On Saturday, I had the honor of speaking to members of the National Military Spouse Network. My talk was about living courageously. It seemed a bit ridiculous to talk to this group of strong women about the idea of living courageously, when every day they support their spouses in a way that takes more courage than I can imagine. But I believed I had something to offer and took the floor.
Toward the end of my time, I invited each woman to end the phrase, "I wish I had the courage to..." The group was spirited and thoughtful, sharing personal stories, hopes and dreams. Then one woman shared that she wished she had the courage to believe she was, "enough." The room fell silent as the intimacy and vulnerability of the statement filled the space.
"I wish I had the courage to believe I am enough."
I reflected back on my own entry on the Courage Wall in May of 2015. I had written those very same words in the dark of night, when no one else was around. "Believe I am enough."
I recall hearing Bob Anderson, creator of the Leadership Circle, say that the deeply personal is universal. This woman's deeply personal inner longing struck us all at the core of our humanity.
If you identify with this statement, know that you are not alone. Many of us have felt this longing at some point in our lives. There are steps you can take to start believing.
1. Examine the question
What would make you feel like you are enough? Is there a way to quantify what "enough" means to you? What is it that creates value in a human being? One day I was walking down the road and it struck me. If the world didn't need me, I wouldn't be in it. That was the beginning of being able to believe that I'm enough, simply because I'm here.
2. Work on truly living in the present
The more we can be present to each moment, the more we feel we are a valued part of life. We can see that every action we take influences others' thoughts, beliefs and deeds. By raising our consciousness about how we exist in the world, we start to see our impact and understand that we are a critical piece of the whole.
3. Continually seek out wisdom
that is brought to us by artists. Art helps our subconscious interpret the world, and ourselves, in a way our conscious minds can't quite grasp. By devouring art in all its forms, we come closer to an understanding of what it is to be human. Through this quest to understand humanity, we find ourselves.
In that vein, I offer to you the poem "Wild Geese," written by Mary Oliver.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
The Universal Pull of UNITY
To our excitement and amazement, UNITY is striking a chord worldwide! People from 468 cities in 47 U.S. states and 20 countries have downloaded the UNITY How-To manual. As we hear from individuals in communities from Texas, to Connecticut, from Canada to Australia, we are reminded that we can celebrate our uniqueness as individuals and strengthen our ties to each other when we see, hear and reflect. In fact, just this past weekend (October 23) UNITY launched in Oakbank, South Australia! Are you hosting or attending a UNITY event in your community? Please continue to share your experiences by tagging your projects on social media #UNITY #WeLiveBig. Follow the movement by liking We Live Big on Facebook.
Register for the November 4th Love Your Brand Workshop!
Been in business for a while, but feeling a little flat about how you describe your company? Think there's more to your brand than what you see now, but not sure how to express it? Want to inspire your employees, customers and prospects with a brand built around your "special something" as a leader?
This one-day intensive workshop is exactly what you need to boost your brand in just one day. The full-day session will identify your archetypes, or storylines, that connect with people on the deepest level. It will examine your values and how they can be used to align employees and build brand ambassadors. And it will leave you with a messaging map that can be used as the foundation for all communications.
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