Well, We’re Not There Yet…

Life, I realize is a continual work-in-progress. I AM a continual work-in-progress. 

And, part of my learnings from the past year has been that you don’t ever get “there.” We might go around and revisit the same places, each time with a new perspective, a new twist and new learning.

Remember when we were little people and we’d be on our way somewhere and we would be so anticipatory of “getting there,” we’d be impatient and drive our caretakers or the driver nuts?

I do, and I have been doing it a lot lately.  Still!

The thinking, “I’ve already been here.”  “I’ve already healed this.”  Or, aren’t we through this? Or, when:

Will it get better? 

Will I be more clear? 

Will the pain end? 

Will the storm pass?

Yep, or the comments, “when this pandemic is over…”, or “when things get back to normal…”, or “when we have a different leader in the White House… or City Hall…”, or “when… “, you get the picture.

And, all of these prayers, yearnings or complaints are keeping us from BEING HERE. Right Now. In the midst of Life. As it is.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to fix stuff. That’s why I was successful as a Recruiter, Human Resources Director, Consultant, Board Member, Coach. You bring me a problem, I’ll give you a solution, or 10 options for one.

And that worked well. Now, I’m learning that it’s not my job to fix other’s problems. Or give unsolicited advice to friends. Or tell my daughters, partner or ANYONE, what to do. What they ought to do. 

It’s a new way of growing and developing. Internally. 

Moving my own energy back INSIDE, where it belongs. 

I can still provide answers, share wisdom or facilitate trainings. However, it’s not my job to MAKE anyone take this information. It is my job to ask good questions, offer ideas or new ways to see the world.

When I operate in a space where there’s trust in the “other” to open, receive, learn, grow, shift and see things with new eyes, it’s my happy place. 

When there’s a curiosity to learn a topic, or I’ve been given an area to “unpack” and provide some understanding around, I can be a Light-Bearer, showing the next steps and inviting others to come along.

And, the best way for each of  us to learn? Is by listening to what our own internal guide/guru is saying. 

And, we need to listen constantly. Contemplate regularly. Ask questions and open our minds, ears, eyes, hearts and allow the answers to arrive. Not demand the answers. Or put a time limit on them. 

Trust. Learning to Allow. Accept. Then Embrace the constancy of Change. The continual Growth. The concept that we never cross a finish line. There’s always another “there” we want to reach. Or to shift our paradigm to “How do I want to FEEL right now?” And know that we are in exactly the right place, right now. And, that we will not ever be complete, finished, done. 

Last week I was in the deep dark of discomfort and resistance. Then I remembered I signed up for the Fast Track. And Growth means Change. Mother Nature shows me that over and over. New shoots, weeds and blooms and leaves springing up daily, remind me that this is constant work. This personal/professional growth thing. That’s why they call it Development, right?

In this moment, Life is Beautiful. Expansive. And my Heart is on Fire. Growing right here alongside of you…and allowing it be as it is. Celebrating how it is even on some occasions!

Thank you Nature for being such a great teacher. And Happy Earth Day too!

How are you?

Musings in the Midst of Growth and Change

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!

Freedom to Let Go

It’s July.

And typically July for me has always had a theme of freedom.

And as I explore that whole topic of freedom. It feels like it falls into several layers.

There’s the actual reflection on what it is that I want to be liberated from.

Then there’s the action or allowing, of the liberation, of the letting go. 

Freedom feels like the final state. It’s the result of having reflected, having let go and now basking in this new state of freedom.

So let’s start with a question, or contemplation, about where are we? What are we holding on to that it might be time to let go of? And if you’re like me, it takes me a while, I have to ponder that thought for a day or two. In my case, it’s been the last two or three days of what runs me. What am I allowing to have control over my life?

And there are several feelings, thoughts, patterns, and stories in my head. I’ll play some suggestions out for you and see if they might help you with your self-reflection. 

I was running for a long time the story of money and scarcity. “I’m not secure without financial freedom, without the constant struggling and striving to make ends meet.” So my old story was that I had to constantly struggle, juggle, worry about money. 

Then it became: “Take good care of money. Be a good steward and invest it well. Place it or spend it in ways that I feel represent my values.” 

It’s been a long time coming. 

First, it was wrapped up in gender stuff, and that women need to be dependent and reliant on someone else to take care of them.  All kinds of things have been unraveling around that for decades for me. 

And finally, I can say that money is not something that runs me. AND, I know for several of my friends and acquaintances, it’s still at the forefront in their lives. 

Another one that still has a hold on me in some ways is TIME. 

I feel like I’m in a race for time; meeting deadlines, filling the calendar, or noticing the empty calendar and wondering how to spend my time creating and generating income and new clients. What does all that look like? Am I spending enough time taking care of me? Taking care of others?  Nurturing my relationships?  I look at how I spend my time as it’s my most important commodity. 

Maybe the pandemic times have brought about the concerns of our mortality, or not having enough Life Force. And, the importance of Breath.

What will happen to us as the pandemic continues? What will our lives be like? What will Time be like? How will I spend it? How will I invest in the use of this commodity in a way that brings me the most joy and be of the most service to the collective? 

So Time is still something I’m playing with, that I don’t feel fully liberated from.

Others are old stories of not being “enough” (what is that anyway?), not having enough support, not being loved enough, not being worthy of love, all kinds of good things like that.  Little by little, they’ve been chipped away by choices I’ve made, by risks I’ve taken, by moving forward in one area or another, despite the stories. Proving to myself that they really are not the Truth. 

The power of many of those old stories and patterns has diminished and faded.

So what is your self-reflection about what still has a hold on you? Still creates fear or anxiety or reactive ways that are keeping you small… keeping you stuck? 

Because that is NOT freedom. 

What we want to do this month is look at this reflection of what it is that has a constriction on us. Anything that keeps us from Breathing or holds us back. 

And then, with gentle, loving, self-compassionate, and from a safe self-observation place, allowing them to loosen their grip on us … and to Feel. 

Opening to the liberation of Life. On the other side. The Life where these do not strangle us from our truth, from our value, from our dignity. 

To our safety. Towards our sovereignty. That, to me, is Freedom.

The Importance of Structure and the Need to Destroy it at Times. 

The Importance of Structure and the Need to Destroy it at Times. 

One of the ways that we can integrate our rational and intuitive sides, or our spiritual and physical sides, or whatever duality that we play in, is to recognize each for their gifts and their shadows.

Actually I think we dwell in more of a quadrality.  I believe that we have distinct heart, soul, mind, and body versions of ourselves, as well as many personalities of different ages, or versions of selves brought out during different situations and people. The uniqueness of who we are, the truth of who I am at least, tends to show up when I’m stressed, tired, or emotional.

This last month has been tough, we’ve not only had worldwide pandemic, but we’ve also had change. We’re seeing change. Finally. And lots of ways of Being are shifting, becoming more open, more visible.

Some changes that we’re seeing is around the way law enforcement (and our world as a whole) treats people of color. 

Racism is getting the national stage and has a voice in the Black Lives Matter movement.  And, the world is listening.  It’s become a mainstream theme, and no longer can we ignore the history of how white people have systemically used racism to better themselves. So, we are seeing long-established beliefs and systems beginning to change, evolve, involve everyone to create new solutions that benefit the entire community. 

Along the lines of change, and on a personal note, I have just come off of two weeks of being with family during my mother’s hospice and passing.  The time with her those final days was beautiful and peaceful, especially towards the end.  AND there’s all the family dynamics. 

Our family is diverse in that we have almost every skin tone, belief system, and political view represented. And noticing who I feel comfortable with, and who I retreat from, which conversations attract me and which ones feel so uncomfortable I want to leave, and all the spaces in between. All were ‘growth-full’ for me.

The other thing I noticed is that this time, unlike in the past, I avoided managing intellectually, controlling, running the show. I pushed through my typical role as Big Sister and took a backseat. This allowed my sister to step up, and my middle brother to take on the logistics while staying calm and sane. Everybody has their own way of grieving, I realize now, and there’s no right or wrong. Allowing everyone, including myself, to be: absent, involved, avoiding emotion, feeling deep emotions, it was all acceptable to me. 

What I’m noticing is I’m allowing myself to really FEEL it this time. The heaviness, discomfort, and roller coaster of grief is sitting with me, riding through me, knocking me down with wild waves, and then holding me aloft in a swell. And I’m not trying to pray it away or force it away, but BE with it. 

Also noticing that when I most need my practices; my physical practices, my spiritual practices, and my emotional practices, I haven’t been drawing upon them. I know they would provide a larger bank of Resilience and firm grounding to support me and all my different levels of awareness.

Yet I’m aware that although these deeply held and true support systems that I have built throughout the years were tossed aside, and I threw myself into the storm in the waters, without any safety net or lifeboat.

I really left it all behind!  

As I pack up to head out to our little river place, I realize I wouldn’t leave to go on a hike or camping trip without necessities like food and water…so why would I do that to myself, emotionally, and spiritually, throw myself out there without any of my backpack-full of tools and goodies?

What I appreciate now is my awareness of how I abandon myself. 

And how I don’t always take advantage of the systems that are in place for me.

The beautiful practices, and awareness, and music, and all of the things that soothe me. I’ve gotten much better at accepting love and care and affection from others. That’s a big one, as opposed to pushing them away and pretending like I didn’t need that. And where I want to go back to is getting my journals out. Putting the music on tap, so at any time I can just bask in it. 

And remembering to go sit outside, I did do a lot of that in the last week. Just go sit outside and look at the sky and appreciate the breeze whether it was hot and humid, or cooler, and we’ve had everything in the last week ( it’s been a very interesting week, hasn’t it?). So, noticing, I can take advantage of just looking at nature and remembering. Oh, where am I feeding me? Where am I not feeding me? Where am I starving me? What nutrition is important for me? And getting back on track with those support systems, those structures that allow me to access my strength, my power, my creativity, and capacity to be with all of this. 

This is when I’m not easily knocked off of center by others in my family or outside of my family or in the news. 

And also, allow me to soothe, and be with, and hold, all of the pain and the grief. All the beauty and the joy that life is. 

Here’s to expanding and opening and softening at the same time as holding the structure and the practices, the routines, and the rituals that support me, and you, and all of us. 

Sacred Success

Sacred Success

What if Success was as sacred and singular, as each and every one of us?  What if there is such a way of being seen And being safe?

Very often there’s a polarity, that we tend to jump in between.

I’m confident.

I’m out there I am letting people know who I am and what my message is, and what I’m here to do in the world.

And then there’s the other.

Oh my gosh, what if they see me? What if they know me? What if they don’t like me?  I’ll just go back and be invisible…being invisible is very much my story.

And, for many reasons I don’t need to go into here, Invisibility was the safety mechanism that I developed as a child, and it became protocol. It was my routine. It was my pattern and reactive tendency when things got uncomfortable. Whenever I began feeling expansive, and open, and allowing, for love and life and grace to flow through and to me, it felt unnerving. It still feels scary. It feels uncomfortable. And that is where I want to take you today.

We cannot do our greatest work unless we are ready and able and trusting that it’s okay to step out of our comfort zone and speak up and share our light and our truth and our wisdom.

So, which one do you do? Go out anyway, put on the false bravado of I’m doing this because I have to do this because my business coach told me to do this because that’s what the men do or that’s what the successful people, women I know do. And the only way to grow my business is to continue doing this uncomfortable…(fill in the blank): networking, speaking, writing (whether it’s a blog or a book), videos, sharing on Facebook, showing up on LinkedIn. And I don’t believe that has to be the case. I feel that the more that we do and we allow, and we show up in our truth and own our value and worth and brilliance, that’s when we’re seen.

And it doesn’t mean that we have to do 70 posts a week to make sure people remember us.  Of course, we want to watch our social media or our digital media numbers, it’s kind of helpful to know where we’re showing up and where our clientele, or potential clientele, might be. But the other piece is very much around, “How do I just show up and trust?” And if that means doing video blogs, which I did for five years, with no one watching, or whether that means I host a zoom call, and maybe only two people show up, does that mean I’m less worthy? Less valuable?

I don’t think so.

I believe that every time we speak our truth, whether it’s to our friends, our family, our clients, or potential clients, when we show up in our aligned and authentic self, we are modeling, who we are in our work in the world.  We are our own biggest billboard if you will. And how do we show up with that presence?

Well, that’s a deep one. And that’s where knowing how to blend our doingness and beingness, our feminine and masculine traits, our intellectual and intuitive wisdom, and our emotional and somatic brilliance, all of those things make up our “secret sauce”. Our SuperPower.

So that’s what we’re going to do in the next month as we move into June. We’re going to operate from a place of receptivity and activity, of beingness and doingness, of physical and somatic wisdom, as well as emotional intelligence and spiritual wisdom. All of those forms of who we are, those different versions of us, if we integrate them and align them, that’s when we have a presence. 

That’s when people see us. It’s not about having the perfect lipstick color. Believe me, my last video did not have the perfect lipstick color. And it’s not about wearing the right clothes. (We’re all learning that during this time of working from home. Many of us in our sweats or yoga pants.) It’s about grounding in deep trust, centering into our purpose, and our value, and our worth, and dropping down in a way, from our brains – our beautiful, fantastic, and powerful brains. I don’t mean to do them a disservice. However, when we use that as our only guiding sense of direction, we can go way off our path. So dropping down into our heart space and dropping down even lower into our power center in our lower abdomen. connecting on all of those different levels, energetic, physical, divine, emotional.

Then our voice comes through with clarity, with an authority that people can hear, and those who are attracted to what we have to say, are ready to come and reach out. And I’m all about that. I’m all about letting the people make the decision if they’re ready. They might have a niggling fear of I’m not sure I’m ready, and that’s fine too. But they know in their hearts if it’s time to be seen, to be held, to be supported in their inner landscape journey, in their deep dive into their becoming. And that’s, that’s where my passion is. That’s what I have done for myself and numerous others,  allowing them to experience transformation from their old self to their new version of self to the next best. And they’re continuing to grow with a little less fear, I might add. So that’s my thoughts for now, and I look forward to spending some more time with you and sharing some more musings in June. 

Take excellent care of yourself, now, and as we move forward into these uncertain and ambiguous times.

Movement for Good

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#MEtoo.

It’s become so common that no one is surprised anymore. We all just nod our heads in some type of secret solidarity.

Yet, why are we sharing from a place of shame? Or Guilt? Or Embarrassment? Or, even, with a sense of thinking we are responsible, in some awful way?

It’s time to stop the avoiding and clean up the shame, and start healing.

This open door will never swing shut again. More and more sexual assaults, inappropriate behavior, rapes kept under wraps are now seeing the light of day. The media posts new stories daily and we aren’t even bothering to read them. (Or, maybe that’s me, this is not new!)

What if…

What if we took this new-found solidarity, commonality across all women of different cultures, colors and class, and used it to fuel our Light?

What would happen if we were sharing with glee something beautiful that happened from sharing and healing to becoming more empowered, conscious and ready to tell our truth?

I’d love to discover what could happen when we realized that this totally inappropriate treatment we’ve all received was just a catalyst for igniting our realization of our value, our worth, our strength?

As we glue together the pieces where we previously thought we were broken, we heal the parts and are even more beautiful, more complex and more resilient.

The term Wabi-Sabi applies here…the Japanese believe in the beauty of impermanence and imperfection. When a piece of art or pottery is broken, they often fill the cracks with gold. Creating a more beautiful piece and honoring the imperfection.

Let’s shift into this type of #MEtoo. Let’s shift into the beauty of what we are now from the healing, growing and expansion into a more stunning piece of art? What if we shined our light through those cracks?

© 2017 Deborah LeeAnn www.DeborahLeeAnn.com
Authentic Leadership Academy & Consulting