Heart and Meaning

In the last post, I talked about Paying Attention and drew attention once again to Angeles Arrien’s work. She talks about Paying Attention to what has heart and meaning. So first we simply have to pay attention. Period. But what does it mean to pay attention to what has heart and meaning? From a leadership standpoint it means to that first we have to understand what has heart and meaning for ourselves, and then we have to listen for and understand the same for others.

I love what she says about heart: “Where we are not strong- hearted is where we lack the courage to be authentic or to say what is true for us. Strong heartedness is where we have the courage to be all of who we are in life. The word ‘courage’ is derived from the French word for the heart, Coeur, and the etymologically it mean ‘the ability to stand by ones heart, or to stand by one’s core.”

Angeles Arrien; The Four-Fold Way; Harper San Francisco, 1993 pg. 51

So the questions this prompts are:

• Do you know what is true for you? Do you know what is true for the person you are talking to?

• What are you willing to stand by? What are others willing to stand by?

• Are you paying attention to what has meaning, that is not being said?

• Are you saying all that needs to be said at any given moment?

One thought on “Heart and Meaning

  1. Madeleine,

    This is a wonderful message – thank you for sharing it.

    There is another piece of the puzzle that I think is important to consider.

    As we ask these questions of ourselves, ask them of others and ask others to perhaps ask them about us, how open are we to an authentic, honest assessment?

    Having received feedback, are we willing to be authentic in what we should do with this information?

    Many ask the questions, fluff off an answer (or give an answer that we believe everyone ELSE wants to hear) …. and then we proceed to perform in a manner counter to what is true for us or for other people.

    Having done that, we miss the incredible potential contained within the wonderful questions you you raise – the potential that gets realized when we are authentic with ourselves and with others.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Take care and create a great day!


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