Happy International Women’s Day!! Today is full of wonderful celebrations honoring the feminine. I hope each one of you finds a way to acknowledge the feminine both within and without you. (Hint: You could come to Shakti in the Mountains today between 3 and 7 pm.)
I am happy to share that Carolyn, the amazing, talented, virtual assistant and I have been hard at work finalizing the Shakti Spring Schedule. By the end of the week, all the spring events will be online and available for registration. Next week, look for the Shakti Stewardship Program’s web page to go live. I will send a separate email about this new offering. The Stewardship Program has incubated for 9-months and is ready to be birthed. I am one proud mama!
As we shift into a new season, I am feeling along the edges of my comfort zone. I wonder if anyone else is feeling similarly? There is some anxiety around pushing beyond the boundaries of what is familiar, and there also is frustration from feeling confined. I imagine this push-pull is how a snake feels before shedding its skin.
As far as I can tell, the liminal space, which generates this push-pull sensation, proceeds all major, if not minor, transformations. It seems both anxiety and frustration are necessary for change. Every time I experience the discomfort which comes from change I tell myself, next time, I won’t wait for pain to make a move. And yet, all major growth in my life has been rooted in a desire to stop my suffering.
Suffering is part of the human condition. I don’t think any of us can avoid it. And if I am right, and suffering is necessary for change, then we need suffering to evolve.
Despite recognizing the role suffering plays in our lives, I have minimized, justified, and even denied suffering in an effort to avoid making a change. Sometimes I am so wedded to a certain goal or I desire so deeply a particular relationship that I will, often unconsciously, ignore “red flags” in order to keep the status quo.
When I look the other way, my suffering increases. This is the nature of suffering: it will expand until you are forced to pay attention and address the cause of your suffering.
Please do not judge yourself and others too harshly for prolonging suffering. We all have different tolerances for pain as well as deeply rooted fears to letting go of the familiar. To paraphrase David Whyte’s poem, Sweet Darkness…
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness before you are able to recognize a horizon further than you can see
The new horizon is one of the gifts of suffering. Our pain and our willingness to learn from our suffering is what allows us to see further. Our pain is what informs our boundaries and what galvanizes us to take risks.
In a 2016 Harvard Business Review article, Carol Dweck, who researched and wrote about growth mindset, felt the need to set the record straight after repeated misinterpretations of growth mindset.
One misconception of growth mindset is a person either has a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.
Dweck said we ALL fluctuate between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. When we believe our “talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others,” then we employ a growth mindset. When we believe that our talents are “innate,” then we employ a fixed mindset.
When we are challenged and feel defensive, then we move into a fixed mindset. We may believe our innate talents are not appreciated or devalued, and consequently, we feel threatened or defeated. Humans naturally want to avoid feeling this way about our talents, and consequently, will dig our feet into the ground to protect our ego. I totally have done and will continue to respond in this way whenever I am triggered by an unacknowledged or unhealed wound.
Another misconception of growth mindset is it is just about praising and rewarding effort.
Cultivating a growth mindset involves more than lip service. If we want to promote a growth mindset, then we need to set up systems and environments in which “seeking help from others, trying new strategies, and capitalizing on setbacks” is encouraged.
If we are afraid to take risks, seek other opinions, or fear failure, then we stay imprisoned in the cage which enforces the status quo. If individuals, families, and organizations want to foster growth mindsets, then they have to make it safe enough and provide support to make change.
In other words, if kind people and equitable structures are in place to help us navigate suffering, then we are more likely to address our suffering sooner rather than later. Whenever I can meet myself and/or have another person meet me with compassion, then I am better able to move into a growth mindset which allows for change.
The new horizon of which David Whyte wrote is the reward which comes of shedding our skin or navigating the liminal space of the push-pull. This spring I feel called to move through the liminal space and to support others who wish to do the same. Let me know if you are on a similar journey. I welcome your story.
Wishing everyone a beautiful week!
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Since 2010, Kim continues to build and to support a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.
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