My reference point, my starting point, my ground of being is love and her sisters, gratitude and compassion. Of course, then, they are with us from the beginning of building our power-from-within.
We are love. We are loving and loveable. There’s no need to prove anything to anybody or people please. As Mary Oliver says in her poem, Wild Geese, “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.”
This whole thing of building power-from-within is about being the love and brilliance that you naturally are, and then shining that in the world, as you are here to do.
I am deeply grateful we get to have these conversations, we get to explore and reclaim and build our personal power. It is estimated that there are now more people around the planet enslaved than at any other time in history. We, you and I, get to be in choice. We get to shine our bright lights and give our unique gifts. We get to co-create the world we want for our selves and future generations.
And, even with our freedom and gifts, it is very, very difficult to make our way through all the illusions, distractions, obligations, bright shiny stuff, abundant opportunities, lizard brain reactions, immeasurable sensory experiences, deeply triggering emotions, and completely disempowering lies being passed off as gospel truth.
There are vast numbers of perfectly good reasons that we all, at some time or another, get knocked off our center, or feel overwhelmed, burnt out, lost, out of control, or powerless. Compassion means stepping out of critical mode for just a moment to be sweet to our selves and others.
This compassion is not out of pity or the need to rescue or save or fix. It’s compassion that recognizes our strengths and capabilities while acknowledging the huge obstacles we face and the perfectly good reasons why this is so very challenging.
It’s not about love. You are loved.
It’s not about worthiness. You are, we all are, worthy.
It’s not all bad. There is a great deal to be wildly thankful for, to enjoy and delight in, to deeply appreciate.
You get to make your own choices.
And sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to make the hard choices.
You are resilient, capable, and have your own deep knowing, your own wisdom.
Co-Active coaching rule #1: People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.
Coaching isn’t about fixing. Building power-from-within isn’t about fixing. You aren’t broken. You’re alive and well and figuring things out. So take a breath or two. Know you are A-OK just as you are right now. And in your natural curiosity and desire to stretch and grow, to make things better for yourself and for your loved ones, you’re ready to explore some new ideas and different ways of being. Far out! Have fun. Dig deep. Take what feels like a match for you. Leave the rest. And always, always remember to be sweet with yourself.
Love, gratitude and compassion practice
There are tons of resources out there on these topics. Google away if you want, and play where you are drawn. Here is one idea for remembering love:
When I was at my most strung out, off center, in full panic mode with my heart racing and not being able to sleep, it felt like I needed to start at the very beginning. I needed to ground my life to something that had meaning for me. When the world is spinning it’s good to find some fixed point to focus on. I wanted it to be love, but I was having some trouble getting there. Anxiety and fear can make us forgetful about love and her sisters.
So I started with my 2 year old son. I could very easily feel how much I loved my child. I may not have had any idea of how to be a good parent, in fact I was pretty sure I was completely blowing it, but I knew then, as I still know now, that I loved my baby. I could feel the love. So I just stayed with that – feeling that love and letting it expand to fill me. Love exists. I know this. It is something that no one can change or take away. This was my own twist on Descartes’, “I think, therefore I am.” To me love exists, so hope and possibility and divinity exist. I love, therefore I am. Love is.
Try it. Remember love. Practice remembering who you love, what you love, how you love, when you love. Let the love that you are fill you, even if for just a few moments at a time. Be the love light that you are. Naturally. Without any effort, just remembering and letting it be.
It’s way more than likely that your inner critic will want to jump in to tell you just how much you suck at love or that no one could ever love you back or some other just as blatant of a lie. If this happens, don’t fret. It just means you’re right on track. We’ll explore tons of ways past the inner critic. For now, just notice it and return to love for even just a moment before ending your love meditation.
Rick Hanson, a Buddhist teacher and neuroscientist, has a great audio course, The Enlightened Brian, the neuroscience of awakening, in which he has several great guided meditations similar to remembering love.
Starting with love, gratitude and compassion stirs our curiosity more than our inner critics. But then wise women have long known the radical, revolutionary, transformative, and deeply challenging power of love.