Thursday, March 15, 2018

In a World that Demands Innovation, How do We Transform?

Dream. Create. Inspire.

                                     It’s Your World. Take Control 

 Dreams Made Real            Ideas for Life

In a world that sloganizes all of our creative forces into minimal shapes of controllable language and ideas, it is hard to think of how we can move into the power of who we are - even that sounds like a slogan! And yet, this work of transformation is real, profound and not only needed, but necessary for living. This is not a new concept, but in the 21st Century everything has been magnified into a global and surging reality that potentially touches the lives of millions in seconds. So the demand for people showing up to who they truly are is heightened in all of our interactions. How to do this?

Recently, I offered a workshop on Awakening Intuition: Identifying the Noble Voice Within in
Workshop info on awakening intuition
which we explored living a path that empowers our truth and honors our purpose.  I have found when I live by my authentic voice, I am transformed, at every moment I am potentially new again with life and ideas pushing out at an exponential rate. I am not interested in whether these ideas become slogans to live by, rather I am convinced they are forces that move through me and impact others in how I speak, in what I do and how I love. Every movement is motivated by these forces and others feel this depth of truth in each exchange. These forces do not make me special, nor do they belong to me - they are forces of creativity and innovation that belong to everyone!

So how do we awaken these forces of transformation within us? Here are a few nuggets of truth I have learned from deep reflection, consistent action and a faith driven walk that believed the best of me was manifesting herself:

Find Your Mirrors

We are all connected and some of us manifest qualities that touch the lives of others, because they too carry those qualities. Find those mirrors. For me this mirror was Prince. He manifested the qualities that spoke to my soul: 
  • Courage
  • Light
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Divergence

For a young girl of two very complex and tradition bound heritages born - Quechua Indian from Bolivia and Irish-British pilgrims - I felt deeply connected to my roots and at the same time driven to change. From an early age I felt the complexity of who I was and the competing forces within my family being of two very different worlds.
Prince on guitar
Prince showed me how to rise above all of this. He refused false dichotomies, he embraced all of his gifts and pushed them out with a force that rejected any of the limitations, society in its immaturity, tried to impose on him. 

Another mirror belonged to my grandmothers, woman I never met here in the physical realm, but who were very alive to me in the spirit world. Mama Cruzesa, Nana Millet, Nana Mitchell all spoke to me my entire life - again, through the way they chose to live their life. They embraced all of their dualities and struggled through the imposed limitations of being spirits bound by traditions of womanhood or being indigenous or both! Each in their own way they defied these limitations by standing up for indigenous woman's rights or by quietly investing part of their kitchen budget into the stock market, eventually making millions.

So find your mirror. They are out there. And not to mimic, but to inspire. 

We are all mirrors. 

Listen to the Voice Within

This can be a tricky one and in Western society we are taught any voices other than the one spoken through our vocal chords are not to be trusted. In my experience, not so. And yet, a word of caution - find the voice of your true self that seeks your highest good. This can be a challenge. A few things I've done to do this include:

Listen to your body 

Our body is our greatest storyteller, it has been with us since our inception and knows all of our most intimate secrets and experiences. Learning to listen to the body is a beautiful act of love. It says: I love you. I trust you. I know you want to take care of me. That is the purpose of the body, to take care of us. It's sole creation is to make sure we are in the best possible position to live fully. I have learned to listen to my body by doing a couple of things: 
  • I listen to when it is in discomfort and I ask myself, Is there something about this part of my body that needs attention? For example, if I have an earache, could I be listening too much? Or not listening enough to someone? Do I need to be more gentle with this part of my body. And then of course, I take care of it physically as well - if it needs medicine or even just rest. All of this is an act of love. As I do this more, my body will tell me more. It is a relationship and needs nurturing. Overtime, it may tell me of past pains or traumas that need healing; false belief systems I may be carrying. It is a gentle process and one grounded in a deep feeling of respect and love.
  • Learning of other ancient traditions of healing, like the sacred Sanskrit text, that tells us we are energy beings and must learn to use this energy to not only heal, but find and direct our purpose has also been transformative. In the West we have learned of this tradition primarily through what is commonly referred to as the 7 chakra system. This article was highly enlightening for me as I deepened my understanding of our body as energy systems that we could access and learn from. I used meditation to connect to these chakras. Knowing I am an energy being, I would use my understanding of chakras to find my seat of truth and listen from this place that I carry at the center of my body's core. 
  • Finally, breathe. I almost wanted to pull this out and make it's own tool and in some ways it is. Breath is such a powerful gift of life and even though it is what keeps our physical engine going, it is also an incredible tool to move back into our body when we are thinking too much. I find that if I am ruminating over a problem, all I have to do is breathe. Breathing brings me back into my body, back into the chakra that I found at the core of my body and where I know my truth calls me to listen. Breathing also tells the brain that everything is okay and this allows me to pause. Ready to listen. 

Manage Your Emotions

Our emotions, powerful sources of energy and stimulation for movement, love and creativity. Also, inhibitors of movement, projectors of false beliefs and overwhelming oceans of energy that can weigh us down. Our emotions are just energy, but when they go unchecked, they can become like hurricanes and demolish all in their path. So, again what to do? It is helpful to remember, emotions are energy that reflect the state of the heart. In this realm humans are of two distinct selves, our lower nature which is attached to the material realm and our higher self, the self of the spirit which is attached to the world of the divine. These two selves are in constant tension for usurping power over the other. Our emotions are great indicators of where we stand and the direction our heart is mirroring - our spirit self or our lower nature. How do we identify emotions? In our dominant western culture we don’t understand emotions very well and see them as something that needs to be suppressed. A tool I use to help me develop a better understanding of emotions is the Diamond of Emotions:

Under this diagram, there are 3 primary emotions: Joy, Fear and Pain and one secondary emotion: Anger. In general we are uncomfortable with emotions, period. In particular with fear and pain. We do not like to feel fear or pain and try to avoid them in ourselves and in others. We also don’t want people to be too happy either. We question why they are so happy and show discomfort with their happiness. In our society we are taught to avoid emotions such as fear and pain and are questioned when we feel them: Why are you crying? There’s no reason to cry. What are you afraid of? There’s nothing to be afraid of. We want others to not feel these feelings so we too don’t have to feel them. Because we’re energy beings we pick up on each other’s feelings; the stronger the emotions, the more uncomfortable we become if we are not aware of our own reactions to people’s emotions. There is so much more to say on this topic, which is why I am writing a book that includes an entire section on this. For now, it is enough to begin to recognize when we have these emotions and to treat them like water. If we consider a river, all a river wants to do is allow water to move. If water becomes stagnant it begins to rot and becomes a source of damage. So our job, just let emotions run their course and when we are done come back to truth and love. The message we close with: We are loved. We are okay. This cycle allows you to come back to a calm and clear mind and project from love once again.

These are a few tools that I have learned to help me come back to my truth and in turn, they allow me to transform my inner reality. Slogans attempt to capture the power of innovation, but in the end, behave more like smoke distracting us from the real work and goal that innovation demands: Transformation.

When we transform our inner reality from doubt and fear, to truth and courage, we can stand in faith and walk with spirit feet deeply rooted to the truth of who we are - noble human beings.