What is the conversation alive in you which you have been unwilling to speak aloud? You know the one. Consider where you might be holding back in doubt or fear of overexposure. What vulnerability is it time to brave in order to declare your word? Whatever serves something greater than ego needs to be heard. Otherwise, how can a greater good come about for the rest of us? Your facet of your truth deserves a good ear and is part of the solution for the many things that trouble our world and go unnoticed.
So, I ask you: where are you pretending to be smaller than you are? At the close of 2010, as the planet prepared to cross the threshold into 2011, a challenge was offered by a Huffington Post reader. In fact, it was, and is, a challenge so worthy that we made a pact, and I am passing it along to you. Noticing the vital difference Lawson Meadows is making to other readers through his attentive listening to your situation, I must fill you in.
Be forewarned. There is a power unleashed by the mere courage to open, hold and embrace what follows, as a force whose time has come to express Itself through your life. What Lawson and I are asking you to do is to say what you've never overheard yourself saying before, to invent what you've never invented before, to think what you've never dared think before. In short, the challenge is to raise the bar.
To the willing, ask yourself what change you'd like to be experiencing more through how you live. By now, we've all pretty much heard the phrase "be the change" you are looking for in the world. Huffington Post writers Ed and Deb Shapiro published a book some months ago, following remarkable interviews of many well-known change agents. Co-participants, including H.H. the Dalai Lama, were asked to describe their process of becoming the change they sought in the world.
Now, I am asking you. It is one thing to read about and be inspired by others, and quite another to dip into the well of possibility that dwells at your address, living in the stillness of your heart. It's time to get current, to reestablish good relations with whatever restores your vitality, whatever renews the spirit of who you really are beneath well-constructed personalities, and go deeper than doubt, transforming it from what you've believed is impossible into a demonstration that much more is available for you and through you than can be fathomed from the past. I'm told that there was a time when it was believed that if you rode a train going faster than 30 m.p.h., it would cause you to be blown up by the unimaginable. Thankfully, engineers went beyond such limited thinking, and so can you and I.
Recently, in talking to a newly released felon, I was reminded that you can take a prisoner out of his cell, but for him to be free, he must unlock the door to his thinking. Blessedly, we now know, from neuroscience, that the brain has greater neuroplasticity than ever considered, which means that who you are becoming has much, much bigger possibilities than old, self-limiting beliefs from the past suggest. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung discovered this nearly a century ago, followed by younger contemporaries like Ernest Holmes. Each experienced liberation because they were willing to have increasingly courageous conversations about human nature than ever before.
Talented composer and singer Daniel Nahmod puts it this way in his recent song, "Just Begun": "I did it ... took the leap of faith and landed on my feet ... I have never felt so good in all my life, never felt so sure about what I've done." What lyric might we be singing, you and I, if we aimed higher than we have lately? What if aiming higher had nothing to do with stressing yourself silly, or struggling and straining to achieve something "outside"? What if standing taller simply meant giving yourself permission to release the belief that who you are is not enough in that particular situation that has been a bugaboo lately? What if you embraced more deeply the fact that you are not your circumstances or conditions, and were free to express the magnificence that transcends the box of limited thinking?
What if developing personal mastery in courage did not mean cultivating a false, flaky euphoria like space cadets, but really hinged on being willing to entertain a daily practice? Michael Beckwith describes it this way: "We are not here to be euphoric, but to get free ... [w]hat you practice, you ultimately embody."
Here is my prescription for an increasingly healing and courageous conversation:
- Take as needed the reminder that courage comes from heart.
- Have a heart for yourself, for your heartfelt truth, at least four times a day or more, as needed.
- Consider that it might be possible to find pure gold in the midst of the muck that's held your feet fast to your disbelief in who you really are.
- Pretend that all life force is available to you the moment you enter the stillness of your heart and listen in the silence.
- Consider whatever arises from the stillness your remedy for whatever has troubled you in the last 24 hours.
- Contemplate the little action step that arises from your heart.
- Decide to have a little courageous conversation with yourself by writing yourself a letter, describing the freedom you are seeking.
- Recall the line, "You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
- Dwell in your own truth for the next 24 hours.
- Answer the following: If you really knew the truth, that you are absolutely free to relocate, reclaim and express the natural beauty in your heart that lives beneath fear of vulnerability and judgment, what would you express more fully through your life right now?
Your turn: Where would you like to express more courage? What conversation does your heart long to initiate if you were a master at courageous conversation?
I'm listening and learning from you, my teachers.
For more, see carabarker.net. For updates, contact me at carabarker.net or dr.carabarker@gmail. To receive email notices when I post new blogs on The Huffington Post, click "Fan" at the top of this page. Stay tuned for upcoming developments with The Love Project, including "Practicing Love," including "Practicing Love." Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DrCaraBarker.