Resolve

ResolveRESOLVE is so valuable. Resolve means that when you know, you just know. Resolve means you do, because not doing is impossible.

Partnering with anyone who is not resolved is a crapshoot. Settling for less than your own resolve and saying yes to things you think or hope will be good is a recipe for patterns of breakdown and preoccupation with distraction, indecision, fear…

Resolve is formidable. Resolve creates the love of the journey. Resolve quiets the mind. Resolve is beyond the judgment of others. Resolve turns down the fear. Resolve makes you bring your best game. Resolve brings admiration, but is never for admiration.

It’s not that you should have resolve, it’s that if you don’t, you can find where it is, what it really wants. I’m talking about the noun, resolve as a thing, not something you do, which can be spiritually unreliable. Resolve is already within you. Helping each other find our resolve can be the most rewarding way to be with each other. Finding our resolve is finding ourselves. Keeping it, remembering it and honoring its voice is a remarkable way to live.

I’m practicing cultivating my resolve, feeding it, connecting ever more deeply with it, surrendering to it. Want to join me?

Last Night at The Relationship Circle​

relcirclePeople were funny, committed, vulnerable, supportive, honest, open, kind and brilliant while we created a temporary community of 12 people and took our own lives on.  We were willing to see the inner workings of how we operate and the possible futures we may not be prioritizing for the sake of somewhat satisfying and seductive habits that lead to predictable results in our lives.

We created uncommon experiences, powerful conversations and commitments for people to choose a path that leads us out of our comfort zones, a commitment to courage for the sake of the lives we want to live, the growth we want to see in ourselves.  That’s a great context in which to get to know people.  I really LOVED how so many people played the game last night.

Leading a transformational group for three years has been so helpful to me, too.  Working towards being who I want to be for the people that show up has been a great incentive for my own growth.  It really struck me that last night my emotions really stayed out of the conversation, at least the ones that would normally keep me from having the kind of perspective that actually can serve people.

Last month at my Advanced Circle, I called myself out there for holding a judgment about someone’s participation (I got stuck relating to her as uncooperative).  An embarrassing experience for a facilitator, but making the decision to own my reaction helped me show up way more open and loving and able last night.  So grateful to have this space.

Stuck In Our Own Creations

billboard-stuck_1116867iThis is an amazing part of life. We create something, a relationship, an organization, a partnership, a commitment and eventually it can start looking like a trap, a situation we don’t know how to get out of or something we see is taking over our lives.

This usually comes down to one thing, or two related things, bad planning and the gift of learning.

Bad planning usually comes down to naivete. It’s not on purpose. Learning is usually a good thing, but not so much when we’re unwilling to make the changes our learning asks of us or to see the learning available in the first place.

When the picture changes, when our marriage or our business requires more than we thought it would, more time, more resources, more attention, a more evolved version of ourselves, this is GOOD NEWS. The key is making sure we don’t respond by increasing our own suffering. There is always a win, we just may need more help than we think, there may be more foundation-building to do, we may need to grow or let go of our grip, our image of what it’s supposed to be.

If we can do this humbly and let go of our ego and get to work of learning and incorporating that learning, then we can really start to make life and our commitments work, and everyone has a chance to win.

This is something coaches and other people we empower to put a mirror up to us can help us make a huge difference around. They support us creating the humility to see what our traps are teaching us and the courage, conversations and accountability to grow into who we need to be to take necessary action and succeed.

Liberty and the Relationship of The Human Race

Liberty.

Such a radical act of humanity. The concept of liberty says I may become a target for standing for liberty since liberty is entirely subjective. One person’s version of liberty says that it is appropriate to kill me for living outside of what their ideology dictates.

Attempting to find ground where liberties are basically respected will always seem like a tyrannical act to some people’s sense of liberty. We see it every day, it is the source of many of our greatest daily frustrations, upsets, crises and tragedies.

Liberty is always a marketplace, which makes it potentially dangerous for all and simultaneously beneficial for most. Can there ever be perfection inside liberty? Of course we try to do our best, we learn, we fight it out all the time, but what would it take to play all out for the ideal of liberty?

Liberty itself is a battleground as well as a machine for the transformation of humanity. We are in early days for the experiment and we must accept many terrible things if we choose to be a part of that experiment. Working out liberty isn’t pretty. I think we know this.

Also tragic, unless we create total freedom from conditioning for the individual, from the accidental adoption of beliefs from where you are born, into whatever family, whatever culture and the unconscious choices we make from the environments we are in, the events we witness and suffer from, we can and will be a victim of our own unconsciousness. The Kouachi brothers are dead, but were they ever free? If they were free, who would they have turned out to be? Of course I don’t mean free to make a choice. I’m talking about the freedom you earn from questioning what makes you you.

What would liberty look like if creating individual freedom from conditioning was prioritized? Can it be? We cling to our idea of identity, who we are familiar with ourselves being and we live our lives unconsciously from what we haven’t allowed ourselves to question, to deconstruct.

I’m in awe of the problem and possibility of Liberty.

My 5 Year Old Has it Right

After my son Marcus told me I hated him when I told him he needed to stop playing video games this morning, I asked him if I loved him, what would I be doing differently.

He said I would be racing him and playing soccer and games with him.

I get it.

Love lives in a world of full agreement, or a lack of dwelling on the disconnect of disagreement.

When we’re young, before the disappointment of human beings disagreeing with our idea of Eden, our hearts don’t even fathom the possibility of disagreement with our own consciousness. It comes as a shock and HURTS. It feels like love is gone when we encounter disagreement. I still remember feeling like that when I was his age.

The thing is that this is a grave and understandable error and the correction of this error, that disagreement threatens love, is our life’s opportunity. Not just to get it intellectually, but to transcend through it. To really get it. This is our cross to bear, to do the work to return to love, as Marianne Williamson puts it.

Marcus is at the beginning. The unfortunate period where the disagreement rocks us, where it informs our personalities and unconscious beliefs about life. I empathize with him deeply.

And he’s getting the return, too. When he asked me to pick him up in my arms at drop off and gave me 17 kisses and told me he knows I love him, he took courageous action. He inspired me.

The idea that disagreement threatens love (threatens us, really, as we are made of love) – from loved ones dying too soon to not getting the job to not feeling heard to being rejected romantically or even abused – is false, but it hurts.

Love is always here, waiting for you. Getting back to it is the work of our lives. Be courageous.

Robin Williams and Depression’s Beacon For Us

Robin

I’ve been vacillating between crying and on the verge of tears since I heard Robin Williams died.  Things happen in life and you run these things through your own particular filters. They take on a life intertwined with yours, because once they happen, the rest of their existence is completely subjective, completely in how they occur to you.

How his death has occurred to me is as such a sad reminder of how hard we are all trying. Trying to be loved, trying to surround ourselves with happiness so we don’t face our own demons all of the time, trying so hard not to get hurt.

We’re never more safe to be with than when we are laughing, but it’s as if laughter has died for a few days, as if I’m learning that laughter will never be enough, no matter how wonderful it is, no matter how much I admire and love people who make me laugh and think and feel. My uncle Joel comes to mind, my very own Judd Hirsch character from Ordinary People or Sean Maguire from Good Will Hunting complete with sweater, beard, pipe and tweed jacket, great wisdom and a fantastic sense of humor. He has no idea how much I love and admire him, how him just being alive comforts me!

We’re really all trying. We seem so dangerous to each other and so vulnerable, that our facades, our acts seem so necessary, but we’re all so much the same beneath them, all trying. When someone yells at me, argues with me or looks at me funny, they’re really not trying to hurt me, that’s not their primary goal. They are trying to stave off their own pain and anticipation of pain.  I see it in my sons’ anger so clearly (their tool of choice for staving off pain). They’re beautiful little souls trying to protect themselves and I’m so sorry that they know from pain, that their life of trying has begun.

Accomplishment, laughter, success are sometimes just what they are, but so often they are what we are using to stave off the pain and the fear of the next hurt that’s coming, which is why their effect never lasts. We are still fooled by each others facades, because we are primarily operating as evaluators, on guard, protecting our vulnerable hearts.

I can get very frustrated with the impact of depression on relationships, but when more clear-headed, it occurs like a beacon. We are missing the point. It is truly the blind leading the blind, as we lead each other into these lives of trying, when all we really need to do, all we are and we are in denial of, is love. I think everyone I’ve ever known with depression or biploar disorder has known this so much better than I have, buried in the necessity of my own protection. All it takes is for us to see that it is here, everywhere and stop putting so much stock in each others facades. Imagine living in a world where the illusion that we are not surrounded by love went away.

Easy to say, challenging to do when the tide of this is in the early days of turning and there is so much in the world telling us that fear and hate and danger are everywhere, but if we choose it, it is ours.

The Outrage Cycle

outrageOutrage is a byproduct of being diseased with fear, anger and pain. It permeates our minds and bodies and looks to infect others, exacting the same cost to them that we are suffering with. This disease creates delusions, judgments, gross generalizations and a rabid hunt for evidence that proves the outrage right. No matter what, whether we are offending others or recruiting others with our outrage, we are serving the disease more than the cause we are championing. We are spreading outrage. We are infecting with fear. Sadly, we are creating more sadness, pain and violence. It is a terrible cycle. Look and you will see this. It is likely how we became outraged in the first place, being infected by the outrage of others.

I hope I’ve been through enough outrages in my life and paid enough of a price to not be fooled by them any longer. All of my outrage did little but put me in the middle of more outrage, often much more than I could handle.

To all those outraged, I send love and understanding for the pain you are going through. It’s terrible to be as upset as you are. I trust you that your outrage is for a good reason and I understand that sometimes it seems like there is no other way.

I promise, outrage is optional and it’s just not very effective for anything other than creating more outrage. It couldn’t be more effective at doing that.

The only thing we can do with outrage that is in line with our hearts and intentions for a world of peace and understanding is to feel it. To feel the pain of tragedy, of injustice, of unfair dealing. You are exquisitely human. Love, however difficult it seems, that you are sensitive to the pain of knowing something that you see happening is not in line with our better selves, that we function in this miraculous way. Then, if you are still called to a cause, go do something, take committed action for your cause and leave the against and the outrage behind.

Think, for a second, what if those we were “against” could do this too?

Be the first one. Spread that.