The thing is, new faces of courage are not really new in the world. But they are absolutely shiny and new when they are new for you, new in your consciousness, an epiphany, a realization, a Big Wow!
It's what I call a Kabir thing. Do you know who Kabir was? A 15th Century Indian mystic poet who spoke - oh hell, he continues to speak! - a lot of spiritual truth. One of his poems speaks of the great truth that nothing is true until it is true for you. In other words: experience allows you ownership. I have followed that truth in my life and work for many decades, because it has proven to be oh so true!
The new face of courage which is issuing its invitation to me these last few days is that of Insisting on not just the experience of creating a new life, but the internal experience of creating a new life in joy, through joy, with joy!
What an incredible idea!!!
I am, by the way, answering in the affirmative:
I talk a lot about rule breaking, because it is what we must do inside our own consciousness if we want to create lives reflective of our own values. On Friday, June 25th, mental/emotional rules were broken with the help of a woman who asked me the questions I needed to hear at exactly the time I needed to hear them. They were questions I had been circling, and she brought them forth.
And then she made me answer them.
Friday, June 25th, my life changed. Amazing shifts in understanding gave me freedom, and grounding at the same time. And at the end of the day I watched a movie that is sweet and deep and - perhaps unsurprisingly - in alignment with my day. At the end of the movie, two words were spoken...and they struck my heart chakra, and I burst into tears of gratitude.
I hadn't seen the movie before, and to be honest I wasn't expecting a lot from it, even with all of the name actors: Oprah, Chris Pine, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon. A Wrinkle In Time, a Disney film. It's one of those things that I do - go deeply into films and feel what about them speaks to my spiritual journey.
But I'm putting the cart before the horse.
I have worked for corporations. You have too, right?
As a result of deeply thinking about the problems inherent in this system, I have been using a variation of this word for a while now to describe what corporations do in putting women and PWP's (People Without Power) "in our place". The entire system is based on treating the people "below" you as if they are your children; instruct them, punish them, but never ever treat them like fellow adults.
And I felt like a voice calling out in the wilderness. I'm really not, but the feeling persisted. Then, yesterday, I came across an article on LinkedIn and it's fookin' brilliant!
Here is an excerpt:
"Eisler argues that until western societies abandon hierarchical, unequal, male-dominated societies founded on acquisition and consumption far beyond our needs, in exchange for equality and sharing the earth’s resources sustainably and equitably, war and its crushing toll will continue without end.
War, concludes Eisler, is not the rule. It reflects a recent arrest and reversal in social development. Humanity is currently locked in infantilism, fascinated with bobbles, squabbling over toys. With such insight, a return to the peaceful, egalitarian garden of our Neolithic forbearers is neither crazy nor naïve. It’s entirely possible."
Do you know that moment when something expresses your very thoughts with such elegance and matter-of-factness that you jump up and start yelling YES! YES! YES!
Yeah, that's what happened with this article! It has inspired me to dream EVEN BIGGER!
I was moved by my new friend, Pete, to undertake doing a daily blog.
This does seem to require some humility, as I have no idea what I will be writing about other than what is happening right in my NOW. And now is all about keeping to this new routine even though I'm thinking that control is a bit like the impossible mission.
But it seems that that is the point right now for me in my development as a spiritual being with a body.
In about 3 weeks I start a job. It's a good job, but it's not entrepreneurial which means it scares and saddens me. Just being honest. I know the holy grail these days - or any days of any regular kind of person, which I have many times wished I were - is security.
These are weird times, to put it mildly, and the idea of having a job with a good company where the possibilities abound is usually seen as a real success. And so it is, even for crazy me!
So - I ask myself as I emotionally flip about like a landed fish - what is the actual challenge here? It's not to "get rid of" emotion but to let myself learn and be moved by my experiences and take them on in new ways.
That leaves these questions: Is the challenge to change my perspective and accept all with gratitude and see where it all takes me? Is the challenge instead to change my perspective around what I am capable of, which as a human being is anything and everything - and see if I can't make things explode in my business in the next 3 weeks so that I don't need to do the job-job?
I choose Door #2 first, and Door #1 second.
What I've been doing for about 2 months now is a daily Creative Visualization in which I stand in my joy. This is something that is taught very well by Mike Dooley of Tut.com, and I recommend listening to any of his daily Facebook Lives. The point of what he teaches is to stand in your desired outcome for just 10 or fewer minutes each day - Monday through Friday is what he does - and to let that energy guide you.
"Wrong" is what I fear, and "wrong" is what I love to break through. That's why I love acting.
See, we women have been socialized to think that we are second-class citizens and to behave with great care lest we "upset" people around us. We have learned to strive for perfectionism.
It's a survival tactic. We know it well, and we too often think that there is no alternative, so we get very stiff in what we will allow ourselves emotionally, behaviorally, even mentally!
Acting, however, is all about being wrong, with permission, with approval, and with a whole bunch of "musts" around it. That makes me so happy! It carries the opportunity of being absolutely free!
If you're saying, "Sign me up!" - or even if you're saying, "Sounds interesting but what the hell are you talking about?", keep reading.
There is only one thing I know of that will help us begin to break out of our perfectionism brainwashing: actually experiencing its opposite: unapologetic self-expression, pride, confidence, unhidden humor and opinion, and emotional truths.
Have you ever worked too hard, pushed at yourself to be better, and found yourself miserable? I have.
That's when "What's blocking you?" just feels like another moment of more pushing, and no allowing. And allowing is the lane change our world is inviting us to take.
I am a leader, but I am not a controller of other people - much as I would love to be, in my egoistic moments of thinking I Know All. You know what I mean, I'm sure. I'm not alone in this insanity. So here I am, a leader, and what I need to understand most of all is how to allow. Guide, yes. Control, no. And allow, most of all.
This lane change is both subtle and inexpressibly large. It has taken me many years to even begin to turn my wheel, and that's not for lack of trying. As women, as leaders, as human beings, our lives completely shift when we do.
I was scrolling through Facebook today and I saw a course advertised by a famous man promising to help you allow your dreams to come on through by "clearing" the "blockages". And I couldn't just leave that there. I had to write this post because I have experienced the other side of "clearing": the self-punishment of clinging to this idea that there is a "something" of myself that is not-okay and that needs to be regarded as negative and undesirable. That viewpoint has been painful, and I think that on the whole it needs to be confronted and questioned.
When you were a teenager, what did you do best? "Confusion" and "Rebellion" come to mind. And when you were growing up, who was your favorite villain? Your parents. Because they laid down unreasonable laws for reasons you did not understand, and then you got punished for questioning and/or not following them!
If you recognize your corporate experience in this description, that is not accidental. Our businesses, our management structure, and our ways of measuring human output exactly as we do that of a machine is a systemic structure to which we have learned to adapt.
The boss is the parent meting out either applause or punishment. This professional parent must be pleased or you will have your "allowance" lowered or you will be told to leave home. And speaking up? Well, only in very specific and well-crafted ways. And only in situations - and with people - which will bear the weight of your questioning.
How do we stop being professional children?
My mind got blown yesterday because I went to an Online Summit where people with names verified with every syllable the worth and truth of what I have learned from 30 years in corporations and 8 years+ as an entrepreneur!
To quote my business partner, The Predictive Index, "All business problems are people problems."
Isn't that delicious? It makes you sit up and go, "Wait. What?" And anything that jolts you to sit up and pay attention is something that is making you think new thoughts.
That's always a good thing!
Also always a good thing: to know that your company IS your people. It doesn't "contain" people - people are not, in fact, your "resources" - they are your internal collaborators, your partners, your business's life blood! Think of it this way: if everyone left the "building" - or in these times their computers - what would be left to do your business for you.
So C-Suite leaders are awakening to the need to be human in how they approach their business problems!
"Hard work always pays off, no matter what you do."
~ Dustin Lynch
I don't know who Dustin is, but I do know that I've heard that message from every part of my life - from school to work to entrepreneurship. We have all been told - and convinced - that hard work is our Magic Pill to the Big Rewards we are supposed to want: security, money, comfort. I have nothing against security, money or comfort. But I do want to include a few major things not mentioned: meaning, fulfillment, passion, self-definition, love, community...
However, being a good student of what-is, and someone who wanted to do well in order to get applause, I believed in the more narrowly-defined rewards. But I ended up with a problem, and I'm not the only one with the problem. Not by a long shot.
The problem is: hard work is not actually The Big Bad Answer to Success. The hard work "solution" is myopic as hell, and certainly left me washed up on a personal shore I didn't expect to visit.
I used to work myself to death. Fourteen hour days, fitful sleep, worry-worry-worry, self-flagellation emotionally and physically. And no matter what I did - and I did it for years - big success eluded me completely.
At the not-so-very-tender age of 56 I suddenly heard my mind ask me a potent question: "Is this approach to your life working for you?"
The fact that I was asking the question while lying in the bedroom of a friend's house - a kind soul who offered me space in his house as a rescue a homeless existence in my car...well, that was its own answer, wasn't it.
I worked for a company in which the company culture was lauded. We had gatherings, games, ways to give back to the community, raffles, all kinds of vendors coming in to sell us all kinds of things at reduced rates, holiday lunches...
Problem: It didn't help morale - didn't stop attrition - didn't increase engagement.
Company culture is not a standalone effort. it is not a Band-Aid that can slapped over problems in order to make employees feel better about their dispiriting work conditions. So when is company culture "a thing"? When is it something to celebrate?
I once knew a hard-working, bright young woman who was hired to work at one of the largest firms in the world. The company was famous for its relaxed atmosphere, for providing all of the comforts of home while at work - from a gym to a laundromat. Free breakfasts. Help getting to and from work. Verrry chic!
I sent her an email, a week into her new gig, and I asked her how it was going! I was excited to hear how "the other half lived"! Disappointingly, she was unhappy and didn't think she would stay very long (she in fact left after 3 months).
Women's Leadership Coach and Speaker Lori is the author of Call Center Crazy and The Human Solution: Human Solutions to Every "Unsolvable" Business Problem,
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