The question I asked 50 women...
Any time I am invited to give a talk, teach something, or impart some wisdom I am always struck with two inner dialogues. The first is always excitement and says, "I can't wait!" But inevitably the second one can't help but chime in with dismay: "Who am I to impart wisdom? I am not famous, popular, important..."
So I found the irony quite fitting that the very thing I would teach at the Superwoman Summit is also the very thing I continually need reminding of. That before we can change people's lives we have to be totally ourselves.
Is it that simple? Well, sort of.
Is it that easy? I wish.
Don't get me wrong, we can't just sit on our yoga mat or write our morning pages and hope that our deep desire for positive changes in the world will magically happen. However, which part of you is moved to help progress those changes? Which part of you wakes up every day and decides where to spend energy, time, and effort? Are you embittered by what you see in the world or emboldened by it?
The tagline on my website reads, "Change more lives by being yourself." I do believe that before we can see a different world we have to SEE a different world. In other words, did you know that when you change the way you look at yourself, the way you look at others also changes? Changing the world is not just an inside job; it is also the starting gate.
"True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”
― Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness
Read this quote again and then again. Read it until it really soaks in. We cannot change the world if we are not totally in contact with the part of us that desires change. We can not affect the world if we are unwilling to affect ourselves.
Here's the question I asked that room of women just a week ago. A question I ask you too. No matter who you are, this is a human question:
What kind of world do you want to belong in?
Now, an equally important question - how do you fully embody that world yourself? This is where I urge you to begin.
The difference between interest in change and commitment to change is taking 100% responsibility for your life. And the decision to do so happens in an instant. Yes, even the things that happen to you that you don’t choose. Can you be a victim? Yes, of course. But when you hold on to your experience you are self-victimizing.
The more willing you are to go into the darkness, the more light you let in. Suffering is human. You will never not suffer. Suffering isn't the problem. Unintegrated and rejected suffering is the problem. And as Tony Robbins says, "Your problem is you think you shouldn't have problems."
No matter your goal in doing this work and following your calling to serve, I believe our common ground and role is to remind people of their innate enoughness and that they do in fact matter. Are you waiting for someone to see you come fully alive before you do? Are you waiting for someone to grant you permission to be totally who you are meant to be?
Whichever path you choose inward, what matters is that you head in that direction. That process is called many things but I often refer to it simply as, "the work." (Not to be confused with Byron Katie's process, "The Work.")
The work is something all human beings come wired to do but it will challenge you, stretch you, and deepen you. You are wired for struggle but you are also wired for growth born from resiliency. It may not feel so big at first, but there will come a day, a totally ordinary day, when you look out into the world and realize you don’t see the same world – because you aren’t the same person.
This is the power of self-transformation: it has the ability to change our entire outlook, and in doing so, we actually change the things we’re looking at.