A group of women gathered at Oceanstone, in a small group, talking… about important things, things that profoundly touched our lives and presented as massive invitations for us to stay true to our Self or to, once again, lose ourselves in how it has always been. (See today’s entry for my Emerging Futures blog.) The seduction of the past – of that which is familiar, bringing us some bizarre sense of comfort in its mindless repitition and perceived predictability – invites us to rely on illusion for our sense of control in the present and in defining the future.
Not so with this small group of (in my experience) truly courageous, curious and relentless women! Each in her own way was willing to stay with the sense of chaos in her body; with the daily turmoil that wracked the body and created the polarities of ‘How can this be????” and “How can this NOT be????” Finding the truth of who we are, somewhere in that upheavel, is always what the journey is about.
Their lives, and mine, have been changed. In our four days together, we laughed and cried; we challenged, rejected and embraced; and we stood tall in our own turmoil and trusted that it would lead us to where we needed to go. Not that the intellect or knowledge would lead, but that the body would lead… and as we surrendered to what appeared and relaxed into our own uncertainty, we would be just fine.
Not always fun, not always easy and frequently causing some of us to wonder : what are we doing here? – we stayed in those tough conversations and came out the other side. And that’s what it takes.
I can’t even remember how many times I made the comment: “Read the book.’ Simple. Start there and see where it takes you. And if you’re not willing to read the book, it’s not likely that you’ll ever be willing or able to follow the path that takes you to a new paradigm. As we talked about that, we all realized that it’s not about the book – it’s about the choice to read it equating with a conscious choice to choose life, differently. Once that door is opened, it’s close to impossible for it ever to close again.
It was one of the most potent experiences of my life! I know that it was equally so for the other women present. I also know that each of us went home and that all those in our lives have already been touched by who we have become. And they, in turn, will touch the lives of others just by being themselves. Our evolution is indeed, yet another gift that keeps on giving.
During that week, I was mindful every single day of the power of contagion of an awakened collective. Here we were – women gathering in a small group, talking… – choosing to be in each other’s company as we stood determined in our intention to find ourselves. And so we did, even when it would have been so much easier to just stop looking! I also know that given the power of contagion of this awakened small collective, the world has already changed.
Does this mean that we now have an obligation to do something to the world? Not in my books! I believe that the reason we were able to make such huge leaps in our own lives is precisely because each of us was there for our Self. As in all great things, we engage because doing so brings such great joy! Anything else is a bonus.
And so, here I sit, in awe of what has transpired. As I’ve written elsewhere, I am clear that these Emerging Futures conversations, particularly at this depth and pace, require that paradigm shift to occur, first. Anything less, and the pressure will be too intense to resist settling for so much less just to find a sense of peace in our mediocrity.
Women gathering in small groups, talking… IS the most potent force I know. Imagine if we knew that and chose to engage it mindfully. And it’s just a conversation…
Today, I got an email from a woman who started out as a client and has since become a friend. When I think of her, the one thing that stands out for me is her immeasureable, unstoppable and boundless desire to LIVE LARGE and LIVE FULLY!
Years ago, while on a journey of discovery with Huna, I learned one of the teachings of Taneo Sands Kumalai. that goes something like this: For all things in life, we must pay… attention… And when we pay… attention… all things will come to us.
Sometimes, when we pay… attention… to one thing in our lives, other things/people/events experience the absence of our attention and notice. And as we seek to pay… attention… to all things, we begin to lose our connection to what I hold as the most important, most essential and most compelling connection that we have – the connection to our Self. Once that is lost, that which is required to pay… attention… is no longer present to do so.
It’s not always easy to be your Self. Over time and from years of habit and its corresponding expectations, we have learned to move through our world having long forgotten Self and what it ever meant to us. From years and sometimes decades of allowing Self to be last on our own list (see Amy’s blog for more) , our willingness and ability to even acknowledge our own presence has erroded to the point where it takes effort to life a finger on our own behalf. With habits of body, mind and spirit deeply entrenched, the power surge required to free ourselves from bondage to our own self-imposted limitations has become such a distant memory that we can’t even remember what button to push in order to propel ourselves out of the deep pit that we’ve carved out for ourselves.
I have never said that taking back your life is going to be easy… or without opportunity to find out what you’re made of. What I HAVE often said is that doing so… stepping into the fast-moving waters of our own uncertainty… will be worth every breath. Every tear, every held breath, every shudder of fear that wracks the body and initiates the undulations… that triggers wave after wave of sobs that seem to come from the very soul of our being… every single one is worth it! Life must be lived… not just talked about, journaled, pondered, considered… but lived! For that, the body demands full play on the stage of our own life.
So when I think of my friend, I close my eyes and consider what aspect of my consciousness is she an expression of? And I also ponder, what aspect of her consciousness am I an expression of? Like I can find her in me, so can she find me, in her. And the larger, more important question becomes: if I am indeed, full expression of the godforce in a physical world, how does the godforce that I am choose to live? And how does she?
Part of the power that awaits women gatheirng in small groups, talking… is to become the safe context for permission to find how to access that power surge; a safe place that invites and allows trying it out and discovering how it works; and the place where we discover that the wisest counsel we can both seek out and fully embrace is our own.
Women gathering in small groups, talking… is the magic that so many women are looking for. All it takes is a willingness to let go of how it has always been.
I’m blessed to be surrounded by so many courageous, curious, amazing and engaging women! Another of these women is Annick, who is about to step into being the attractor for women in leadership positions to gather and explore ‘leadership’ in a very different way. It takes great courage to be willing to ‘challenge’ the status quo!
In the early stages, doing so can be experienced as something that is not always easy – and it’s not always fun. And yet, there is something that calls to us that makes it impossible for us to NOT engage when instinctively we know that to disengage would not only be a betrayal of who we have already become, but would be a betrayal of our own potential.
I share with you, below, a comment that Annick left on my Emerging Futures blog. In sharing her thoughts, two things become evident to me:
1. We must be the living expression of the thing we desire in and from others; and
2. We are the main attraction! It is not about sharing information and knowledge, although doing so can help pave the way. It’s about being willing to be present to ourselves and in that moment, both declare and reveal it to the world.
It is almost 11:00 PM and tomorrow is the first day of my leadership series with women – so excited to read Lori is doing something aussi – bravo !
Anyway, I’ve been aware of part of me wanting to push to finish reading Fully Alive again and refresh myself of all the models etc. and part of me wanted to trust that it’s not about that, it’s about me being me, allowing myself to expand who I am in the presence of other women who will, I hope, take up the invitation to do the same.
I was actually going on the website to print out Evolution by Intention, and thought I’d read your blog, which had been running through my mind on and off today. I felt deeply moved by how your words spoke to me as a reminder that this is not about mastering content but about living an expansive life by remembering who I am and the rest will flow…I choose to follow my impulse and trust that I AM the main attractor for this conversation and by remembering that and expressing that authentically moment to moment, without knowing what each moment will be or bring, I am the Godforce expressing as Unique Annick and that is the only thing that matters to me….all else will unfold and be defined by that. How cool is that ? I say that by the way because I was listening to my ‘after the leadership conversation’, finally. I had been avoiding it and figured that since everybody else had to listen to their convo with me, I wanted to do the same…anyway, you kept saying, isn’t that cool…yes, it is !
In my world, this is how we change the world: one woman at a time; one voice at a time; one breath at a time; one invitation at a time. Cumulatively and collectively, we become a force (like those three hurricanes in the picture above) that are unstoppable and tranform all that they touch. In all things, that which is must make way for that which is to become.
Women gathered in Halifax with Lori Walton, exploring and expressing ‘leadership’. Lori sends her thoughts (below) on that evening and its meaning for her. Contact Lori directly if you’d like to be part of the next gathering.
In my world, leadership is not a verb – it’s an noun. It’s not an act, it’s an outcome or result. When you and I become willing to show up authentically, fully present and willing to decloak, leadership happens. These women did just that and I know that because of it, their world… the world… is no longer the same.
Can you feel it? Women Gathering – Shaping our Future
February was the first of the Shaping our Future – Women’s Leadership Series that I created here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Shaping our Future really ties in well with Women Gathering that Louise has written about, declares, and lives.
It came into my awareness in the middle of January when I thought about myself… all the passion I hold, my intention to create my own future, and my desire to somehow help others feel that within themselves.
It is my belief that when you experience your authentic self and become clear about who you are and where your passions lie… that you can’t silence it any more.
Some people may try to not hear it… choose not engage… not live fully… but eventually it will catch up to them in form of unhappiness, stress, sickness, dis-ease, perhaps even death.
I ask myself the question often… How can I let others know that everything they are looking for is already available to them? What exactly does that mean to me? How can I best express that within myself?
The answers that come to me are Leadership, Personal Leadership, Power of the Potential we hold, Universal Connection, Joyousness, Laughter and Fun.
It isn’t about “ego”; it is about knowing who you are and being clear and true to that within.
Recognizing all those times in your day where you feel most in line with yourself, joyous, passionate, connected, ALIVE; then allowing yourself to be seen when you are so connected to that essence of who you truly are.
That is the leadership I am speaking about here.
February’s Shaping our Future topic was Fundamentals of Leadership. We explored what qualities and traits were important to us in a leader. We began talking about Hilary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey and how they seem very clear and sure within themselves before they open their mouths to speak.
We talked about the importance of being very clear with how it feels in your body before you begin to speak. How sometimes so much can be heard in silence. How often to we stop to listen?
As the conversation evolved and progressed we began to talk about how we can go about our lives day to day, no matter what our job is… whether we like it or dislike it… Just how we can make our days meaningful and fun? How can we bring our authentic self into all that we do?
Where in our day do we find the “bubble”, the passion, the joy, the thing that floats our boat?
How many times are we already awakening others to the possibilities that they hold, simply be being willing to be seen as our selves… authentically?
We talked about how to stop and find thanks and pleasure in the every day. Like the birds singing; the sunrise/sunset; the laughter of a child; the embrace of a friend; the feeling of a warm breeze on your face. How often do you stop to smell the roses?
Gaia… Nature… how we are one with it, in the way our natural cycles tend to go, from personal growth, to relationships… all seem to have an ebb and flow. The seasons are also a model of how things flow in your life. Be gentle with yourself. Allow things to happen as they might, easily, on their own schedule.
How can we get people to hear what we really want to say? Speak from your place of truth… people are craving authenticity.
When you speak from your heart and not your head, people are drawn in with more than their mind, to listen more intently.
So many conversations were had on this fine February evening. By the end of the night I was still filled with excitement and energy. I am overjoyed to have had the opportunity to spend time with these fantastic women.
I am so excited for each subsequent Shaping our Future to come about… the feedback from people interested has been immense and intense. This is definitely one of the “marks” I will be having on this world. The conversations are powerful. The participants are ready.
The world is craving authenticity… can you feel it?
Close your eyes and let your heart sing. You can’t help but feel it.
We all can make a difference in lives, in shaping our future, in creating our world… you just have to be willing to be seen for the godforce you are.
by Lori Walton
Women are on the move, becoming the attractor for connecting and creating the opportunity for other women to gather in small groups, talking…
Each of these women is the seed for growing a spiral of energy that is moving; a force expressed through the presence and voices of woman that will gather momentum and, in its time, reshape the realities of the women present – and the ones they touch.
Sheila Winter Wallace - is seeding another gathering of ‘Entrepreneurial Women in Powerful Conversations’ at the WEL-Systems Institute in Ottawa. I was at the first one and the awakened presence of a new force was palpable! This is one conversation I’ll not miss!
Pat Donihee - also known as ‘Dr. Pat’ with her own TV show in Saint John, NB - is about to seed a gathering of women in law enforcement.
Amy McNaughton - is launching a new conversation for business women in the Halifax/Dartmouth area. Check out what Amy has to say – it may be exactly where you need to be!
Lori Walton - is calling all women in the Halifax/Dartmouth area who are or have the desire to be strong and confident in living their lives. Lori has designed this is a series so that you’ll know there’s always more!
Strong women! Women courageous in their own curiosity to discover more of who they are! This is a process that follows a simple path: Learn it – Live it – Love it – Share it! Each of these women stepped into her own journey; did what was required to ‘become’ her discovery; discovered how much she loved being fully herself!; and is now choosing to share that with other women in her life.
What are you willing to share with the wome in your life?