Not knowing much more than her famous prayer “All will be well”, I was curious to learn more about this mystic priestess, Julian of Norwich, whose feast day is celebrated on May 13th.
After reading both Britannica’s and Wikipedia’s accounts on Julian, this writing caught my eye.
“All Will Be Well: The Radical Optimism of Julian of Norwich”Mirabai Starr, HuffPost
In it, she uses the quote Julian is known for:
“All shall be well and all shall be well and every kind of thing shall be well.” Julian of Norwich
And continues to write a bit more about her radical teachings and beliefs.
She believed in the feminine aspect of God, and often refers to Mother God as Christians might to Mother Mary.
Additionally, her optimistic take on life was that there is no such thing as sin (for non-Christians, read shame, blame or karma here).
Hence, the Mother’s loving voice reassuring us the human child, that “All will be well.” Like our caregivers or Mothers might have said to us when we ran for nurturance or care after falling down and skinning our knee. “It’s gonna be OK” I have found myself echoing my own Mother’s words when my children were little, as they grew into teens and now young adults!
So, what a lovely view of Motherhood, love and the relationship to being humble and asking for nurturing. How often do you extend mothering, or loving care to another? And how often do you receive it? Most of us are big GIVERS, not so good at the RECEIVING part.
For the past 15 years or more, I’ve adapted Julian’s words to my own:
“All is well. All manner of things are well. Every kind of thing is well.”
It helps me to ground into what is right with the world. What is beautiful. What is here right now that I may not be seeing and appreciating.
So Mother’s Day Blessings to you! Mother God, Mother Earth, Mother Nature, are all to be acknowledged as well as all Mothers, StepMothers, WannaBe Mothers, Animal Mothers, Project Mothers, Garden Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts and All Women who are leading towards Love!
All is well. Truly it is.
Why am I so keen on following the seasons and Nature’s cycles? And how do they give us insights as to our own transitions and developmental growth?
Often people ask me, “How does the moon cycle affect me in my leadership or personal/professional development?”
As human beings, we are intricate systems, with our own cycles and rhythms. And honoring them, i.e. pausing to integrate big learnings, sleeping more when we aren’t feeling well or hunkering down inside more during the cold months are ways to do so.
The earliest memory of my own relationship with the patterns of Nature was with the moon and stars. I remember staring out at the full moon “following us” as a child in the car with my parents or lying in bed at night being comforted by her Light. Stars, in general, and the Milky Way and shooting stars in particular, have always held a fascination for me.
Then came the play with astrology, which has never really become a deep understanding, even with more involved science and planetary aspects being talked about more and more since my chart is incomplete. I have never been able to track down my birth time!
It’s been about 3 decades since I began tracking the moon, at first for my own monthly cycles as I was preparing to get pregnant, and then for noticing how they affected me in my general life.
A bit later I was using a Moon Journal to track cycles and use them for reflection and introspection. Full moon completions and new moon initiations.
Early in 2000, I began studying Native American spirituality. I felt at home! Nature had always felt like my Church, and Mother Earth and Father Sky, Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun, like family. And animals did feel as though they had messages for me as much as the sunset colors, or the wind singing through the trees. Ecology and all things “green” and holistic became passions.
That deep study and the book, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and experience moved into further understanding of planetary aspects, solstices, equinoxes, eclipses.
Gardening has been an ongoing school for me as well. It felt like the seasonal shifts of planting, tending, harvesting, and winter cleanup was indicative of where I was in my Life. Learning to save seeds, buy locally grown food, and eat foods fresh and during their normal harvest cycle has become a way of life for my family.
Business Leadership Development programs that were based on spiritual and personal development added another layer. Some teachers’ use of the Enneagram added yet another.
Deep dives into Strengths-Based Leadership came next, followed by an introduction to The Spirit of Leadership white paper by the founder of The Leadership Circle 360 Profile. Quickly after I became certified in this assessment and added the evolving wisdom of our multi-dimensionality and up-leveling my own and client’s human development consciousness.
The Shamanic Business Mastermind I participated in a few years back was a brilliant way to see how our businesses, our lives, our physical bodies are all immensely enmeshed with the seasonal cycles. How pausing during Winter, for example, was the inner reflection and stillness required by both my physical and emotional and mental health, as well as that of my business’ health.
All of these new learnings felt “at home” to me like they were “speaking my language” and as natural as my breath. (Another beautiful rhythm of Life and ongoing cycle!)
And each brought me new ways to describe my views of life, train on leadership, and experience love…as if all of these facets of Self were merging with my work in the world!
Cycles, seasons, Nature’s many signs and lessons, and all the changes we’re experiencing now with our economy, society during a pandemic, education systems, and political upheaval are all creating complexity. Even our choices of nourishment…media and food/drink are cycles…what we partake must be digested. Time is needed to process, allow for the nutrients to be received and the waste to be released. Our bodies know how to process food much better than we do with our mental consumption. Time away from our technology and screens and seriousness to be playful, fun, creative, and connecting with others, Self, the Divine. Not an easy thing to do in these times…
Which is when I try to find the simple pleasures of Rituals.
Remembering Who. I. Am.
Connecting with loved ones on Zoom.
And breathing it all in. With grace and compassion for mySelf and all of us.
How are you finding these cycles of change? The ending of 2020 and beginning of 2021? What are your favorite seasons and cycles?
(PS I receive no commission for the books and resources listed and linked in this article)
Not out there, mind you, it’s wild and woolly and full of VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complexity and Ambiguity) news, and events.
And, maybe it’s the several hours of each week spent on Zoom calls where I can see myself, and how I am showing up when with others, that is making me more aware of how I want to be or not be. More self-conscious. More SEEN.
And, maybe it’s the fact that I can’t hide anymore. My own Authenticity radar is on high alert when I’m out of integrity, off-balance, or when others are operating out of their wholeness and truth.
Or, possibly, and more likely, it’s the felt need to constantly be looking at my phone. What messages have I missed? What’s the latest COVID news? Or, like me, the draw to play a silly game that rewards me for solving a puzzle?
So, spending time with mySelf is on the agenda this month. Yet I’m already finding lots of distractions. Ways to NOT look at me. Ways to run, tune out, or turn away.
My calendar is full of deadlines to meet my Self-Imposed date of heading into Tech Sabbatical as well!
My house here in the City is disrupted with plaster repair, new wiring for dining room lighting, and incomplete projects making my craving for Sacred Space dial-up to palpable energy.
The lovely meal from Thanksgiving is needing some cleanup too…stock from the turkey bones to be made, and lots of squashes and root veggies asking to be made into soups.
So, the more I slow down, breathe slower, feel into Center, into Presence, and into my own body’s power center…I am finding more of everything.
And, how am I finding space and the Grace to be Still? Tune into Stillness? Tune out busyness?
Practicing. Centering. Breathing. Slowing down when I remember. Allowing myself to visit it here and there, in between little rants about messes or full schedules or the physical call to go outside and let it all go.
It’s when we most need it that it feels the most difficult to do. To allow. To receive the blessings that come when we stop or even pause to notice them.
What do you plan to do to complete 2020? This month? The transition of seasons from autumn into winter? (here in the Northern hemisphere that is. For you folks Down Under, as you head into summer?)
This STILLNESS thing is not easy for me, and from what I’m hearing from clients, colleagues and friends, it’s not easy for most.
We are feeling the frenetic anxiety, hearing the high-pitched hum of millions of media sources trying to capture our attention, sensing the collective grief and trauma of a year that has changed us all in unforeseen and previously unimagined ways…breathing in (through our masks) the air of change, uncertainty, fear, anger.
And, it’s easier to stay busy. Stay above the fray by keeping our minds occupied, with work, solving problems, looking for problems, even!
Or, numbing out in exhaustion (doesn’t matter if it’s not physical, could be mental, emotional or spiritual exhaustion) through Netflix, eating, alcohol, drugs, over activity, sleeping, _________. (name your favorite numbing activity here)
I feel like if I stop and sit still, it will all come falling in on me.
And, it may.
Or may not. Maybe, sitting still, letting the grief of Mom’s passing, anger over unfinished projects or lost creativity, sadness of missed opportunities and traditions, or simple discomfort of BEing in the unknown…unfamiliar…flood me. Wash over me. Cleanse, heal, or take me over with emotions. I’m not sure what will happen.
Yet, be still I must. Sitting in it all is a devotional practice I choose over and over now.
It’s one way to hear my Self. That quiet loving voice under all the noise. The stirrings of creative expression. The sighs of desire, or of hope, or of loving compassion. The opportunity to sit in and be held by Divine Light and Grace!
And, rediscover the resilient strength of Me. The beautiful receptive quality of being-ness. The open-hearted feeling of passion and excitement and quickening. The expansiveness of potential, possibility, hope, emerging new ways of Being and Inter-Being.
So here’s to Stillness. For however that looks and feels for you. For following Winter’s guidance as we go inward, go quiet, go dormant and hibernate a bit.
As for me? This month I’m excited as my birthday is also the Winter Solstice, when the days begin to be a bit longer and the pagan celebration of the LIGHT.
For years I woke up my daughters (and any friends they could rustle up for such an outing) to put on their winter layers and armed with a stack of cinnamon-raisin toast and a thermos of coffee and another of hot chocolate, we would head in the darkness of early morning to nearby Cahokia Mounds to climb Monk’s Mound and await the sunrise.
It’s a ritual I have always enjoyed even though the sunrise was hardly ever visible!
This year? Not sure if it will happen, but it will be different, with my daughters not around. Maybe I’ll create a new ritual. At the cabin on the River, maybe!
Please Look for a few gifts coming before the end of the year as well…a self-guided or facilitated Wisdom Walk contemplation, and a Solstice to New Year ritual to guide you into a self-renewal celebration to share in a circle, with a dear friend, or on your own.
Sending virtual hugs of Huge gratitude for each of you and how your Light has connected with mine this past year!
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Even though I spoke these words last week, they are as true today as ever.
Where are you playing small?
Where do you lose your value?
When do you dim your light?
It’s time. For us to INHALE the inspiration we are constantly receiving, and EXHALE our creative spin on it. Our voices, art, written words, and dance are needed now.
We are all stepping up. Stepping IN. Stepping forward. Marching together towards change.
Conscious leadership is required of us all. And that means showing up. SHINING brightly. No apologies. No more hiding.
Ready? Let’s do this.
Join me for a free training next week to kick off Self-Love Month. Details can be found on my website, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn profiles.
© 2018 https://deborahleeann.com
Authentic Leadership Academy & Consulting
Read the Transcript
Let’s Create Some
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I love Magic. Magick. Magik. All forms of it. All stories about it. All songs too!
During the Holiday Season, we talk about the Magic of gift-giving. The Magic of Believing. The Magic of Joy and Miracles and Beauty and Health and Well Wishes.
And, I’m here, saying Magic is a year-round thing.
That’s worth repeating… Magic is a year-round thing.
It’s with us all the time. It’s IN each of us.
So let’s remember to Tune in. Turn on. And, Turn It Up our Magic. It’s in every one of us.
Happy December from us all at DeborahLeeAnn.com and Authentic Leadership Academy and Consulting!
What are YOU Afraid of?
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What is your deepest fear?
In honor of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos next week, let’s talk about fear.
Funny how lots of people like scary movies. We can laugh at the ridiculousness of the plots and know that it’s not real.
Yet, when scary stuff comes up for us, we literally cringe. Hide. Run away or freeze.
For most of us, Fear runs our life. We are so afraid of what we don’t want to happen, we are literally closing off what we do want.
It’s where we let old stories, and often younger versions of ourselves, take the driver’s seat. Where we step aside, literally, giving our power away.
I run. I hide. And, I freeze.
I veg watching Netflix. Drinking wine. Or through sex.
I get super busy. Or, stop doing anything at all in a state of depression-like coma.
All in resistance to what wants to be expressed or experienced or let in.
What am I SO afraid of? Who am I so afraid of Be-Coming?
And when I recognize it, how do I use that energy to fuel my momentum versus let it suck me back into the same-old, stuffy, suffocating space of who I used to be.
Let’s move into the next iteration of Courageous Authenticity. Where we don’t run from our Fear, or Hide from it, or even manage it. We welcome it, transform the energy of it and utilize it.
Nothing in life is wasted. All forms of energy are valuable.
What is holding you back? Where are you stopping your SHINE from radiating from you? Who do you want to show up as and how does she want to BE in the world?
Chances are, it’s exactly what you need and want that calls you forward. It’s more powerful than Fear.
Ready? I’m here with you…remember it’s a journey.
© 2017 Deborah LeeAnn ~ Authentic Leadership Academy & Consulting