It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Commitment is a stretch when you commit to something new, something constructive and healthy, and stick to it, such as commitment to your integrity. How do you stay in integrity without being insensitive? How can you be sensitive to others and stay in it?
There are degrees of commitment, and each new degree is a stretch. It is as though we are individuals who are practicing yoga. As we stretch we become more limber, but we are always at the edge of what we can do. Individuals who come into the Authentic Power Learning Community may think that they are committed to creating authentic power and feel that they are committed, and yet as they begin to experience the depth of the transformation that occurs within themselves as they develop emotional awareness and apply responsible choice, they discover that they are indeed required to commit yet again.
I have a question for you that just might unlock a secret and set your life on fire.
Where do you hide your juice and authenticity? Where does your “self-image” thwart your self-expression?
I’ll put it another way. Do you sometimes “position” yourself to look/act the way you’re “supposed to”? I have news for you: The part of yourself you’re trying to deny-- is the dynamite that has all the power.
I muscled through my days as a corporate lawyer, hiding my poet and my mystic—even from myself. I remember those years as I listen to a coaching client sigh: “I’m a vampire. The real me only comes out at night when I play music.” But for me, there came a day when I wasn’t okay being the walking dead anymore. I had to breathe. I left my law firm—and I also left my identity. And I wrote my first book, This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love the manifesto of freeing myself that I needed to read.
You would think that was the end of hiding myself. But it’s not true.
It turns out that growing is a continuous process of moving into the parts of ourselves we both love-- and fear.
So many people I speak to lately tell me they feel like wanderers. They say they feel like their lives aren’t moving in one particular direction. Some say they feel like they are in transition, while others say everything feels up in the air for them. Some say they finally feel open to things they never were before. I’ve heard some version of this message from people at all stages of life, no matter the age.
To them I say, “Same here.” I, too, have abandoned the fantasy of certitude.
COVID-19 has robbed everyone of certainty. I was certain that my government would take care of COVID quickly and effectively. I was certain that it would distribute vaccines in an efficient manner. I was certain that there would be people to help me navigate my way forward in this mess. Nothing has been like I thought it would be. That’s why letting go of the fantasy—letting go of what I thought was true—is the best way forward. It’s the truth of where we find ourselves.
With the decline of organized religion and a decades-old drop in church attendance, people have largely made their spiritual life into something private and personal. The rise of meditation and yoga attests to this. But it is hard to fix your sight on a spiritual goal if you don’t believe in heaven from the Western perspective or enlightenment from the Eastern.
Looking around at the tone of modern life, I think an important goal is worth seizing on: the divine feminine. Being scientific, rational, and technical, secular society seems to have less time for values that Carl Jung would have included in the feminine archetype, that religions cast as goddesses or a motherly figure like the Virgin Mary, and which most of us identify with our mothers growing up.
But at a deeper level, the divine feminine represents certain values that human beings have long cherished. Half of human nature is represented by the feminine in both sexes, as reflected in the qualities of the ancient Greek and Roman goddesses.
Now that 2020 is in the record books, we may be eyeing our New Year’s Resolutions from a widely different perspective. As we venture into the first few months of 2021, we could ditch the typical resolutions in favor of even more life-enhancing ideas.
Year after year, studies show, we gravitate toward the same resolutions — weight loss, eating better, and general self-improvement goals. There’s nothing wrong with that, but by mid-February, about 80% of us have dropped our New Year’s Resolutions by the wayside.
That doesn’t have to be the case. We have an opportunity to make and keep meaningful resolutions that are in harmony with what we really want to create in our lives. Here are five ways to win at whatever resolutions you choose:
The past year has changed most of us on both visible and invisible ways.
For many, the people and things we most value, have come into sharper focus while we let go of people and ways of being that no longer nourish or serve us.
I know for me, and several of my friends, we are asking ourselves:
“Who am I now?”
Last year my friend Chip Conley taught me a new word, liminal, which is appropriate for these times.
With its origin in Latin, “liminal” literally means “on the threshold.”
Certainly, we are all on the threshold of a new life.
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." —Helen Keller
I love words. I love how certain words make me feel. I love how they can be strung together to create stories and images. I love how certain words remind me of special people in my life and how they make me feel.
My takeaway from Wednesday’s presidential inauguration was this: Words matter. Tone matters. Temperament matters. Excellence shines. Manners never go out of style. Hope is there even when you can’t see it. And, no matter how old you are, a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” can bring you to tears.
It’s worth pausing to realize that history isn’t just stuffed in old books. It’s unfolding before our very eyes. It’s revealing itself in real time and in real ways. Thank God I’m alive because I’ve felt so lost the last few years and now I feel like I’m found. That’s how I felt Thursday morning after America began her new chapter.
Watching mainstream coverage of the Biden inauguration, you couldn’t miss the much-repeated call for uniting a divided nation. The commentary was quite approving; no one seemed to disagree with the theme or the need. But if you turned to right-wing media, the notion of uniting the country was derided as a ploy and scorned as bad faith. This indicates that gulf that lies between vision and outcome.
It is much better to have a vision than not, because a vision makes your intentions clear and keeps the goal in sight. A vision that is destined to fail, however, has no real use. Bringing the country together isn’t different from bringing a wounded relationship together. The needed skills are psychological. The right-wing has taken advantage of this fact for decades, as many commentators have noted, by tapping into grievances. But stoking people’s complaints, grudges, fears, and fantasies of revenge is a negative vision. As recent events have shown, the people you manipulate this way eventually leads to bad faith and eruptions of a violent, chaotic kind.
So… we are now officially three weeks into a New Year – how’s it going so far?
Are you making progress on fulfilling your heart’s desire or did you get sidetracked?
Here’s a few super easy things to do that will keep you on track:
1. Write it down! Make it simple: “Before the end of 2021 I commit to myself to accomplish (or substitute be, do, or have ) _____________________.”
2. I commit to doing ___ things each day towards accomplishing this.
(I find that doing 5 little things every day is doable and works best for me)
3. I promise to enroll someone to be my accountability partner (research shows if you do this you have a 90% better chance of being successful!)
What do you do when the bottom falls out?
It takes heart to live in even ordinary times.
By “taking heart,” I mean several related things:
When you take heart, you’re more able to deal with challenges like aging, illness, trauma, or conflicts with others. You’re also more able to take advantage of opportunities with confidence and grit.
“No” doesn’t have to be the end of the story. You can learn how to reject rejection, and look at it as an opportunity to progress forward and even excel at the very thing you were rejected for.
Today I want to talk to you about how to reject rejection—and how to use it to launch yourself even closer to your goals.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager that you don’t like being rejected. Of course not, it’s not a good feeling. Who among us looks forward to being told our idea wasn’t good enough, that we didn’t quite measure up to the task, or we ourselves are somehow flawed?
Around the world today, millions if not billions of individuals are being consumed by negativity. The world and our relationship to the cosmos always run through cycles of increased or decreased activity. Right now we are in a cycle of increased activity where many people are stirred up. In such stirring there exists the possibility of increased conflict, but also of increased consciousness – although it is conflict that seems more prevalent.
Negativity is a consuming energy that seems to create life, but actually drains it. It promises to create something new to escape the pain of it, when all it does is create increasing conflict where the pain is enhanced. At some point an aspirant must realize, “I just can't be like that anymore, but I don't know how to stop! I look out at the world and all its problems and ask, ‘What am I supposed to do??’ ”
I remember the exact place I discovered my FORMULA FOR LIFE.
I was walking across a small wooded field near my house when I stopped and noticed how I felt peaceful and calm but not particularly happy. As I contemplated the feeling, I became grateful for the experience of being peaceful. This expanded into overflowing joy.
From that day, over twenty years ago, this simple formula has been a guiding principle in my life.
PEACE + GRATITUDE = JOY
Over the last week, I wrote this essay several different times in several different ways. None of them felt quite right.
One essay felt too angry. Another felt too pollyannaish. One felt simplistic at a time when the world feels anything but. I’ve felt so many different emotions lately that it’s been hard to know what to think. At times I’ve felt like I’m living on an upside-down emotional rollercoaster as I watch the news unfold.
Then along came my youngest son who asked me to step away from the news and watch the new Pixar movie Soul with him. He and I watch all the Pixar films together. I even used to take him out of school to go to the theater when one came out, so of course I said sure.
In hindsight, it felt like it was exactly the film I needed to see this week as I watched Americans debate the heart and soul of our country, while also preparing to inaugurate a man who ran on a platform to repair the soul of our nation.
When a society is deeply divided, a paradox is in force. On the one hand, people cry out for unity, while on the other hand, they keep on doing the very things that incite division. We are seeing this paradox grow stronger year by year in politics, but at bottom what we’re facing is a broken relationship. Society is a huge bundle of relationships, nothing more.
To stop being trapped in a paradox, you need a little practical psychology. The first step when a relationship falters, if you consider the situation psychologically, is to stop doing more of what didn’t work in the first place. The same holds true in a divided society.
As long as both sides engage in futile behavior, ending the divide between them isn’t going to happen. At a certain point a futile tactic turns into a fantasy. Here I’d define fantasy as a belief that runs contrary to reality. If you confront the realities of a situation but continue to ignore them, you are indulging in a fantasy.
Here are five fantasies that surround us right now. I’ll couch them in terms of a broken relationship.
Step into the cloud.
I had a lightbulb moment recently: I was feeling stressed about all the stuff I had to do (you probably know the feeling). After this went on for a while, I stepped back and kind of watched my mind, and could see that I was thinking of these various tasks as things, like big rocks that were rolling down a hill toward me and which needed to be handled, lifted, moved, fended off, or broken into pebbles. As soon as I dealt with one thing-y boulder, another one was rolling toward me. Shades of Sisyphus.
Seen as brick-like entities, no wonder these tasks felt heavy, oppressive, burdensome. Yuch!
Often at this time of year, people spend some time reflecting and feeling into the direction they’d like their lives to go, and efforts they’d like to take to get there.
Some people set goals to accomplish things or experience something on their bucket list, while others set goals to change habits that aren’t serving them.
Often people focus their goals on things they think will make them happier or healthier, like losing the quarantine fifteen and eating healthy, or exercising to stay, or become, physically fit.
Join Panache Desai every morning and for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.
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