“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” ~Alan Cohen
There comes a point when the life we are living is no longer enough.
It is no longer feeding our soul, or representative of who we are and the values we hold. While this recognition can feel daunting, it is a moment in life that is ripe with opportunity. Because by recognizing and accepting it, we begin the process of opening to something greater. By traversing these crossroads, we start to truly live our life, perhaps for the first time.
It is easy to accept the status quo and pretend everything is alright.
It is easy to ignore or deny our true feelings and to keep a stiff upper lip. It is easy to assume that what we have is all there is; that there is nothing more than this. We may say to ourselves:
- Who am I to want more? There is food on the table, and a regular pay check. Isn’t that enough?
- Why would I want to want to rock the boat when this is the way it has always been done? And it seems to work just fine.
- It’s just wishful thinking to want more than this. Let’s just face it, this is reality.
- Why would I want to do something that stands out? That’s selfish and disrespectful to other’s needs.
- Who am I to have what I want when there are so many people suffering with much less? Why should I deserve more than them?
This is old energy thinking, and it no longer works in the new world (in fact, it never did!). No amount of playing small, or righteous suffering, will make our world better. Just turn on the news. Take a look at our communities, our world. Is this attitude working? Is what we have been doing working? Clearly not.
Our world needs leaders more than ever.
We need people to stand out, not fit in. We need people to take the risk to stand in their deepest truth, even if it means rocking the status quo. We need people to take a stand for who they are and the life they want to live, even if it means walking away from the life they’ve held so far.
It is only by stepping into our Self, Dreams and Life that we can begin to create positive and lasting change in our communities and world. It is only by claiming our rightful purpose for being here that we can find our place in society. When we do, we lead from our Heart, and become the leaders we want to see in the world. By standing in our truth, we become the change.
This is leadership, and this is what our world needs more than ever.
It begins with asking ourselves some important questions:
- What dream have I sweep under the rug?
- How am I settling for where I am needed (instead of choosing where what I want to go)?
- What brings me joy?
- What makes my heart sing?
- When do I shine brightest?
- What are my gifts and talents?
- Where do I make the most positive contribution?
- What am I tolerating?
- What is no longer meaningful?
- Where am I pretending?
- What is the risk I need to take?
- What needs to be said (that is not being said)?
- What is the fear I need to face?
It is not easy to ask ourselves these questions, let alone answer them. But by doing so, we birth awareness. And with awareness comes the power to choose.
With awareness comes the choice to move in the direction of our dreams.
By answering these questions, we can no longer deny what is going on in our life. Now we know – our awareness is heightened. We are more cognizant of the reality of our challenging circumstances / life, and the feelings we hold about them. This includes feelings of despair, anger, emptiness, and sadness. We realize with greater clarity that the life we have been living is not who we are anymore. We need more to be fulfilled.
Answering these questions also makes us more aware of the circumstances we do want – the dreams we want fulfilled – and helps us feel associated feelings such as eagerness, wonder and aliveness. These feelings compel us to continue exploring our life from a higher perspective, and to dream exciting new dreams.
Everything begins with awareness. Awareness is the birth of choice! But that means we now have to do something. We have to leave the comfort of our shadows to step into our Self, Dreams and Life…if we choose. If the pain is strong enough. If the dream is compelling enough.
But what is the choice? Where do we go from here? You may know that you have to leave, but you may not know what direction to head.
This is when we need to access the wisdom of our childlike Self!
Being childlike is key when walking forward without a clear direction.
A child is deeply connected to her Heart, her intuition. It speaks, and she follows. She acts on it without questioning its validity. She knows without knowing how she knows. She walks without knowing where she is going.
She is happy being empty, living as a blank slate. She is open to the adventure, to exploring, to the spontaneous unfolding of life. She is keen and receptive, and willing to dance in the unknown. She is happy living from the heart of innocence!
She does things that bring her joy. She understands that taking baby steps to follow the path that brings her the most joy is both natural and essential. The thought of this being selfish never crosses her mind. She understands that to make joy a priority is to live in integrity with her Self.
She knows that she is not doing it alone. Deep inside, she knows that there is something greater holding her hand. She is co-creating with Life, and trusts that she is being guided to bring her Light to the darkness of the world. She trusts that, as Lynda Austin says, “When you stand in your truth, the Universe moves to support you.”
She doesn’t plan everything out. It is not her job to do so. Therefore, she is not afraid to step forward without a particular outcome, or without all the pieces in place. She loves playing with the pieces she does have, and exploring the many ways they can be put together. Missing pieces will reveal themselves when it is time. If she doesn’t have a piece, it just means it is not time, or the right piece. And yet, she still continues to move forward, exploring.
This is the gift of a child’s mindset. The old heavier dependencies on linear, logical, analytical and convergent thinking will increasingly not work in the new world. Those dependencies must be left behind in the old worn out boat. The new boat can only be sailed if we learn to lean more on openness, spontaneity, wonder, curiosity, flexibility, imagination, creativity, intuition and other childlike qualities. Only the new boats will thrive in the new world. The rest will sink.
In the old boat of the old world, your goal was to stay afloat – to survive, to make it.
In the new boat of the new world, your goal is the adventure of sailing across endless seas – To thrive! To dream! To become the embodiment of your greatest vision!
Only one who is connected to their Heart, and the power of their dreams, can live this adventure. This is what we are being called to now.
We must grant greater power to our dreams than to our fears.
Children believe anything is possible. They believe in the power of their imagination, and thus grant greater power to their dreams than to their fears.
If we are to fulfill our dreams, we must dream the same way a child does – with abundance, and without fear blocking the way. Fears will arise. That is a fact, but it is not the problem. Granting greater power to our fears than to our dreams is the problem. Giving our power away to our liming beliefs and expectations is the problem.
It is of course natural to make fear the master because we have years of training on how to do this. We have been well conditioned to allow fear to narrow the scope of our playground. We have given up our dreams for the sake of “reality”. We must therefore be vigilant in keeping our fears in check.
This is especially important as we move closer to our dreams. The closer we are, the louder our inner critic will get. The more our feet step over the threshold, the more our inner critic will give all the “sound” reasons not to cross over. It will tell us we are not good enough; we can’t do it; we are selfish; we will upset others; we are not ready; we should be/do… instead.
And those important people in our lives will often say the same things to us. They will often mirror what our inner critic is saying. They are invested in us playing small as much as our inner critic is, and often for the same reasons.
Remember, fear stands for ~ False Evidence Appearing Real. What fear says is mostly false. It is not real. Your dreams are real. What your dreams say is always true, in the same way that the voice of your Heart, your intuition, is always accurate.
Follow your dreams and you will follow your Heart. One speaks to the other. One feeds the other, endlessly.
By following our Heart, and living our dreams, we are more interested in giving than getting.
We are here to give. We are here to follow our Heart. To do otherwise is to go against our very nature.
When we live our dreams and follow our Heart, we give so much more to others. We give back by sharing our gifts and talents; by putting our Heart into what it is we do. But more so, we give by how we are being. We are happier. We feel more free. We express more gratitude. Our cup is full, and we naturally overflow with positivity that spills into the lives of others. We touch others simply by our presence.
It is hard to feel joyful when we are living someone else’s life – when we are inauthentic, and trying to meet the expectations of others. We live in the shadows of who we really are. We feel powerless. Our life force is drained from years of giving our power away to others. So we respond by looking to what we can get instead of what we can give. That is the only option a fearful mind sees. It is the only option if we are not living from our Heart.
Since time immemorial humanity has lived more from fear than from love. “What can I get from others?” has been its collective mantra. Attention, money, and power have been its obsession, and the cause of so much suffering.
A transformation of consciousness is what is needed more than anything – a leap from a fearful mind to a loving Heart; a leap from getting to giving.
To move from getting to giving we must transform from caterpillar to butterfly consciousness.
We have become accustomed to living more like a caterpillar than a butterfly. The caterpillar’s prime purpose is to consume. It munches on whatever is in front of it, oblivious of its surroundings. It can only see from a narrow point of view, and does not consider the larger whole. The butterfly, on the other hand, lives by giving back. Its job is to pollinate the abundance of flowers. By flying, it can see the greater whole, and has the capacity to respond to it.
Each person is being called to transform into a butterfly, and to move from getting to giving. This means we must first let go of the familiarity and comfort of being a caterpillar. It means questioning who we are and what life is really about. It means considering what our gifts and talents are – how we want to contribute to the world.
Only when the caterpillar is tired of living its life will it open to something more. Only when it answers the call of the butterfly will it move to something greater.
We must become the solution.
When we embrace the butterfly within, we become the leaders we are waiting for. We become the solution. We surrender our victimhood, including our addiction to judgment, enabling and complaining. We no longer act as passive bystanders waiting for the atrocities, poverty, ignorance and corruption to end. Instead, we expand our awareness to include a more holistic viewpoint of our communities and planet. We look to what we can do, how we can we be the solution, to where we can shine our Light. We ask ourselves, “Where can I use my gifts and talents to joyfully pollinate flowers?”
This is very empowering. We don’t feel like we are at the whim of the world anymore. Rather we recognize our role in its transformation. We understand that the transformation of the planet is dependent on each one of us stepping into our Self, Dreams and Life.
We understand that the transformation of our planet is dependent on our own personal transformation.
It takes courage to change.
To answer the call of the butterfly we must have the courage face our Self – both the dark and Light. We must face our fears, speak our truth, leave what is no longer tolerable, change our direction, focus on what makes us come alive, and step into the unknown of a new existence. We must be fierce, we must be bold, and we must end any games we are playing that hold us, and others, small.
Transformation is not for the faint of heart. We are not here to play small; to live the conventional life. Rather we are here to live the life that reaches the edge of all our possibilities. How can we expect the world to reach new possibilities if we are not living our own?
It is our personal responsibility to ourselves, to our children and our planet to do so. It is our personal responsibility to step out of our shadow and be the change!
It is time to step up!
It is time to step into your Self, Dreams and Life! It is time to be the leader you have been waiting for.
The world is waiting for You to Shine! Shining your Light is the only way we’ll ever remove the darkness of our world. Darkness is simply the absence of Light! So long as we stay in the darkness, so will our world.
It boils down to each one of us.
It begins with you!
For more of Vince’s writing, subscribe to his free e-newsletter.