I was in a conversation today and realized that, for a second, I had no idea where I was and what day it was! I think that comes from a whirlwind of activity in my life over the last two weeks. And all of it with women gathering in small groups, talking….
It started with yet another experience of Emerging Futures: Entrepreneurial Women at Oceanstone. A small group of women gathered, talking…. about their lives, the worlds they lived in and the worlds they wanted to create. Talk about intense! Every day moved faster and was more expansive than the one before. Not so much about women coming to face-to-face with each other but women coming face-to-face with themselves. Sometimes slowly and sometimes with breakneck speed, but always with outstanding insights and discoveries.
It was interesting to me to notice that yet again, a theme emerged. This time, what we all shared was an awareness of the degree to which it is so easy to slip into the coma of attending more to a mate than to ourselves. And in the end, noticing that if we don’t have ourselves, we have nothing. Painful to discover yet deadly to ignore.
Women present to and for each other, not in a care-taking way but in a way that had strength and courage as its underpinnings. Women present to each other in recognition of their (each and every one of us) power… their acuity in knowing their own truth… their willingness to be present to and with themselves and each other. No wimps in this crowd!
Women wanting to know their truth; willing and able to stay in those really, really tough conversations that held the power to undo their world. Women standing alone… decloaked… with nothing between them and the truth of their own experience. All buffers gone. And yet there they were : magnificent in their imperfection and willing to own it all!
There were tears. Tears of grief. Lots and lots of grief. Tears of joy. Tears of frustration and anger and bitterness. Tears of dreams lost and yet others longed for. Tears of emptyness. Tears of togetherness. Tears of fatigue… the kind of bone-crushing fatigue that comes from decades of pretending and struggling to hold it all together. And tears of relief as it fell apart and we found ourselves still standing.
Explorations of where we had been and, more importantly, where we wanted to be. Journeys of personal evolution, no matter what the cost. NOT to take that journey would – and already had – cost far too much. What is the cost of a life unlived? And how can we ever get that back????
Tsunamis fed by letting go of years of waves kept in check. Tremors of truth that shattered illusions and also shattered the pretense of our reasons to stay small. Flashes of genius that lit up the pathways to discovering more of who we might become.
Every moment counted. Every breath opened a gateway to the next. Every whisper spoken and every voice heard. We left – no one untouched. And as the last day came to a close, I found myself wondering: ’Can my life be this magical???” And it is.
A day to rest and then on to the Day of Discovery in Halifax. Yet another experience of women gathering in a small group, talking…
Some familiar faces, with stories of perpetual growth and evolution. Some new faces, eyes more awake not only to the potential but to a new truth: it does not have to take a long time!
Acceleration. Going further, faster and with a greater sense of joy and ease. Aiming high – because we can. Moving fast – because we can. Flying has replaced walking – because we can.
As I lived this Day of Discovery, I was mindful of so many metaphors unfolding in the room. One moment would remind me that it’s time to let go. Another would be my invitation to notice what was meaningful to ME… and trust that each other woman there would find that for herself.
Noticing that each person in the room was an expression in a physical universe of some aspect of my own consciousness; embracing them all. One woman in particular, who as she listened to others tell the story of the transformation of their lives, could not hear their lives but heard only ‘rah rah WEL-Systems’. I felt a certain sadness in that I realized that I have to let go. Who am I to say who should and should not? I found myself encouraging her to trust herself…. to stay with what presented… and to know that it would take her home. I believe that – for me and for you – wherever it leads.
It was a good week.
Life is good!
I seem to be cruising down memory lane. Not quite sure why or how it has come to be – and none of it matters. All I know is that I have been drawn to some things and in that, I share them with you.
Today is Day 2 of Emerging Futures: Entrepreneurial Women. Perhaps what has called to me is the power in the simplicity of being myself. Perhaps it is the notion that in every moment of my ‘ordinary’ness there is a breath of exceptional and unique that I far too often dare not claim. Perhaps it is in allowing myself to know ‘genius’ in its most organic moments. And perhaps it is for you to know your own.
I wrote this piece as part of a series of several, again, some years ago. As I read my own words, I am reminded of my journey and know that despite all the distance travelled, the journey remains the same: that of finding myself.
I don’t need to be extraordinary. I need only own the truth of who I already am – and the rest takes care of itself.
The notion of creativity is often linked to what we would consider exceptional achievements, like the art of Picasso, the invention of the laptop or the sleek design of the space shuttle. But for most of us, creativity brings its greatest rewards when it expresses quietly and much closer to home.
The dictionary defines ‘creativity’ as the act of causing to exist; to bring into being, give rise to, bring about. The very nature of the word itself implies bringing into existence that which does not already exist. And yet for most of us, our daily lives are filled with the repetitive and the habituated. We move through the basic routine of getting up, getting ready and going to work with one sequence of habits after another, rarely if ever noticing that we are engaging this repetitive process, day after day after day after …
We find ourselves lamenting the state of our lives, looking around us and trying to figure out what’s ‘wrong’ with our lives; with our work; with our friends and family. Yet maybe there’s nothing ‘wrong’ at all. Maybe what’s missing is a creative outlook – a different perspective or new world view – on what’s already there.
Creativity has its roots in curiosity. Without curiosity, there would never be the questions to which we seek answers. Or the daydreams that call out to be fulfilled. Or the change and innovation that we often intensely pine for. Without curiosity, there would be no reason for us to go anywhere new or meet new people or think a new thought. And yet, how many of us have become stuck in the habituated way of living our lives, applying our greatest creative expression to finding a variety of ways to explain and describe why we can’t have the life we want!
Imagine what your life could become if you got curious – about yourself, about your world-view and about your motivation for making the choices you make. Suddenly, life would be filled with astute observations and their corresponding, life-expanding insights. The next time you find yourself in that same old __________ (you fill in the blanks: conversation, relationship, job, problem, etc.), instead of looking around for someone to blame for keeping you there, get curious! Let yourself notice you, for a change, and ask yourself the following questions: Isn’t that interesting! Every time x happens, I do/say/respond with y. How come that seems like an intelligent response? How does it serve me to continue to do that? When was the last time that I actually chose my response instead of just acting out of habit? What is it that always doing x allows me to continue to not pay attention to? What would happen to the quality of my life if I did something else instead? Who would support me and who would be angry/sad/disappointed/frustrated with me? How much more of my life do I want to live like this? What am I waiting for to be able to choose differently? Whose permission do I need to be able to begin to live my life in a way that leaves me feeling alive, dynamic and energetic? Who do I need to become to allow myself to claim a joyful life?
The answers to these questions may not come easily, and you certainly won’t find them in anyone else’s mind. These questions may even lead to those dark moments of the soul, where uncertainty can sometimes feel like that great gasp for breath – the one that will expand you into a new level of expression. And as Ilya Prigogine – one of the finest minds in theoretical physics – once said: “The future is uncertain…but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.”
I wrote this a long time ago and for whatever reason, it found me today. I share it with all of you in the event that it will reach for and find something inside you, too. Who knows why or how such things take life!
Peace….tranquility….serenity….those soft, seemingly endless moments when we can hear the unique sound that we are in the Universe. If all that is expresses through rhythm and tone, in those quiet and introspective moments, we can hear the note that we are in the vast harmonies of our existence.
Yet, all is not always quiet. The peace and serenity that we long for is far too often pierced by what we have come to know as the ‘necessities’ of living. Relentless in its pursuit of our edification, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, email, etc. flash their bright shiny colors in our direction, fully expecting us to turn our heads and stare into the blinding lights. And when we do (having been trained and tempted for decades to do so), we find ourselves paralyzed in the intensity and detail of its message. Once again, head-lighted deer on the knowledge freeway of life!
Gone is the serenity of the fleeting moments between broadcasts and headlines. Big print and surround-sound scream at us about yet one more disaster on some part of the planet that we’ve never seen and likely never will. And yet, even though so far away, we are touched…and we know that we are profoundly shaped even if we don’t yet know in what way.
In those moments, we turn to what we hold will keep us safe…will guide us….will let us know that we are not alone. For some of us, we walk or drive to our nearest church. For others, we head for the vast and boundless cathedral of tall pines in an open valley. And for others, we light candles and sit quietly, allowing the rhythmic sounds of our own breathing to rock us gently back to feeling safe, feeling loved and feeling connected. The sun will rise again tomorrow…..and the next day…and the next…..
Yet, whatever destination we might be drawn to, the pathway is always one that will seek and call to the small voice inside ourselves. As we head for our chosen place, so many conversations unfold inside us – moving us forward and pulling us back. Daring us to call up the Fire from within and unleash it on the world that surrounds us. Or, perhaps in a more gentle way, inviting us to learn, to grow, to uncover and to discover how we are – already! – that very thing that we seek. We need only trust and allow it to move and make itself known to us.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to our own peace of mind – to our ability to find the tranquility and serenity we seek – is our willingness and ability to stay in the tough conversations, with ourselves and with others. The ones that unfold between us and the people who surround us – the ones we live with, work with and share our bed with; the ones who are living and the ones who are long gone, yet linger to chastise us yet one more time – and perhaps even more importantly, the ones that we have with ourselves, inside ourselves where no one else can know.
Our willingness and ability to stay in the tough conversations and not try to shut them out or drown them out or ignore them, with all the tried-and-true methods of drugs, alcohol, food, sex, relationships, tv, gambling, etc. will determine what we become. The mystics of the ages have always been the ones who, among others things, have been able to find peace inside themselves when all around them was in chaos. They found a way to engage the threads of thought that moved through them and rather than find themselves bound and gagged, were able to become The Weaver. Calling up every thread, they claimed them all and were able to weave through controversy, dissention, fear, rage, grief and sorrow to a new way of moving through their world. As frightening as it might appear in the moment, moving into the conversations will move us through them. Seeking to find ways around them will only cause us to lose ourselves.
As we claim each one and still the voices inside us, the one, strong voice that is the sound of us in the Universe allows us to reclaim the space that allows peace and serenity to find us.
I am reminded that I AM vibration…and so are you.
Aug. 7th, Thursday, or really Aug. 8th Friday at 12.29 am…. two weeks after completing Decloaking and Living Authentically:
The other insights I have had since Decloaking are the realization that I have struggled in every position I have strived for. Meaning to me that I am fighting my way to the top, working with people that don’t want to improve themselves, working with men that hate having to answer to a woman, always apologizing for being strong and efficient. An inner knowing that I am at peace with myself and I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. I know this might make it difficult to get a new job or career.
The other was I need to use my voice and not necessarily as a singer but I need to get the message out whatever that is and I can’t shut myself up anymore – people like my mom don’t want to hear that I choose not to talk to my brother or I don’t want to go on holidays with her – they are not comfortable with it.
My relationship with my daughter will be what I want it to be, open, direct honest and clear. No more making it feel good or sacrifice myself so that she feels better about something that I am not comfortable with. I feel it is changing already and can’t wait for the new shape of what’s ahead.
The other was that I have held myself inward literally squeezing every orifice or opening shut so that I would not be penetrated by evil. I prided myself on during all the molestation and abuse that I did not allow my abusers to penetrate me but at what cost. My children had to be cut from my body, all my teeth torn from my gums as now I know that I grind the hell out of them keeping my mouth shut, bowel trouble seems so exacting coming from always protecting your ass, never bent over in front of someone cause they may try to take a feel.
With the work I have done with Sheila, the shame is no longer there. It was an amazing piece of work we did around my mouth. It allowed me to let go without even touching the pain or reasons. My feet were shuffling and my legs wanted me to get up and run from the room, it felt like the final frontier and that only the trust I had in Sheila kept me on the table knowing that she was the only person able to help me and I had to have the courage to not run away like I have done most of my life when things get tough.
Rather than face the truth and voice my dislike or opinions, I just leave. Building my own drama and story to fit the situation. Another awakening.
And the journey continues….
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of being part of an incredible group of women that gathered thanks to a very dear friend of mine. Sheila is an incredible women and the more that I discover about her, I discover about myself. The group gathers once a month and is ‘hosted’ by Sheila. Entrepreneurial Women In Powerful Conversation, is a group that Sheila created and let me tell you that it was so powerful.
Women showing up and being themselves. How incredible is that and how rare is that? For the most part (and I’ll speak for myself) we move through our days as a mere shadow of who/what we have to offer others in fear of offending someone.
Because I live in the Maritimes, this was my first time gathering with these incredible women. I figured that everyone there had been there before so I engaged in meaningful conversation as though I had known them for years. Interestingly enough, I do know them all very well…even the ones who I had only met that Saturday.
Hmmm, women showing up and only speaking about those things that hold meaning to us that we so rarely share with others. Why is that? It’s actually quite pleasant to show up and…know that that is all that is required. It’s friggin well effortless and yet we make our lives so difficult.
So what I want to share with anyone reading this is, find a group of women that gather and speak only of the things which are meaningful and take part in such a group. They are all over the place if you just look. Louise LeBrun has a gathering, Sheila Winter Wallace has a gathering, Amy McNaughton and soon there will be more groups of women gathering and having meaningful conversations.
Ten women gathered last week and I met 4 of them for the first time in my life and let me tell you that by engaging in meaningful conversation for a few hours, I know who these women are and I have no idea what they do for a living.
It’s not what we do that defines who we are, rather it’s who we are that defines what we do or how we move through our worlds.
Thank-you Sheila for a fantastic Saturday and you can bet that when I’m in Ottawa next time that I’ll be ready for some more ‘meaty’ conversations.
Following my impulse moment to moment, breath to breath. I AM…The Bold Vibration for Accelerated Change.
Why be in ‘transition’ when ‘Transformation’ can happen in the blink of an eye?
Life is Good
It’s been an amazing time for me! In addition to working on the new multi-CD set for Decloaking and Living Authentically , I’ve also just completed another 6-day intensive for Manifesting a Meaningful Life. Wow! What a ride! I know none of us will ever be the same again… and there is always more!
As I take time to collect my own thoughts about my experience of that journey… a journey of yet another small group of women gathering, talking… I came across the thoughts below that, for whatever reason, never got posted. As I let them vibrate through me tonight, they felt important to bring into the light of day.
So, for now, I share these with all of you and trust that more will come.
I posted to the Emerging Futures blog yesterday, using the space to find words to put shape to my experience of that day. I realized as I read my own words that my ‘issue’ is never with any one women – it is with the process that the women are shaped by.
We (women, in general) seem to have very little agitation about the process that builds us and defines us; uses us and mines us; and ultimately depletes and deletes us, over time. We seem to be devoid of any outrage at recognizing that it is not about any one of us, but all of us; and that we are not broken, crazy, twisted or demented because we want what we want and can’t seem to let ourselves have it!
I became aware yesterday that without that sense of outrage at a collectively imposed (let’s be nice about it… ) ‘distortion’; without a willingness and an ability to detect the larger, move insidious process that is applied across the board without so much as a ‘Wait a minute! What are we doing here???”; without a capacity to tend to process and notice it’s impact, we are left standing in the domain of physical evidence – the domain of behaviours and outcomes. And yet, it may well be that the crimes we are punishing ourselves for and being punished by others only exist because someone else has insisted that they are so.
Reminds me of all those poor Catholics who went to hell for eating a hot dog on Friday. Who would have thought that it was as easy as changing our minds? How much angst and stress and duress was experienced by how many gazillions from either eating or fear of avoiding eating meat on Friday? Perhaps in the world of being female, saying ‘no’, declaring what is meaningful to us, pulling a chair up to the table… perhaps all of these are the Friday hot dog – and we should just eat away to our little heart’s content!