I knew I wanted to write today. Then the inner dialogue starts – “You have too many ideas, you’ll never get it out clearly. Wait until tomorrow.” “Check your email first” (and 15 minutes later I am no closer to writing, but I am distracted). “You should write a more chiropractic blog and stay away from this personal growth crap.” “You need to write so you can improve your web rankings.” “You should write like so and so, they are much better than you.” “Screw it, I’ll just get to this next week.” (weeks go by with no blog). Can any of you relate to this?
All of these are the voices of resistance. They are the subtle, and not-so-subtle, cries of our primitive fear brain that is simply terrified that we’ll drop the ball, fall flat on our face, get rejected, face criticism, lose love, and be embarrassed and humiliated. In other words, its the voice of shame. And that voice is killing us – killing dreams, killing relationships, destroying inner and outer peace, hurting our bodies, and keeping our gifts from reaching the world. That is what I want to write about. Being real. Its a really, really healthy thing to do. And not being real is a really, really unhealthy thing to do.
Lets just be honest, we get scared, and we don’t want to take the pretty masks off. And we find a LOT of ways to keep that realness and rawness hidden from the world. What happens when you start to wake up, though, is that this stops working (thank God). You realize after years and years of playing games, of being something other than who you are, of speaking with a voice that is not yours, of *trying* to be someone that it just does not work anymore. It starts to hurt, as it should. And when you start looking with the eyes of compassion at the world we live in you can see this dis-ease permeating everywhere. The disease of inauthenticity. The voice of fear. The power of resistance. Until one day you say “Enough.I can’t do this any more. I can’t NOT speak my truth. I can’t hold it in. If you are going to reject me, do it. Bring it on. If my truth cuts me out of the club then I wasn’t meant to be in the club. I am meant to live!”
And so I write. This weekend I had my heart blasted open listening to two interviews by Tami Simon from Sounds True. One was with Brene Brown – vulnerability rockstar and the other was with Sera Beak of Red, Hot and Holy. I was so utterly inspired by these women. I was infused with courage, grace, and a hunger to keep living authentically, fully, raw-ly (yes, I know that is not a word), and courageously. Listening to these living artists and change agents was like water for my thirsty soul to be deeply inspired by leaders who are laying it on the line to tell the truth – their truth – and in so doing are helping so many others find their own. They are whole-body, whole-hearted humans. They are the embodiments of the highly evolved humans that we are all capable of.
It is my firm, firm belief that when we do not live wholeheartedly, and I mean really give our selves 100% to living a whole hearted life, we’ll never be free and well. When I speak of free and well, I mean really free and well – the kind of freedom and wellness that is a wildly passionate and liberated being, so pregnant with love bursting forth in every direction, an uncontainable creativity, a wonderful vibrant and vital being. Its a freedom that is no longer hooked on playing small roles to make our culture happy, our religion happy, our bosses happy, our clients happy, our friends happy. Its a freedom that knows I’ll never get it perfect, and that I will likely disappoint someone, and yet I keep playing full out ANYWAY. This freedom is about a powerful truth that resonates from the heart of a Real Leader like a geyser of goodness, grace, power, triumph, radiance, humility, passion, and wisdom. Yes! That is what I want, and that is why I write this. If no one ever reads this, I will keep walking on the path of authenticity because in telling my truth I am experiencing freedom – right now. Telling our truth frees us, it frees our communities, it frees our lineage past and future.
I have officially crossed a line in my life. I won’t do anything that is not congruent with my soul. Will you join me?
Since I will walk the path of authenticity, and I will dare greatly, I have zero problems fessing up to the inevitable truth it scares the crap out of me to write. Are you kidding (?), living a whole hearted life is terrifying. Lets get real, there a lot of internal and external forces pushing back on this. Take a look at the greatest leaders in our history and you’ll see that a good number of them were ridiculed at best and murdered at worst. The status quo is bent on suppressing authenticity, as are many parts of our own conditioning. Its heart-wrenchingly freaky to step out and tell your truth. I’ll do it, though – and that is the difference. I’ll step up again and again and again. Why? Because I know in my bones that the compelling stories of our lives, the dreams of our hearts, are not there by mistake. They are the music of God. By telling the truth, telling my truth, I liberate myself from the hold of that primitive fear brain. I start to disentangle myself from the cultural oppression to be someone other than who I am.
I may feel scared but I will act from love. In fact, the more I do this I realize I have no choice. Why? Because I am love. So are you. To act contrary to that is a flu-virus to the soul. Any dream, any calling, that arises within us, from my perspective comes straight from your Heart. The Heart is our instant connection to Source. Its all coming from Source, but it needs a voice. It needs hands to type it out. It needs a body to dance it out. It needs me. It needs you. And our freedom lies in being with the truth of who we are. If I want to live a whole-hearted life, I have to be whole – and that means embracing ALL OF IT, not just the happy, shiny stuff. What glitters is the heart and soul. Everything else will pass away.
Our bondage lies in the myriad of ways we hide out, play small, and put on the nice veneer. When we get really honest and clear and vulnerable we can see, without flinching, that there are a whole lot of forces in ourselves, in our media, in our pop-culture, on Facebook, in our families, and in our “religions” that want us to keep from breaking out and being radically real and honest. We live in a culture where we can keep putting out there just what we want others to see. Facebook status updates and pithy tweets have become a substitute for realness, authenticity, depth, and the real creativity that comes from whole-hearted living. I do feel these tools can be used as instruments for good, but I don’t see it happening all that often.
None of this means that you need to drop a hand grenade in your life. The greatest change starts right where we are at – in our work, in our families, in our bodies. Courageously, lovingly, gracefully, we start, one step at a time, to live the authentic life. One step at a time, beginning RIGHT where we sit, the journey unfolds further, further, and further. As Mary Oliver said in her great poem The Journey, “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice…but you didn’t stop…little by little… as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save.” Wow. I love that.
Here are nine suggestions to help you:
1) Find community that supports this and supports you. Its really, really hard to do this alone.
2) Find and hang out with leaders that are bringing authenticity and changing lives. They are out there. Listen to your heart and body, you’ll know who works for you and who doesn’t. There are so many great leaders out there for all kinds of different people and paths. There is not a singular right way.
3) For those of you in NSA care, when we get into what we call “Level 2”, we start to unplug and unhook all those deep neurological patterns that link us to our fear brain and those masks. The greatest way to transform your life is to transform your identity. This is NOT a mental process. Its a whole body process. Network care is one way that can assist this process (in conjunction with other helpful work). If you are not in NSA care, and want to learn more, find a level III certified practitioner in your area. who can assist you. We have regular introductory workshops at NWCC. Our next one is November 21st @ 6:30 pm at our office in Network Chiropractic office in Uptown Charlotte.
4) Somato Respiratory Integration is an incredible “quantum” toolkit to assist this process as well. We teach regular workshops of this amazing breath/body/mind practice in our office. The 12 stages of healing are a remarkable and powerful tool to fast track our growth by transforming our bodies, our minds, and our energy. Contact us if you want to learn more. These classes are open to the public.
5) Two books that are rocking my world right now are “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown and “Red, Hot and Holy” by Sera Beak. Tami Simon at Sounds True is amazing. Her Insights at the Edge podcast is incredible. Read and watch things that stir and nourish your soul.
6) Sometimes, in addition to working with the body, we need to talk to a person who really gets it and can use the gifts of western psychology to assist our healing. There are a few great therapists in the Charlotte area that I like to refer to. Reach out if you would like extra assistance. My wife Lynn is an SRI facilitator and psychotherapist.
7) Eat well. Drink water. Exercise. Get good rest. Meditate/pray. Care for your nervous system. As we wake up, we must train our bodies and minds wisely. These are non-negotiables.
8) Its not about you. Its not about me. Never will be. This thought keeps us right sized and connected to the bigger web of Grace.
9) A sense of humor is an indispensable tool in life.
In closing, enjoy this fantastic quote by Teddy Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Dr. Matt Lyon