I have been ‘waiting’ all summer to find the right topic to ‘launch’ my blog with … as if there was a perfect day or a perfect topic to do so. There isn’t… and there is. For me it’s today …. this moment….. when I allow the creative inspiration that has been burbling in me to flow over, instead of letting it be silenced by the voices of order and perfection.
What category will this post live under? Will it speak to you? Will it provide value? Will it inspire you to come back and visit me (and my site) again? Those are all important questions … but they are not THE question, and they are not useful questions when they stand between me (or you) and inspiration. Today I choose to listen first to the voice of inspiration, and trust that I will sort out the answers to those questions afterward.
It is my birthday. I awoke to a flurry of messages wishing me joy and celebration – and I chose to take it in, to be in the space of receiving – and that choice fueled my inspiration. As I reflect on what it means to be present, to take in what is offered, to be with what is… I recognize this as the essence of what I bring to the world, what I want to offer to you: the idea, the possibility, the pathway to full aliveness…. to fully embodying all that our one juicy life has to offer us. We have an opportunity, in every moment, to show up as leaders in our lives, to model for, and inspire in, others what is possible. This is the essence of embodied leadership – being a stand for what we believe in – whatever ‘role’ we’re playing. (CEO, friend, parent, community leader, entrepreneur…..)
I suppose this post has been building for weeks. I lost a dear friend this summer, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about him, his life, our friendship and the meaning of life in general. There is no force as powerful as loss to jolt some deep inquiry into what’s really important. As I reflect on him, and his short but vibrant life, I recognize him as one of the most embodied leaders I’ve had the privilege to meet. He was kind, compassionate, insightful, ridiculous, and often irreverent … fully present in whatever he was doing and with whomever he was with. He inhabited his body – fully, playfully, joyfully – in his skin, listening and responding to its wisdom. He inspired many and was known as a leader in several communities because he was trustworthy and authentic, because he challenged the status quo and believed with absolute certainty in the greatness of others. He called us, through his own courage, to step forward into our lives. And how can we not?
I do not know how many days I will have on this earth, but I know that each one is an opportunity to choose how I want to live. I want to live and love and lead as fully, vibrantly, powerfully, and as imperfectly as my friend Andrew did. I choose to be a stand for an embodied life, and that is powerful leadership because choosing embodiment, in itself, is radical. (Radical Embodiment – another post coming your way soon!)
I am an embodied leader. I live in my body; I walk my values, I speak my truth, I love with my whole heart, and I inspire others to do the same. I am often imperfect and sometimes I leave my body, I stifle my truth, I make poor decisions, and I protect my vulnerable heart lest it get hurt. I am still an embodied leader. Andrew has profoundly reminded me that both embodiment and leadership are not about perfection – they are about being fully, powerfully, imperfectly, human – and in doing so, creating the safe space for others to join us there.