Hard or Gentle

Hard or Gentle

Matt Church

Matt Church

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Published by Matt Church – Founder on 22 June 2022


Go hard when you wish and gentle when it feels right. Too much of one or the other and you lose your balance or your harmony.


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If oppositional defiance disorder was a spectrum we all sit on (and the literature suggests it is) we might like to call it that, a spectrum, rather than a disorder. I suspect few of us like being told what to do and that overbearing, dominating, and controlling experiences are not something we would not voluntarily choose. Words like agency and sovereignty come up for me when I think about this. I don’t identify with any political party identity. I am not conservative or liberal. I don’t feel comfortable being forced into allyship or sides ever. If I identified as anything, it might be a classical libertarian. Simply put, that means I should be free to do whatever I want as long as it doesn’t take away your sense of agency or sovereignty to do what you want.


This freedom applies to all kinds of tyranny. Your schedule might be a tyrant, your fear might be a tyrant. Your commitments, body, emotions, and family may all be tyrants. For me, my practice should never be dictating my choices and neither should my insecure inner dialogue. I choose to be free as much as possible in all I do as long as it doesn’t take freedom away from others.


One of the things we get to be as Thought Leaders running practices is as hard or gentle on our schedule as we choose. The hard might be a time when you are working your tush off. At other times, you might have a gentler schedule, one that allows space and room to move. I am away at the moment at a stunning team retreat at Mana Lodge in the Coromandels. Our restorative yoga teachers, Karla Brodie and Neal Ghoshal run retreats here during the southern hemisphere winters. Beautiful teachings on restorative yoga (gentle) and an extraordinary mountain I have just walked (hard) to the summit of, beautiful balance today between the two.


As a thought leader, you get to choose when to go hard if it suits and when to back off when it makes sense. May I suggest that you bring a quality of allowing an invitation to your work and you will find ease in the work processes. Take sales as an example; you never really sell to others, they buy.


So go hard when you wish and gentle when it feels right. Too much of one or the other and you lose your balance or your harmony. A thought leader’s practice is a way of engaging with others for life, it’s a practice in the way that it’s a commercial model based on personal exertion, and it’s also a ‘practice’ in the wisdom tradition sense of the word, like yoga or meditation. As a practice can never really be sold, you will often stay in practice for life. The long horizon of a practice then requires you have the sense of the ebb and flow of exertion, go hard when you need and go gentle when required. Most of all, be gentle on yourself as you learn and grow your way into a difference-making (and as such commercially successful) thought leaders practice.



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