The word on the street and in the boardroom is that we should lean in to our work. But there are times that “leaning in” is exactly the WRONG thing to do.
It’s really about balance.
Take for instance, that person who is used to leaning into everything they do. They’re intense and passionate. They also believe if they don’t push, nothing will happen. Some people call them “control freaks”.
This is a perfect example of half of a set of polarities: holding on and letting go. Imagine those two polarities being the extremes of a pendulum’s swing. The only stable place along that arc is solidly in the middle. That place of integration and balance incorporates elements of both extremes but isn’t limited to either one. In this example, it embodies both letting go and holding on. Both exerting control and allowing. Both focus and surrender.
You can see from this simple example that there isn’t a singular answer for how the pendulum should find stability. Which direction the pendulum needs to go to become balanced depends entirely on where the pendulum is along the arc.
Human behavior is no different. If you’re that pendulum, already extreme in one direction, move towards the center. Discern where you are first. Then choose your direction, always with balance and integration as the goal. Going further in the direction you’re already going is a bad idea because it will only continue to give you what you’re already getting.
If you’re already habitually leaning in, learn to lean out. If you’re habitually leaning out, learn to lean in. Practice the opposite of your habitual responses. And when you come to center, embodying both, you will feel the freedom that comes with choice ~ the ability to discern what is needed in the moment and respond with wisdom and grace.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be happy…with every aspect of your life?
THIS CLASS IS FOR YOU IF YOU ARE:
In this free teleclass, we will be exploring integrated fulfillment:
- How your work and your personal life hold the clues to the highest expression of your spirit
- How to reclaim the parts of yourself that you put away as a young person and end your search for satisfaction, forever
- How to master your mind and step into the amazing future that is yours to enjoy
The focal point of artists, poets, mistrals, and mystics throughout human history, unconditional love has an unreachable essence that most of us never dare to imagine could be realized in our own lives. Our relationships with our children are as close as many of us get. But even then we are limited~ let them stay out too late, crash our car, or paint gaily all over our walls with permanent marker and the limits of our capacity can be seen in our response.
We lose our footing. We forget how to be Love. Our desire to be perfect, to be safe, and to be right gets triggered. We blame and make excuses. We look at the mistake as something that should have been avoided. We grit our teeth.
Since change is a constant factor in life unless you’re dead, we can’t choose whether or not we experience it ~ we can only choose how we respond to it. All of the above responses indicate a fixed mindset in the face of change. What would happen if we cultivated a different approach?
A growth mindset would present an entirely different set of options. Coming from this mindset, you would want to and believe you can get smarter. You would seize opportunities to grow and be interested in learning from mistakes. You would thrive when you were stretching outside of your comfort zone, even if (and most importantly, when) you crashed.
Believing these truths about yourself, you would be able to extend them to the people around you. Turns out you can’t give to others what you don’t have for yourself. Unconditional love starts within.
Is it “luck” that helps us succeed in love? Not in the slightest. Lasting love demands the ability to go unconditional, to soften your self-judgment, to allow yourself to receive an imperfect love from the other humans with whom you are in relationship. It also demands that you pay attention to who crosses your path, that you are fearless in your Yes, and that you have the strength to hold on during dark times.
The ultimate challenge for human beings, unconditional love is the final frontier. And if you can find it with one person, you can change the world.
What does Halloween have to do with leadership? Apparently, everything.
Most of us don’t see or hear spirits in our normal everyday travels. We operate with the idea that this realm in which we live, this mundane reality, IS reality and that it contains all the things that are actually “real”. The magic of Halloween is the ancient ritualism that connects us to the very real worlds beyond the mundane.
“Thinning of the veil” refers to the veil between the mundane world and the spirit world. Normally there is a curtain blocking our perceptions of the spirit world. Certain practices can open up our fields of perception enough that we can become aware of the other side. But at this time of year, glimpses into this other world become more accessible to those even without specialized training.
Although in the United States we tend to approach the holiday with playfulness, this is not true in all places. In Latino culture the Day of the Dead is widely celebrated with sugar skulls, picnics in graveyards, and festive decorations to match those of any party. In England, candles are left burning over the midnight hour in every room of the house, intended to entice dearly departed souls to visit their families. A glass of wine is left as an invitation. The reality of the “other side” is honored and given its proper ceremonial place.
You may not be consciously aware of the spirits that surround you ~ of those who would help you or of those who will get in your way. The curtain blocking your awareness may be strong. Nevertheless, the other side is still there. And regardless of your theology, you will gain strength and power by acknowledging the presence of those who inhabit it. We cannot act in isolation of the etheric dimensions. To do so implies a principal soul-lessness and fosters the disconnection that is the root of our systemic problems around the world. We have forgotten who we are.
Leaders are those who stand forwards in the effort to create change. Conscious leaders identify their higher purpose and create cultures of meaning that demonstrate a commitment to making a positive difference. A wise leader honors and acknowledges the ancestors who brought us here as well as choosing which spirits will accompany us as we walk into the future. Remember that the Great Law of Peace from the Iroquois Confederacy, which was the basis for the US Constitution, explicitly states that we must consider the impact of our actions on the next seven generations. Consider how you are the seventh generation of those who have come before you, and you are the ancestor of those who are yet to be. Stand as the leader you are: connected to the past and the future, choosing which spirits accompany you and to whose guidance you are attuned. Bring your full power into your work by acknowledging the subtle realms of the human experience.
As we approach the thinning of the veil that has been the seasonal hallmark of human cultures throughout time, open your awareness to include the other side. Listen without fear. And become more fully who you are.
If you feel confused about which way to go, you’re lost in the proverbial forest. And just as it is in a real forest, it can be disorienting and confusing. Every tree looks the same. You have no idea which way to go. But there is a way out ~ and it’s easy to find.
Follow the river.
In the forest, the river always goes downstream ~ which invariably leads to people, towns, and the sea. In the metaphorical woods, we follow the flow. Whether you call it Spirit, chi, manna, or God, the flow is easy to find. It vibrates with trust, sharing, generosity, compassion, and love. It is expansive, inclusive, and powerful. It sees the best in everyone. It feels good.
So before you climb a tree, continue in circles, or set up camp in the dark part of your metaphorical woods, consider that you can get out of this situation more quickly than you can figure out how to cope. Listen for the sound of water. Sniff for the smell of nourishment. Find the flow.
Even if fear and confusion already have you in a death grip, you can still do this. In your inner heart, call for help in your moment of weakness. And then use your Jedi powers. Pull out your laser beam and make them back off.
No matter what your situation, if you are lost in the woods it is not about any of the people around you or about your past. You are only falling into an old habit. Choose to form a new habit. You were born OK and nothing and no one can ever change that.
If you are reading this, you have at least the glimmer of hope that you can change the things you don’t want and get more of what you do want. Like a ray of light shining through the canopy to illuminate the forest floor, use that glimmer of hope to light the way. Find the flow.
In fifteen years of coaching I have developed a pet peeve: cognitive behavioral therapists who entertain the ego voice of the client instead of pulling forward the deeper authentic voice of the spirit. This aggravates me because clients counseled to follow their ego voice will not heal, find true peace, or discover who they truly are ~ staying on the wheel of struggle for yet another revolution not because of their own limitations, but because of shallow leadership.
The ego voice provides a carefully constructed shell of protection that keeps you from experiencing your deepest grief. It also keeps you from accessing your deepest truth.
For a while, it may be easier to hide than it is to allow yourself to open. But one day you will need to face this in yourself. Your very spirit will demand that you find your truth so you can live your life with integrity.
All therapists are not created equal. If your therapist is persuaded by your ego simply because it is louder or more persistent than the voice of your inner truth, they are providing no service to you in your struggle to emerge. And inside, you know it. You know that you are taking your therapist for a ride, going through the motions while your heart stays hidden, protected, but alone.
A true healer can feel the difference between your words and your truth. They will know when you have withdrawn into your cave. They will help you quiet your mind and start to hear your own truth. To do this effectively it is not necessary that you agree with their philosophy, that you be of the same gender, or that they remind you of your parents. It is only necessary that they be able to do this for themselves.
If your therapist is not providing you with the kind of leadership that can help you break through into authenticity, see them with compassion and understanding but look for other solutions ~ for every day that you live from your constructed truth rather than your authentic truth is another day that you have not truly lived.