I am returning with fresh energy after a brief hiatus. My step father, who was 101 years old, passed away on May 6. We were close in every way. I had the extraordinary experience of being with him during the last days of his life. Here are the 10 things I have learned about life looking through the eyes of this time.
Love is really all that matters in the end.
We will be remembered for our virtues and our impact on others (not necessarily how much money or stuff we have left.)
It’s all very mysterious and silent. Where do we go in the end?
I am courageous and capable of WAY more than I thought I was. The Energy within can meet any challenge. I trust that Energy completely and draw my confidence from there. (You can too.)
There are amazing people all around who show up fully (and without hesitation) in moments of intense need. These people are not necessarily who you expect (or hope) they will be. When you are called to step forward, step forward with a big YES. There is not necessarily a back up.
Loss and birth are intertwined. “The Universe says that loss demands birth and two are lovers.” Deena Metzger.
Seeing death at close range, gets us committed to LIVE life fully and passionately.
Focus on the goal and savor each moment.
We really don’t have that much time to dink around doing what doesn’t resonate.
Playing a ukulele can make you smile no matter what is going on.
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I feel stuck. Stuck is really hard for me. One of my highest values is freedom. I feel stuck because I am holding on to strategies, which need to change. I am holding on when what is really needed is to let go so something new can emerge. As I tighten my grip, the intensity (and drama) escalates as I try to ward off the winds of change, which are in fact here to ultimately release the stuck place. Crazy right?
A friend of mine reminded me of this fantastic sailing tip that is of great support in getting through intense situations. It is simply this: When a big gust hits and you are getting blown over, the last thing you want to do is pull the sails in tighter. You need to remember to let everything go… and, here’s the cool part, simply allow the boat to right itself and choose a new direction. If you have ever done this little maneuver in a strong wind you know it is a loud, sheet snapping affair that can seem pretty chaotic and it DOES WORK!!!!
So much of our lives are subject to unpredictable change. (Obvious newsflash, I know.) It is no longer the kind of world where you can be successful just by focusing on strategy, hard work and having great people around you. All this helps, for certain AND you can still get in big trouble if you hold on too tightly. When the huge billowing gusts of change blow through providing what is intended to be welcome relief and fresh inspiration, you gotta be able to let go and allow your boat to right itself.
Once your boat is upright, choose a new course. There you have it…you are now un-stuck!
A few gems of wisdom from my SOLD OUT 30 Amazing Women-Seattle Event this past Monday.
Guiding principles for Turning Points:
1. Each life has a destiny & purpose that is unfolding and there are often deeper clues to that purpose at turning points.
2. We can sense the turning point coming and at these moments we are called to let go vs. hang on.
3. It’s not easy to let go. There are pitfalls and there is fire. There are places where fear or unexpected events can cause us to waiver or wobble. This is part of the process and easy to misinterpret. If we choose to hold on when we are called to let go, we just keep “circling Dallas”. Forward progress is indeed slow.
4. There is a flow that is wanting to happen if we listen. The flow helps us wisely discern what to hold on to and what to let go of and WHEN.
Today I am retreating by focusing on the still space in between vs. where I usually focus…the intense pursuit of shapes, thoughts, actions and words. I yearn to access the Heart that resides in this quiet space and it’s all a big HUGE mystery. I know that all the good stuff lies in between. All the peace is in the pause. All the joy, compassion, wisdom and creativity arises in the transition zone. I want to integrate this remembrance throughout my day AND it’s a bit elusive. If there are no thoughts in the pause, how do I recognize I’m in it?
In my leadership, I’m learning that if I focus on attending to the space, (the feeling or energy that surrounds us) the particles (actions) flow more easily. In my speech, if I pause, breathe and wait…the words I speak arise from a deeper place. The thoughts and emotions will always be there. I’m not trying to eliminate them to get to the space. I’m just lightly, secretly shifting my attention to the pause in between.
Here’s to slowing it all down and entering into the power of the pause! Here’s to remembering to celebrate the completion points! Here’s to taking the time we need to acknowledge, honor and grieve our losses. Perhaps this is why daily meditation is so essential. It gets us good at entering the pause. What’s your tip? Is this one of those secret mysteries we’re not supposed to be talking about?