In Zen, Ensō is a circle drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes. It expresses the reality that everything that has a beginning also has its end.
Some endings, such as the ending of a season occur gradually without us really noticing. Other endings, such as the loss of a job, are abrupt and traumatic and turn our life upside down in an instant. Yet other endings, such as the end of a marriage, occur slowly and painfully over time.
Absolutely everything that begins, has an end. Nothing is eternal. Some endings we choose. Many we don’t. Endings can be sad or joyful. They can offer relief or send us into despair. Nothing will stop an ending if it is meant to be. Endings occur because something new must emerge.
I think we all agree something new will emerge at the end of this virus, as does Charles Eisenstein, author of The Coronation. It’s a most erudite and compelling essay that poses many questions and offers no answers. I loved every word and read it three times to let it sink in.
My good friend Angela Raspass loved the essay too, so we decided to record a podcast on it. I’ll share ‘Conversations on The Coronation: A woman’s perspective’ next week.
Now back to Ensō. Some are drawn or painted as closed loops, while others are left open as in the image above. Ensō symbolises absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe and mu (the void). When I reflect on the void between the beginning and the end of the brushstroke, I think of the famous quote by Victor Frankl.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Right now, many of us are sitting in ‘the space between’. In this space we can rest and reflect on how to respond once the virus subsides – as citizens for society and as business leaders for the economy. We can ask ourselves the important question. What purpose do I want to serve in this new world?
How are you sitting in ‘the space between’? If you’d like me to sit with you a while, please reach out.
This will be a new beginning for my regular blogs too. I’m committed to being of service and sharing valuable stories. I want to hear from you. Your ideas matter and they help inform my future blogs.
Thank you so much for allowing me into your life. I don’t take your support lightly.
Yours on purpose
About me: I’m a Purpose Educator and author of The Purpose Project. I help leaders attract and retain the best people by harnessing the power of deep purpose and storytelling. I do this through The Purpose Project for Companies, a customised consultative process for co-creating a new purpose statement and The Purpose Project Course, a 7-step online course to help employees bring their own why to work.