I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration: I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or dehumanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat them as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.
Did you think i’d finally lost the plot on my post title?
I’ve spent so much of my time recently marveling (yes marveling), at life’s paradoxes.
I received my “lunchbox express” in my email yesterday (my children’s school newsletter) , and in it, this quote struck me as beautiful, and profound.
Goethe’s quote, is to me, the ultimate paradox of being human.
We are all powerful, and can do anything, and yet… if left to our own devices, may in fact use our own power against ourselves or against others to hurt, or destroy.
As human beings we completely miss the boat when it comes to acknowledging our own power for good, or at all for that matter. We live our lives as if “it” is happening to us, or being inflicted upon us vs. that we are so powerful that we can easily determine the outcome of our days, our relationships, our emotions, and our lives.
That “I am the decisive element in my own life”, is in fact a frightening conclusion. That I am the one- little old me, that is capable of determining the outcome of situations based on my response to them, and by how much integrity I hold.
I remember years ago in one of my leadership courses, I was working on a concept that was very difficult for me to grasp initially. The concept had to do with integrity and a distinction called “being cause in the matter” of ones life.
The concept is this:
As human beings we are continually offered a choice, and based on which choice me make, we determine that we are aligned with integrity or not.
Now, what the hell does that mean?
To answer this question I’ll ask another before answering:
How does one identify greatness in another?
For the purpose of owning ones own power, stepping into it, and leading ones life with it, (their greatness if you will) we must realize that we are only ever accountable at the end of the day, to ourselves. We can only ever really know with 100% certainty whether or not we handled something to the very best of our ability; with integrity.
If you define the word integrity, you’ll find that it means either or both:
- The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
- The state of being whole and undivided: “territorial integrity”.
When a person is operating from a place of integrity, they are powerful- not to be confused with forceful. They embody their own principals in such a way that gives them access to a wide range of possibilities and offers them an advantage because they are truly aligned within themselves, and have nothing to hide, shrink from, or manipulate. Their internal compass is solid – and will lead them true, every time.
People with true integrity are kind of like Harry Potter with Magic. People who posses integrity posses a certain magic all their own. The reason Harry was such a powerful force to be reckoned with, is because he had the forces of good working in his favor, and he had a strong and steady inner compass. This, combined with his dedication and study to use magic for good is what made him a formidable foe to those who were operating against him mistakenly using the organic power of magic to force or destroy others in ways that undermined the integrity of all that is good.
Like Harry, those with true integrity are able to be “cause in the matter” of what ever is happening in that given moment because they use their word as a powerful tool; as a contract.
When someone with integrity gives you their word, or when they commit to something, you can rest assured it will happen, or that you will get a strait story regardless of the outcome.
If integrity is honesty, truth, and the state of being whole, then the natural state of life energy and all that goes with it is also.. If like-forces attract, then these forces combine and the “magic” of life always seem to accompany those who truly live in this way.
When good triumphs evil, it can also be viewed as:
Good = Integrity (true, whole, complete)
Evil= Out of Integrity (not true, fractured, incomplete)
If one undermines the “integrity” of a wheel on a bike by taking one of it’s spokes- then at any given point that same wheel may fail and all that rides upon it, fall to the ground. Life works similarly. If someone of great intention is working on a project and desiring a great outcome but is “out” of integrity ( inside knows or feels he is not being true, honest, or is somehow lacking but hiding it from those that should know) then he jeopardizes the future happiness of many riding upon it- he has undermined his own integrity- therefore setting the stage for being unable to fully realize his true greatness. Even, if at the end of the day he should succeed in his project; if done so at the expense of his integrity, then he can never fully realize his true happiness.
When a person is willing to be accountable, and willing to be aligned with integrity, he brings to his own being an ability and power to be “cause” in the matter of all situations his life touches. He realizes his greatness with little effort because he has wisely surrendered to the rules of nature, and is unwilling to sacrifice his own honor (integrity) for anything because he knows that nothing in life is worth having unless you can also possess this.
Ultimately, the possession of power and success is but a surrender to good, truth, and wholeness, and by honoring your own, you in turn have it all.
I have this love/hate relationship with quotes and sayings all over the place – unless I like them and then, well, it’s great of course.
But how bout those super queer emails you get that say something super flowery and time-wasty like and then at the bottom they chain you…. ( this is the real reason it’s called a chain email)
“Send this message to 11 friends and something miraculous will happen…….DON’T break this thread!”
UGH. Please. I love that you are my friend … but if you really consider me one of yours and want to stay one of mine – please, do me a favor and DON’T. Just don’t. Ever. ESPECIALLY if it has a TOTALLY QUEER aesthetic or graphic with it, like, say, a cudley wudley kitten.
If you send these out… or participate in them… you need to stop it. now.
Then, there are those times when I am
stalking browsing around on facebook and I see a kind of interesting or poignant graphic but it has all these shares and comments so it peaks my curiosity and I hover my mouse over it for a moment and I think to myself:
but it’s too late…
so I click on it?
and then I’m all thinking ….
“ooooh, this is .. hmmm… oh, god, that’s, oh, this is… so sad…. “
and then I’m all….
*sniff. *sniff *sniff…. sniff sniff sniff (getting closer now) sniff, eyes welling, sniff sniff sniff sniff…. WHHHHAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!
and then I’m a balling sobbing hot mess with snot all down my face and feeling like I got sucker punched by that cute, cudley wudley kitten.
Here it is:
I Wish You Enough:
Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:
“I love you and I wish you enough.”
The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.
The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.
I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?”
“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.
When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”
She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.
“When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,
“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”
She then began to cry and walked away.
AND THEN OF COURSE AT THE BOTTOM IT SAID………
They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them. Please Share this with your friends. It has the potential to inspire a lot of people.
GRRRRRRR. *sniff. GRRRRRRR. *sniff, *sniff, *muffled sob…
Go ahead, share it.
I double dog dare you.
I went through The Revelation Project for the second time in early November. It was a trip.
In preparation I filled out my pre-shoot interview and gathered my thoughts about any props I might bring- fashion items, things that might be meaningful to be photographed with…
Because I have done the Project once before – I wanted to maybe explore other parts of myself. I really just wanted to push the edge of the various aspects of “me” in ways that I’d never really embraced before. Because there are three main segments to the photography workshop piece I wanted to see three aspects of myself:
1) The “My Style” way I usually dress which is jeans and earrings and hip but not too “done”.
2) The ( I cant even bring myself to say it yet) side of me… and
3) The Fashionista side of me who likes to be glamorous and edgy.
Ok- I know I need to tell you what #2 is now so here is where I will invite you to share my vulnerability:
I have this aspect of me that fancies myself as some kind of cloaked lady of the woods. Ok. There I said it.
Since I am barely ever outside – this is pretty hysterical.
I’ve always wanted to star in some medieval movie like King Arthur, or Robin Hood, or Lord of the Rings or something- It’s so whacked and yet- it’s so much a part of what I resonate toward. Embarrassing- but, is this because as adults we don’t usually let ourselves “pretend” or give ourselves permission to just “play”? Not sure- I’m going to go out on a limb here and venture to guess that this is not normal. I guess I’m willing to embrace that. *sigh*.
I searched high and low for the right costume/outfit to bring this personality of mine to life (Go Sybil!) and settled on this great “gown” from Closet Revival which is one of my favorite stores in Newport and an awesome shopping experience. If you like gently worn clothing- racks of vintage gowns mingle with edgier modern fashion. Shoes, handbags, coats, and things you just can’t find anywhere else pack the store – which I think is also clean, and well organized – something you also don’t always find in a re-sale shop very often. Kim Fuller met me there about a week before my shoot and we spent a tremendous amount of time giggling in the dressing room as I tried to fit my increasingly curvaceous form into pantsuits meant for twiggy. We ended up with all kinds of crazy gear including a white gown, a teal fur coat, a pink tulle skirt, a brown velvet bustier, and some jewelry.
The day of my shoot was clear and bright with the perfect amount of overcast and because a lady of the woods is kind of hard to capture in doors – we went out.
The first portion of my shoot I was dressed in my typical style- where I felt most comfortable and natural and yet, I still was having trouble finding my center. It was so un-nerving having all eyes and attention on me. I kept reminding myself to breath but I was actually hyperventilating.
Then, for the second portion of my shoot… (Oh, dear lord whose stupid Idea was this anyway?) can someone say AWKWARD!
First of all I barely EVER wear dresses so I was tripping over the hem and second of all, my “romantic and feminine” get- up was making me itch!
The girls ( Andrea, Terry Lee and Kim) had created some sort of technology tangle for me in the woods – I think they were going for a artsy, nature meets technology juxtaposition.. Oh, god! so so funny.
and as much as I tried to relax into my pre-imagined role – I was anything but. I felt like a complete jack ass! ( oh and Kim Fuller DID not edit or approve these ones that don’t have a logo to be seen by the public so mums the word- please!)
Until I couldn’t deal anymore and then I just laughed. If you can’t laugh at yourself – what’s the point really- right? The absurdity made me laugh even more when I saw the photos for the first time. BAHAHHHAAA!
The final portion of my shoot was the most fun and carefree. I was finally relaxed enough to just play and I got into my final outfit and felt great so I started to jump and run to get some of my nervous energy out. This was Kim’s favorite outfit. We’d chosen this pink tulle skirt thing, a chocolate velvet bustier, and a hot teal fur coat. They paired me with a pair of white cowboy boots for the cherry on top. Oh, and lets not forget the flower headband to hold my hair off my face so that I could no longer “hide” behind it.
I walked over to the location with my dog, Jack because he was joining the fun and on our way we passed an elder woman who walked very slowly and deliberately.. until she saw me and stopped. She stared at me as I walked past her and I proceeded as though It was perfectly normal to dress this way while out walking my tiny dog and mentioned as I passed how glorious a day it was.
The hidden path behind my house was the last location and it was covered with leaves and had scenic salt box houses lining the perimeter. It was late in the afternoon now and I felt exhilarated as well as relaxed now that my adrenaline had run it’s course. I finally surrendered to the last part of the shoot and just enjoyed feeling like a kid dressed up like some fashion contestant on What Not To Wear. I found a final freedom there and worked that path like the super fashion runway it never was- so fun and so funny!
My “Revelation Project” had only just begun. The photo – portion of the project is only one aspect of the journey and as I lay in bed that night I found myself reminiscing about the day- what it felt like to dress up, laugh, try new things, get creative, give myself permission to just go with it all. Part of the experience is about being in those moments- where you leave your already always being with the world behind and try on a new possibility. The most important thing a woman brings when she comes is her willingness.
The many facets to the experience are difficult to capture at times, but the impact can be profound in more ways than you might imagine. I was, for the day – in the care of those I trusted. I was able to be seen in ways that I am both comfortable with and uncomfortable with – with absolutely no judgement ( except for my own) and I was able to surrender to a deeper piece of myself that day- the one who is more courageous and who coaxed the side of me who hides behind pieces of hair and looks at the world with only one eye- to come out- and face the lens/myself.
The project isn’t about looking good… but just looking.
Who will you see?
Well, ok- It is, and it’s not.
Lately I’ve had many women call wanting to be part of the project ( We are now taking submissions!) and focusing on the images as part of our initial conversation so I thought I’d address the photos in this post about how we use them as a tool to access a deeper experience.
TRP has discovered that one way for a woman to get “related” to herself is to be photographed in this way. There is some preparation for the experience and then the session. The woman in the photographs others see on our site have been through our unique workshop experience which is essential to her shoot.
Once the photo process is over – the work has only JUST begun! What happens before, during, and especially after the experience is very REVEALING to her- about herself, her community, and her life. We want her to pay attention and document some of these discoveries. She is asked to participate in an interview, and then she is asked to continue to engage with us over the course of her year.
Toward the end of 2012 we had a gathering of many of the women who have participated in the project to date and we had a chance to go around the room and hear about how the project has impacted each of them individually. The impact that it’s had on them was moving, inspiring, and mind blowing.
So why is this post entitled “It’s not about the photographs and it’s not about you? “
What we’ve learned is that the photography piece is just a tool to help women get INside herself. Once she is IN, she gets WAY IN until she’s kind of turned inside out ( but in a great way!) At some point the revelations you have about yourself extend outward, which build your community, create a new community, shed insight on how you impact your life, those you love, and the world, and transform your need to “get more” into a desire to “give more” with an increased capacity for authenticity, depth, and a love stronger than you have ever had before.
How does that sound?
and whether you know it or not
YOUR JOURNEY is precious, unique, and utterly remarkable.
has the power to impact, shift, and positively transform others.
We are just the conduit to helping you get the more out of your experience here ;)
The cost to do the project is $750.00 and includes a years worth of interaction, photographs, a workshop, and much much more.
Price is not the issue. We can work with anyone who wants to do it. We can make it happen and even help coach you raise the funds. We have a payment plan, and lots of payment options so if this speaks to you in any way… just call and sign up!
TRP is now open for 2013 reservations and requires an intro interview (just email us email@example.com to receive one) and an initial deposit of $200.00
We can’t wait to begin our magnificent new year with you!!!
Christmas Tree is by the roadside waiting for pick up. Whew! What a season.
It’s 2013 and I want more….
“More what?” you might ask…
Qualifying and quantifying these goals can take a little bit of planning but I do love getting my groove on every year with my journal and some quiet space in the house and mapping out my plans to achieve a few goals. This does not always happen on Jan first. It happens when I have a couple hours to myself!
Before I list them out – I should make a point to say that the exercise itself can cause a bit of anxiety, and if it does- it means that you are
a) Either attached to them as a burden VS. an opportunity or challenge or
b) You feel like it’s an exercise in futility because you did not accomplish what you set out to accomplish last year…
but there are a few other reasons
c) You have forgotten to dream and have become cynical and resigned.
d) You have way to many things on your list and immediately overwhelm yourself.
e) Have chosen something too obscure or vague.
As I sit down with my journal I’m not even particularly preoccupied with what I did or did not cross off my list from last year… instead I take a quick inventory of the things I appreciate, liked or feel grateful for from 2012. I think of the few things I take pride in that I have manifested, and how these things might inform my new goals for this year
Here are mine from 2012: Notice how I chose five that were the over arching themes for me this year- just try to “Bottom line” it.
- Accomplished moving into a new home, settling in, and making it warm and inviting and functional for my family.
- My divorce was final this past August which gave me closure and a new sense of “beginning again”.
- I was able to successfully parter with three other women for The Revelation Project who brought amazing laughs, challenges, insights, growth, and creativity to the future of the company/project.
- I made a positive difference in the lives of others by making one of my goals to simply: Give to others with no strings attached whether that was in thought, deed or words.
- Got my kids in a couple of extra curricular activities in area’s they are gifted, and interested.
So- I know these are kind of general but under each one of them there is an amazing amount of activity that needed to take place in order to achieve those five things but if I were to have listed out all the steps necessary on my goal list I may have never gotten out of bed on January second!
Then I listed the BONUS accomplishments that have more to do with focusing on my positive FEELINGS about my year….
- I learned SO MUCH about myself this year like: ( I feel great when I go workout, I have ADHD which was a recent discovery, I love being organized even if it’s sporadic and inconsistant, I enjoy getting out for adventures with my family, I actually like purging possessions and getting more clarity on what things I want and don’t want in my life).
- I stretched myself and grew through some very uncomfortable situations.
- Everything that was “revealed” to me can now inform my new goals for this year and the things that were revealed that I’m not wild about can also be addressed this year!
As you go through your list- try not to be harsh or judgmental with yourself. There is simply no point to be-rating yourself for any mistakes, mis-steps, upsets, or challenges that were not able to be resolved- just note them as a “not yet” instead of an epic fail.
As I make these notes I am able to gather some important feelings about my accomplishments or my “Not yet’s” that I want to mark on my goals list for this year.
My list this year looks like this:
- Beginning my book called “My Revelation Project” ( this way even if I get a few words on the page I have success!)
- Choosing two “adventures” I can have with my family this year that are outside my normal comfort zone ( ie; camping!)
- Continuing to “explore” new experiences – adding a yoga class or two, signing myself up for a class at All That Matters, or committing to a road trip with a friend or whatever.
- Creating a workday or office “system” for the Project that will allow for easier collaboration with my partners.
- Simplifying my home life in a way that will allow for more creative “flow” that will positively impact my desire to be creative with projects, cooking, cleaning, parenting, romance, cash-flow.
Now I can free style a list of things I desire to do in those area’s
- Learn to cook three new dishes that my family likes
- Tone and strengthen my body
- Have a wildly fun trip with friends or family
- Be open to income generating opportunities that present themselves within the new company structure we’ve designed for the project.
- Love to be at home in my space, cooking, writing, creating, gardening, or just hanging around.
Yes.. these are now goals that I can get behind, and that inspire me. They don’t lock me in to unmanageable expectations of myself, and they don’t make me feel like throwing in the towel before I’ve even begun. Anything I get done that might be “task” oriented and boring can now fall into categories that were designed to inspire me - for instance.
I have a TAX bill that needs to be dealt with from my past business – I can address that knowing that in doing so it will free up my head space and the energy that keeps me from doing things I love. This “task” would address the issue as well as fall into a few of the categories above such as:
- #5 Simplifying my home life in a way that will allow for more creative “flow” that will positively impact my desire to be creative with projects, cooking, cleaning, parenting, romance, cash-flow.
and this would allow me to
- #5 Love to be at home in my space, cooking, writing, creating, gardening, or just hanging around
Just sitting down to write out your list can be a great exercise in getting related to your aspirations. Don’t worry about getting it all down- just choose general categories of life where you’d like to see some improvement and let those categories themselves inspire you into action or dreaming. If you allow yourself to “reveal” your desires- you will then be able to aspire toward them.
Here’s to a New Year of Revelations!
How do you create your New Years resolutions? Can you share one thing you’ve learned about yourself or one thing you feel proud of accomplishing this past year? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
There are certain things that you will remember for the rest of your life, even if you do not want to.
Where you were when it happened….
What the sights and smells were…
Who you were with…..
How its impact punched the air from your gut. The leaden weight of it making the horror feel like a canon ball wrapped around your neck.
Events like what happened early Friday morning make everyday life feel maddeningly insignificant and terribly vital all at the very same time.
As much as you wish you did not know it, and as much as you wish to shut out the outside world so as to not have to hear it, contemplate it, or have it stain the fabric of your life… it can not be deterred, deferred, or denied. It’s tragic imprint too catastrophic to ignore.
Biblical proportions will bring us to our knees for prayer..
“Oh God, sweet Jesus… why?!!”
They are the innocents… their very existence the walking breathing proof of miracles. Each day they reflect the love and joy and wonder of all that life can be…. so what does an event like this want to reveal to those of us whom they’ve left behind?
It’s Five O’Clock in the afternoon. It’s October 26th 2012, This is not the day I was physically born into the world but rather metaphysically.
When do we really start to LIVE? Is it when we first inhale breath into our tender newborn lungs or is it when instead we unlearn all we’ve learned about how it’s suposed to feel, look, and be, and really start to OWN our own lives?
This morning I was photographed for the project, and I have been having so many emotions and feelings and thoughts coursing through my body and mind ever since…
At this moment, I am present to how amazing the process is, and how valuable. As I mentioned in my last post- each member of our TRP team has each taken a turn this past month going through the project again from the from the start to really examine, explore, and redefine what we are asking of each of our participants.
Today, one aspect that hit me is that we are asking them to re-birth themselves into a new world of possibility. The possibility of seeing themselves differently, and the possibility of living big- in a way that empowers them.
We are proposing that anything is possible when you are open to transformation.
Being witnessed is a powerful experience- it’s like a drug…. but even more powerful is the realization that as women – we walk among thousands who are ready, able and willing to co-create a new way of looking at themselves and at the world. In taking a look- is where I believe we start to become informed about where our inner selves are hiding out, or selling out, or giving up.
Are we living a life of resignation? ( This is just the way it is….) or are we living a life that makes our breath catch and our hearts soar, and our minds expand?
For me; the project is a catalyst for both my own interior self exploration as well as my impact on the world and those who surround me. Are those two persona’s congruent? aligned? When I un-peel the layers and look within myself do my constructs of who I think I think I am really hold up? Am I willing to revisit what I think I know and let go of idea’s and ways of being that no longer serve me?
If we are very lucky we take the opportunity to give birth to ourselves in this lifetime…. we labor sometimes for years and years to finally deliver- and when we can in fact look at the world with new eyes… it can be the most amazing and wondrous life we’d always desired and imagined.
The questions of
who are we really?
What are we here for? What’s the/our Purpose?
starts to become clear….
And all of the things that we once thought life might be about vanish like:
Getting it right ( nope!)
Being the best at… ( the best? …)
Being the most beautiful, skilled or wealthy… ( all things fade away)
Finding perfect love… ( perfect only in imperfection)
Finding perfect anything….
Knowing it all…. ( tried this… it’s so lame)
Finally getting acknowledged…. ( been here too… )
Being right ( Still struggle with this one! )
Getting Health Insurance
Today I participated in TRP after watching from the other side for nearly two years, and I took everything I have learned into the experience and put it in front of the lens of what I thought I knew, and took another look. I took a LOOK into who I am and what connects me to all of you. As I look in wonder at my own self- so too do I look in wonder at all of you… and assume the willingness to drop my judgement, my ignorance, my security, my viewpoint, my stance.
Today- I am fresh, and new, and sparkling…. and even if it last for a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour… it is SUCH a gift.
My name is Monica. Today is October 25th, 2012, and I have been born into a world of possibility, and the world looks like a pretty amazing, mysterious and magical place.
THIS is what The Revelation Project IS, and I invite you to meet me here… i’ll wait for you.
As many of you know, the TRP team met in Kennebunk Maine to have our own retreat this past summer.
Our intention was to hold a retreat for up to twelve women, but the timing seemed to be off for many, and so we cancelled but decided to use the opportunity to fine tune, define, expand, and explore who we are as a team and how we collectively envision the future of The Revelation Project. More or equally important was our willingness to allow the project to reveal itself… the system, the heartbeat, the innards of a project that seems to positively touch the lives of so many. How does IT want us to proceed?
The three days we spent together was epic, and it felt as if all stars were aligned for us to accomplish what we set out to do. With Andrea leading our discovery process- we each embarked individually and together, on a journey into the heart of TRP.
One of the beautiful things about this project is the way it works. It is a mirror unto itself, and each one who touches it, or feels called to it realizes at some point that the project reflects always what is in it’s presence. Let me try to explain ….
As a team we must all face our own bullshit- every step of the way. We must all realize that if we are to hold space for other women to “reveal” themselves that we must be willing to be transparent as well. Some people don’t always get along, and this is the same for all people, everywhere. Our team is no exception. We challenge each other to grow and we stretch each other to seek understanding. We rub each other the wrong way at times, reflect each other, and even scare each other at times. Although we laughed till our bellies hurt, and had a rocking time out to eat and on the town we also worked hard on our inner selves. Sometimes hard work on the inside can make you cry, and there was some of that too. There were moments of vulnerability, passion, anger, fear, and confusion. The only request Andrea made was that regardless of what came up, that all of us were to STAY.
What does it mean to STAY? Well, I for one have been known to hit my wall…. my limit, my “done!” place. When I’m scared or my ego is in the way I might walk out on you and wash my hands of all of it. I might make it feed my story about how “people suck”,” you can’t have business and friendship- it’s one or the other”, or how about my story about how “people don’t get me, especially women!”
When the going gets tough- people leave, abandon, retreat, retaliate. It’s called being triggered.
When you have four women in agreement to STAY no matter how triggered they are, powerful things can happen on the other side. Actually miracles can happen. The places that once divided now unites. As our deepest fears become revealed we realize we are not alone. When we feel safe to be ourselves a profound love shows up to hold us in the others affection and reflection. The intimacy really means= IN TO ME SEE.
Yes, my team see’s me, exactly as I am and exactly as I am not. At any given moment they hold the space for me to seek, explore, express, grow, transform. If one of us is feeling threatened, then we get to the heart of it, and get it on the table. We wrestle with it , and we stay.
One of the discoveries we made on that weekend was that in order to really “grow” the project and understand and get in touch with it from a new perspective we should all go through it again ourselves.
As team, each one of us will go through the project from beginning to end again so that we can deepen the wisdom of it’s teachings. In order to bring the love and the acceptance and the surrender forth for other women, we must first experience it. It’s also not a one time deal. I did the project the first time when we began almost 20 months ago…. and it’s changed and grown and expanded so much that I realize we all needed to allow ourselves to be ravished by it’s powerful lens once again so that we might explore the places in ourselves that might still be hiding out. Maybe they will be exposed this time, and maybe not… but won’t it be interesting to look?
My Revelation Project is this Friday. I’m nervous and excited all at once! I just filled out my pre-shoot questionnaire and they asked me all kinds of questions I’d never answered for myself! I was also asked to share a photo of myself as a girl. These are the one’s I chose:
I’m wrestling as this Friday quickly approaches with trying to give up control and trying to love the cellulite on the back of my arms and the age spots on my face that were not there the first time around! Each time I let go I feel the trust in my team and in the project’s design to capture what it will, and to surrender to how ever it turns out. They will be journeying with me, and as I reveal the sides of me that might show themselves, they will witness me …. be there for me. STAY with me… no matter what.
It’s been an amazing journey, and I am so so proud and honored to be a part of this work with these amazing women, and all of the women who surround us and explore this conversation with us:
Who are we, and what happens when we are given permission to be fully self expressed in a safe space and have it documented?
Wow. Can’t wait! Yikes!
The following is taken from Seth Godin’s Blog (oh how I love this man)
“…but what really blew me away…”
A simple fill in the blank for creating a remarkable service, partnership or experience:
“I was pleased that I got what I paid for, that the food was properly cooked, that they honored their contract, that the roller coaster worked, that there was no trash on the ground and that the staff looked me in the eye. But what really blew me away was _____”
By definition, whatever goes in the blank is an extra, more than you had to do. But what you must do to be considered remarkable. (Remarkable is what we call something we remark on).
I love reading Seth’s posts because not only are his insights applicable to my fanatical interest in all things business and marketing… but they are so applicable to everyday life.
These days- what does it take for someone to :
“blow us away? ….”
I know what it is for me….
In everyday life what blows me away is when someone looks me in the eye and actually shows up in a real and authentic way.
In other words, they are full of integrity. No smoke and mirrors… not hiding behind a facade of “my life is perfect and I have it all handled” – but really willing to be with their own human mess, as well as be with yours.
I am blown away by people who dare to have dialog honestly and openly about what matters to them and what they feel passionate about, afraid of, or inspired by.
I’m blown away by people who walk away from small conversations or gossip or bravado and have the sense to know that the playing field in that place is simply too empty and small for them.
I’m blown away by people who have the courage to show up and be accountable for their own life.
I’m blown away when someone makes a mistake or does something shitty to someone else and has the greatness to “clean it up” and try again. It’s so refreshing when someone can own their own human- ness and apologize and take responsibility for their behavior without making some lame excuse or adding any “if’s and’s or but’s.”
It blows me away when someone will unabashedly LOVE another and remain loyal- standing for them in the face of disagreement, even when no one is looking.
I’m blown away by people who stop to help someone else and go out of their way to contribute to the lives of someone they do not know.
How about you? What does it take to blow YOU away?