05/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

For Women Only...And The Men Who Love Them!

"One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you...When I hear about negative and false attacks, I don't really invest any energy in them because I know who I am."
First Lady Michelle Obama

Crazy or Sane?
Knowing who we are: is there any more indispensable tool in the toolbox than this ability to chart our own course, to achieve the freedom to be who you really are? And, yet, as one reader reminded me last week, when you take a stand in who you are, and get on with the business that is yours to Voice, be prepared for some to call it nonsense, too much, and you, 'crazy.' The female species tends, however, to take these attacks personally, when this is unwise.

What a great opportunity to recall that poster some years back. A man's dancing a jig, with a radio at his ear, his smile lines deep, like rivers. The caption reads: "Those who dance are thought to be crazy by those who cannot hear the music!" Is it really so crazy to do what your heart desires, if it doesn't harm you or anyone else? Maybe we need a new word: 'unsane,' as Thoreau put it: "....marching to your own drummer."

A Treat to Share with You.
An absolute gem was sent by one of my favorites, Anne Naylor. We can focus on those who might treat us poorly, or 'do our own thing.' Do yourself a favor, get comfy, and spend a few minutes lifting your spirit that just may get your through those the yuk in the atmosphere these days!

As the Gratitude Dance illustrates, there are as many variations in expressing 'our way,' as there are snowflakes. Just as First Mom follows her own way, we, too, can be exceptional in ordinary things.

What Can You Trust?
With the old guard is crumbling, and its hard to know what can be trusted. But ladies, and men, who adore we awesome women, one thing is certain. Male or female, it is our heart that can be trusted, and not only, for Valentine's Day. In fact, greats like Joseph Chilton Pearce are bringing our attention to the fact that the heart is more than we've thought. There's an actual biology of transcendence, that is, Wisdom's neurotransmitters, that's located in the heart, as well as the brain. Remember those times when you had a strong knowing about which step to take, and you talked yourself out of it?'

Trusting Your Inner G.P.S.
Dismissing your own G.P.S. only makes matters worse. Neither as individuals, nor a people, can we go forward until we follow our innards, letting go distractions that are in our way of living life fuller, joyous lives. Female distractions live in endless forms. We, Strongly related, we cannot help ourselves! Hence, we take on criticism as though it were gospel.

Awakening women know that what is primary is being in good relations with all life. As one reader pointed out, healingwise, the degree to which we walk the talk is best revealed behind the scenes, when the cameras aren't rolling. Her experience about the Obama's is revealing:

"...I can tell you for sure that your take on Michelle is 100% right on. My eldest daughter suffers with a chronic debilitating illness & was literally gathered up by Michelle and allowed to sob into her bosom while she & Barack were on the campaign trail. Michelle didn't miss a beat, looking over to me & asking with complete sincerity, "And how is 'Mom' doing?" Both my daughter & I will never forget her authenticity, gentleness & wisdom. Michelle even said, "Please wait here. I'm getting my husband to come over here to speak with you." And she sure did! We must not give up hope or buy into the negative rants that so many would have us believe. Said Gandhi: "What we do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that we do it."

Reader consensus summarizes what makes our First Lady so noteworthy: it is 'heart.' She is stands for family, without apology. She quietly considers her primary focus, and acts on it when the time is right. Priorities identified, distractions cleared, she radiates the essence of that classic Helen Reddy song from the 70's, "I am woman..." But what comes through in women like Michelle is not a bra-burning, military stance, but deep levels of caring interaction. Perhaps we needed the former to arrive at the latter.

I realize that 'heart' has gotten a bad rap in business, politics and government. This is not new. Many years ago I remember my boss -- at a personal growth company -- saying to me: "Cara, the fact is that heart won't sell." Maybe, maybe not. To 'have heart' in the Big Show pretty much nets out as weakness, touchy feely, and dare I say it: 'women's work.' "Yes," says the patriarchy, "just leave that domain to the little woman. Leave me out of it. I've got to save the world." Now, how exactly are we doing so far without the expression of a heartfelt relatedness? It doesn't seem to be going particularly well with the approach of the past.

Sometimes, the discounting sentiments come from men, sometimes, from the Sisters. Either way, they point to the need for deep relatedness, which critics call 'nonsense.' What is more important than a heart which touches humanity? What is more important than a heartfelt gesture in the garden with children, showing them, by example, that we have very real relations with the earth? If we take care of 'her,' she will take care of us. as we learn to take care of one another: neighbors standing side by side, helping one another through adversity the likes of North Dakota's flooding, and Mississippi's twin tornados. When we center in our heart, we cannot resist helping one another at times like this, there is no 'Me, Me, Me', but 'we', and 'you.' As I watched the footage in the evening news, I was reminded of the Sinclakwena truth, which Sir Laurens van der Post shared with me in London, one night over dinner:

"The journey makes the stranger at dawn a neighbor beside the fire at night."

Our spiritual development, the development of what is most humane in our species, progresses in stages. First, we perceive no other, then, differentiate between 'us and them.' But, ultimately, coming to the ground of our uniqueness, paradoxically, we return to the inescapable truth that what befalls you befalls me. With diligent attention, the compassionate heart for 'we' shines forth. Our hearts metaphorically whisper the direction for our next step, and we follow. Theophane, in Tales of a Magic Monastery, put it this way:

"...I sat there in awe as the old monk answered our questions. Though I am usually shy...I found myself raising my hand. "Father, could you tell us something about yourself?" He leaned back. "Myself?" he mused. There was a long pause, "My name used to be Me. But now its You."

Clearly, this has not happened for the teens recruited into the Mexican drug cartels, who express statements like: "It was fun killing my first person." Hard to imagine these young people were ever in any garden where someone was demonstrating healthy relations with creation, including themselves. So, I ask us each: what is sane, what is crazy?

The Wrong Measure. Part of our world's problem is that we, women get distracted, adopt the wrong 'how am I doing' tapemeasure. We over compare, and underestimate. Too often, ladies, we buy into the notion that little heartfelt gestures are insignificant when compared to grand plans, and impressive resumes. When we stop trusting our own feminine Spirit's truth, our dance is dead. Yet, what could be more significant than one heart touching another? What could be more revitalizing, than a crazy little dance in the midst of a world gone unsane? What could be more honoring than expressing gratitude for our heart's desire, even if we've yet to take the seeds planted inside ourselves and bring them to full harvest? Once recognized, and we care less about "...negative and false attacks," and choose to not "invest any energy in them because (we) know who we are," the sooner we get this show on the road, and build a better world. More on this next week. First things, first, however. We must quiet the mind, get back to our authentic nature, and hasten slowly.

To be continued...

As always, it deepens the conversation to hear from you, and I'll respond as quickly as I can. What have you been told was 'crazy' that you knew was 'spot on?' Who have you observed who's willing to get out there and dance to their own music, and has made a difference in others' lives? Here's to joyful unsanity your way! Love, Cara

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