This post is the first of seven for the Your Turn Challenge Blog. Check it out here.
A year ago, while attending The Coaches Training Institute’s 10-month Co-Active Leadership Program, responsibility (respond-ability) was one of the big teaching points and Seth Godin’s Tribes was on the reading list.
Little did I know that the other guy whose books I would soon be reading and gifting to my clients – Steven Pressfield – was connected to Seth.
One of their common messages (I paraphrase) – to get butt in chair and do the work – made sense to me.
I began to read Seth’s daily posts and then when he announced his new book, and how he was distributing it, I ordered What To Do When It’s Your Turn for these reasons – his message always kindly shoots a wake-up arrow into my heart and I was shamelessly curious.
What more, I asked myself, could this man come up with that would add to what he’d already written?
Responsibility and doing hard work are not in the collective consciousness. They weren’t for me growing up.
After reading about Mozart, I concluded that if I wasn’t a prodigy – meaning, if it didn’t come easy – then, what for?
What a strange thought for an 8-year old. Is the theory about Caesarian-born babies true – that they always want things easy?
For the rest of us ordinary folk, mastery is a lifetime of study, practice, perseverance and dedication. I didn’t fully wake up to this understanding until my late 40s. Even then it took many more years. And truthfully, it’s a daily recommitment.
When this 7-day blogging challenge came up, besides the fact that Seth had promoted it, I liked the idea of being part of a community creating together. In fact, I love community and have been part of many.
Leadership training taught me that leaders ask for help. They don’t do things alone.[Tweet “Leadership training taught me that leaders ask for help. They don’t do things alone.”]
And, leaders have a quest, a passion that gets them up in the morning and propels them forward. Day after day.
For me, it’s connected to the concept of soul, or essence. I’ve been drawn to that word soul since I was 10, though then I had no idea what it meant with respect to my life or my calling. Today I do.
My clients are challenged with varying degrees of food and body image symptoms. I am one of them, hence I coach and mentor people like me.
Invariably, we thus-challenged, keep ourselves distracted with obsessive thoughts and we give up on ourselves daily.
We deny reality and keep burning our hands on the flame of sugar, refined products or whatever triggers our insatiable appetite.[Tweet “We deny reality & keep burning our hands on the flame of sugar, refined products.”]
This endless appetite masks, among other things, a desire for love, creativity and full self-expression.
This appetite wants us out of our closets, our caves of introversion and out into life.
What we really yearn for is to show up for ourselves, on behalf of our souls, on behalf of what really matters.
As mentor and Jungian analyst Marion Woodman so eloquently writes:
A life truly lived
constantly burns away
veils of illusion,
opening our eyes
to our uniqueness
A life truly lived
what is no longer relevant,
until, at last,
we are strong enough
to stand in our naked truth.
To take responsibility, live our lives and not hide behind distractions like addictions or short-lived, sure-to-fail immediate gratification, might just be the best surprise of our lives.
It was for me.
Those distractions, those smoke signals from our souls, our deepest essence, beg us to change our lives.
If we don’t listen, we might just get hit us over the head with a pain that astounds us. It happened to me.
We don’t have to wait for that nasty wake-up call, that illness, that loss.
When we show up for ourselves, put down the numbing substances and habits, do what needs doing, we see what’s possible.
We sit on our chairs, show up to our blank pages, our relationships, our intentions and our dreams, and do our hard, consistent, relentless soul-work.
We grow up. We take responsibility. And life is never the same again.
It is as delicious and mysterious as love. No doubt.
Over To You
If you have something to add, to say, or if you have a question, what stops you from writing? Be bold. Use your voice. You matter.
What do you think about taking full responsibility for yourself? What would be different in your life? What stops you?
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Bottom photo credit: wcfsymphony / Foter / CC BY
© Miriam Linderman 2015