coyle who was also chosen for this cohort, and who i’ll be delivering this work with globally through Pilot Light, and the other 118 amazing people who are daring to lead in their own communities.

And Brene. Swoon. Y’all are going to be hearing a lot more about this as it rolls out in mid June.

So what is it exactly that i’m doing? Well, i’m creating an edtech company, writing content, producing a podcast series, advising government on web accessibility and design, building a 21C skills course, running a leadership course, writing a new book, baking sourdough, meditating, taking cold showers and deep breathing and working to free all sentient beings from suffering. You know, the usual.

Polly McGee