Archives for the month of: June, 2011

I just received a beautiful message from my friend, Anne Hillman, and was moved to share it with you.  Anne is the author of Awakening the Energies of Love and The Dancing Animal Woman.   To learn more about her work and her upcoming Living a Surrendered Life Retreats, go to   Thanks, Anne, for this gift.

I tend to think that new life emerges from seeds and forget a far more ancient truth.  Today, I find myself celebrating the way it can also arise from the very old–like the tiny seedlings sprouted from the living root of a giant redwood tree.   This new life simply claims the giant’s root as its own, surrenders to its impetus, and grows toward the light.

How do we cooperate with life’s gradual shaping of the human mind – its painstaking work of drawing us towards the light of greater awareness?  As I see it, the action required is to trust the great root on which we stand – and learn to surrender.   Some see surrender as defeat, a capitulation to an outer force, but it is really an inner relaxation – into the root. 

What does this use of the word ‘root’ mean to you?  That matters.   For when you know what you rest on and can relax into it, your heart opens to life’s secret – its creative impetus conveyed beneath thought: a feeling, an intuition, an image, or a confirming synchronicity.

Subtle clues like these remind us that there is infinitely more to life – a reality we barely notice but that the body knows intimately – a wisdom built into the great root on which we live.  When we remain exquisitely attuned to life’s presence in this way, it will often surprise us; nudge us to be more authentic, to improvise, to move in a new direction.  Its whispered hints may feel absurd, even impossible.  But if you dare to follow them, you will be adding more light to life’s deep need for it at this time. 

I just returned from another wonderful workshop with students in the Touched By A Horse certification program.  The weather blessed us with the light and warmth of Colorado in late spring.  There was also much joy as we celebrated the graduation of five members of our human herd.

In contrast, while I was filled with admiration for the work that individuals did with their equine partners, I departed with a shadow brooding on my shoulder.  Why do so many of us hide our talents?  What are the fears that keep us from moving forward?  As a coach, how can I help others move beyond their fears into the fullness of their gifts?

If we are honest with ourselves, each of us can acknowledge that when we turn over the boulders that block us, we find our fears lurking beneath.  None of us is immune.  So, how do we let the sunlight shine on our dark places in order to shrivel our fears?

One small place to begin is to find some sources of inspiration in poetry, prose or pictures and for a few moments each day open ourselves to messages from the universe.  Do you know the 14th century prophet and poet, Hafiz?  If not find The Gift translated by Daniel Ladinsky.  Among other things his playfulness and outrageous humor poke holes in our pretensions and discouragement in order to let the divine spirit enter.

For starters here are some verses from Hafiz to my friends whose fears are keeping them from stepping fully into their light.

Fear is the cheapest room in the house.  I would like to see you living in better conditions, for your mother and my mother were friends.  I know the Innkeeper in this part of the universe.  Get some rest tonight, come to my verse again tomorrow.  We’ll go speak to the Friend together…

God wants to see more love and playfulness in your eyes for that is your greatest witness to Him.  Your soul and my soul once sat together in the Beloved’s womb playing footsie.  Your heart and my heart are very, very old Friends.

The June issue of Ode magazine has an interview with Deepak Chopra on his latest book, The Soul of Leadership.   Several insights jumped off the page.   Here are three for your reflection.

  1. The link between spirituality and leadership is palpable.  “A great leader is an agent of change who has clarity of vision and knows how to make that vision a reality.   Such a person comes from a level of core consciousness, which is what we call soul.”
  2. Each of us can become a leader if we choose.  Our leadership can affect many people or those who fall within our immediate circles of influence.
  3. In addition to being grounded in soul, the key to effective leadership lies in “building careful, caring, compassionate relationships…people want their leaders to offer them hope, trust and stability but also to maximize their own strengths.”

For those of us who are interested in results, Chopra cites studies of worker engagement. 

Data shows that disengaged workers in the U.S. cost about $380 billion a year.  If you and your colleagues ignore someone, that person’s disengagement goes up to about 45 percent.   If you don’t ignore them but criticize them, it falls to 20 percent because people would rather be criticized than ignored.

If you notice their strengths and put them in the right place where they can use their strengths, disengagement falls to less than 1 percent.  So the bottom line is totally dependent on how engaged people are.

A couple of next steps for all of us might be to ask ourselves:  What am I doing to nurture my soul?  Am I leading from my soul?   How well am I engaging those I care most about and those with whom I work?