Category: Leading from the Heart

The Lesson

A Pattern for Peace

For Toke Palludan Møller

On the morning of the first day of the Warrior of the Heart training the Sensei shared the first truth: ‘There are no enemies, only worthy opponents

Wrestling with this proposition, the student, despite being used to a life of suffering and not trusting others, even though they were yet able to know it for themselves, decided to consider this truth thoughtfully .

On the morning of the second day of the Warrior of the Heart training the Sensei shared the second truth: ‘Your worthy opponents are your teachers

The student, used to a life of blaming and judging others wrestled with this proposition. Again, even though they were yet able to know this truth for themselves, decided to consider the proposition thoughtfully.

On the morning of the third day of the Warrior of the Heart training the Sensei shared the third truth: ‘Your worthy opponents, as your teachers, have great gifts for you.’

The student, used to a life of struggle and effort, wrestling with this proposition, even though they were yet able to know this truth for themselves, once again decided to consider it thoughtfully.

At the end of the third day the Sensei approached and asked the student what they had accomplished. 

The student replied, they had a long way to go as they were yet able to know the three truths for themselves.

The Sensei looked at the student for a moment and then asked; what are the three truths as you understand them?

Sensei, the first truth as I understand, is: “I am powerful when I see my enemy worthy. To do this I will need to stand in my own worthiness, and this being the firmest ground of all, will help me to show a peaceful way”

“Sensei, the second truth as I understand, is: “I am powerful when I embrace what my worthy opponent has to teach me for they stand to offer me my greatest learning, and in turn, my greatest peace.”

‘Sensei, the third truth as I understand, is: “I am powerful when I accept the gifts my worthy opponents bring me, as they help reveal what I have hidden unto myself. Accepting these gifts will in turn, give great peace to all.”

With that the Sensei smiled, bowed and graciously said:

Thank you – you are the teacher.  Go in Peace. 🙏


Martin @ 2022

Reflection on Quantum Thinking

Inspired by Danah Zohar

In fear and the defensive state
Comes binary thinking
The instinctual brain so wired
Flips from friend to foe
And hell becomes justified

In fear and the defensive state
With quantum thinking
The instinctual brain so wired
Is guided toward an holistic embrace
Where curiosity and compassion necessitate


When the hit comes, the body will experience the hit and almost instantaneously contract defensively through an instinctual readiness for self preservation.

What the mind does next is the critical piece.

With binary thinking the mind accepts the premise of the hit and is triggered to deal with it in binary terms. A defensive stance faces outward viewing the world through the narrow corridor of right-wrong, good-bad, flight, flight or freeze and acts accordingly.

With quantum thinking the mind embraces the whole body-mind experience and deals with the hit in quantum terms. A centred and grounded stance faces both inward and outward: inward looking, it takes care of and holds the centre through breath and mindfulness, outward looking, it stays open to the premise by balancing agency and advocacy with curiosity and compassion, and acts accordingly.

Through dedicated, consistent quantum practice it is possible to move from reaction to response when one is triggered. We are not at the mercy of our instincts.


Martino © 2019

Us All

Dedicated to Ray Carver – (silent mentor beloved)


All of us  all of us  all of us

Round about caught and from there

Sideways up to the temple 

And downways downwards with care


A nod to the other quick to the sway

A walk in the street or the fell

A cradle a grave to stand and then stare

Each of us one step away


Was the doctor the soldier

Was the nurse was the priest

Was the pilot the driver

Was the teacher bequeathed


Where we are when we go

When we are what we know

As the wind and the weather to the rock and the rune

With the way that it is in the relative soon


With the how and the what

There’s a say, there’s a choice 

A movement, a difference

A tenable voice 


A something to offer, a something to leave 

A possible gift each child can receive 

Each of us can if some of us will

Act on our conscience that’s calling us still


All of us    all of us    all of us   

All of us     all of us         all



Martinos © 2018

Within What is Possible

for GB & GB


Two powerful leadership questions to ask myself.

Through my actions and leadership presence:

What happens when I make it socially and relationally safe for others
to speak their truth and be themselves?

What happens when I encourage action beyond where others
thought they could go?

Might it be that, in contribution, I:

Inspire trust and confidence

Liberate potential

Facilitate an inherent response to

what the system is calling for

ultimately, creating a setting for what wants to be born



Martinos @ 2018

True Partnership

I am a balance, a provision, a gesture, a trust

Existing with you and for you

Not without you


My alchemy, captured in maxim

Is confirmation of the stuff of mutual benefit

A marriage of skills

A proof: the whole being appreciably greater than the sum of its parts


I am agile in diversity

Vigilant in adversity

Convergent in purpose

Versatile and dynamic


I am a living thing however you cannot hold me still


Able to self-sustain and self-renew

Delicate, supple, irrepressible, robust


I am manifest through your achievements

An expression

Cyclical, evidentiary, transmuting


I am dance

And your welcome,

when you find me.


Martinos @ 2016


“You must give birth
to your images
they are the future within you
wanting to be born.

Fear not the strangeness that you feel
The future has to enter us
long before it happens”.

– Rainer Marie Rilke


Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being
something helpless that wants help from us.

Rainer Maria Rilke

To Find Our Place of Leading

Who will lead us when we do not lead ourselves?
Who will know us when we do not know ourselves?
Who will love us when we do not love ourselves?
Who will trust us when we do not trust ourselves?


When we name what gets in our way of leading.
We find the courage to speak what is true.

When we name what gets in our way of knowing.
We find the wisdom to shape our world.

When we name what gets in our way of loving.
We find the heart open to find the heart.

When we name what gets in our way of trusting.
We find the will to move beyond fear.

We find our place of leading
And others know this
And find it
through us

Acts of social inclusion

As primarily social beings, when we spend time together; our brains wire together and our bodies step, hearts beat and lungs breathe in similar rhythms; mirror neurons in our brains engage. As author Daniel Goleman so aptly states: ‘when we wire together we fire together’.

As social and neurological beings, when we feel: included, accepted, appreciated, respected, regarded, thanked, welcomed, remembered, noticed, asked or celebrated our brains generate ‘happy’ chemicals and we feel good. Actually we feel great.

In addition; we think well, we’re more likely to be creative and innovative, to be productive and effective, and to be optimistic and happy. We’re also more likely to engage well with one another, collaborate, solve problems together, trust each other, manage conflict in a productive way and have really good conversations.

If you agree that this is generally true for you and you acknowledge how you feel when you experience any of the acts of social inclusion just mentioned; you’d possibly also agree that the following question is an important one to ask.

Would paying more attention, spending more time and/or placing more value on acts of social of inclusion be of benefit to your family, your team, your community or your organisation?

For most of the answer is most probably, yes.

Understanding the impact of this benefit and being able to engage in actions that create it is one of the most important functions that any of us interested or invested in social wellbeing and leadership can undertake.

The intent to work more often with acts of social inclusion, emanates from a generative motivation.

Investing in relationships in such a way fosters shared understanding, mutual respect and connectedness. When this occurs we know where the other is coming from and we recognise their intention.

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