In the yoga tradition there is a concept called swadharma: a Sanskrit word which refers to the “right actions that are unique to each individual, according to their own innate nature.” (Shakti Leadership p.114)
No two swadharmas are the same because no two individuals are the same. To find and to understand one’s swadharma requires you to go on journey of self-discovery. This journey is the heroic journey popularized by Joseph Campbell and portrayed in many stories across time. Think Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Lyra Silvertongue, and Moana.
All journeys follow a similar plot. The would-be hero experiences…
During the Shakti Leadership class this week, we explored the concept of flexible or “the capacity to switch modes seamlessly and to bend without breaking.” (Shakti Leadership, p.87)
Being flexible not only allows people to navigate change with more ease: being flexible also provides more opportunities for innovation and creativity.
Flexibility is not wishy-washy. Flexible leaders are grounded in their core values and continue to make decisions which are aligned with those values.
Today would have been my maternal grandmother’s 101st birthday. She died three years ago after a very long life. This Saturday her ashes will be interred in a grave next to my grandfather whom she lost when she was only 47 years old. My grandmother never remarried. She once told me: “I raised one husband. That was enough.”
As I reflect on my grandmother’s life, I am awed by all the major world events she lived through and witnessed. Her…
“…if you are faced with a problem that seems insurmountable, you first have to grow to a new level before you can find a solution to it.” (Shakti Leadership, p.49)
I have a bumper sticker in my home office which says, “Oh no – not another learning experience!” I placed this sticker right above my desk to help me find the humor in the midst of challenges. I need the reminder, because I have a tendency to view certain challenges as a personal affront.
You may be familiar with the why-me refrain. I am. The why-me refrain reflects the desire to be…
I recently learned a new tool to support healthy boundary setting and wanted to pass it along. This tool came from Shakti Leadership by Nilima Bhat and Raj Sisodia: a book I am using to facilitate a pilot leadership program.
The goal of Shakti Leadership is to lead from a space of consciousness. Shakti leaders value wholeness, flexibility and congruence. They willingly share power and believe the most important goal of any organization is to elevate humanity. As you may imagine, this power-with style of leadership requires consciousness or a willingness to be present.
I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that every day there is at least one new story which describes an act of violence or a gross miscarriage of justice. As I scan the paper, looking at headlines, I see one article after another highlighting the suffering of so many people, in particular people who are marginalized and who have less power and privilege than those who govern.
After scanning the headlines, I allow myself to have all my feels. I usually begin with anger…
Since I last wrote a newsletter (last Tuesday), much has changed. Within the span of a week, I hosted Shakti’s largest event of the year – the Summer Solstice Celebration, my father-in-law passed away, the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, and I attended the first Rainbow Festival in Johnson City. Clearly a week of ups and downs without much time to gather my thoughts let alone process all of my emotions.
What I write today are my first impressions. I suspect there will be many insights and revelations as I personally and we collectively digest the news and observe the fallout of the major changes impacting our lives.
In six days, we celebrate the season of summer. Twice a year the Sun, the biggest illuminary in our sky, appears to stand still. When the Earth reaches its maximum tilt toward the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere, we have a summer solstice.
The summer solstice embodies the element of fire. Fire is fuel: fuel to take action, to ignite passion, and to vent anger. When we tap into our fire, we have the energy to pursue what it is important to us. When we acknowledge our inner flame, we give ourselves permission to seek our truth.
I completely appreciate the urge to tune out and to shut down. I also appreciate the hypervigilant desire to watch the news in the hope of understanding what is happening. Neither of these choices support wellbeing. What is the answer?
How do we cope with the pain, both collective and personal, while seeking solutions to the root causes?
May has been a busy month for me. Between attending milestone celebrations and Shakti events, I have been on the move… a lot. The fullness of my schedule culminated last weekend as I feverishly worked to put young plants in the ground. (Let me know if you need some tomato plants, I have more plants than I have room.)
Even though spring historically heralds an increase in activity, this year’s level of engagement felt different. The additional commitments and work, while fun, were more tiring and I found myself wishing for more down time, more space.