If you take a look at the Blogroll on this site, you’ll find some new names. Amy McNaughton, Lucy Hensel, Marie MacPherson, Sarah Witherell and Sheila Winter Wallace are regular contributors through their personal blogs.
I find each of these women very willing to be seen; very willing to allow the truth of who each of them is in the moment be shared with us all. Not only do I find their willingness to decloak and invite me into their lives to be a breath of life-giving fresh air, I find their unrelenting courage and commitment to themselves profoundly inspiring!
Be sure to visit their blogs and bear witness to evolution in action. They are living examples of what it is to live an ‘emerging future’ as it unfolds, from one breath to the next.
We are such amazing creatures! I spend so much of my life with women and am constantly encouraged by our ability to detect the unseen, to hear the unspoken and to move that which appears to be immutable.
Amazing women. Powerful women. Women with innovative and unique ways to think about and talk about and engage. Women filled with intense passion and a desire to create, innovate and expand the expression of our humanity, for self and other.
Women who know a truth, buried deep and kept silent – but who know it nonetheless – and in spite of it all, continue to trundle through the ‘is’ of their lives rather than leave behind the people they care about. Women whose bodies have become a more powerful sensing instrument than anything that science has yet to create and who, despite this inner truth, choose to pretend they don’t know.
To me, this is like being an Olympic-calibre runner and choosing to nail one foot to the floor. We may get to move really, really fast AND it’s going to be painful and not get us very far. For sure, we’ll never be able to get our hands on the prize.
My search always is for the woman who is ready… the one who knows that it’s time to show up and be the truth of who she is. The one who recognizes that even though it may not be in her cultural conditioning, it is in her body to know that the only way she can ever create what she wants is to choose herself; that the only way she can ever give enough to her family is to choose herself; and that the people she loves will only discover how to love themselves when she has become the living model that makes it possible for them to know how.
I’m always looking for the woman who is ready…. the one who knows that ‘now’ is her time to lead; that leadership is an expression of the truth of who she is, not of what she knows or any templates or frameworks imposed by anyone else, no matter how well-meaning they may be; that her internal compass is the only one that will ever take her to where she is desperate to arrive.
I see them, time after time, and I am amazed at how comfortable they have become with hammer in one hand, nail in the other and a skilled and well-practised eye focused on the foot. Do we even notice when we’re doing this? Do we know how to name and claim that which contributes to our eagerness to start hammering… ensuring that we never really go very far or forget the pain? Do we think that this is in some way useful – to us or to anyone we care about? When you’re moving in a circle with your foot nailed to the floor , no matter how fast you go, you’re not going anywhere that you haven’t already been.
The women who work with me are few in number and immense in impact and potential. They change their lives and, from there, become a living example of what it is to change life. They change themselves and in so doing, become the ‘virus’ that invites change in others. They seep effortlessly into their collectives and communities, flowing through conversations and explorations, embracing the unknown and welcoming the invitation it carries to discover more of who they are – and who they might become.
The women who become willing to free themselves from their own bondage become the leaders in their own lives and in the lives of the people they care about. But, more importantly and more compellingly, they become the space within which others awaken to and discover the leader they are to become in their own lives…. and on and on and on it goes.
So, I wonder….. how have you nailed your foot to the floor? How many times in your life have you put aside what was/is deeply meaningful to you because someone else’s needs came into your awareness and became more important? How often have you become unwilling to hold to your commitment to yourself in the face of requests for you to commit to other things and other people? How often do you determine that it’s ok for you to have what you want/need as long as no one else wants it; or as long as having it does not cause someone else to notice their own unwillingness to take action in their lives? On the path to our full expression, there will always be distractions. The problems arise when we think that we should pay attention to them and engage them!
Women gathering in small groups, talking… often practice collective foot nailing – not because they want to, not because they have to, but simply because they know how to. What is familiar yet painful is often more attractive or bearable than what is unfamiliar, even though it will stop the pain.
I know these things intimately because I have lived these things… have been these things! I also took longer than many to discover that if I wanted to live, I would have to leave this practice behind – no matter what the cost. I have done so; have never looked back; and my life has never been more magical!
I, for one, am looking for the women who are ready to put down their hammers and discover what it feels like to really move!
I spend a lot of my life with women gathering in small groups, talking… in person, on the phone, via email; from 5 minute chats to 5-day, in-depth explorations of potential and everything in between. During those conversations, it’s not unusual for women to explore what it takes for them to be ‘happy’… for them to wake up in the morning and be delighted by that simple fact : “I love being me!”
Clearly, a longer conversation ensues, starting with an exploration of what ‘happy’ means to each individual. What they quickly discover is that ‘happy’ is a label for something that is exceedingly personal to each one of us. One person’s ‘happy’ is another’s ‘challenge’ so we invest a good chunk of our curiosity wandering around in that for a while, seeking to discover what really lights us up!
We do eventually come to a realization that ‘happy’ is a state of being that can be maintained by a few simple and essential truths of living – and here they are. You’ll likely be surprised to discover that it does not have to take a lot of effort, does not have to be difficult and starts with a few simple things:
- Breathe – easily, regularly and deeply. Notice when you’re holding your breath and when you do, don’t beat yourself up for doing it wrong – just be gentle with yourself. Take two or three long, slow deep breaths and move on.
- Tell the truth. Not the one you think someone else wants to hear, but the one that fills your body. The struggle is not in knowing what the truth is – it’s in trying to figure out how to pretend that we don’t.
- Trust your instincts. Just follow the roadmap that your body offers you every minute of every day of your life and let the details get worked out as you go.
- Don’t say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’! What else can be said about that? Plain and simple – and will change your life.
- Stay in the tough conversations. Even when they’re uncomfortable, trust yourself to move through the conversations that you’ve been avoiding for hours, days or decades. The longer you’ve been pushing it away, the more important and life-altering you can be sure it will be.
- Choose what is meaningful to you. Not the ‘right’ thing or the ‘good’ thing or the ‘appropriate’ thing but the one that lights you up and makes you smile! The choices you make create the quality of the life you’re living. How do you like it so far?
Every day, I wake up and love being me! Every day, I take a few minutes to lie in bed and ask myself: ‘How does the lifeforce that I am choose to express myself today? How does the lifeforce that I am choose to live today?” – and then I get on with it, knowing that tomorrow i can change my mind and do something different.
And so can you.