When I look for a word that best describes what is happening in my personal journey these days, the word that shows up is “stretch.” I feel like I’m being stretched into the next phase of who I am, the role that I’m here to play, and the gifts that I have to share. Funny thing about those big life stretches – you don’t have to look for them. They find you! And in my experience, they are often working on me before I realize that anything is happening.
During an early-morning labyrinth walk and meditation last week while on retreat at Kantara in Costa Rica, it dawned on me that this stretch is actually about learning how to embrace and fully inhabit my “sage” years. Through this stretch, my understanding of what is mine to do, as well as what is no longer mine to do, is also shifting. As that clarity comes, I’m feeling stretched into a deeper level of focus and commitment for the coming years. It’s a very welcome and liberating feeling.
I’m also being stretched into a deeper level of peace and acceptance that stepping even further out into the world will not always be comfortable. As my life and work have become increasingly public over the years, I’ve experienced my share of personal doubts, fears, and insecurities. And with each new stretch, those doubts and insecurities occasionally creep back into my psyche.
Yet the more leaders I work with, the more I recognize that I’m not alone. We all have doubts and fears. I’ve learned that we can’t get rid of them, but we can learn to walk with them. If nothing else, they help keep us humble. And over time, they soften and often transform.
I also notice within me a greater sense of urgency with some things, and less urgency with others. Transformational Presence is much bigger than me, and I recognize that it is not up to me alone to bring it to the world. Yet Transformational Presence was given birth through me. I feel increasing urgency now to support others who are stepping up to carry this work into the future. And I feel greater urgency to make the contributions that are mine to make in expanding awareness in the world.
At the same time, I feel less urgency to “do something” about the specific circumstances and situations happening the world right now. When I look at circumstances and situations within a larger context, more and more I recognize that, in many situations, there is nothing to fix. Situations exist as part of a larger process unfolding. They exist for a reason, and they have to find their own way. They offer invitations to greater awareness and shifts in understanding and action. I’m learning to trust that situations and circumstances will show me what they need from me, and that the timing will also be clear. I just have to pay attention.
Through all of it, my job is to stay focused on what is mine to do – to expand awareness. As awareness expands within enough individuals, we start to make different choices as a society. It may not happen as fast as I would like, but therein lies the importance of the question, “What wants to happen?” instead of, “What do I want?” As a society, we can’t move any faster than the consciousness of the society is ready to move. My part in creating a world that works is expanding awareness so that society begins to make different choices.
I suppose the bottom line is that I’m being stretched to stand even more boldly and courageously for expanding awareness. I’m being stretched to keep growing in my own Transformational Presence and sharing this work with the world.
I’m being stretched to say “No” when what I’m asked for is not the best use of my time, energy, and inner resources. And I’m being stretched to say “Yes” to speaking out and creating bold invitations to leaders and coaches to follow the wisdom, intelligence, and power of their hearts. I’m being stretched to show up even more in my greatest strength, courage, creativity, playfulness, and lightness of being. And then, to invite those I serve into this Transformational Presence approach. Because I know that it can help create a world that works.
Regardless of your phase of life, how is Life currently stretching you? What is your next growth edge in how you show up in the world? What are you being asked to say “Yes” to? And what is it time to say “No” to? What is the role that is yours to play in your world right now, and what about that role stretches you?
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