Last week a friend asked me how she could release shame and defeatism. For me, it came a couple years ago as I was walking down the street from the bank back to my office. It was a rare moment when I wasn't scanning my work e-mails or texting a friend. I was present in that very moment. As I felt my face kissed by the sun and my hair lifted by the breeze, my thoughts wandered to my entry on the Courage Wall: I wish I had the courage to believe I am enough.
Suddenly, it hit me. Of course I am enough. I'm here. Now. So I'm enough. It was that simple. Just by being alive I knew in that magic moment that there was work I was supposed to be doing. But what if I fail? the fearful voice whispered. Then it just means I haven't yet landed on what I'm supposed to do with my unique talents, gifts and experience, replied the newly confident me. All failure will do is get me closer to the sweet spot of surrender to my calling.
It was the culmination of my spiritual journey, up until then. I had worked on myself, meditated, questioned, wondered. I had journaled and blogged. I had taken courses and read books. But in that very moment, I realized I was enough and that failure was simply a sign to try a new approach.
Above, you see a few of the now-thousands of rocks laid at the base of the Soar public art installation. Not enoughness is one of my favorites, because that would have been mine just a couple of short years ago.
Whether you are struggling with shame, defeatism, not enoughness or the countless other burdens we shoulder, know that you are not alone. Know that in the deepest part of all of us, there are wounds to be healed. If there are people in your life who reinforce the idea that you should stay ashamed or that you are not worthy, go inside. Look to your core. In the pure center of each one of us there is worth and value and beauty.
Above you see the birds of Soar that people hang after releasing their burdens. These shots are at 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours into the project. I hope that as you walk through the week, you identify something holding you back, consider what it would take to let that go and give yourself the freedom to soar.
You can participate in Soar anytime between now and June 24th at 1pm by visiting 2213 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301. Join us at Well Ray on Saturday, June 24th for a special closing activity where you can transform your burdens into beauty. Want to learn more about the project? Check out the inspiring news story by Jay Korff on ABC-7.
A huge thank you to all of the donors and volunteers that contributed to the Soar project. Countless people folded birds, constructed the installation, donated money, moved rocks and did so many other things to help out. You have my gratitude. And if you simply participated, you have my deepest respect and belief in you as you spread your wings and fly.
Are You Ready to Flourish?
On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, I led a group of adventuresome women in identifying their life storylines, values and purpose. Catherine, one of the participants, posted a blog about her experience. In it, Catherine muses, "Jean Valjean was prompted to ask “Who am I?” when faced with the prospect of sending an innocent man to prison. All I had to do was attend a two-day seminar."
If you've been considering signing up for my veterans transition program (RESET), my midlife seeker program or my entrepreneur program, this will give you a good sense of what to expect.