Keith Richards on Why, Cages and Inspiration

Part of my summer reading was Keith Richards’ autobiography Life. A couple of cool parallels to my work:

 People say, “Why don’t you give it up?” I can’t retire until I croak. I don’t think they quite understand what I get out of this. I’m not doing it just for the money or for you. I’m doing it for me.

This reminds me of the energy that comes when your work is aligned to your core. A sustainable energy that comes from a deeper source. And I don’t necessarily mean your day job, but the work that you know you are here to contribute to the world. I borrowed these questions from Larry Dressler’s Standing In the Fire – they are the end of my planning document to help me check in and connect to my source, my purpose before stepping into a room with a group:

Your guiding intention for any meeting consists of your answers to the following questions: What am I here to contribute in the world? What principles guide my work? Who am I here for? What does the group want to achieve? What is and is not my job in this meeting? Who do I need to be in order to help the group achieve its purpose?

Back to Keith, here was another great excerpt:

You can get into a bubble if you just work with the Stones. Even with the Winos it can happen. I find it very important to work outside of those areas. It was inspiring to work with Norah Jones, with Jack White, with Toots Hibbert—he and I have done two or three versions of “Pressure Drop” together. If you don’t play with other people, you can get trapped in your own cage. And then, if you’re sitting still on the perch, you might get blown away.

This passage felt like encouragement from the universe… to play and collaborate more broadly. Outside of my communities of practice. This has always been a natural stance for me but over the past few years I’ve focused on developing depth in my facilitation, hosting and harvesting skills. This is a timely reminder not to get trapped in my own cage. Keith’s words are a great invitation for me to look for unusual suspects to work and play with. Cause that’s where magic often happens.