Steps that count vs. counting steps

I have an Apple Watch that I rarely wear. It enables me to count my steps which, on good days, encourages me, but on less-than-good ones has me feeling less-than-good about myself, even though I did take steps, did actually move, did get up from my desk at least a few times! Still, it’s this latter reality that keeps me from wearing the watch at all.

I don’t like feeling like the steps I have taken don’t count. 

It strikes me that courage is a lot like this:

On good days, I’m more than happy to count all the ways that I’ve demonstrated it, held fast to it, remained committed. I can see the ways in which it is moving me toward my goals…and then some. But on less-than-good days I can’t take much pleasure in any steps…even though they absolutely exist because they don’t seem like enough, I’ve not taken enough of them, they’re not spectacular or Watch-worthy!

*sigh*

We often feel like courage has to be ginormous, amazing, bigger than life, cliff-jumping-esque. Certainly, such displays and experiences of courage do exist. But if they become the standard (like the bare-minimum of 10k steps), we become disheartened by anything less; worse, we become disappointed in ourselves.

So, what’s the alternative? What’s the non-Apple-Watch version of courage?

Any step at all matters, even (and maybe especially) the tiniest and most incremental.

Tiny steps of courage make an amazing difference and enable the kind of ongoing movement, transformation, and change you desire and deserve.

An example:

I used to get super-irritated at myself when I wouldn’t just say what I actually felt, speak my mind, tell my truth. I spent an inordinate amount of time in my head – spinning about with thoughts like:

  • If I say what I actually think and feel, all hell will break loose. (But wait! This IS what I think and feel! Shouldn’t I be able to express that, no matter what?)
  • They won’t be able to handle it – or me. (If they can’t handle me, why is that my problem?)
  • It’s only going to make things worse; I need to figure out another way through this issue or problem or reality. (Why am I still deliberating about this? Really?!?)

And this spinning, this craziness? Milliseconds. The list was far longer, believe me – and endlessly on repeat.

One day I decided to experiment with something, just a little thing, the tiniest promise to myself:

Just one time today, you will tell the truth. Just one time today you will align your inner thoughts with your outer words/actions. Just once. That’s all. Nothing more is required. 

Amazingly, I did it! And miracle of miracles, the world did not come crashing down around me. Some days were harder than others, to be sure, but still, I survived them. And even more amazing? Over time I realized that I my capacity to demonstrate courage was building, getting stronger – like a muscle. Those tiniest of steps began to add up. And what at one time had looked like an uncrossable chasm, eventually just required one more tiny step to now be on the other side.

What if you experimented? What if you made a promise to yourself? What if you chose the tiniest, seemingly inconsequential step and then repeated it day after day after day?

That, dear friends, takes courage.

That, dear friends, IS courage.

Any step at all matters, even (and maybe especially) the tiniest and most incremental. 

And when you choose to take those steps, even (and maybe especially) honor them and yourself over and over again? That, dear friends, is sovereignty.

May it be so. 

***********

 

Courage + Wisdom + Agency + Hope are the four “pillars” of SOVEREIGNTY – my 9-week program. They are all interconnected, even dependent upon one another.

Consider the following (unique to courage):

  • Wisdom without Courage = Stuck
  • Hope without Courage = Naive
  • Agency without Courage = Lost

Or these:

  • Courage without Wisdom = Directionless
  • Courage without Hope = Foolish
  • Courage without Agency = Resentful

There’s more; this is but a taste. And hopefully it is clear that courage matters! Tiny steps matter. The incremental matters. You matter.

What we walk through together in SOVEREIGNTY is content and concepts to be sure; even more – small, practical, even sacred steps that, when combined, move us into the sovereignty that is (already) ours. Not one-and-done, but over and over again. And not alone: accompanied and companioned by each other (as well as some of the ancient sacred storiesI LOVE to tell).

Registration closes Sunday night (5/9). The online learning platform opens up on Monday morning, and our first group call takes place on Friday with eight more Friday’s following, finishing up on July 9.

Perhaps joining me IS the smallest of steps that ultimately makes the biggest difference. If so, say “yes,” and click here.

I’d be honored to count steps with you. No Apple Watch required. ‘Promise.

 

Amelia Earhart. Agency. Taking action.

Amelia Mary Earhart was born July 24, 1897. In her short life, she was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and set many other records. She wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences. And she was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety Nines, an organization of female pilots. After disappearing on July 2, 1937, she was declared dead on January 5, 1939.

As if all that weren’t notable enough, there’s this quote of hers: 

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

Wow.

 

The word I use for this is “agency” – not only knowing I can choose but actually doing the choosing itself, acting on the decision, taking action.

We have agency. But oh, how tempting to believe otherwise.

I’m a perfect case study.

love to deliberate, to consider all the options, to weigh every pro and con, to journal, to reflect, to be curious, to wonder if I have enough data or resources or wisdom, and to then take every bit of all that pondering (and all that it subsequently invites) as permission to keep my head in the clouds instead of landing the damn plane. 

But as long as I circle, as long as I allow myself to stay in deliberation, I don’t take action.

And why would I choose such a thing?

Easy: fear.

(I’ll keep speaking for myself, but I’m guessing you can relate.)

I fear that if I not only listen to, but actually trust and act on the wisdom that is mine (not all the perseverating, but the deeper know-that-I-know-that-I-know voice within) there will be an onslaught of risks, costs, and consequences that will show up and undoubtedly subsume me. Disaster will befall. Relationships will crumble. The world will come to an end. 

Yep. That sounds about right for starters.

Of course there will be risks and costs and consequences to actually trusting and acting on my wisdom! That is always the way of it! It inevitably leads me into brand new territory, change, and transformation. (Which means that people, systems, and institutions around me will have to change, too. Yikes: more risks and costs and consequences!)

What if the awareness of risks and costs and consequences was the very thing that compelled our actions – instead of stopping them?

The best case study?

Back to Amelia Earhart. I’m thinking she was pretty clear on the risks and that those were the very things that kept her going instead of holding her back; that compelled her instead of stopped her.

Right.

So, bottom line?

Amelia Earhart invites you (and me) to choose – and then act on that choice; to decide – and then act on that decision; to acknowledge and USE the agency that’s yours.

Amelia Earhart invites you (and me) to land the damn plane. Or maybe start flying it in the first place! To push the boundaries, the limits, any and every restraint that’s kept you grounded. Say what you feel, what you mean, what you know. Trust your voice (and your wisdom), your creativity, your value, your worth. Be completely, fully, authentically you – all the time.

One might say this looks and sounds a lot like sovereignty.

Yep.

 

*****

 

These choices? These decisions? Hearing your wisdom in the first place? Having the courage to trust it – and yourself? Smartly acknowledging the risks and costs and consequences and choosing agency? Holding on to hope in the midst of it all? This and then some is definitely part of sovereignty – embracing it, practicing it, and yes, the 9-week program itself.

Registration is open for the next cohort of SOVEREIGNTY. We begin together the week of May 10. The cost is $450. Your sovereignty? Invaluable!

Learn more, book a call so we can chat, and/or register today. CLICK HERE

Wisdom does as Wisdom says

Women hold all the wisdom they could ever need, that the planet could ever need, that the world so desperately needs.

 

With that bold a statement as start, why then, do we so rarely trust ourselves? Why do we, individually and collectively, know the pain and trauma and anger and mess-of-it-all that we do? Why is the world not already changed, or at least changing faster?

I won’t speak for you, but I am pretty clear on my own answer to these questions:

There’s a vast and painful difference between hearing our wisdom and actually trusting it, between knowing what we know and acting on what we know, between what wisdom says and what wisdom does. 

Why?

We hear our intuition, that know-that-we-know-that-we-know voice within. It’s clear. It’s decisive. It has a very strong opinion! But instead of going with it, making choices in alignment with such, saying a clear “yes” or “no,” we waffle.

And why?

Because to trust our wisdom, to act on it, will – inevitably – have risks, costs, and consequences.

We’re afraid of those.

When fear shows up, the tendency is rife to try and find other wisdom; something that does not have risks, costs, or consequences attached. Which usually means we repress our own knowing and default to the wisdom around us. We look to and lean on those people/institutions/powers (translate white and male) that promise to keep us safe as long as we don’t step out of line, don’t speak our truth, don’t speak at all.

I can type these words because they have been true about me. Decades of growing up in the shadow of the church and an authoritative wisdom that I was not to question. Self-esteem that was shaped by the glorification of self-sacrifice on the one hand and shame on the other (NOT a good combination). And a way of being in the world that was determined by anything/everything other than my own knowing and intuition.

But inevitably, a day came when the gap between what I heard/knew and who I was required to be, grew too wide. I could no longer bridge it with more comprome and compliance. I had to act on my wisdom, to trust it, to trust myself. No matter what.

And no surprise: risks, costs, and consequences abounded!

But there were benefits I couldn’t have imagined, as well: empowerment, discernment, clarity, hope. Even more, the establishment of a baseline: Oh, this is what my wisdom sounds like, feels like, looks like!

Believe me, I’m far from perfect at this. But I have come a long way, have let a lot go, have lost a lot along the way, and have gained far more.

It is a powerful thing: a woman’s wisdom. Following through on it? Life-changing. World-changing. And then some. 

How about for you? (Just a few questions to ponder, journal through, and if you’re up for it, DM me your answers! I’d love to hear: truly.)

  • What would be different in your relationships, your sense of self, your work in the world, if you could consistently hear and trust your wisdom?

  • What is compromise, compliance, and not acting on your wisdom costing you?

  • What might happen if you allowed risk, cost, and consequence to be the very discernment tools that tell you you can trust your wisdom?

  • What is the change you most deeply desire for our world? (Your wisdom already knows what to do. What if you did what it said?)

It has always been needed: women’s wisdom.

And it has always been present.

Now it’s up to us to bring the two together…

…to be women who listen to and trust ourselves. On our own behalf. On behalf of the planet. On behalf of a world that so desperately needs us to not just know, but to “be” and most of all, to do.

 

May it be so.

 

*****

 

Hearing AND trusting your wisdom, then choosing agency and demonstrating courage, is but a part of what we cover together in SOVEREIGNTY  – the 9-week program.

The next cohort begins the week of May 10. The cost is $450. Your sovereignty? Invaluable and so, so needed/wanted!

Learn more, book a call so we can chat, and/or register today. CLICK HERE

 

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