A few weekends ago my boyfriend came home late Saturday night after the first week of his yearly 3-week stint working 16-20 hour days. Yes, that is not a typo...for three weeks, he and his team of about 100 people (about 80 he hired specifically for this short-term event) work to feed 2300+ people at a retreat in Sonoma. The demand for greatness lives deep within my partner - he isn't just feeding 2300 people, he's created an entire new menu of gourmet meals, documented the end-to-end supply chain, preparation and serving of those meals and is now in the midst of managing that process and leading his team through it, knowing him, beyond expectations. The demand for greatness catalyzed my boyfriend to win gold medals in the culinary Olympics, actualize a wall full of other awards and trophies as well as obtain his master chef certification along with a very few 65 people in the entire country.
The demand for greatness lives deep within me as well. I am the never ending instigator of consciousness in our relationship, the soft, sweet, undeniably potent energy of whatever is required for us to always be creating something greater, something aggressively kind, loving and gracious. The demand for greatness catalyzed me to leave 20+ years of my corporate career sitting behind the desk to standing in front of the room speaking and facilitating people in the art of pragmatic energy and inspired action a.k.a. conscious leadership.
My demand for greatness has been pulling at all the threads of control for me lately unraveling into the vulnerability that is required to live the greatness and constantly contribute to creating greater. When my tenaciously independent and capable boyfriend came home Saturday night to drink a martini with me and fall blissfully asleep snuggled up beside me it invited me to a place of leadership in nurturing and play for the 36 hours we were together. I woke up before him on Sunday letting him sleep in. I made his favorite pour over coffee and got back into bed to wake him to snuggles and an overflowing of affection for his tired body. I ran to the store and cooked my boyfriend chef breakfast and provided options for our play day.
Sitting on the ferry to Tiburon from San Francisco (where we live) he leaned into this beautiful snuggle (see pic above). The willingness to let go of all of the physical efforting of the week and the willingness to let go of being in charge and being the man that takes care of anything and everything into complete and utter receiving, gratitude and love acknowledged something so deeply held within me. That my demand for the greatness of my living which unabashedly includes him and us continues to pull me forward, it provokes vulnerability of asking, receiving and contributing in ways I'm not sure I could have imagined and certainly beyond what I perceived. And, it unequivocally acknowledged in me the place where I always knew I could invite and inspire someone to be, do and have so much more of themselves.
This blog article doesn't end here. I've invited four people that I appreciate and admire greatly to share an acknowledgement and tip of choosing vulnerability in the living of your greatness. Each one is a luscious leader in the world, in creating their life and in presenting possibilities to me that simply astound me at times.
1) Danna Lewis
My tips, tools and questions to expand the greatness of your living are:
- Universe, show me the greatness of my living and what else is possible beyond what I can perceive?
What energy, space and consciousness can I be of the aggressive presence and vulnerability I truly be?
If you notice yourself closing up, shutting down or contracting your energy, ask for the space of vulnerability, demand of yourself to ‘push your barriers down’ and be willing to be more present.
Listen, play and explore more with Danna on her new radio show ‘Luscious Leadership’ at http://a2zen.fm/author/luscious-leadership/
2) Robert Mancuso, CMC
Throughout my 25 years of business management I've often looked for different ways to communicate with coworkers, acknowledge their skills and respect their qualifications. My results have always been positive. I have grown as a manager over the years as I constantly study text books and theories in the subject. I am in no way an expert and am challenged every day to deal with new case studies and temper difficult and challenging situations.
I realize for the last two years, since meeting my girlfriend Danna, I have discovered so much more about managing my employees, my life and my relationship. I've never felt I was very good in the area of relationships. Perhaps it was my unwillingness to listen or my stubborn attitude or even my crazy alter ego I use when running the culinary operations - oh how to separate the two? I believe I have reached a point in my life where I am willing to be vulnerable enough to realize there is more to learn, much more. And in her own way, sometimes knowingly and sometimes not, Danna has given me tools to create on a much different level. She has allowed me to look at things differently. For example she uses an Access Consciousness® term which is "Choice Creates". Years ago I would have blown that quote off and used my strong leadership skills to command authority, but today I will ask and be more aware of "what will my choice create”? Another great quote of hers is "Gratitude Grows Love" - I particularly like this one because I've always been too stubborn to stop and think about how grateful I could have been to be in a loving relationship. Now as I let my guard down I realize that being vulnerable is not a bad thing, in fact it's quite the opposite.
My tip is: Never be so stubborn or ego driven to see how much a few words can change your life and in my case "Choice Creates" and "Gratitude Grows Love" are my top five words this year - what else is possible?
3) Rhonda Burns
As a recovering perfectionist, people-pleasing control freak of magnitude to the highest degree, I've come to acknowledge for myself that being vulnerable means never having to have all the answers, or the solutions figured out. Yet being willing to let everything come my way so that I can sort through it accordingly and determine what feels good and works, as well as what doesn't feel good and doesn't work.
The willingness to be "out of control and out of answers", and instead in the receptive mode of, "Show me what you've got, Universe!" allows me to pick and choose and make adjustments accordingly. It wasn't easy at first - not even close, and some days are certainly more challenging than others, but what I've continued to be shown over and over again, is that this way is the easier way. It's the more fun and the more enjoyable way. Stress doesn't exist in my body any longer. The weight of the world of "having to know it all and figure it all out" is no longer my burden to bear. And I don't know about anyone else, but ease, freedom, clarity, joy and feeling good are targets and priorities that I can, and choose to live with!
I'm not going to sugar coat it - vulnerability takes courage. Yet when we choose it, and we show up as it, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in the universe conspires to show us all that we are capable of, as well as all that we are supported by. It's crazy and yet so beautiful! If you'd like to start to play with vulnerability, or continue to add to what you're already playing with, I'd invite you to play with these two questions:
- "Universe, please show me all the places, spaces and ways I could choose more vulnerability with everything, including me."
- "What might choosing to be the vulnerability I truly be contribute to me, my body, my money flows, my relationships, my professional career and everything I truly desire to have and be?"
When you ask them, just notice what you think, feel, or experience, then take a deep breath in and blow it out. Let it go. Ask these over and over again until you get to a space of lightness, perhaps even laughter. No answers necessary; just ask and be willing to receive the energy that might show itself, or the feelings that you notice in your body, as well as any thoughts in your mind. The more space you create, the less you "think", and the more vulnerability can be a primary component and way of being for you every day. And that's where the stuff you can't begin to explain can show up greater! Above all else, would you be willing to have fun when playing with these? If it isn't fun, what's the point?
You can come play with Rhonda more at: www.rhonda-burns.com or find her weekly on her "Potency Is My Game" radio show @ 10 a.m. EST each Wednesday morning.
4) Ron Jahner, ND
My tip is EXPAND! Our natural tendency based on how this reality we grew up in functions, is to withdraw and contract in the face of anger or upset, or we resist and react with anger of our own. Either of these options can actually make the situation worse! When we choose vulnerability by EXPANDING and allowing all that intensity to just flow through without judgement, it most often dissipates and even the person creating the upset runs out of steam! What else is possible? What would it take for me to expand so big that this doesn’t even bother me at all?
5) Dr. Lisa Cooney
Receiving is an action you take with no barriers to anyone or anything. It is a space of vulnerability, of openness and oneness with everything. Receiving has no boundaries or obligations. it is not forced or demanded, it is simply a way of being the space of you in the energy of you as the consciousness of you!
The energy I call receiving gives you total power, total choice, total awareness and total strength from the vulnerability of the willingness to be the biggest you there is. What would the world be like if we all lived as this space of energy?
Tip: to be the energy, space and consciousness of you, imagine you are as big as the universe and the earth and in that bigness you are everything and nothing at the same time. As you are a part of it all there is a molecular communion that exists that includes awareness with and for and about everything.
Dr. Lisa Cooney is a leading authority on thriving after childhood sexual abuse. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, certified Access Consciousness® Facilitator, Master Theta Healer and author. For more information and to contact Lisa, please visit www.drlisacooney.com.