The weight of companies, us, you, me. Suffering. All that is wrong. Yet what is this weight but a laser pointing at our humanity? Author Michael Neill says, "When we stop seeing life as the thing that gets in the way of what we are up to and we start seeing it as the raw material of our creation, then it doesn't matter what happens next." Through this statement filters an unbearable lightness of being. Because what happens next can be terrible. But what if it is true? We can't undo life as it unfolds. We got to deal with it as is. Can we build on what is true and tender in us? What if we meet our humanity at level? Fearless love AND a fierce desire for transformation. That makes for powerful action. No weight. Just material. Lightness sparkles. The late Stephen Leacock defined humor as a sense within us that invites a kindly contemplation of the incongruities of life, paired to the expression of that sense through art. Life as art. This edgy paradox. No need to yield to the harsh weight of fixing all that is wrong. We have the response-ability in the moment to build on what is going right. Raw material. We'll continue to mess up. We'll love. Light filters in. This too.
Lately, I have been bouncing into a great masterclass. It's that class on saying Yes to life. Wholeheartedly. My wild-heart rebel spirit demands it. All our hearts want it. And, of course, as we listen and practice, inner resistors show up.
Yes. Wholeheartedly. Not the small Yes tinged with resentment or discontent. Not the cowardly Yes, where we show up, but we really don't want to show up. Nor the lying Yes where we try to be happy for another's good fortune but experience envy, even if oh-so subtly. When, even as we smile, we may be thinking, Mmm, I would love to have that as well! Why not me? Our company? Or whatever we think that gets in the way.
Do these small Yeses sound familiar? Resentment and discontent don't feel very good, right? Believe me, I know. Any small Yes depletes us and everyone around us of our energy. It separates us from life.
So the masterclass includes how to say No firmly, and feel totally okay with it. No to invitations or requests from others, sure. That may even be the easier part. But especially, especially and way more challenging, No to inner voices and habits. The essence that our wild-hearted rebel leader is teaching me is knowing that I am enough, good enough. A big Yes to wholehearted well-being. Just as I am. Just as we are. Colorful like confetti.
Resentment is an interesting word, though. It derives from Latin and literally means "feel again." Feel again. Resentment doesn't just happen. It begins with a feeling. And here is the thing: The feeling is only a moment's short-lived reaction to a neutral event. But we interpret it as soon as it occurs. It happens lightning fast. Someone asks. Someone says. And our minds instantly connect a few dots based on habits, past experiences, unquestioned beliefs. Bang! We miss the truth. Instead, we feed the feeling with a story full of justification and defense. With story, the feeling can begin a slow, insidious ferment. Story around what we think should be "rightfully ours," story about victimhood, story about being better or worse than someone else, you name it. Stories, always, that limit us and stop love. Like heart burn, the feeling comes back up again. Again. We compare how we feel inside with how others appear outside. We have no idea what is going on inside others. And yet, we feed and feel those stories.
The main person any resentment ever hurts is ourselves. We risk ending up in a chronic state of discontent. Contentment is another interesting word. When you trace it back to its earliest Latin roots, it means, "contained" as in "held together, enclosed." You see this sense of wholeness in the word? Contentment is sufficient to itself. You can sense how someone who is "contained" is "satisfied": A contented person feels whole with what she already has. But this container is not limiting. It's expansive, fluid, because it holds enough, always enough.
Letting go of resentment is a healing process. It is a choice to step back. An invitation to recognize and understand our habitual stories, and more importantly, what can lead us away from story into new ways of being for optimal well-being. Take a deep breath. Pause. What just happened? Ah, just a story. We can let it go.
Contentment is an even more powerful choice. It follows letting-go, naturally but with some deliberate intent from us. It is a beautiful way of being we can cultivate. Enough, I can say. Worthy, I can say. I have enough. I am enough. I am worthy. I do not need to lie myself into a Yes in order to feel my enough-ness, worthiness. I have nothing to prove. Because we are allenough. We will always love and be loved. Drops in the ocean composed of the ocean. I can trust my wholehearted Yes. I can feel joy for others. For life! Wow, this is life, the raw material of what I choose to make of it! Awesome.
Because. We all are already and always enough. We all are. Ah...and now we have choices when we are with others, when we are alone. Now this feels right and good.
So we can in fact say no to our inner storied voices. Even if this feels weird. Even if it provokes guilt. The discomfort of guilt when we stop believing story is far easier to let go of than the more complicated feeling that is resentment or discontent. Saying no to story allows us to be more present. And get this: Most of us are so distracted, multi-tasking every moment of the day. Presence is a rare gift.
When an acquaintance or friend comes into sudden success or praise, we can share in their happiness. It is not complicated. No story. I can be genuinely joyed in another's good fortune and ease. I can share my joy and silently wish them ever more ease. It just makes sense. It makes us feel good. It generates energy. Well-being. The freedom to love and care for ourselves and others. That is huge. That is real leadership.
Okay, one more word. Pātra is the Sanskrit word for the begging bowl that Buddhist monks carry. Its significance is “just enough."Just enough. A synonym for plenty.
Contentment is a state of grace, nothing I can force or pretend. It's vulnerable. But so what, if it creates well-being full as oceans? A bowl overflowing. Contentment invites poise, respect, and love. It is deliciously abundant. More than enough! It energizes. It is both the vessel and the fuel behind our innate capability to be present, to be with wild heart.
Thank you as always for reading. Not subscribed? Just click the button below. And if you are a big Yes to accelerating your own Masterclass - with a lot of joy, radically wild heart - contact me for a deeper conversation. Thank you, Sophia.
Here is for a challenge I've taken on with some friends. We call it Maverick March. Want to join us?
Because: We get in a funk, bored by our routine, cozy in our circle of comfort. We get way too brainy about our business. For me, for a bit, I lost touch with wild heart and inner rebelliousness, singing blood, life directly touching, touched. It isn't a great place to come from.
Another because: We become overly preoccupied by our brand - this compulsion to distinguish ourselves from others in the playing field - but brands, ah, they bite back. They are like labels, limiting us.
During the mid-1800s, Texas politician and cattle rancher Sam Maverick refused to brand his cattle. He said it was cruel to animals; others said it was a ruse for him to claim unbranded cattle in the area. So what might happen, if for one month we venture out without a brand? What if we drop our rules, break constraints, rebel against routine? Who knows what opens up - surprising joy, wild creativity, dancing blood?
Drop us a line if you are in. One small thing, regularly, for one month, that points in the direction of freedom. It's up to us!
We label ourselves. We think we know how we come across. But sometimes we are lucky: A wake-up call happens. Many years ago, someone yelled at me, furious, startling me smack into seeing something that I had been blind to.
You see, the labels I clung to? None of them were real. They were fixed entities. Stuck in the past. I saw myself as invisible, sweet, young, naive. Are you kidding? If anything, I was a rebel. Had I forgotten that I got all but kicked out of school more than once? So I hurt someone, bad. I had no idea that my words do not always come across as sweet. That my invisibility can be manipulative. I had no idea about the impact I had, believing that certain rules did not apply to me. I confused the present with that past. It was the first time in my life that someone shouted loud, at me. A trembling. But I did not melt.
Instead, a river opened. Reality a bit more fluid. It woke up my heart. The rebellious heart. We are in this together. Us seeing us as we are, raw, human, vulnerable. It is fierce love, tender heart that we see, anyways. No kidding. The truth of leadership includes this. (This cool article prompted this post.)
Thank you for reading! Liked it? Please share with others. And if you are interested in a deeper conversation to explore the freedom we can experience, do contact me!
Listening to the heart: What does it even mean? I think, it means to integrate the heart's intelligence with the intelligence of the brain. Listening to our wholeness. How many beats in a lifetime to live my dream, to have known love, loved and love-able. That matters.Read More