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Life feels intense these days.

I’m living in a field of uncomfortable vulnerability as the structures of a world I once knew unravel.

It’s seductive to sink into anxiety, despair, and fear.

It’s tempting to soothe myself with righteousness, certainty, and blame.

Paradoxes arise within: dread and hope, shame and self-compassion, self-assertion and self-containment, confidence and doubt, turning away and turning toward.

I settle into the wisdom of feeling into both sides, of no longer feeling pressure or urgency to choose. More than ever, I sense the call to embrace polarities, bring together opposites, heal rifts and build bridges.

What is within us is reflected outside of us, and what is outside of us we internalize within us. They mirror one another, mutually influencing one another in an infinite loop.

This sacred feedback loop is the engine that drives internal and external transformation.

What we are seeing in the world is a reflection of the fears, violence, turmoil, fragmentation and disorientation of our collective human family.

What happens to one of us, happens to all of us.
Whatever we don’t change inside ourselves, will continue to be re-created outside of ourselves.
Whatever we’ve repressed will eventually erupt or erode us from the inside.

We’re seeing that on a global scale.

What’s that pressure and discomfort we’re feeling?

It’s designed to help us, fortify us, expand us, and build our capacity. If we will let it, it increases our innate strength and resilience.

When bones break, they heal stronger.
When coal is under enough pressure for long enough, it turns into diamonds.
When oysters are irritated by sand kernels, they turn them into pearls.
Tree branches that field the most wind are the strongest.
Muscles grow and strengthen by healing multiple small rifts over time.
Perhaps we really can alchemize lead into gold, at least metaphorically.

Like nature, we are designed to grow, learn and strengthen through hardship, challenges, and obstacles. We have an innate drive to turn something ugly into something exquisitely beautiful. How do we embark on this profound journey of collective transformation? What does it entail?

1. Remember that nobody else can tell you what your exact role is.

Go inward and find out what your personal, individual blueprint is prompting you to do. Some are called to protest, some are not. Some are called to diplomacy, others are called to preaching. Some are called to public service, some are called to deep nurturing in their families. What is the call of your soul whispering to you, about your particular role? Listen. Act.

2. See everything that is happening as sacred.

You have tremendous creative capacity to bring more love, more compassion, more light into the world through your very way of being. Ask for guidance. Extend grace to yourself and others.

3. Engage in radical self-examination.

What buried shame, guilt, rage or hate in ourselves are we being called to finally metabolize and heal? We all have aspects of ourselves that we’d rather not look at. What uncomfortable inner growth are we being called to grapple with these days?

How do we release the pain and heal?

We stay with it without numbing out or acting out. We learn how to stay with ourselves, with our discomfort. As we learn to sit and stay, we notice our identify shifts from being the pattern, to seeing the pattern. Once we are the one who sees the pattern, we realize that isn’t who we are anymore.

When we finally release our attachment to our persona, to our image, how we want others to assess, evaluate, judge, and see us, what’s left is our most loving, empowered, and authentic selves.

We stop judging ourselves and others.
We stop turning on ourselves and others.
We stop being so unforgiving of ourselves and others.

Instead…

We turn around and look at ourselves honestly.
We embrace the polarities within.
We stop othering parts of ourselves and others that we don’t like.
We allow pain to come up. We accept its presence.
We embrace and love what we find, trusting in the transformative power of love and compassion.

What is the greatest version of yourself that you’re reaching for?
That, my dear, is what we actually need more of in the world at the moment.

Bring your most loving, creative, courageous self to the world.
It’s worth the inner work, trust me.

We have the power to create a very different world. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much power we actually have until something wakes us up from complacency.

Our growth, our evolution, our capacity-building happens in the stretch zones, in the uncomfortable places, in the unpredictable places.

Don’t numb out.
Don’t turn yourself off.
Don’t buy into the illusion that nothing can change.
Don’t be lulled into the false belief that your only choice is to adapt to things, as they are.
Don’t let twinges of guilt or shame inhibit you.

Remember this:
You are good.
You have been doing the best you can.
You are perfectly imperfect and always learning.

Reach for light, embrace your growth, see everything as feedback designed to serve your highest purpose, and stay focused on your deep commitment to the betterment of our world. Let’s walk into tomorrow with more love and more capacity, bringing more self-ownership, kindness, grace into the world.

We start with our relationship with ourselves, knowing that inner work will radiate out into the collective. We are all working on it. We are all in the game. Let’s be in it together.


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