How does it feel to receive love?How does it feel to receive a warm and open smile directed right at you?
I imagine you feel a softening in your body, and expansion. It can be such a relief, especially if you were feeling anxious, afraid, or alone.
And we can ALL relate to that right now, as it seems to be in abundance.
In the depth of this winter, and still in lock-downs in most places, human contact has become rare.
So, in isolation, how do we persevere?
When the world is still upside down, where do we find our confidence to go for our dreams; our confidence in our ability TO take action on what matters most?
Literally, WHERE does it come from?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just mail order the “Confidence Kit” that would ensure us everything will be ok, and it’s safe to enter this year with a plan and create what we want?
Just a sign..please! I imagine you could use some encouragement and positivity now. I know I do.
For the past six years, I have bought and enjoyed Leonie Dawson’s Life Workbook. This year, for 2021, she decided to rename it, the Goal Getter Workbook. I can only imagine the change came in light of so many dreams being destroyed in the wake of 2020.
I don’t know about you, but I felt a deep urgency coming into this year to really be present. To really bring my best self forward, and to be deeply intentional with all my actions, making sure they are aligned with what is most important.
One of the last things in the workbook is to create a vision board, so I went to my local Barnes and Nobles over the weekend to pick up magazines. I knew I wanted a magazine on motherhood, but wasn’t finding one. I went through the section three times, and finally found a French magazine that was more fashion for kids, but was shocked there was no magazine for mothers, pregnancy, or support for those who are starting a family.
And I started to think,
Oh no…maybe this isn’t going to happen this year. Maybe the miscarriage was the end of my chances at pregnancy.
I could feel my spirit starting to drop, and then I looked down and saw her smiling face.
Without even thinking, I picked up the Lion’s Roar special edition celebrating her 80th birthday and she came home with me.
And my mind went back to the first moment I found her.
I was losing everything I knew in my life. My then husband had looked me right in the eye and said,
I don’t think I love you anymore.
Did I ever say I love you and mean it?
I was consumed with shock, rage, and devastation. No matter what I tried, it was over, and it happened in a matter of weeks over the Christmas holiday of 2012.
2013 loomed before me, and I was desperate for answers. Being an avid reader my whole life, I turned to books as addition to being in therapy for the first time in my life, and starting to meditate. I found myself devouring Tara Brach, Eat Pray Love, Rumi, Hafiz, and Buddhist books.
And then one day, I saw this book title that literally spoke to where I was,
When Things Fall Apart.
And as I read, I knew this woman got me. She was in a marriage where she thought she had established solid ground. Then, one day, her husband pulled up and he said to her,
“things haven’t been going well with us. I’m having an affair with somebody else, and we need to get a divorce.”
“time stood still. Then my mind came back and I picked up a stone and threw it at him.”
Yes, this woman spoke to me.
Pema told Oprah Winfrey in a 2014 interview,
“I just couldn’t get it to come back together, because, for me, happiness seemed to represent just going back to what I had had. It represented security.”
Pema went on her journey to transform her life, and then became one of the most famous female spiritual leaders of our time and has blown apart gender rules that have kept out women from full ordination.
Her life fell apart, and she used that experience to LEARN, to GROW, and to transform her life moving forward.
I underlined so many passages in this book, and kept her close to my heart as I too stepped forward with trepidation and fear. I knew what I wanted….I wasn’t sure how. But she was a guiding light, and example of what would actually HELP me.
Now sitting in the kitchen of my dream home married to the most incredible man I’ve ever met, I was reminded of her wise words,
“How do I communicate so that things that seem frozen, unworkable, and eternally aggressive begin to soften up, and some kind of compassionate exchange begins to happen? Well, it starts with being willing to feel what we are going through. It starts with being willing to have a compassionate relationship with the parts of ourselves that we feel are not worthy of existing on the planet. If we are willing to be mindful not only what feels comfortable, but also of what pain feel like, if we even aspire to stay awake and open to what we’re feeling, to recognize and acknowledge it as best we can in each moment, then something begins to change.
If we begin to get in touch with whatever we feel with some kind of kindness, our protective shells will melt, and we’ll find that more areas of our lives are workable.”
Yes. Get in touch. And that is an internal practice.
It’s not outside of you. The answer, the sweet tenderness in any pain or disappointment or fear, is always within.
As it was for me when I transformed my life. As it is now.
This month I’ve been talking to you about Powerful Presence. This week as I have watched Amanda Gorman’s incredible inaugural poem, and stared at Pema’s smiling face, they have both reminded me of what Powerful Presence is.
Powerful presence is the courage that stays with you in the face of your deepest fears and allows you to move through them and transform where you have felt stuck. The courage to take the bold steps you need to, to have the life you desire and know you will accomplish your dreams.
Powerful presence is within you at all times, and all it requires is you connecting to yourself. It’s awareness and a reminder to yourself that who you are is your greatest power.
Powerful presence begins inside you and then is felt by everyone you meet.
Powerful presence is the knowing that you have everything you need within you.
It’s completely understandable if you are feeling doubt. 2020 took the rug out from us in more ways than I can possibly list here. It showed us that nothing is solid, and everything is uncertain.
But, the truth is, it was always that way.
Now we know it.
So, with that knowledge, you have an opportunity. An opportunity to step forward with courage, and create your dreams from a VERY different energy.
From a Powerful Presence.
And this presence is sustainable. It’s with you in the face of every adversity, and doesn’t disappear because things get challenging.
And it begins with your relationship to your feelings. What if they are here to help you? What if they can be educators, and compassionate guides as you make decisions and create your action steps this year?
What if your life is workable, no matter what?
As Pema says,
“I think it’s about being able to stay with difficult and unpleasant experiences, all those things we habitually push away. If we can be open to the entirety of the human experience – the pleasant and the unpleasant – then our experience of life is complete, and from that comes a deep sense of well-being and happiness.”
Now, I know this is not what we were taught growing up, but now is the time to learn. The time to transform, and to bring your precious dreams to life. We can use the wisdom of what didn’t work from last year to propel you to making new choices that actually affirm your life.
I’m so excited to show you how. And for Powerful Presence to be a part of your vision for 2021.
Start with kindness towards yourself.
Stay tuned over the next month as we dive deeper into Powerful Presence together. Until then, allow some light in. Allow some compassion to what you are feeling.
Allow the wide smile from your own face to your inner world. It’s all there waiting to be loved.