Turn to wonder
  • Several years ago, when I was in the thick of major organizational shifts at COCo, I came home one evening in a fit of tears and with a back full of knots. I felt horrible about how things felt at work and frustrated that my attempts to move things to a better place seemed to go nowhere. Feeling completely stuck and disillusioned, I asked Rennie to give me some advice. Any advice. I didn’t care what it was. I just knew that I needed a fresh perspective to knock me off the treadmill of anxiety-based solutions that I was on.

    What he said next changed everything. “Forget about the organization. COCo doesn’t matter. Just focus on the people. They are the organization.” As he spoke, I remember feeling a wave of clarity and relief wash over me, a sudden lightness.

    I realized then that I had been attaching way too much meaning to the organization as an abstract entity, forgetting that it lived inside of us, not the other way around. And that I needed to come back to what was really alive, important and beautiful at COCo- the people. And that meant really taking time to understand and appreciate them as they were, not as I thought they should be in service of some grand vision of organizational transformation.

    I was reminded of this moment, when reading Patricia Thompson’s paper. She talked about the simple, but powerful, practice she learned from Parker Palmer’s teachings- “when the going gets rough, turn to wonder.” It’s an easy stance to forget, especially when things get difficult, but it is one that I keep returning to.

    January 16th, 2011 | Tana Paddock | 2 Comments

About The Author


Click here to learn more about me.

2 Responses and Counting...

  • Aerin Dunford 01.16.2011

    thanks for this, this morning Tana. as I move back into the center of the organization I worked with in a central role for several years, I feel the anxiety of the mounting “things to do list” and this story really helped me remember what my real work is. also, as my role with the organization shifts to a more “managerial” one I need to remember that the work of managing other people is really about caring for them and supporting them so that they can get their work done, with joy, with satisfaction.

  • Thanks, Aerin, for letting me know. It sometimes feels like I’m writing to a wall (journal writing has never come naturally to me), so it’s helpful to know that my reflections are helpful to others!

Leave a Reply





* Name, Email, and Comment are Required

kurumsal reklam