Today’s post is meaty and I invite you to stay with me through to the end.
As you know, this year has been humbling to say the least.
The unexpected soul shifts cascaded into a breakdown of the structures and perceptions that had given me a sense of identity, meaning and purpose.
Then go back 2 years ago, when I was given a body of work on Soul Leadership in the Akashic Records.
It was infuriating at the time.
I knew nothing about leadership and yet I was given an entire body of work on this topic.
I moved forward with it but I felt like I was talking out of my head, not from a place of deeper understanding or life experience….
Until this year.
Last week while having my morning coffee, I reflected on my greater challenges and lessons from 2018. These coincidentally connect back to learning more intimately about leadership. More specifically, the deep, intimate process of knowing thyself and thy shadow. This process has been an opening to understand our interconnectedness (i.e.oneness), a deeper exploration into what contribution means and the role we get to play in impacting the greater good in a way that feels true and aligned for us.
In the body of work given to me, leadership is defined as CONTRIBUTION.
By this definition, leadership is a universal quality available to and inherent in each of us.
I love the equanimity and inclusivity of it.
We are all leaders.
We all have soul-level gifts that make the world a better place.
Our existence alone is a gift.
Leadership I have found is a deep dive exploration into how we are showing up IN and FOR our lives on a daily basis.
It is about who we are BEING and the qualities we embody with every interaction we have.
And on the path to embracing our power, deepening our understanding of our gifts, I have found, comes an invitation to navigate and to intimately explore our internal landscape, especially our shadow.
And those habits that were learned, that served a purpose perhaps to make us feel loved, to belong, to fit in, to look like we’ve got it together, but that aren’t our truest essence, find their inevitable expiration date.
At a time in history when we are searching for greater depth, meaning and purpose in our lives, I find that we are being called back to our souls to uncover, activate and exponentialize our potential. Not from a place of obligation but desire.
From the Soul Leadership Archetypes work, I understood clearly that while we have incredible gifts and energies to embody in our work, ultimately it is our simply BEING that has the most value.
By being ourselves, by embracing all of who we are and not apologizing for it, is an incredibly brave act of leadership.
And knowing leadership and being a leader (starting with ourselves), can be a messy, sticky and unhinging type of process.
In my case this year, my personal leadership journey has entailed these 5 lessons:
1. Self-care: you cannot lead yourself or others depleted, overwhelmed, maxed out. Practices to ground, get still, to create space for you to be, to think and to co-create with the Universe is paramount.
Self-care speaks to an overall sense of well-being and physical, emotional and spiritual fitness. This is what’s ultimately required to fuel, nourish and to sustain our capacity to contribute.
The lesson: creation from an energy of fullness rather than depletion creates a lot more EASE and is a lot more efficient.
Question: What practices can I lean into to feel well in my life?
2. Speaking up and choosing you: It’s never easy, especially for the people pleasers out there like me, to speak up. We don’t want to offend anyone, create conflict, be misunderstood, etc… And yet, when we don’t, our bodies contract, panic attacks arise, dis-ease, emotional eating and sleepless nights become too common.
Acknowledging that speaking up is an act of self-care and personal leadership is paramount. It’s in knowing that taking care of you, will create more in the world and certainly in your life. It may get slightly messy but it will feel so much better when you are done. I am still a work in progress with this, but baby steps.
Lesson: your truth and your voice matters. Clearing the air and asking for what you want will always create a win for you.
Question: How can I perceive speaking up as an act of self-love that is supportive of the life and change I desire to create in the world?
3. Boundaries: No is a full sentence and yet the fear of disappointing others is a real issue. Kindness goes a long way with ourselves on this one and awareness is queen. I’ve shifted how I communicate via email with clients and colleagues, minimized time on social media, turned my phone off and redefined time so it works FOR ME instead of being at the mercy of other people’s agendas and emergencies.
Lesson: boundaries are a foundational piece to leadership. We teach others how to respect us through boundaries. You can still be kind and say no. The other person’s reaction is not your issue.
Question: In what areas of my life can I instill simple boundaries that allow me to care for myself and be even more effective in my work?
4. Wholeness: oh sweet self-worth. A lot of questioning around identity, value and purpose. Who am I without the labels I am used to using to define myself and the value I bring to the world? When I strip those, who am I, really? Leadership is an invitation to look at where we can revisit our perception of personal wholeness, our relationship to a higher source and redefine what being and feeling whole looks like and how that shifts the energy of how we show up for ourselves and others.
Lesson: we get to dig deeper to explore our sense of worth from an internal space rather than from outside ourselves
Question: How can I nourish an inner feeling of wholeness in who I am on a daily basis and lead from this place?
5. Leading from within: Stillness & meditation. Leading from our souls is an internal process. Embodiment of energies starts and occurs IN the body; from our Divine essence. The key to quieting all the noise, the FOMO, the comparisonitis is to tap into the infinite wisdom already within our inner guidance system, our souls. The way to do that is through stillness and for many meditation. After 44 years of resistance I started meditating with my husband and it has brought me enormous peace.
Lesson: Getting quiet is how we get to listen to our own inner wisdom and start to trust and act on it.
Question: What practice can you incorporate into or deepen your life that allows you to quiet your mind and the outside distractions and listen to your inner wisdom on a frequent basis?
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons leadership affords us is SELF-TRUST, a doozy I know.
Leadership is about contribution that starts with allowing ourselves to contribute to our inner joy rather than being martyrs to any cause. And trusting our path, our way and our joy, even as it shifts, morphs and crumbles into new iterations.
Leadership is sustainable when we make sure we aren’t throwing ourselves under the bus for the greater good and finding ourselves exhausted, depleted, lost and angry as hell.
Cut out the noise. Focus on you and allow the whispers of wisdom from your soul to speak to you.
If resistance arises, keep breathing through it.
It’s all good.
And finally, asking questions around what truly brings you joy TODAY, what activities, people, and environments GIVE YOU ENERGY is an awesome space of curiosity to be in.
My clients are playing with wonder, curiosity, the unknown and being with what’s presenting itself to them rather than “figuring anything out.”
It’s feeling mighty messy and they are surrendering to what’s wanting to emerge next.
Leading from the soul is so much more about listening, surrendering and allowing, than it is about figuring anything out.
We can be the conduit of change by being willing to BE with everything, without making our emotions significant, making ourselves wrong or obsessing about past mistakes.
Here is to messy leadership that creates:
Inclusivity over exclusion.
Messiness over cleanliness
Heart over mind.
Contribution over ego.
Oneness over fear.
Presence over perfection and busyness
Vulnerability and courage over righteousness and emotional barriers.
Perhaps, above all, leadership is a Divine calling.
I mean this beyond the inner drive to contribute to the greater good.
I mean that leadership is a Divine call to return home to ourselves, to our divinity and to understand the wonder, beauty, magnificence of ourselves, our Divine essence; our souls.
As we lead from within, we get to know ourselves intimately and to co-create with our Divine essence not in spite or despite it.
This is magic.
This is us fulfilling our purpose.
Regardless of what our contribution in the world ends up looking like, undergoing this soul exploration alone, I believe changes the energetic frequency of the planet and in turn of our lives.
The journey of leadership is ultimately a journey of deeply connecting with ourselves.
What greater gift could we give to ourselves, and in turn the world?
I see so many healers and conscious entrepreneurs, of whom I consider myself one, desperately seeking a way to fulfill on their mission; scared of its grandeur even.
I say, start within and be willing to be the conduit of what comes through you.
What I love about soul-based leadership as a paradigm is that it is a win-win-win proposition where we all benefit including the collective good. No one is left out.
I wish I could say that I am anywhere close to feeling a sense of ease with this process but I take small steps daily. I stay aware and kind with myself and I am allowing more and more for the process to unfold.
Keep moving forward. 🙂
How do you relate to leadership in your life and work these days? What’s showing up for you? I’d love to hear how this post lands for you and what it brought up.
To your sweet soulful success,
P.S.: I’ve created a short PDF with a couple of questions on each of these points to help you explore these issues more deeply for yourself. You can download it HERE.