6 Can’t Help Myself Commentary

A new rhythm for new times

Some of you know that my customary way to just stop has been to break bones. Yes, sometimes two, or sprain both feet! All amount to a full stop. Enforced! No negotiation!

I’m not kidding. The day I was to start my Transformational Speaking book tour, I broke bones in both legs and was confined to bed for a week until the swelling subsided and I could be trussed up. (My friend Lisa called it “extreme avoidance.”)

Then when I launched Transformational Speaking Online, I broke my hip in the middle of our series of 8 weekly community calls. I didn’t see my home again for nearly 3 weeks.

When my dear friend Margaret died, I missed two stairs and her memorial service in San Miguel de Allende when I sprained both feet.

In the shamanic path, we know that breaking a bone is about breaking a pattern. It was clear to me in all the above cases that my pattern was to move too fast to pay attention to what my body and soul were telling me. 

In the case of my book tour, those TV appearances were cancelled.

But it was during the 2009 economic downturn, and the night before I dreamed those interviews were not going to be productive and were interchangeable with a cooking show!

In the case of my online launch, I found out my 50 participants wanted more time between calls and were relieved to have three extra weeks for the deep dive the course was inspiring!

As for Margaret’s memorial, I needed space to grieve and was grateful for today’s technology that allowed me to record my remembrances to bring my presence to that sacred gathering.

As I look back, I recognize that all the commitments I made – and had to break– came from love and vision. I was yet to learn the refinement of checking back in when my body and soul were suggesting I alter my plans. My commitment to my word felt like the highest value, and it did not occur to me to renegotiate my promises until my physical body left me no choice.

In Transformational Speaking, we stand where we are in our story on the JourneyWell™ Wheel of Growth and Change. The place of the greatest transformational potential is in the West, where we complete or abandon a plan. Sometimes it is by choice, and other times we are forcibly stopped from our pattern of moving quickly to what’s next. Instead, we are pulled into the Well to “let go and grieve.”

The descent into the Well begins an inner journey where we first withdraw, then self-renew, seek support, and ultimately experiment with new possibilities. From there a new dream is born that results in a new way of navigating our outer journey moving forward.
There is no time frame for this journey. It takes what it takes. It is just as uncertain as today’s journey of descent with the coronavirus.
For those of you working even harder at this time on the front lines, I thank you. And for those of you wondering where your work will come from, there is a different kind of disruption. All of us are navigating a non-negotiable life experience that requires we let go of our plans.

I offer the same words given to us by David Waggoner in his poem Lost. 

Stand still. This time of initiation is a powerful stranger asking us to meet ourselves in a new way. It is far more than an economic reset; it is a values reset if we allow it to guide us to a new story for ourselves and for our world.
May we honor the inner journey and mine it for its gifts in this time of such severe outer disruption. Renegotiate commitments. Refresh your spirit. Express the Medicine you are. Be kind. Love your people. Your animals. Each other. And of course the natural world!

May we listen deeply for the new story that is emerging.

Calling All Voices

The Four Questions You Must Ask Yourself to Ignite Your Holy Fool

Many of you are asking for the four questions from our Calling All Voices event. Yes! When you take the time to thoughtfully consider your answers, you’re on track to stewarding your strand in the web of life.

weave Continue reading

One Woman’s Effect: Zoe Tryon, Disturbing the Comfortable!!

The Honourable Zoe Tryon could have married a “lovely” Earl or Lord and lived in a castle.  But the Amazon called to her instead, inspiring her great passion to be a voice for the voiceless.  She has fallen in love with a people whose ancestral lands are being devastated by oil drilling, whose children are dying because their only source of water is poisoned.

Zoe in Ecuador -“Big Oil’s Dirty Secret”

Wisdom from Holy Fools

Here is some sage counsel from last year’s featured Holy Fools.

Chris Jordan:  When someone says, “Be more practical,” they are scared for you.  You don’t really overcome fear, but you can develop a relationship with it and learn to contain it. The bigger fear for me was not living my own life.

Atina Diffley.  I knew I was the person to take on the Koch brothers to stop a pipeline on our organic farm. To keep going, I kept giving myself little dares. Taking the leap is a lot like planting a field. You keep working and never know if you’ll get a crop. I call that “engaged optimism.”

Karen Brody:  Every day I wake up with a huge YES! Follow your yesses. It is hard? Absolutely.  It is worth it?  Absolutely. Continue reading

Personal Reflections on We the People

We the People

We the People

The U.S. mid-term election results were a reminder that once a constituency is “won,” it is only the beginning of a relationship. Just as motivational fervor is quick to die after the speaker sells a bunch of product, a politician’s success is not sustainable without continued attention to those who voted. Last week’s Transformational Speaking class said it well: Love Your Audience! As evidence of the disengagement of Obama’s base, only 9 million young people voted this week compared to 23 million in 2008. At the same time, the zeal of the Tea Party ignited a movement. It seems the rigor of getting elected pales in comparison to that of governing. Continue reading

Your Soul is Rooting for You

Danielle LaPorte writes a blog www.WhiteHotTruth.com I wouldn’t miss. On this day of Thanksgiving in the U.S., she reminds us “Your Soul is Rooting for You.”

I love this! Because today I am packing my car for a 4-day journey to Santa Fe and an unknown adventure which I am taking at the urging of my soul. My soul wants winter sunshine and a place of belonging . . . where my body feels good to live in, my heart expands, and my spirit soars. (My mind simply wants a rest.) Continue reading

The Bachelor, The Dumpee, and The Rest of the Story

Last week “The Bachelor,” a long-running television reality show where bachelors and bachelorettes alike meet eager singles in the hope of finding lasting romance, broke its psychological contract with its millions of viewers. The story line is that over several weeks the bachelor will winnow down the field of 25 eager young women, each week handing out roses to those he wishes to keep on board for glamorous dates in exotic locales, to one lucky “contestant” who will receive a marriage proposal. The show is an ego-enhancing exercise for the bachelor-in-season and a challenging competition for the ladies in waiting. On the last show, it came down to two women, only one of whom would receive “the final rose.” Yet the marriage proposal by Jason to Melissa was just the beginning of the off-television romance where the bloom wore off. As Paul Harvey, the beloved radio personality who passed last weekend, consistently reminded us, “Now, for the rest of the story.” Continue reading

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