This week we usher in a new season (Thursday) and recognize a new lunar cycle (Sunday). Both of these new beginnings occur in the sign of Libra which is the energy of balance: finding balance in our personal life as well as seeking balance in the world.
I don’t know about you but I have been struggling to find balance. Or maybe a better way to express my experience is to say I’ve really had to work hard for balance. (I do have moments of balance.)
While we all have personal reasons as to why finding equilibrium is a challenge, I also believe there are some universal reasons why we humans struggle with maintaining an even keel.
I want to thank everyone who expressed their condolences last week over the loss of our beloved dog, Lucy. Your kind words and heartfelt messages were a balm to my heart. I am so grateful to be surrounded by people who understand and can express love.
Last Friday, under the light of the full moon, my family received another gift of love…
Last Friday, as I was heading out the door to attend the Shakti Makerspace Open Hours, I asked Lucy, our Labrador retriever, if she wanted to go for a ride. She looked at me with her big brown eyes, cocked her head to the side, and wagged her tail: dog code for “Please!” and “Are you serious?” and “Yes, oh yes!”
Out the door we went, albeit, at a much slower pace than several months ago. Lucy, at 13 years, has been showing her age. Her hind end is riddled with arthritis, she has a torn ligament in her left knee, and she takes medicine for congestive heart failure. Despite her ailments, Lucy is a happy dog who never complains…
Over the course of the last month, I have been working with an amazing group of people to create a fall schedule that will support, nourish, and honor our Shakti energy. I am happy to report we seem to have found a nice balance: a balance which also includes economic accessibility. One of my goals for 2022 was to develop an infrastructure which applies the principles of conscious capitalism. Conscious capitalism’s purpose is “to elevate humanity through the practice of business as a force for good.” (Shakti Leadership, p.xvii)
I recently learned about “quiet quitting”: a concept which got a lot of traction thanks to a 17-second video published last July on TikTok. During this brief video @zkchillin (now @zaidleppelin) defined quiet quitting as the idea that one is no longer “going above and beyond” one’s job description. Quiet quitting also means you no longer “subscribe to the hustle culture”: a culture which endorses the erroneous belief that “work is your life” and your worth as a person is based on how productive you are.
Last weekend I was at Omega: a retreat center in Rhinebeck, New York. The retreat was guided by Meggan Watterson author of Mary Magdalene Revealed and a scholar of the Divine Feminine. It was a privilege to listen to Meggan and to be in the room with so many lovely people. While I am still digesting everything I experienced over the weekend, I do have some nuggets ready to pass along. Please take what you need and leave the rest behind.
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…