One of the most deplorable byproducts of the an industrial-turned-capital driven economy is scarcity: The economic system as it is currently structured creates an inequality, one in which both the “haves” and “have nots” buy into the misbelief that there is not enough to go around.
And yet, in an abundant, whole (i.e. intact) Universe, “I don’t have enough” is just not real. It is a matter of expanding our mindset to be able to see that reality. It’s like technology giving us the ability to see infrared and ultraviolet waves. It is about going from the story of scarcity to “Life provides just enough of what I need.”
Developing an abundance mindset begins with putting our faith in an efficient, self-organizing and efficient Universe. Our Universe is not wasteful and provides exactly what is required for our evolution and full self-expression.
In Bill George and Peter Sims’ True North, the authors asks us a key question: What is the long-term purpose of your leadership? It’s a good question. One would think that the immediate answer is that the purpose of our leadership is to lead. Yet, if one thinks about it, leadership is about the fulfillment and expression of our values.
What are your core values? What do you believe are the most important things in life? What do you believe the world should be like? As George and Sims assert, being clear about this gives us an internal compass that can guide us in our leadership.
These core values are distinct from shared values. Shared values are the common values held by people in a group, organization, or community. Shared values are powerful, because they are provide the cultural context against which your core values are played out: When the values are aligned, great synergy can be achieved; and when the values are in contradiction, then conflict, both internal and with others, arises.
If leadership is about the realization of one’s values, how are you daily connecting with and living out your values?
In the Buddhist tradition, there is a beautiful metaphor called “Indra’s net.” Indra, the Vedic/Hindu god of the heavens, has hanging above his home a net that stretches to the edges of the Universe. The net connects all things of the Universe. It is like a spiderweb. And when one strikes a part of the spiderweb, the entire spiderweb vibrates.
Such is the Universe in which we live. It is an interconnected Universe. When one part of the multidimensional web is struck, the entire web vibrates.
When one person makes the journey towards the fullest expression of who they are and only as they could be, the entire Universe begins to shift.
Recently, I had a conversation with my boss/mentor/friend that made a huge difference for me. I was talking through with her around my attitude towards and participation in a primary relationship in my life … about the ways in which I continually have to balance being authentic and honoring my own experience with being responsible for how I feel impacts that relationship and other relationships in my life. … In my mind, yes, it’s true that I am allowed to have and express my feelings, AND I can’t be emotionally-vomiting on people.
She asked me a good question: How do I want to use my air time?
Do I want to use my precious time in the relationship unconscious and simply reacting to the circumstances of the relationship? Or do I want to use that valuable time to be fully present and awake to and in the relationship?
Making it count doesn’t only mean honoring our own feelings and experience as human beings, which ebbs and flows like the tide. It also means diving deeper to that place of consciousness that is unchanging in the face of Life so that we can choose to bring 100% of ourselves to every moment of the relationship.
Last night, I opened myself up to my first life visioning process as guided by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith. What I noticed about this process is that it comes from a place of “already knowing”. Already knowing shows up in so many unproductive ways: We already know what our boss is going to say if we ask for a raise; we already know what our partner will say if we want to spend money and eat out rather than cook at home; we already know how the politicians are going to respond to an issue. We are that certain. We already know.
All of yesterday and last night, I was incredibly restless. I was chewing on the insight I had on Thursday: That I am so controlled by cultural programming that I don’t see the ways in which I’m driven to get myself into a relationship to replicate the heterosexist model of marriage with which I grew up. Again, I found myself asking because of this: Will I ever have the “happily ever after”? Or at least, can I have a relationship that is just about my satisfaction and fulfillment, and not some unhealthy codependent martyrdom?
This morning, I heard Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith assert in his audiobook, True Abundance: Practices for Living from the Overflow, that prayer is about liberation. It is about releasing that which we already have. … When I sit in prayer and realize that all I’ve ever wanted and needed is already available to me, I begin to see how I limit myself. I see that prayer is about simply acknowledging and believing what is possible, and then turning possibility into reality.
Lately, I have been in an “off” mood. I laugh and go through the motions of maintaining an optimistic outlook on life. Inside, I feel like my life isn’t where it should be. I’m 33 years old. I have two degrees and the coursework for a third. I’m an overachieving senior manager for a nonprofit on the cusp of growth. My extended family is filled with love and connection, and for the most part, we are as healthy as we can be. Outside of work, I continue with the nourishing practice of movement meditation and Afro-Brazilian dance, as well as finding worthy causes behind which I might get. And yet, it feels like I should be in a different place: I should be making more money, have a loving romantic partner, feel all-around fulfilled with my professional trajectory. … These are all “shoulds” that come from a self-starter who has survived life by maneuvering the circumstances of my life in my favor.
There are limits to what I can accomplish when I rely on my human devices. Yet, when I finally surrender, when I open myself up to the Universal Love that is seeking to express Itself through and as me, I connect myself to something far larger than myself. When I stop to think that I can give up my limited self in exchange for the entire Universe, the choice to surrender becomes obvious.