(This is a guest post from Rachel W. Cole)
May we orient ourselves from a place of being and allowing instead of doing and striving.
May we aim to be of service, to experience the full sensuality of life, and drench each day with intimate joy instead of aiming to be safe, comfortable, and good enough.
May we fuel our lives with internal harmony and deep connections instead of fueling our lives with shame, fear, and avoidance.
May we approach and receive ourselves and each other as we would a child who has asked for a glass of water instead of as an enemy who must be guarded against, an enemy who we see as separate from us.
May we speak with tender tones and words of compassion rather than sharp and painful words of disconnection, fear, and cruelty.
May we see that the natural order of things is abundance. There is no competition. There is nothing to compare ourselves against. It is not kill or be killed, but rather love and be loved.
May we seek to know and understand not from the expert or the latest scientific study, but rather from our own wise body and intuition.
May we dance with the gray shaded fluidity that permeates it all rather than perform the march right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, and rigid brittle branches.
May we do these things and live this way so that we may once again have ease of being and full participation in a world that needs each of us to fully play our part.
Rachel W. Cole is a life coach and writer who wants to ask you: What are you truly hungry for? She’s the creator of the Retreatshop experience as well as a collaborator for e-courses and workshops around the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at Rachel W. Cole .com.
(This is a guest post from Amy Kessel).
In a recent post, Kate wrote these beautiful words:
Whatever we see in the world, that is us, too. Cultivate a willingness to compassionately drop down into the zero center of someone else’s imperfection, and you’ll see their pain, and a piece of your own. We are not so very different. We are far more alike than we often believe. With courageous hearts, we can change the world.
In my work and in my life I’m seeing the changes brought about by so many people doing their best to live courageously. Look around at our online tribe and you’ll agree that there’s a movement underway; I sense a rising tide of self-discovery impacting relationships at every level. We’re willing to be transparent with our processes, to ask for input, to show our scars. We crave real connection, not superficial relationships. We write about issues that might be hard to digest, and engage in conversation at a heart level rather than an “impress the others” sort of way. We’re nothing less than revolutionary.
Viva la revolution!
A revolution is made of individuals, of course, and each of us is as important as the next person. Individual acts ripple out and affect us all. This is what I mean by a rising tide – I am brought along by your willingness to share with me what you’re learning. I benefit from your insight, your challenges and your inspiration. Thank you for contributing in your own precious and unique way, especially if you squirm and sweat as you hit “publish”.
I often do.
The revolution has made my world much more fulfilling, and for that I’m so grateful. I get to interact with my peers in a heartful and authentic way. I’ve done posturing and prostrating, and it doesn’t serve me. Instead, my sometimes raw and messy truth is on offer for you to use as it serves you. And thank you thank you for doing the same.
My love letter to the world is a series of reflections on what’s been happening as I live my life, both online and in person, with aspirations of an open heart:
The more I love freely and without restriction, the more I truly receive.
We’re all connected, yes, but some of us come with barbs and sharp edges. Loving people through their obvious protective devices is a gift I’m working hard to be able to give. It means refusing to take things personally when they aren’t mine to take. Listening with love and compassion. And receiving the same as it comes back my way.
When I offer up my vulnerability, you respond in kind.
This is the field I long to meet you in, and this is what feeds me at a soul level. Without vulnerable heart to heart connection in my life, I’d eventually wither up and blow away. Vulnerability unlocks permission in me to swim in the emotional deep end. Is it scary? Yes. Potentially harmful? You bet. But just about as necessary as food and water.
When I’m acting within my integrity, you reward me by moving mountains.
This seems to happen most when my integrity requires me to step way outside my East Coast, perfectionist, people-pleasing comfort zone. The results floor me each and every time; integrity catalyzes resonant resolution. Sure, the way forward might include disagreements, opposing points of view and different agendas – but in the end I’m left with the satisfaction of speaking my truth and being heard.
As I learn to step more fully into my power, I’m given ample opportunity to widen my reach. What power means to me: Authenticity. Transparency. Imperfection. Intuition. These are qualities I seek in others, and others seek in me. The more I show up this way, the more I find myself doing my right work with my right people.
You send me lessons until I finally learn what I’m needing most to know. Apparently you have an endless supply of lessons. And patience. My lizard brain is persistent, isn’t it? I keep thinking I’ve got it, until we go head to head once again. Oy.
I also see that there are no mistakes. Each time I experience a “failure”, I get another valuable lesson. This makes failing a lot less crushing and much more interesting!
I think I’ve experienced the limits of love and then one of my children breaks open my heart in an entirely new way, and I see I’ve just touched the surface. I am totally in awe of my capacity to love. I wasn’t prepared for this. More than anything else in my life, experiencing deep love continues to heal, educate and inspire me.
There are some things that are unequivocally wrong, and you make that very very clear. Karma escapes no one. When we mistreat each other, we pay dearly. Indeed.
What I reap, I sow. Especially kindness. Generosity. Wisdom.
Collaboration is the new competition, especially in our online tribe. This means everyone wins. Thanks, world, for making this so!
Amy Kessel is a certified life coach who helps women unfurl into their authentic selves. Her style of coaching is a blend of intuition and gently fierce reflection, flavored by insatiable curiosity. Amy’s clients explore their unfurling via one-on-one and group coaching, as well as in residential retreats.
Sign up for Amy’s mailing list to receive the free eCourse Reclaiming Your Brilliance.
(This is a guest post from Marianne Elliott).
I’ve seen you on your worst days, and I have to admit, it took the wind out of me a bit.
But you have a way of bringing me back around: with your sunrises and saltwater, with your drumbeats and dancing, with your tea and chocolate, with your laughing children and poetry.
You bring me back around to faith, to taking the next step and trusting that there is enough beauty, enough kindness in you to keep us all going another day.
When I think about what I wish for you, it is this: that you are kind.
Which is not the same as being good. Because I love you when you are a badass.
When you say what is true, even if it is not polite.
When you ask the questions no one else dared ask.
When you throw over the moneychangers’ tables in the temple.
When you point out that the Emperor has no clothes.
So be bold. Be brave. Be a badass, dear World.
But be a kind badass.
Trust me, you’ll take everyone by surprise.
The ones who believe you are all bad will be disarmed by your kindness. And, for a moment, they’ll remember what it feels like to let their tough outer shell soften a little, and to let that warm, melting feeling inside.
The ones who believe you must be good – who believe you are only acceptable when you are modest, obedient and polite – will be surprised by your courage. And, for a moment, they’ll remember what it feels like to care more about justice and about the truth, than about whether it is ugly or scary or shocking.
So be a kind badass, World.
Because when you get as close to the bone as possible – when you say what must be said even when it scares you and everyone around you – AND you do it with kindness, then we all remember, for a moment, what it feels like to be human, to be alive.
And for that, dear world, I am grateful.
Marianne Elliott is the author of the book Zen Under Fire: Finding Peace in the Midst of War (from Penguin NZ, coming in US June 2013), creator of the online programs 30 Days of Yoga and 30 Days of Courage and has been called “A powerful, soulful teacher of courage.” A change-maker, story-teller, yoga teacher, former UN peacekeeper and human rights lawyer, Marianne is the leader of Off the Mat, Into the World in New Zealand and Australia. Her website is Marianne-Elliott.com, and you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @zenpeacekeeper