Leading through the heart versus conflict with passionate connections

A role model that that crossed my path I am grateful for is someone who demonstrated a quality of organic growth and success that is heart centered. It is someone I admire from afar and who knows of me from a distance due to her sister sharing the same unusually named practice as I. (Feldenkrais) After joining the Gettin Higher Choir I learned more of her story and observed how she was admired.

My interpretation of this is that she is one of the original innovative members behind the growth and development of Hollyhock Learning Center on Cortes Island and that she moved to Victoria for personal reasons. She had a passion for African music and began a small choir that started with six members. She had connected to music while on Cortes where she learned she could sing after being told throughout her childhood she couldn’t. It seems sharing music through song with others who also thought they couldn’t sing became her passion. When I joined the choir there were upwards of 600 members. By then she had a co-director and together they began teaching others how to direct community choirs in their style of engaging choir members to sing. People from around the world came to Victoria specifically for this learning and connection.

It was far more than singing that emerged from this venture as Shivon was introduced to a small village in Africa by someone from that village that no longer had any amenities. A fundraiser was created and she herself travelled to observe and present some needed help to this community. It turned into a long-term relationship where a well was drilled for potable water, a school and medical center were built, the kids were fed a meal daily, a fruit orchard planted, and a market was re-created through the proceeds of a yearly fundraiser. This expanded to embrace other villages through these fundraisers that included the newly trained community choir directors sponsoring a village. Community by community networking.

Along with a yearly fundraiser for Africa, Shivon, Denis, and the choir also did a yearly fundraiser for West Coast teenagers to sponsor a program to get them outdoors to experience survival training for self-confidence and esteem building. The choir had many activist type members, and a connection was made to invite the choir to sing at many events. Prior to retiring from the choir, I heard that she was being asked to teach leading from the heart through song to stimulate activists into an authentic experience of leading from the heart versus conflict. She and Denis have stepped down from the choir now and passed it on. What I experienced through my short engagement with Shivon, Denis and this choir is that the leadership was authentic, and it grew organically. As it grew it seemed it was from the inside out. There wasn’t any false self imagery it seemed, and the engagement spoke for itself. There were no attachments to the rich and famous, however some were invited to partner as guests of the fundraisers where friendships were created. I share this admiration of a role model as this is the only one, I have come across that reflects growth and success that is natural and organic. Its abundance didn’t seem to be forced but was a force. This is the essence I hold in my heart when it comes to coaching in all situations from leadership in business, family dynamics, educational models, institutions, and love relationships. It’s transferable.

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by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2023 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

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