In late 2010, a time when I was searching for what was next in my life and work, a powerful vision came to me in my meditation. It became my guide and inspiration for several months, bringing a deep feeling of stillness within. Recently I was reminded of that vision when I came across an article I had written at the time. Although today, the challenge is often to keep up with how fast things are moving, that same vision that spoke to me so profoundly more than two years ago has evolved and is now speaking to me again and resonating even deeper, yet in different ways. It offers powerful guidance for how to walk this path of transformational leadership and service. Therefore, it seems right to share the updated version.
In the vision, I see a man walking down the center of a road. Although I am watching from behind him, it is clear to me that this man is me. It isn’t a particularly big road or a small one; it’s not remarkable in any way. Yet there is a sense of significance about the person and the road.
The man walks with confidence and purpose, looking straight ahead. He is relaxed, yet fully engaged and aware of all of his surroundings. As he walks, from the side of the road life hands him things – books, ideas, pieces of clothing, roles, relationships, responsibilities – sometimes in quick succession, and other times in a more relaxed way. He carries these things or engages with them for a time, and then when their time is finished, he sets them down. Some things he carries with him for a long time; others he sets down almost as soon as they are handed to him. There is no stress or angst over picking things up or setting them down. He just seems to be clear that whatever comes is supposed to be there and when its time is over, it’s over. He seems to know what is his to carry, his to engage, and what is not. Complete trust.
He never changes his pace, even when reaching out to receive something or to set something down. He just walks steadily and comfortably forward. His attire changes frequently as he adds a hat; or takes off a coat; or puts on a suit; or changes into jeans, sweater, and leather jacket. Opportunities come and go – he accepts some of them and lets others go. Challenges appear, and he engages with them long enough to find their gifts and then lets them go. Sometimes many people surround him, while at other times he is completely alone. When there are people, sometimes he is following them, yet more often they are following him. Sometimes he seems to be aware that they are following and that he is leading, at other times, not. However, his demeanor and presence doesn’t change much either way. He just walks his path, doing what he is called to do, and being who he knows he has to be.
Through the entire vision, regardless of what is happening around him or how many people he is engaging with, he never stops walking forward. He never loses his sense of center within; he never shows any hesitation about who he is or the road that is his to walk. He just keeps on moving forward and allowing life to come and go. He keeps walking his path no matter what.
This vision offers no sense of location in time or space. Instead, it feels like an invitation to a way of being in the world now – a way of transformational leadership and service. It offers the invitation to remember who we are, and that if we remain centered in who we are called to be and what we feel called to do, the rest will take care of itself.
My own experience these days is proving this to be true. Opportunities, responsibilities, roles, relationships come and go. My job is to stay in the center of the road and keep walking forward. My job is to be who I am called to be and to do what I feel called to do to the best of my ability, and invite life to meet me here.
It’s been great to bring this vision back into my meditation every day. As I continue to watch this man on the road, he has never walked to the side; he has never stopped. He has invited others to join him, and others have asked to walk beside him or follow, but he has never stopped walking. The road is straight and there are no obstacles. As I reflect back over my life, I realize that when I have experienced obstacles, it was because I allowed myself to be distracted by a side road; I had veered from what I knew in my heart was my path.
This person walking down the road could be any of us. What does it mean for you?
I notice many invitations here: to embrace our inner wisdom about the path we are here to walk; to commit to our own path in service of something greater and let go of what others think; to accept everything that life hands us, yet exercise our power to carry those things when they feel right, and to set them down when they don’t.
Watching the man in the vision, it all appears so simple, yet we can easily make things complicated. Clarity brings simplicity. When we are clear about who we are and what is ours to bring to the world, and then make choices and decisions based on that knowing, it really can be simple. Just follow your own path – no more, no less.
The man in the vision seems to be living in a dynamic balance between love and power, action and reflection, leading and following, stillness and engagement. That dynamic balance is available to each of us. And it takes focus, clarity, commitment, trust, and faith. The concepts are fairly simple, yet living the concepts is a life-long journey.
If this vision speaks to you, take it into the stillness with you. Sit with it for a few days. See what wisdom and guidance comes for you about your transformational leadership and service.
P.S. If you are seeking more clarity about who you are called to be and what is yours to do, we have several audio learning programs that can help you take your next steps. If you are ready for more in-depth work, you might consider one of in-person programs or Transformational Presence Coaching. We are here to support you with knowledge, skills, and tools that can help you serve the world.
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