Are you a courageous man?
This was the opening question for a conversation I was part of.., almost a year in the making. The only real ground rule, was to say what quickly came to mind. With the understanding that we would break it down further. However, it was important to capture the initial ‘hit’ or insight.
What a time to be having this conversation. The perfect time.
You see, it was in the discussion that followed where I realized there’s a part of me who is out-of-sync. A part of me thinks that I was more ‘courageous’ in the past. I was more courageous when I was committed to a career in the corporate world. When my identity and image were defined by a title, box on an organizational chart, salary, address… even what I wore.
There is a part of me that is holding onto the past. There are unspoken measurements, this part of me uses, to define success and even meaning in my life. Yet now.., when I slow down and take the time to think about these measurements, I realize they are actually pretty low or meaningless to me in the scheme of things. At least as they apply to my life now.
I am very aware of how my mind is distracted by the future. I know the way it wants to plan, plot and manipulate events, circumstances and situations as it’s feeble way to ‘control’ outcomes. I am intimate with the dance I do with the future. In fact, I love the facile way my mind works. It serves me well – when I am not caught up with trying to ‘get my way’.
But these shackles to the past are a new awareness.
Now mind you, when I left my previous life behind and started my own business, I was clearly aware of the comparisons I was making. Those things that seemed easier, and the ones that were harder. Most of us use all of our life experiences to navigate each day. Old lessons applied to new experiences.
What I now realize, because of this conversation, is that I have a whole new life, that I am holding hostage to the past. Not in all ways… but in several very important ways.
In the past I was committed to achieving at any cost. Promotions, income, status, possessions, etc. I knew the rules and was good at playing the game. I did whatever I thought was necessary to get ahead. “Ahead” playing someone else’s game.
Because I was fearless and determined, I took that as being “courageous”.
When I made the decision to leave all of that behind and take off in a whole new direction, that is when I consciously chose to step into the unknown. And I am not just talking about starting, running and developing a business. That is simply the playground (like the corporate world was!).
The unknown is about showing up everyday authentically and creating something that matters to and for yourself. It is about allowing the unfolding journey to be enough. Trusting that every situation, individual, challenge and opportunity is completely aligned with your highest good. Even when in the moment it might feel like it sucks, or hurts or shocks the hell out of you.
It is allowing your heart and mind to inform your movement but to respond in the moment to what is present. Embracing predictability when it is available and dancing with uncertainty when it shows up.
My old concept of courageous needed an update. I can see how this update is more aligned with emerging, healthy, masculine energies. These new energies are helping to diminish and replace the distorted masculine energies that have been overvalued and dominant for to long. Courageous is not about doing; it is about Being. Being present and in this moment is where the courageous man (or woman) lives.
With Light, Love, and Laughter