Recently, while leading a group of women doing inner work in community with each other, I had the chance to see the benefits of my own inner work. It was such a beautiful example of 5 lessons I’ve learned that help me in both small and life-altering ways.
I gave the women an exercise to do and after sending them into breakout rooms, I realized I’d screwed up the directions. I felt that churning in my belly from self-judgment that tries to convince me that I’m incompetent.
In a split second, the question rose up from within,
“Is that true?”
- guilt for not spending more time preparing
- incorrect belief that if I charge money, I can’t make mistakes
- worry that I don’t know enough to do this work
that would have presented itself in the past, didn’t this time.
Without judgement, the answer to that question is,
“You aren’t incompetent. You forgot part of the directions.”
I took a breath, noticed sensation, and a few different options rose up from within. I chose the one that seemed the clearest and most logical to me.
Lesson #1: When I can separate the judgment from the thing that happened, a clear course of action follows.
I sent a message to the breakout rooms with new directions.
Did it work? No. They didn’t see the directions.
Lesson #2: Even when acting from presence, the choice might be flawed.
When these women returned from the breakout rooms and I saw their faces, I took another breath and owned up to my mistake:
“I completely screwed up the directions. Let’s just see what’s here now. I’m really curious where this will lead us.”
Lesson #3: When I tell the truth without a long story attached to it, I can move on much quicker and get to what’s important ~ that being what’s here now. My energy isn’t tied up in navigating the garbage in my head.
I looked at the group. I really looked at them. I saw a tiny, little, smirk on one of the women’s faces and got curious about it.
“What is happening for you right now?”
And from there, came the most beautiful sharing and learning.
- “I’m realizing that this is how I react to fear and it has been a blind spot.”
- “I’m shocked at how open I am to this when usually, I’d hate this kind of thing.”
- “When I don’t attach meaning to something, I’m kind of fascinated with what I see.”
- “I’m so skeptical and I hate that part of me.”
- “Knowledge helps me feel safe.”
- “I will not risk being wrong in this way.”
- “I think I’m down the levels.”
- “I’m so curious at work and shut down at home.”
- “I’m seeing the impact of dropping my meditation practice.”
When I let go of what I thought should happen and paid attention to what was actually happening, each of the women had at least one “aha.” From there, they all had their homework for the week. They were charged with noticing where else this thing they’d observed shows up.
Lesson #4: When I allow what is here to be here, rather than assert my agenda, what happens is what is called to happen.
Would it have also been ok if I hadn’t forgotten the directions? Probably. But that’s not what happened. Wishing it had would only create fear, anxiety, regret, and guilt.
Lesson #5: When I trust myself, what is meant to happen will flow through me. I don’t have to create it or mastermind it or force it. I can allow what is here to be here.
What could shift in your own life if you, too, trusted that you know what you need to know right now? If you simply allowed what wants to happen, to happen, without judgement and with lots of kindness for yourself and others?
Try it. Notice the ways you resist and the ways you engage it.
I can’t wait to hear about it.