How’s your inner navigation system?

… Or your soul sat-nav?

I’ve never really thought in these terms until the exploration that has characterised my week emerged. And contrasted with the turmoil and noise all around.

It started off last weekend with probing what wholeheartedness really meant. I guess that opened me up for more…

More questions. Other perspectives. Deeper appreciation. Greater challenge to use our ‘one precious life’ as Mary Oliver wrote.

So when Bernadette Jiwa’s post Why next? landed early on Tuesday morning it caught my attention.

Guided by principles

To answer the question ‘why is this the next best move?’ we need more than a set of rules.

They only give us the answer ‘because someone (else) says so…’ And are usually fear-based.

So we need to engage with our principles. Our values and purpose. And find the true north of our personal compass.

Yes, they emerge and morph over time – because we are human and we grow – but the essentials are there in the rootstock.

And sometimes, because we’ve lived in the world of others for so long, we do need to examine ourselves at depth. Peeling off the layers because our core values may not be that evident on the surface.

Or they have become so swamped and battered that we need to give them breathing space. Care and time to be restored.

Recovering our inner navigation

This has been my experience over the last year. Family trauma, cancer, near bankruptcy and isolation had already taken its toll. Along with unresolved issues of personal identity and worth from my time as a chief exec in the NHS.

Along the way there have been three key elements for me:

People – seeking out and surrounding ourselves with people who share our values. ‘People like us’. We have moved to be part of the Linden church family. Also, we have been part of active and generous online communities – the Right Company for me and The Podcasting Fellowship for Steve.

Writing – I started this blog at the beginning of September 2018. Writing daily, in the present, has been astonishing. I can’t hide, but I’ve also been finding my voice. And I’ve found you. Being part of this growing community is such a privilege. Thank you

Permission – your encouragement and connecting with your journeys, including through what you share, has been part of my restoration. Daily it has provoked me to dig for the real stuff. To not be satisfied with stale answers or other people’s rules.

Learning curve

Of course, it isn’t a straight line. And to suggest it is a smooth curve would be disingenuous.

No. It’s made up of little, often faltering, steps. Sometimes two steps forward and one back. Other times meandering off to the side only to be drawn back.

My book writing has been a good expression of this.

Again I started last September, with lots of encouragement from others. Thanks. And I’ve essentially part-written at least three books…

Given our particular circumstances, that’s a huge amount of time and energy to have ‘wasted’ in trying. But it’s not in vain… I needed to go through these iterations to draw enough out. And to work on my writing voice.

Each time it helped me see why what I was doing was important. And what didn’t fit or wasn’t authentic to me. Honing my inner navigation system.

So I am now re-starting with the manifesto for quiet disruptors, which I drafted last summer. The rest of the book follows on from that, including a number of chapters already written. It doesn’t have to say everything. But it does put a line in the sand and I have to get it out there.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’d really appreciate your reading my revised draft manifesto and telling me what do you think.

A Manifesto for Quiet Disruptors


So let’s create space for the QUIET DISRUPTORS: to those who think before they speak; who ask questions we’d sometimes rather not face; who create solutions we hadn’t expected; who see more from the edge, than the centre, and make connections that surprise us; who are driven to make a difference, but want to do it differently; who get their energy from calm reflection, beautiful ideas, and taking the long view, not from reactive noise; who exercise kindness, generosity and stubborn courage in pursuing a different way of looking, being and doing that can turn our world upside down – for the better.

Because quiet disruptors change the conversation. For good.

Thanks for being you and using your voice to change the conversation in so many different ways


PS – Don’t forget to look up…

This week

I hope you enjoyed the unfolding threads and have been inspired and encouraged along the way.