20171107

Growing older is not about growing old.

As we accumulate the years in our lives we gain in so many ways. We gain experience, wisdom, and perspectives.

Yet the numbers on the calendar do not dictate our frame of mind, the energy in our heart, or the twinkle in our eye.

We have a choice, as we do with everything, to embrace, enjoy and enliven our latter years with a youthful energy, an innocence, and an energy that says to the world we are always young at heart.

Or we can choose to focus on all the loss, the bitterness, the deprivation we have experienced and make our world darker, decrepit, and depressing.

‘Any Day Above Ground Is A Good Day’ it has been said, and as long we have a breath, we can give more life, give more love and give more light to the world around us.

All of our days are numbered, and none of us exactly how many we have. Let us live as if each day is the best day we have ever had, regardless if we have had few of them or many of them.

Let our smile, our heart, our words and our energy contribute to the joy in the world, especially if its our last day in the world.

What better way to be remembered?

20171102

When the time comes to step up, stand out, make some noise, and take a stand, we are all a little shy, a little awkward, and a little scared.

That’s okay. It is scary to try something new, to push outside our comfort zone, and become the center of attention when we are not used to it.

Yet, if we are to make a difference, contribute, discover, and lead, we have to embrace that awkwardness and integrate it in as part of the process.

Nothing happens when we step back, don’t take risks, and maintain the status quo. Yes, it’s safer that way, and it leads us to just more of the same.

When we muster the courage to put ourselves out there, to allow the spotlight to shine on us, and speak our truth, then we can have an impact.

All great work impacts us, sometimes in ways we don’t understand. Sometimes the best reason for creating great work to merely to go through the process so we can learn to take the next step, and be the example for others to take their next step.

Let’s embrace the awkward stage, for soon it will be gone…

20171031

We often search for information in words, actions, movement, and whatever activity is taking place.

When we do this, we miss the richness and abundance of information that is in the silence.

There is a great deal to learn from silence. From how people show up in silence, from how things feel in the silence.

That gap, that little moment between words and responses, between action and reaction, can teach us so much.

Is there any nervousness in the air? Is there a tension, a pressure, or something pushing back in the silence?

Is there an ease, a flow, an openness, a spaciousness in the silence?

When we rush to fill in that space, we miss what that space is telling us.

How can we learn to pay attention to the silence? Wait. Practicing waiting to response or react. Take a breath, and feel into the moment. What are you feeling? What are you seeing? What is arising within us in that moment.

Silence is golden because there is such great value in it…

20171024

People often speak about doing “shadow” work, healing their “shadow” and integrating their “shadow.”

What we often don’t realize is that the “shadow” is merely an indication of the light.

Without light coming from a specific direction, there is no shadow. As light shifts and changes its position, so too does the shadow shift and change.

We see this through a single sunny day. In the morning our shadows are long. As time progresses, the shadow shrinks, until the Sun is directly overhead, and then the shadow disappears altogether.

Then as the Sun continues its route, the shadow reappears, at first small, and then getting longer throughout the day, until the Sun sets, and then there is no more shadow until the next day.

So perhaps we should pay more attention to how our light is shining, instead of how long the shadow is?

Better yet, perhaps as we shine the light inside of ourselves, looking in the full brightness of our light at all aspects and sides of ourselves, we can come to love and accept all those little scared children inside of us, who are afraid of how we will treat them.

Perhaps more inner kindness, more inner acceptance, more inner awareness is all we need.

What if we were already perfect?

20171010

Does success in “the world” mean success in your life?

We have a tendency to measure our success by society’s standards.

Do we have a big house? A car? A spouse? Kids? And most importantly, a good paying job or a successful business?

Yet we can have all these things and still feel empty inside. We can have all these external trappings of a successful life and still feel unfulfilled, disconnected, and that we are not contributing to the world.

At the same time, we can have none of those symbols of society’s expectations, and still achieve inner peace, profound relationships, and create community among like-minded people and feel fulfilled and whole.

The real question is, what are our own standards by wish we measure success in our lives?

Is it knowing ourselves on a deep level? Is it having a life free of responsibility and being able to travel the world? Is it living close to the land and learning how to grow your own food and be self-sufficient?

Deciding what we want for ourselves, and not allowing the external world to dictate our dreams and our standards, is perhaps the most important form of success we can achieve.

20171003

When we work with others, as a profession, vocation or avocation, we sometimes think it’s all about them.

Actually, it’s all about us.

When we work with a group, whether it’s our tribe, our following or our bowling league, the group has come together because of common energy. The issues that arise are issues for everyone, in some way, not just an issue for the one person that triggers it.

It does not matter if you’re a workshop facilitator, a healer, a shaman, an athletic coach, a teacher, or an executive consultant, the faces may look different, the clothes (or uniforms) may be far apart, yet the underlying energies and patterns are still present.

If we find ourselves getting annoyed at someone in the group who is not contributing or not participating fully, then we must ask ourselves, How are we not contributing or participating?

When we find someone not doing their own work or not doing their homework, how are we not doing our own work?

The group reflects the individual and the individual reflects the group. It cannot be any other way or we would not be with that particular group, or they would not be with us.

The issues may not be directly correlated, perhaps someone is cheap with you because your are cheap with yourself or your family, even though you are generous with your friends. We just need to learn to be more figurative in our interpretations, not quite so literal.

It is not easy to see our own nonsense reflected back to us from other people. In fact, one of the hardest lessons to learn is that it’s all our nonsense, in some manner, that we are being triggered by.

If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t trigger us…

20170926

Trusting ourselves is one of the greatest challenges, especially if we are conscientious.

Because we know all the things we have done wrong in the past, because we are acutely aware of all of our impure motivations, because we are keenly sensitive to all the harsh judgments we have witnessed our whole lives, trust in oneself may be hard to come by.

Can we trust ourselves enough not to second guess our choices?

Can we trust ourselves enough to know that our intentions are good, if not pure?

Can we trust ourselves enough to believe in our dreams even when no one else does?

Can we trust ourselves enough to keep going when everything seems to be against us?

Trust is built slowly, one baby step at a time. First, let’s start with trusting ourselves that we are showing up the best that we can.

Then, let’s trust ourselves to walk the path in front of us, first slowly, then trusting we can pick up the pace.

Then, how about we learn to trust not only our choices and our decisions, but our ideas, our connections, and our leadership as well?

We can build trust in ourselves, if we are willing to start small, count every little victory, and then keep our focus on all the things we do right.

Repeat after me, “I trust myself!”

20170905

There is really only one way to understand the world around us.

Many people have come up with all kinds of theories about why things are the way they are, how things got this way, and what to make of it all.

These ideas can be helpful, yet all we really have to do to understand the world around us is to truly understand ourselves.

Not in a superficial, ego-centered fashion that makes everything all about us.

To understand ourselves in a primal, emotive way, that reveals our deepest fears and our highest aspirations. When we can be truly honest with ourselves about what we desire and what motivates us, them we can begin to see the same desires and motivations being played out before our eyes.

When we admit to ourselves our trauma, our most ferocious fears, and our most terrifying nightmares, then we can begin to tame the violence we see around us within our own heart.

As we come to terms with all of these aspects of ourselves, and more, we begin to come to terms with all the outward manifestations of these energies.

When we find the peace within us, we move through life in peace.

20170831

Commitment is about much more than just making a decision.

Yes, it starts with a decision, a decision that has been weighed carefully, outcomes considered, and the responsibilities that go with the commitment.

All too often we commit to something without truly considering the implications. Once the full consequences of the commitment are revealed, we then retreat and often end up breaking our commitment.

When we start taking our commitments more seriously, as something sacred, we may not get into them so easily, and when we do, our word is our bond and we fully live up to it.

If we find we are having a hard time living up to all of our commitments, that is the time to examine how we enter into our commitments, and whether we are truly reflecting on what it mean to make a commitment in the first place.

We can all do better around our commitments if we just take our time before entering them, really reflect upon them, and only commit when it is in alignment with our heart and our spirit.

20170829

When we allow others to be who they are, without having to change them or get them to believe what we believe, we actually give ourselves more freedom to be who we are.

What calls to us to change in others is merely a reflection of what we desire to change within ourselves.

It might not seem directly applicable, yet in some way the very things that annoy us about someone else, that irk us about someone else, that cause us to cringe when we think about this other person, are the very same hidden dark corners of our psyche that we feel are untenable.

We usually think it’s all about the other person. It’s not. It’s always about us. If we didn’t have that irritating thorn in our own side that causes us pain when someone else reflects it back to us, then those traits would not annoy us at all.

It is only because those characteristics hit home and ring true within us, that we have a reaction at all.

No, it’s not about them. Yes, it is always about us.

Maybe not directly, maybe not in the same way or about the thing, yet it is there, somewhere, lurking in the recesses of our mind.

Now that we know that, can we be a bit more compassionate for others?