This year I committed to a Yearlong Soulcraft workshop through the Animas Institute. I recently returned from the second retreat, if you can call it that.
During this retreat, we worked on dismembering the current identity in order to hear the voice of the true identity, our mytho-poetic identity. We were in the desert of Anza Borrego State park in between LA and San Diego contemplating what imminent death might do to our priorities.
Well, not sure what you did last weekend but that might not have been high on your list.
While I was contemplating death, I wandered around, conversing with the land, plants, sky, rock, water, beetles, dead Borrego, mule deer skull. You name it, I had a conversation with it.
In these wanders, the message I received was, “my voice matters.” This seems a common theme and one I guess I have to hear A LOT to really believe it. The land seemed to tell me to speak my truth.
Maybe I am like the Lorax and I am learning to listen to and speak for those desert dwellers who cannot speak in our language.
Maybe it means be like me – sharp and spikey, beautifully fragrant, hard and striped, or moving like water. These desert dwellers do not make excuses for themselves, they simply are who they are with a fierce authenticity, riding the line between life and death in the water starved desert of southern California.
These conversations left me with the question – what would it mean to live with a fierce authenticity? To be exactly who I am, not who I think I should be.
This phrase – fierce authenticity – helped crystalize what is important.
It helped me to see that my day-to-day conversations have an impact on what is possible for me and others, and what I believe is possible in the world.
It helped me to see more clearly who is important to me, and understand that fierce authenticity means being someone who speaks their truth regardless of whether or not I am accepted, rewarded or even acknowledged.
It helped me see that the way I pay attention to the world matters, because the world – no matter how lonely we feel – is paying attention to us. And we can feel the purity of that connection when turn up our faculties of attention.
What this all tells me about conversations that matter is to have them. And if you don’t know how, invite perspective.
Join us at our only public offering this year – The Leadership Adventure. We hope to see you and hear about the fiercely authentic conversations that are changing your life.