Emboldened and Reinvigorated
Emboldened by my recent work with Tara Mohr and her Playing Big Facilitator’s Training and reinvigorated by my recent work with Carole Kammen, where we played with Voice Dialog, an exciting and powerful method for exploring our many selves, co-created by Sidra and Hal Stone, I am excited about my life. There’s this sense, finally, that, “I’ve arrived. I truly love my life.” At the core of that is awareness and acceptance of who I am. Along with knowing that I can lean on a healthy alignment of and balancing between my Divine Inner Feminine with my Divine Inner Masculine.
I can feel it in my bones. Finally, I have more confidence. I walk through life with more clarity, focus and self-trust. Life is full of resources and possibility. I can more consciously and cleanly fulfill my desire to make a positive difference in the world, however local or global my reach, small or great the impact. It’s an amazing thing to wake up and go to bed, most days, happy, no matter what life brings. This is real.
It’s the same work I do with my clients; accomplished, ambitious and successful leaders, professionals in mid-career, who are looking, once and for all, to leave behind the unconscious self-sabotaging and playing small that creeps into their lives, even at the height of their success. They want to enjoy the abundance and privileges of their lives and make a bigger difference, inspiring and paving the way for others to do the same.
Changing the Trajectory of Our Lives
Ongoing learning, at this more advanced stage in our development, brings breakthrough insights. Much of this is nuanced understanding and tiny shifts in perspective, the kind that change the trajectory of a life and all the lives we touch. Both in my own work and in my work with my clients, it’s the subtle and nuanced moves that make a world of difference. They are born of experience, reflection and the courage to change, growing self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-responsibility.
This work has literally saved lives, creates a profound sense of freedom and enables each of us to be bigger and contribute well. In our work together, my clients experience repeated opportunities to have breakthroughs, form insights, apply them in life and practice new skills, all in real time.
As a result, they get to live in alignment with their core values, a source of happiness every single day. And, they learn how to better nurture their relationships, choose powerfully and use their leadership positions for good.
One Of The Many Upsides Of Aging
The work I have done and continue to do myself, and the work I do with my clients (and kids), has helped each of us to come home to ourselves. As we meet and embrace our true self, we can feel more present and alive, skillful and empowered. We can move beyond the previously unrecognized forces of cultural conditioning. And we can enjoy a big giant exhale, be braver and make real and meaningful choices.
The freedom to be who you are and climb out from under the rocks of shame driven by internalizing external messages IS one of the many upsides of aging, and a benefit of doing depth work. I invite you to step more fully into your own more powerful and empowered self by turning your gaze inward and trusting that it will change everything for the better in your outer life. And I encourage you to do so coming from a place of love not fear.
This is how each of us can help to heal our world.
Make No Mistake, This Is About Love
I’m with Rumi who said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” That’s the journey that I’ve been on all my life and, make no mistake, this is about love.
Can we love life as it is, love ourselves and love one another, unconditionally? Yes, we will have preferences, of course. These will show up on and off the job, and should. The challenge is, “Can we act on them consciously, stay in relationship and come from a place of love first, not fear?” This is a whole different level of leadership.
However mundane most days tend to be, I have lived a rather extraordinary human life because of this journey back home to true self, real power and love. It’s a journey filled with joys and obstacles; one I’ve been on consciously and actively for several decades.
Something’s Still Missing
Like my clients, I’ve read hundreds of books, taken many workshops and done deep, introspective training. I’ve gone to lots of therapy and continue to explore deeper learning and healing modalities. I am cooked. Yet, even for me, something was still missing. I could feel it but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Virtually every one of my clients has this same experience – something’s missing, something’s missing.
At the age of 56, and in response to this journey, I was moved to craft a personal Manifesto. For me, it felt like an ode to the Divine Feminine (in addition to the more familiar Divine Masculine) within and around me. I wrote it in honor of my reconnection with Her.
I wasn’t yet aware that I hadn’t integrated the insights captured in my work or in this declaration of my humanity. It’s fair to say that I had a thinking or intellectual relationship with my Divine Inner Feminine and Masculine, rather than a heart-centered and embodied relationship with them.
I Promptly Tucked My Manifesto Away
And how did this lack of a deeper relationship with my Divine Inner Feminine and Masculine show up? No sooner did I write it, did I promptly tuck my Manifesto away, embarrassed by and uncomfortable with its bigness.
I found it recently and laughed to myself realizing what I had done.
Just as I was reconnecting with my power and recommitting to integrating and honoring the Divine Inner Feminine and Masculine within and around me, I made Her wrong, lesser than and smaller. From that disempowered place within me, I tucked Her away. Clearly, I am a product of these times and thousands of years of conditioning.
Still leading to my Masculine, which I have always loved and has served me well, I did not yet know how to fully integrate Her into my inner and outer life. I did not know how to let Her take up space. It would take time to learn how to do that; to change the grooves in my brain, to replace unhealthy behaviors and drop the well-meaning habits of attention that had defined my lineage and my life for almost six decades.
My Inner Container Was Still Leaky
I was making progress. Still, having a clear intellectual, personal and psychological understanding of what I was doing wasn’t enough. It was the symbolic, mythic, archetypal and energetic understanding and relationships that would allow me to show up powerfully, consistently and as I intended, no matter what life would bring.
My connection to my Divine Inner Feminine and Her qualities and gifts was loose and dismissive. That connection was weak and She is not weak. I didn’t own this aspect of myself, from the inside out. I had neither the ability to see, the tenderness to touch, nor the strength to claim Her. My inner container was still leaky.
And my Divine Inner Masculine was a tyrant, a punishing achiever, driven and relentless to a fault. There was no balance, no awareness, no alignment and no space. No achievement was good enough and there was no time to celebrate. The goal posts kept moving. The mantra, “What have you done for me lately?,” lived in the forefront of my awareness and tended to drive the bus. I’d try to resist and rarely succeeded.
I needed to find my Divine Inner Masculine and heal my relationship with Him too.
Honor The Imperative To Wake Up & Become Conscious
I turned 60 a few weeks ago and much has changed in these past four years. I have learned how to tap into the wisdom within and around me without apology or excuse and I love Her & Him.
Of course, as I developed a healthy relationship with my Divine Inner Feminine and Masculine, what do you think happened? As I accepted and acknowledged my beauty, my beast, my power and all those delicious vulnerabilities, what did I rediscover?
My Manifesto! And, the courage to own it, claim my truth and take up space, to be big and bold and tender; all of which compelled me to want to share this part of me with you.
I Offer This Gift To You Along With An Invitation
I offer this Manifesto to you as a gift and as an invitation to step into the Mysteries of me and you – of being human – and in the process, to know yourself better.
And I offer it as a poke. If I can be steeped in this work for forty years and then have breakthroughs that change everything for the better in a conversation followed by a couple of years of intensive coaching, application and practice, you can too.
The world needs us all to wake up, heal on a deeper level, claim our selves, see each other, lead better, love better and use our power well. Whether we ever get “there,” we can be here now, waking up, becoming more conscious, skillful and loving human beings.
Who Are You? What Do You Stand For? And How Will I Know?
Given the times and all the chaos in our society, there is no greater imperative than to look inward and ask yourself, “Who am I now, really? What do I believe in? Who and what do I stand for? And, what are my values…my core values? And, critically, what am I willing to do about it, right now? Who might I ask to help hold me accountable?”
I ask myself regularly, “What do I want to explore and embrace? What are these times asking of me? How is this showing up in my life? What is the universe trying to tell me? Am I paying attention? Am I listening? What might I do more of, less of or differently?
How might this wisdom show up, tangibly, through each of my primary vehicles of expression in my outer life (e.g., my role as a mother, wife, friend, coach, citizen)?
This Journey Is About Self-Leadership & So Much More
If your life, work and relationships are a reflection of your inner landscape, how might it serve to look at both, your inner and outer worlds, with new eyes, an open heart and a fresh perspective? How might it serve to develop a healthy relationship with your Divine Inner Feminine? A healthy relationship with your Divine Inner Masculine? And a healthy relationship between the two?
This type of exploration has enriched my life and emboldened me. It has done this for my clients, friendships, husband, marriage and children. It is rigorous, messy and exciting. And, it’s where the aliveness is.
This kind of inward looking is part of what I call self-leadership. It is an essential element of the journey from self-awareness to self-leadership to self-mastery, all based on a foundation of self-acceptance and self-love.
Breaking The Enchantment
In the final chapter of her book, The Shadow King: The Invisible Force That Holds Women Back, Sidra Stone wrote about “Breaking the Enchantment.” She said,
“The Inner Patriarch acts like the magician in the fairy tales, transforming a grown woman into a daughter. This daughter, in turn, transforms every man that she meets into a father and so subverts her own power. Through the New Woman’s vision, we rewrite this fairy tale. With the Aware Ego and our newly found Feminine Power, we women can break the enchantment that has held us, and the men in our lives captive for so long.”
Are you feeling trapped or stuck in a magic bubble or your own making? Or perhaps you are living in a smaller version of yourself, leaving parts and pieces of yourself at the door? Do you have this sense that you are stagnating; that you need to break some kind of a spell? Have you resisted exploring why, perhaps for fear of what might be trying to happen here now, of what you might have to give up or of what might be asked of you?
It’s Time To Get To Know Those Inner Voices
These are understandable concerns and good reasons for inaction, until they’re not…or until the inner voices get so loud you simply cannot ignore them anymore.
How might becoming curious impact how you are showing up in your life, relationships and work? Is it time to do the deeper dive and make some room in your life to look within? Can you imagine the possibility that you would actually like what you find? If you feel a twinge of fear and/or excitement at the prospect of answering these questions and knowing your true self, then the answer is probably yes! Pay attention!
If you want to tap into the power, wisdom and the freedom that comes from within, then make a note to self: there is a place to go…and go there. It’s time to get to know those inner voices and, perhaps, decide which one(s) should be in charge.
You Do Not Have To Walk This Path Alone
When I began this journey decades ago, I was mostly on my own. My teachers and guides lived in books. Some stood behind a pulpit, taught calculus or coached track and field. I was grateful for them. Many of you have been on that road alone too, with books in hand, some therapy or a beloved mentor or two. Yet, in so many ways, if you are anything like me, you are fiercely independent and still walking the path alone.
Alone can work. Together is better. We need to learn how to lean on each other, to ask for help and not have to know it all, to be both active and receptive. We need witnesses to teach us how to self-witness. Everyone can benefit from a compassionate listening partner to hold up the mirrors and teach us self-compassion. Those of us in leadership positions understand the importance of an accountability partner.
We need trusted sources to help us see what we cannot see, to believe in us when we’ve temporarily lost belief in ourselves, to help us move forward and expand into what’s possible, beyond the conditioning that’s been holding us back.
Listen To the Whispers Within – What Do You Want?
If you want more access to the nuance and wisdom within, if you want to access, align with and learn from your Divine Inner Feminine and Masculine, and if you want to do the internal and nuanced work that enhances the quality of our lives, relationships, leadership and experiences, then consider engaging a trusted guide/coach. Do not set the impulse aside, let’s talk!
Call me. I want to meet you. I offer complimentary self-exploration sessions.
Whether you decide to work with me or not, you will walk away from our conversation with more clarity and a renewed sense of dignity and direction. You will feel seen, heard and validated; more energized, informed and empowered to take whatever next steps are best for you.
Please enjoy my Manifesto. I offer it to you with best wishes for a beautiful life and fulfilling journey, no matter what life brings.