Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Calling All Voices: Four Questions to Reveal the Message Written in Your Soul

This lovely piece comes from my friend Gail Larsen, who teaches workshops on transformational speaking. Thought I'd pass it along since it is so well-written. Also, I love the idea of telling a new story to ourselves and others. How much of your self-talk is based on old thinking and negative, low-frequency ideas?

We are entering a time of shocking transformation. Life as we are living it is not sustainable and many are looking for a better story. The story that is pushing to emerge cannot be for the benefit of a few who have—so far—managed to insulate themselves from the harshness and apprehension that so many live with each day. The new story must be for the good of all life. We need only to look at the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico to recognize our inextricable connectedness with the natural world and to bring home the truth of Chief Seattle’s legendary words: “We did not weave the web of life. We are only a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.”

The fourth principle of Transformational Speaking states, “You can’t figure it all out, you can’t make anything happen, and you can’t make anyone do anything. Every one of us holds a different strand of the web of life, and we each must heed our own call.” Today I am asking you to heed your own call. With much of life as we’ve known it in breakdown and chaos, it is easy to become numb, overwhelmed, and continue our old conversations about all that is not working. Yet if each of us claims the strand of the web that is ours to tend and to mend, and ask others to do the same, we can individually and collectively begin a new conversation and live our way into the new story that is calling for our greatness.

We are all here at this time for a reason that is written deep within our souls and it is time to find and live our true callings. The questions we are asking in our national and global dialogue keep us stuck in an old paradigm of right/wrong, win/lose. The issues are complex and while we flail around looking for answers, I propose new questions. Here are four to support you in claiming your purpose and activating a new story:

1. What delights you and brings you alive?

When you experience the vibration of joy in your very being, you’re on track to identifying your place of greatest contribution as well as attracting those who will join you. The poet David Whyte in his exquisite poem Sweet Darkness reminds us: "You must remember one thing. The world was made to be free in. Give up all other worlds except the one to which you belong. Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you." You can no longer play small, although I am reminded of Mother Teresa who reminded us we can do small things with great love. I call that playing big.

2.  What breaks your heart?

Rumi said, "Break my heart, oh break it again, so I can love even more again." Or if you prefer a more contemporary philosopher, try Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” What pain are you avoiding? We must be willing to feel our heartbreak and pain. Each time we avoid our descent into the well of grief, we lose a part of our voice. By allowing ourselves the healing of this natural process, our hearts can be broken open and our purpose revealed.

3.  What does healing look like?

The pain will push us until the vision pulls. In Proverbs we are told, “When there is no vision, the people perish.” To change the world, it is time to tell a better story. What is the inspiring new story you will tell to show us the way to a vision of what is possible?

4.  What one life-affirming action will you do beautifully and consistently, with love?

Rather than being hypnotized into a wait-and-see stupor, what will you commit to doing right now that supports the healing you envision? Singer Holly Near, in her triumphant song Planet Called Home, sings of presence in these times in a way that expands my idea of how we may be called to serve. Her inspiring words suggest your calling may come, for example, from your own hero’s journey with illness. Perhaps your way of contributing is through the courage you demonstrate to others as you live with uncertainty.

Fabulous creatures sent from the power
Souls that have come with a purpose in mind
To do one little thing that will alter the outcome
And maybe together we can do it in time.

Whatever act you choose to do consistently and beautifully, with love, bring to the forefront the question asked by the Iroquois grandmothers. Does this support life? These revered elders viewed life as the entire interconnected web, and their decisions were based on what would serve seven future generations.

© 2010 Gail Larsen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love this penny thank you
love kelli