Saturday, 17 September 2016

Finding water

Daily Draw: Anna K Tarot, The Moon

All but one card this week have had an element of water about them. The shadow side signified by this card reminds me that this time last year was the the darkest and bleakest period of my life. I wore a professional mask 9-7 but cried buckets most nights and many mornings too. This year will be different, our parents only die once not twice.

The other stuff (and every problem but death is pretty much just stuff) will kick in. The lesson of water is to go with it or go round it rather than hard up against. If it all gets to much there is always the coast. I don't have a break booked but different to last year I know that I can and if needs be I will. 

Particularly in the academy, we have paid a lot of attention to the ‘life of the mind’. There have been great advances that have come from encouraging and enabling people to think differently and more innovatively. But I would like us all, just for the duration of this lecture, to imagine the institution that we would create if we deeply cared for our own and others physical wellbeing. Even further, I want to suggest that a primary task of leadership is to pay attention to and work towards the flourishing of others, and I don’t mean only cognitively. I mean the flourishing of our physical selves. 

What might this look like? It would include paying attention to the feelings and insights that come from our bodies. It would include structuring our days to ensure people did not over-work and were encouraged to harness their energies to what gave them pleasure. In this institution, there would be discussions about what was really happening in people’s lives, of what they were dealing with when elderly and not so elderly family members got sick or died. These discussions would be a prompt to ensure that we don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.

Amanda Sinclair, 


  1. "The lesson of water is to go with it or go round it." Funny how long it takes us to learn that. And sometimes going hard against it is the only way, to get through. Internal pain has to be dealt with all three ways. Faced full on it would break us.

  2. Sometimes going hard against it is the only way - in my heart and head I know this. A gap between what I want and what is means my posts can sometimes be prescriptive rather than fully authentic. Thank you for encouraging the honest bits.

  3. I've got a pattern of trying to fix the outer (keeping busy) in hopes the inner pain will dissipate without looking too closely or feeling too deeply. Never works, just delays the inevitable. With all the people I've lost in my life, my heart has never broken into so many pieces that it couldn't heal. That's probably what I need to remember.