Since meeting a shamanic facilitator and discovering a whole world of energy work, some of my more traditional Christian friends became concerned that I had abandoned my long-held faith and somehow crossed over to…well, I don’t know what. Truth is I feel that my spirituality actually came alive in previously unimagined ways and I am living my faith like never before! My healing and awakening have been profound, and I am so grateful for this path. While I understand it’s not for everyone, I find it fascinating how many people judge it and me without even understanding it. For a while this really hurt. I felt abandoned, and if I hadn’t been enjoying the new me so much, I may have walked away from all this healing rather than go through that.
How often do we abandon an amazing life for ourselves in order to be accepted or keep those we love happy? I see it all the time, especially in my work. Low-income single mothers want more for their children but later abandon college to stop the teasing or rejection of insecure family and friends who say they’re abandoning them. Young people want something other than what mom and dad support for their lives but soon settle instead to keep the family peace (which ironically isn’t usually all that peaceful anyway). Adults believe they need to earn a lot of money and be very busy to be successful in the eyes of their loved ones and society and uphold a certain image, so they put off their own deep dreams and happiness for retirement; who wrote the rule that we only deserve to be happy at the end of our lives?
Organizations fall into this trap, too. Some dilute their mission or purpose to gain broader acceptance, not realizing they become so much like everyone else out there they no longer serve their mission. Some get used to doing things a certain way and can’t see how much better and easier things could be with different methods, people. or technology. If we don’t involving diverse (race, gender, and age) leadership and advisory teams, we get stuck in a rut because of what we can’t see. Entrepreneurs likewise benefit from surrounding themselves with diversity and building teams of cooperation rather than competition.
You, I , heck everyone gets comfortable when we find ourselves accepted and praised for our way of being. It feels good, and then we don’t recognize when we’ve gotten stuck in a rut and stunted our own growth, blocked our own authenticity, in the process. Each of us has an internal compass with our own unique blueprint for life, as individual as a fingerprint. How then can we ever truly live authentically and fit in when we are actually born to stand out?
Maya Angelou says that we teach people how to treat us, and this is so true. When I am insecure and doubt myself, others reflect that back to me and I do not feel supported. However, when I believe in what I’m doing, no matter how far ‘out there’ it may seem at first, I confidently move forward and others soon accept and even praise my efforts. It may not be all of the same people who from before, but amazingly new people, opportunities and rewards appear once I’ve committed to that path which were not there before my leap of faith. Any prior fear reveals itself for the imaginary, hollow, and somewhat silly illusion it really was.
It is solstice weekend, a great time to release old ways and beliefs that no longer serve us. How authentic are we being in all aspects of our lives right now? (How do we know? By the level of deep joy and satisfaction we feel there.) Let’s get very still and invite spiritual support to explore this. It’s time to make way for us to allow more of our amazing authentic selves and Divine expression in this world.
Namaste and much love,