I love this time of year. I love that in my world it is HOT, that swimming in the ocean after a run is like drinking water from a well in the dessert, that people get together and celebrate more. Especially I like the quiet days after Christmas when I get to draw breath and review the year.
From September 2008 and through the early part of 2009 I went through my own very deep dark night, triggered by a very sudden loss in income (I had taken my eye off the ball). Even though at the time it was extremely difficult, a part of my awareness also realised that there was great beauty within the experience, and that I was being reborn, in some way, to a stronger me.
For many years now I have had one enduring prayer. “Please use me as you see fit.” Behind this prayer is the fervent wish to be used to the fullest of my capacity to support the highest good. Of course when you live on the edge of the world of service to the mystical unfolding, the tricky bit is that you really don’t know what being used to your fullest capacity is. Other than when you do what you do, your heart sings in tune and people really like what you do and it seems to help and certainly does no harm.
Having spent years really seeking for my vocation to finally get that it is not a destination but is forever unfolding – in other words my true work has been my true work every day, even back in the days at University when I waited tables – and that every step has been significant in bringing me here to who I am now and what I have to contribute, the prayer of being used as you see fit has been in action every day. It is only the part of me that wants the action of the day to look and feel different than what it is that has been the issue. Each day I have learned to be present and grateful to the action of the day…in what ever form that is…rather than to want it to be different.
Yet at the same time, I can see a thread that runs through everything I have done.
The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
William Stafford ~
So we approach the end of 2009, and I look back at the last 12 months. Given that so much of my work is the inner work I do on self, each year I get to this place and gasp at how far I have come, and yet each year I reach this place and feel like I have reached a good place, where I “Know” so much. And there in lies the beauty. Life is a constant unfolding, and while I have traveled far, there is far to go. And I am always amazed at how far I have come. It is a joy, this journey of life…
2009, it started for me requiring to go deep inside to explore my questions of value…what is value?..who says this is valuable?…why?…what do I feel/think/believe is valuable?…what does money mean?…how to I daily stay connected to source?..Especially how do I stay connected to source when I have fear in my heart and my tendency is to contract and withdraw?
This has been my inquiry for 2009. As I wrote early in the year, in the article on building an emergency tool kit, one of the daily, moment to moment practices I have been focused on is ensuring I have an open heart, and that I resist the urge to contract and shut down when fear looms. Even now, when things on the “outside”, my bank account for example, are in better shape, I find myself contracting from the age old in-built genetically and psychically programmed scarcity principle. That there is not enough. That the flow has stopped.
So this work goes on…daily, opening my heart, feeling my light shine, sending my light out, knowing that when I do I stay connected. And that when we are connected the flow is ever present. It is only when I contract, when my heart closes, that I become disconnected. The practice for me is giving, giving, giving, my light, my open heart, my energy, my love. Because I know without a shadow of doubt that when I do this, all will be well, in whatever form that is.
This has been my biggest lesson for 2009, and it continues to be learned and applied…daily..for the pull of self contraction, and scarcity thinking is so strong, and so inbuilt into us that vigilance is necessary.
During 2009, as I allowed my heart to open more, inspiring and wonderful events occurred. Always for me the precious gifts of life are our relationships and shared moments.
Incredible relationships were forged in 2009.
My relationship with Laurent Labourmene is pivotal to 2009. We have spent hours on skype, working with each other through the storms, moving from storms to seas of possibility, hanging out in Brazil, meeting in Melbourne to share pizza with his partner, co-creating with others “The Constellation”, and finally, working together on Indigenous Prosperity in Adelaide. I am in so much gratitude for all of our time and experiences together, and for the rich future that is unfolding as 1 plus 1 equals 10000. (or more). Laurent is a friend, a buddy, a co-contributer to my work and I am a better person for knowing him.
Precessionally, from my relationship with Laurent, has come the relationships with Richard David Hammes, Lindley Edwards, Dave Martin, Cynthia McEwan. While these friendships are new, I feel I have known these people all of my life, and forever before that.
I have loved the conversations with Dave covering the worlds money systems, to the mystical and otherwordly, to “all in consequence.” Each conversation stretches me, and simultaneously, leaves me rested in a complete and whole space.
The many conversation with the gentle and wise spirit Cynthia, and her partner John. I feel so much richer with each interaction.
In Brazil I met many others who work so generously and with so much love for the betterment of our world. Morel Forman, Peter Merry, Lawrence Bloom, the incredible elder women, Jean Houston and Nancy Roof. I stepped into the heart of Rio de Janeiro, into the slums, with the elegant Maria …and the exquisite beauty, Giselle.
This year I have continued to work with extraordinary people. People who show up each day and do work that they love. Someone asked me recently who I like to work with and I said I love working with anyone who wants to do the work. I don’t mind if they are CEO’s or the people at the counter. I have worked with teams of people who have inspired me with their willingness to get off their bag of tricks and roll up their sleeves and do the work that needs to be done right before them. I find myself doing more group coaching, which I adore, and integral leadership development, with leaders who are up for the biggest loudest truth they know.
I lived for three months in a house with just myself and my dog for the first time in 18 years, as my daughter Natalie traveled Europe. My mobile phone was my sleeping partner, as I often got the text in the night, announcing a new adventure, another great experience, or the joys of sleeping on the streets, or in train stations. There was the occasional “Help” text.
I ran another Gold Coast marathon and half of my third “Kokoda Challenge.” I learned newly about my body, and what it does under stress. I have stayed in great shape all year, with not one shadow of illness, not even a sniffle. I put this down to lots of good sleep, healthy food, fabulous friends, and refusing to let things get to me..to keep that heart open and trusting that all is well.
I forged new friendships in my local community, with my Saturday running girls. Toni and Fiona and Alicia and Donna (and Jess, now based in Sydney). It has been so great to have such lovely people in my life – the girlfriends who all stay very fit, and yet love to enjoy life… Many Saturday mornings have been spent at the coffee shop at the beach, laughing so much passers by have said we shouldn’t be having so much fun so early in the day.
I have built a web site, Positive Deviant, and learned a lot about the interior of the web. It is of course such a huge field, so my knowledge is still quite novice, but certainly I have loved the learning. Thank you to SBI. You are an extraordinary company who genuinely gives far far more than I pay for, and does so with such high integrity every single step of the way. I have loved the experience.
I have found the beautiful piano music of Michael Jones. I listen to him play most every day. He is playing now.
When my daughter returned from her travels we hung out together, our relationship more mature, and even more loving, and every night for months, we would read a chapter from the Twilight saga together. Treasured moments.
As the year comes to a close I feel so incredibly grateful for it all. The hard start took me deep inside to explore the core of my values, I had to also sharpen some of my practices around the management of money, learn to do without, to not spend anything, loving the lightness and freedom of this.
I feel very certain that the new year, and my 50th year, will be quite an exception. What I have been building for years, with love and commitment, and with some seriously skinned knees along the way, is about to transform to a bounty that will see me used so much more than I have felt to this point. It is all so very perfect, and I am very blessed and grateful.
Thank you to you, the readers of this blog. While I do not know many of you, I am grateful for you making precious time to spend with me in this way. I do love connecting with you and hearing if my writing is on track…so please drop me a note…
I wish you grace and blessings as we move into the new decade.