Embrace The Who of You
Over the last several weeks I have been participating in a class at a local church on “Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation” utilizing a book written by Parker J. Palmer, and reading several of Debbie Ford’s books on shadow. In addition, I was busily preparing for an all day women’s retreat on the “Art and Soul of Aging Gracefully”. This goes by way of explaining the dearth of blogs on either website (if you’ve been missing me), and also the topic of this article.
While Parker Palmer and Debbie Ford go about their teachings much differently, they have comparable perspectives: “Embracing the essence of who you are.” We’ve all spent our lives learning who we ought to be, striving to be just like the heroes held in front of us as someone we should aspire to be. This is confusing at best, and harmful at it’s very worst.
What rings true for me as I read these books, and delve wholeheartedly into my coaching practice, is that we must be who we are in everything we do. This means embracing our limitations and our strengths. It means acknowledging those things we do well, plus those things we do not do well. It means welcoming our gifts, and stepping away from those things we don’t have an aptitude for.
Parker Palmer says “To embrace weakness, liability, and darkness as part of who I am gives that part less sway over me, because all it ever wanted was to be acknowledged as part of my whole self.” Once you embrace the who of you, you must live your whole life. When you exempt yourself from the challenge of using your gifts, and living in real relationships with others, you are “choosing death in life”. In Deuteronomy 30:19, the teaching is “I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Therefore, choose life”
Debbie Ford asks you to metaphorically step on your bus and meet all your sub-personalities – warts and all. Give them a form, clothe them, imbue them with a personality, grant them a name – and sit down in conversation with them. Recognize the gift they bring to you, and ask what they need from you. Love them, and give them the respect they are due. As you do that, they will stop bossing you around, and be a mindful collaborator in everything you do.
Most of us hesitate to explore the core of who we are because it is often painful to admit how much we often choose to follow our ego’s voice to chase someone else’s dream because we will attain success by doing so. Success will be attained by following your dream – using your gifts and strengths, and acknowledging the limitations that stand on equal footing. You cannot borrow from someone else, just as they cannot borrow from you.
Whose dream are you chasing? Yours or someone else’s?
Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a life transitions coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She specializes in career and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life. Georgia is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. Her website is http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where she blogs about business and career, and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion. Georgia can be reached at (402) 484-8098.