Friday, September 25, 2009

May you shine

It isn't sufficient just to want - you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Last night I had a visit with a wonderful friend. She is intelligent, kind, caring. She gives of her talents and her time with an open heart, a willing mind.

And she has been hurting.

Last night, three friends sat with her as we talked about possibilities. What she can do, could do, would do if.... The universe was aligned with the stars, water flowed uphill, bees buzzed backwards.

And last night, I felt the power of a circle of love embrace us, lift us up and open each of us up to our higher good connected through the brilliance of our collective magnificence.

My friend's pain is nothing new in the universe. A job that fulfills her on certain levels but drains her on the core values plain of her ethics and principles.

It's a story we've all heard, possibly even lived. We enter the workforce fired up to 'change the world'. To make our mark. To have our contribution count. Over time, our enthusiasm is eroded beneath the burden of workplace maneuvering to herd our unique contributions into alignment with the exigencies of marketplaces and corporate missions and visions and other lofty phrases.

Over time, we tell ourselves we've bent as far as we can, flexed the last moral muscle we have left. In our resignation we deposit our pay cheque and rollover to catch another forty winks before the alarm goes off. We rise up and wash the best of us from our eyes. We lug our weary bones into the office, slip into our cubicle and dream about our escape at the end of the day when we can come alive again.

Throughout the day, we hide our brilliance from our co-workers and bring our mediocrity to the fore. Tired of constantly butting up against hard-azzed opposition to our desire to 'make a difference', we buckle under and give up on our dream of uniting the collective brilliance of the organization to the betterment of the company, its people, its markets, and the world.

Over time, we begin to tell ourselves, after yet another defeated, 'what's the point?', that 'they' don't deserve us. 'They' don't appreciate us. 'They' don't understand. And we join the armies of workers silently kissing their dreams good-bye with every mechanical sweep of the minute hand whiling away the hours of the daily grind marked off by fifteen minute intervals of a double espresso, or mocha cappuccino.

Saddened, yet resigned, we accept that the daily grind of an exotic coffee has more relevance than the latest spread sheet we've laid out in brilliant technicolor. Will anyone read it? Will anyone care?

Sometimes in our defeatism, we resign ourselves to living in the rut of 'the common good', that place where maintaining status quo takes precedence over shaking it up and making sparks fly. We forget the power of combustion. We let go of our desires, our hopes, our dreams and lean into the flow of disgruntled drone filing off to the salt mine every morning with our backs bent, our hearts protected against the buffeting winds of discontent.

Not my friend.

Last night she sat tall. Her face lit up and she chose to make a difference. To do it different. To be different. She chose the warriors path. Between a rock and a hard place, she chose the courageous route up and over the obstacles of her fear shielding her from the path of her magnificence.

She is an inspiration.

At one point in our conversation she asked, "Why does it hurt so much to change?"

B., ever brilliant and insightful, replied, "You are at the edge of change. It's a hard surface and you have to push through it, go over it, around it. You have to get to the other side because, the pain on this side has become greater than your fear of getting to the other side."

Thelma Box, the founder of Choices said that to me once. "When the fear of where you want to go grows greater than the pain of where you're at, you'll change."

I remember writing it down when she said it. It resonated. Ruffled my feathers, stirred my fear of spreading my wings and leaping into the void.

I watched my friend spread her wings last night. I watched her back straighten, her smile broaden, her eyes light up in anticipation.

She doesn't know what the future has in store. She doesn't know if she will succeed at unfolding her dream and setting it free. What she does know is she has the courage, the tools, the skills, the intelligence, the training, the insight, the heart to do what she dreams of doing. She has a kit bag full of possibilities waiting to leap up and stand for what she believes she can do to change the world -- step by step, word by word, breath by breath.

And, as she said looking around the circle, "And no matter what happens, I have a circle of loving arms to catch me no matter where I fall."

Bravo my friend. Bravo!

May we all have a circle of loving arms to fall into. May we all surrender our fears, let go of our limiting beliefs and fall into the wonder of knowing, no matter where we fall, there are loving arms to supports us. Loving arms that will lift us up when we are down. Supportive hand that will be the wind beneath our wings when we can't find the breath to fly and to give us space to spread them out so that we can be free to shine from the brilliance of our most magnificent selves.

The question is: Are you cowering at the edge of change, fearing what's on the other side or, are you willing to take the warrior's path through the obstacles blocking your way so that you can shine?

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