Monday, August 24, 2009

Responsibility for Our Impact

My friend, Gail Larsen, who conducts the highly empowering Real Speaking seminars, recently sent this letter, which I wanted to share because it reflects my own sentiments exactly. This is such a time of choice for how we want our own reality to feel, for giving up waiting, postponing, hesitation, and false humility. It's such a powerful time for BEING OUR REAL SELF and being pleasantly surprised by who we really are.

"Years ago in my intensive studies with cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, she spoke of 'responsibility for our impact.' That teaching has stayed with me as I’ve observed how easy is it for others to perceive us in ways that can be contrary to how we see ourselves. Being responsible for our impact requires that we remain vigilant to the expectations we create. For example, when we are given the speaking platform, the invitation confers a level of authority that gives our words great power. And on a personal level, when engaged in a glorious “what if . . . ?' co-creative surge that comes and goes like a hot flash, others may be making plans while we are moving on.

It is time to recognize the power we hold. It is time to clear those sabotaging voices that tell us we're not enough. We would be wise to heed the advice quoted by a recent client: 'Don’t compare your insides with everybody else’s outsides.'

The Hopi prophecy 'We are the ones we have been waiting for' is a clarion call to trusting we are enough. How much evidence does it take to recognize our capacity and influence? We may think our self-esteem is intact, and then an ignominious comment from one person creates days of agonizing while we brush off wondrous praise from most of a group.

Last week I was told by the executive director of an institute where I offer my programs that I had become 'a category.' What does that mean? I asked.
'When we plan the program schedule for the year, staff members say, We want more Gail Larsens.’

I share this because it is a great reminder that while we question our brilliance, others use us as role models. I recently read Patricia Fero’s book What Happens When Women Wake Up? She reminds us of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale so embedded in our consciousness: It is easy to wait for something outside ourselves to happen to wake us up. I believe this is true for men as well as for women, although they may be have a different myth embedded in their operating system (such as Hercules).

To remind yourself, here’s a Prayer for Stability by Lori Wilson:

I stand today and for all times as a wise and loving adult in the world.

I trust in myself and I trust in the goodness in all hearts.

I hold love and stability in this world and will fashion my life accordingly.
I honor and respect those who may be fearful and recognize that many are still young.
I will live with my eyes, ears, and heart open.
I will build the life I came to build."