Do you know the kind of fireworks I like best? They’re the ones where you hear a deep boom when it’s launched but you don’t know where in the sky it’s going to explode or what colour it will be. Today I’m launching a personal endeavour that’s been a very long time coming – the Epiphany Communication website and blog – my own little fireworks display for, what I hope will be, your regular reading pleasure.
A couple of years ago I had an epiphany – actually it was a couple of epiphanies – about my work life and my life’s work. Stealthily, like a thief, I’d allowed work to cannibalise my life over the previous 20 years or so. The joy was seeping out of my existence so quietly that, in the early stages, I didn’t notice it. I also had headaches, big ones, all the time and no amount of hard, distracting work (at work or the hard work of running around to different health practitioners) seemed to change that. And the joy-o-metre drops a few more notches on that news alone.
There was also some going very wrong with my life’s work – 25 years of public relations and internal communication consulting. Perhaps I was becoming more grumpy and cynical as time went on but it seemed to me that the management and business issues that so bedevilled my clients could mostly be rectified or avoided all together with a bit of leadership integrity, humility and some continuity between actions and words. More than once I had to stop myself from saying things like “you reap what you sow” or “for heaven’s sake, stop trying to put lipstick on that pig” or (in a Gump-esque moment) “stupid is as stupid does” – sentiments I’m sure you’ll agree do absolutely nothing to enhance enduring client relations, a skill on which I prided myself. The seeming lack of realism and authenticity in corporate communication was really starting to offend my values.
It was around that time that Mahatma Ghandi’s sage words, “Be the change you want to see in the world” started to make sense to me.
If I want to counsel my clients on the benefits of greater authenticity and congruent actions and words in the workplace, then I have to be more authentic and congruent in things I say and do.
If I want to entreat employees to increase their productivity and satisfaction at work by looking after their spiritual selves, then I must be able to do all that for myself.
And finally, the biggest cracker of all for me – if I want to come to terms with the ‘why me?’ of more than 30 years of headache pain, I have to befriend that pain and really try to understand it.
So here it is – BOOM – the rocket is in the air and my Epiphany is launched, complete with an overview of my current book project ‘My Friend the Headache’. Forgive me if I sound a little tentative but this is a daunting moment for someone who’s much more accustomed to beavering away in the background supporting other people with their communication endeavours. But I hear Susan Jeffers entreating me to ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’.
Enjoy – and as always, I’d love to hear what you think.