Have you ever woken up in the morning and just wanted to cancel the day? Feeling off and not in the mood to talk to people, go about with work responsibilities, even go for a walk? All things I enjoy normally!
That was this morning. And, I had an exercise appointment, a blog deadline, incomplete and overdue responsibilities of editing some podcast episodes, and prepwork for a debrief! Ugh. It all felt too much.
Having gotten the vaccine a few days prior, I wanted to blame it on that. And, not wanting to go to exercise (which I typically enjoy as a way to kick off my week and day) felt like honoring my physical system by NOT exerting myself.
When I shared this with my partner, he replied, “you know you’d feel better if you go.”
Not what I wanted to hear! I wanted sweet approval of my decision to listen to my body. Not to be called out for wanting to not feel the way I felt.
So, cranky and out of sorts, not getting the “approval” I was seeking externally, or a “pass” to stay in bed, I went back upstairs and sat thinking about what I did want.
This is the process my mind followed:
- I enjoy the process of getting the podcasts completed and published, learning the new software and the sense of creative accomplishment.
- I also enjoy sharing my musings by blogging.
- Guiding clients through their debriefs of their Leadership Circle Profile results is often very rewarding, though lately they’ve been sensitive and complex.
- What was my body needing? That wasn’t clear. To NOT do anything?
That’s it. I realized. I am not allowing myself to be the complex and messy ALL of me.
Just like the recent Equinox, I was the sum of all the inner turmoil of the growth and shifts I’m in the midst of. This feels awkward, like I’m not balanced, and my body is moving at a different pace than my heart and head.
So, a walk, in silence, is what I desired. It’s easier to hear when I slow down and tune in.
I got dressed, called the gym to reschedule for the next day and as I was putting on my shoes, informed John that I was going to go for a walk. In silence. I needed to allow my spirit to lead and inform me and help with this transitional discomfort. He agreed to go with me.
The deep need to be in silence has been calling me. I speak to it and emphasize it, actually, in the Equinox Contemplation I hosted live on YouTube, yet, what had I done all weekend? Focused on fixing, editing, publishing, connecting, sharing, learning, laundry, cleaning, etc. Not on downtime, slowing down, pausing to be in stillness and silence. To Listen.
I talk about dropping into the Schumann resonance, Mother Earth’s heartbeat, to receive the electromagnetic energy and be nourished. Yet, it’s so much easier to talk about, than do. Actually Be.
So, here I am, owning up to my own “need” to read news on my phone, play puzzle games or get lost in work-related reading or meetings. It’s an addiction, I believe.
My phone is such an excellent tool, it reminds me to take walks when it’s been a few days since I’ve logged enough steps. It also now tells me how much I sleep and how much screen time I have each week. EEK!
That was a wake-up call.
If I added the phone time to my computer time, to the streaming movie time on another screen, I’m not a very good example of walking the middle path…of being and doing. Of contemplating in silence to listen to the ultimate in creative entertainment and inspiration, Spirit. Of balancing the constriction or numbing that happens when I’m pushing away the Flow of Life and trying not to feel it.
So, back to the basics for me. Morning spiritual practices to tune in. More walks in silence to hear the birds sing and my footsteps on the Earth. A timer on my phone to track my reading and game-playing and scrolling through social media.
When I slow down I’m able to show up to life, fully. I know that. And I feel better too.
And, a huge hug of appreciation for the messiness of being Human. Gratitude for the hum of anxiety I feel both within and in the Collective, AND for the beauty of spring’s blossoms, the serenade of birdsong, and the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze of the season available to see, hear and feel. For the excitement of growth and new beginnings and the uncertainty and uncomfortable sensations of moving into a new phase. We are all BeComing. Re-Membering. Up-leveling, and expanding. And, it’s all good. It’s why we are here now. To lead, love, and live with all of the radical human emotions and thoughts and feelings.
So here’s to growth, newness, holding it all, and allowing it to be as it is. First step is to ALLOW. Then I’ll work on ACCEPTANCE. Finally, getting to EMBRACING these uncomfortable shadows, reactive patterns, painful emotions as all reminders of my divine imperfection and divine perfection. All of me.
Thank you for being you and for allowing me, holding me, as I am me.
I see you…I am you…I love you!
I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, “What do you want, Deborah? Yes, and under that, what do you REALLY want?”
My answers aren’t clearly written out for me or come in an image or picture, they are more of a group of sensations…a softening in my belly and chest, a relaxed jaw and neck/shoulders…an almost cloudy vision as even my vision softens and feels less strained.
Those sensations are my body’s way of telling me the answer. The deep desire within me is most truly felt, not “forced” mentally. It’s a lightening of my energy – and a relaxing into – the space of pleasure.
Whoah, there she goes, getting into that uncomfortable place again!
I’m trying to describe the indescribable (for me, at least). And the power it has to guide us, inspire us and fuel us with the purpose and hope for the future.
So, for many months now I’ve been playing with the mantra, “Open and Soften.” Knowing that the more I do that, I receive some type of guidance, inspiration, or energy to move toward something.
My mind has been screaming, “Open and Soften TO WHAT?”
Yet, my Wise Inner Woman keeps assuring me that is it. That’s the full directive. Open and Soften into Beingness.
So, if you’re reading this, I may lose you here, yet, I truly believe that that is our Purpose. Our role in this wild and precious journey of Life.
Beingness, and a newer version of that I’ll call Inter-Beingness, is my Desire. It sounds simple. And it is not.
Turns out that according to my hologenetic profile from The Gene Keys by Richard Rudd, my Life’s Purpose is to be a Dancer of Beingness. Wow. Still letting that simmer as I contemplate it.
And, the shadow of this lovely state of Beingness, is Self-Obsession. Endless self-improvement, constant searching and learning, and desiring to figure out who I am, what I’m here for and how can I be a better ME?
The pathway of Naturalness finally opened, after exhausting that never-ending loop of searching and self-obsession.
A lovely therapeutic equine helped me to learn about Authenticity and my value in Being. (and that’s another story!)
Hence the beginning of the concept of Authentic Leadership Academy and Consulting. The birth of that name of my business has been a continual reminder to be ME. That, by modeling Authenticity, Deep Integrity, and Humility as a Woman and a Leader, I can serve other women wanting to be a fully, more true, and self-expressed Self and impactful Leader.
All the pieces began to fall into place. From my corporate HR experience to nonprofit consulting and the work with local teens and Native American children, The Leadership Circle certification and coaching, the somatic and embodiment practices of The Art of Feminine Presence™, all the various Strengths-Finder, Energy School, Joy of Goals©, Health Coaching even, all played a role in my Be-Coming.
And now I get to play with ALL of these experiences. And who I am as a result of all that knowledge and wisdom.
So, my heart’s desire always steers me in the direction of growth and Beingness. Or back to Beingness. Or to the next level of Beingness, for me.
Where is your heart guiding you?
How do you define Freedom? (let me know, I’m curious!)
I believe it has to do with a state that is felt after liberation. And a remembering that we are all Sovereign Beings.
Liberation from fears, tendencies, patterns, structures, and belief systems that no longer serve.
Sovereignty, for me, is a feeling that I try to re-member, embody, and KNOW deeply. It is the human right of us all to be sovereign. We are “at choice”, personally responsible, and valuable. In the Centering practices I teach, Dignity is embodied when we stand fully in our physical and divine Selves. Sovereignty also reminds us that we have the right to B R E A T H E. (and who do we think we are when we withhold another’s oxygen?)
And, getting back to Freedom, it has a price.
To let go of old patterns, reactive tendencies, and learned ways of being, we must go through some type of release, rejuvenation, renewal. It’s as if we had created vows to remain small, silent, people-pleasing, and high-achieving (stating mine here) so that we were seen, valued, and loved. Those vows are deeply buried in our emotional body and need to be uprooted, loved, and held with compassion…for once they served us, and we’ve now outgrown them.
The price of Freedom comes in this internal self-reflection ( a centering practice around this process can be found here) and the pain or discomfort of moving into new territory of an expanded Self and open heart.
The price of Freedom also may look like letting go of old relationships, old clothes, old jobs, old comfort zones. And this is difficult for most of us. We’ve created a circle of support that has helped keep us in these old ways of Being. And, will they want to support our new behaviors? Our new way of speaking up, speaking out, standing tall?
Some may leave. It’s a difficult reminder to them that change is coming and happening all around. And, that hurts.
Another price of Freedom is by standing up for ourselves and what we believe, we may not fit in with certain institutions, communities, or circles. I felt this strongly in my old gated neighborhood, where neighbors didn’t like my wild gardens, my disdain for chemicals on my lawn, and my proud support of public education and liberal politicians.
Ahhh, so after hearing enough of what I wasn’t doing to “fit in” with these folks, a perfect house came available 2 miles away that was as unique and eclectic as mySelf! And, this brought about the wrath of people, even my ex-husband, who didn’t like my choice.
So, Freedom, is it worth it? The liberating of Self from old ways, old clothes, and old patterns?
I say, unequivocally, YES!
The simple 2 swaths of a pair of scissors across a ponytail, on the top of my head, liberated me from several inches of hair…and the new-found saucy bob has brought another joy, and fun, and a new look to boot!
For me, these past few months have been quite a ride. Deep into the netherworld of shadow, grief, and depression, mixed with highlights that were blissful, serene, and overflowing with gratitude and loving connection.
It’s been about sitting with all of me. The whole messy, radically human Me. The beautiful, creative, and wise Me. And all of the in-between parts as well.
So, entering June is going to be my foray into a new sort of Balance. Not completely 25% Heart, 25% Soul, 25% Mind and 25% Body…more of a sense of a grounded weeping willow tree, waving in the wind, dancing with the sun, and sharing my branches with wildlife…being in service as a beautiful shade tree.
Balance for me is what my chiropractor said was the problem when I had my first visit with her last week. Starting with an old injury that was brought back to life from my car accident last December, the pain in my left should shot up into the base of my skull, and down into my sacral and hip joints. So yes, physical balance was called for to allow me to soften and unwind the tightness and inflammation stored in my body.
Then she mentioned that there was emotional trauma there that had made it deeper and wound more deeply into my psyche. I had been angry and sad, felt guilt and shame for looking away from the windshield to turn off the news that was upsetting and missing the split-second chance to that could have allowed me to brake and stop before the impact. I blamed myself for being irresponsible, not paying attention, hurting myself, and causing so much trouble for myself and the others involved. That didn’t help…
Spiritually and energetically, I’ve been so deeply in the depths of lots of emotions these past few months, feeling out of control, distrusting of self and the Universe, and God to support me through this evolutionary time and wanting desperately to feel in control. Which, of course, I am not able to stop thinking or feeling the anxiety when I spend time there.
This put me into overly masculine, logic-brained mode…which cuts off connection, compassion, and creative inspiration. Or, I would fall into the old paradigm of feminine helplessness, despair, and feeling unable to do anything…
So, hence the desire to focus on Balance. A way of aligning and grounding into the wholeness, the integrity, the strength of Who. I. Am. Right. Now. And, guess what? That is a beautiful blend of intellect/intuition, relational and interdependent connection, spiritual Oneness and my own Light, and physical strength and wellness.
It feels more resourceful. I feel more resilient. The world appears my hopeful. And Life is more beautiful and flowing with Grace.
If you are unable to tap into the Center of Presence, Peace, and Purpose, here’s a centering practice you might try…I’m looking to practice this a few times a day until Equanimity feels more the norm instead of the exception. I invite you to find that practice for yourself and let’s keep shining our Light! The world needs us all now. Especially when we are integrating our whole and brilliantly complex selves.
Receptivity, or as I like to call it, the Art of Receiving, is not just a surrendering into stillness, it’s often more active than that.
Out of the Feminine Traits of Receptivity, Creating, Nurturing, Connecting, Circular Thinking, and Being in Flow, I find Receiving the most difficult for me.
Receiving (or Allowing), requires opening. Softening. Allowing in the light, love, life that is flowing in and through us. Not fighting it. So often we are at war with reality.
We tend to operate with some level of constriction, resistance, or withholding. This keeps us out of the flow of Life, Grace, and what I call Magic.
Also, what have we learned about holding on? When tightly grabbing or squeezing anything, Love, control, children, or pets, our actions work exactly in the opposite of what we are wanting…more love.
Where I play the game is often in pushing away or demanding from Life, or Source, or my relationships. Even with my work and money.
This ineffective practice also requires much more effort!
If there is one thing I’ve learned about feminine energy, is that it is
e f f o r t l e s s…
it flows constantly, like water.
When we find ourselves striving, pushing, forcing, it’s typically an indicator of time to take a break. Breathe, dance, sip on tea, or walk outside to clear the head and allow a softer and more intuitive answer to come. One that’s easier to implement, involves less effort.
Receiving has a place that is overlooked in our fast-paced, fast-moving, fast-thinking world. We can’t operate our bodies and minds without eating and eliminating. Even more essential, is our breath. Exhaling would be impossible if we didn’t receive a breath first.
And this beautiful reminder of Receiving is at the core of Feminine energy. We need to receive the life force to create anything. The idea or concept of change often comes from asking and receiving the guidance or answer.
This morning I noticed that it’s truly difficult for me to Receive without some type of laying the groundwork. That’s not always the case, yet it helps for the channel to be clear and the connection to be free of static.
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Is religion at the foundation of Values and Integrity? Can you be a values-based Leader and be nonreligious? Listen in to my musings and experiences with this emotional and contentious subject. As always, I welcome your questions, comments and views. AND, I ask that you share with compassion and respect.
Read the transcript here: https://deborahleeann.com/integrity_values_religion_transcription/
Authentic Leadership Academy and Consulting