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HUMBLENESS

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The characteristics of an authentically empowered personality are humbleness, clarity, forgiveness, and Love. Love is the big one. Each time you have the courage to feel the sensations beneath the impulse to shout in anger, withdraw in jealousy, judge or disdain, or need to please, for example, and instead of acting on it, act from the healthiest part of yourself that you can access – even if that means simply remaining motionless and silent with a good intention for the person or people you are with, you create authentic power. The more you create authentic power, the more the characteristics of authentic power become your characteristics, and the more meaning, purpose, and joy enter your life.

This Spring through the beginning of Summer, I am going to explore each of the characteristics of an authentically empowered personality in a different article. This month I am beginning with characteristic of authentic power that few people have thought about – humbleness. What do you think it is, really? What do you think it is not, really? And last, why do you think it would be good to develop humbleness?

A humble person walks in a familiar world. He or she sees friends everywhere he or she looks, wherever he or she goes, with whomever he or she meets. His or her perception goes beyond the shell of appearance and into essence. He or she sees the attributes of people around him or her – big body, small body, strong body, weak body, quick intellect, slow intellect, yellow skin, brown skin, male or female, young or old – and on and on – as costumes. He or she does not believe that anyone will change this costume at the end of the day, but he or she also knows that everyone will leave it behind at the end of a lifetime. Ashes will return to ashes, and dust will return to dust. That is the way it is with costumes. They do not last forever. They do not even last very long – a century at best and much less for most people. The soul is a different story. The soul is immortal.

The next time you feel less than someone else, inadequate, or inferior, remember that “humbleness” doesn’t have anything to do with those experiences any more than it means lowering yourself to make a connection. There are no lower levels to a humble person. There are no higher levels, either. There are only souls. There is only love. Humbleness is one of the great gifts of authentic power – and you give it to yourself.

Next month, I will look at “Clarity.” It might surprise you, too.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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LOVE – THE HOLY PERCEPTION

LOVE – THE HOLY PERCEPTION

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Love is so big, so inclusive, so encompassing that no definition can contain it. Love is not only the love with a little “L”, such as the love of a parent for a child or a child for a parent. It is not the only the love of illusory fantasy, such as romantic love or love for a great heroine or hero. It is not only the Universal love, sometimes called Agape. It is larger even than that. When the great Sequoia, aging for centuries, finally falls, thundering downward until it comes to rest in the embrace of the Earth, that is love, also. The incoming and outgoing tides caress sand and rocks ceaselessly, relentlessly. That is love, too. When the cannons roar, bodies explode, and limbs scatter across grassy fields or littered streets made morbid with blood, can that be love? Can the cruelty of the bully, the deceitfulness of the coward, the majesty of the courageous, and the humbleness of the wise be love as well? How can we dare speak of them in the same sentence, especially when “love” is part of the sentence?

Love is a perception, but it is a holy perception, a sacred perception, a perception that excludes nothing and includes everything. It is the love of the bee for the flower, the mountain for the valley and the valley for the mountain. It is the love of the bird for the air and the air for the bird. It is the boiling, roiling, tumultuous collision of emotions within us, between us, and among us. It is the song of the wind and the whistle of an incoming artillery round. It is the stars and the soil, the light and the dark, it is the antelope eating the grass and the lion devouring the antelope. It is the dance of life and death, inseparably united within the illusion of time and space, matter and duality.

The fire destroys the forest and new life rises. The corpse goes into the ground, the waves, or the fire, but the soul remains. All this, also, is love. Victory and defeat, success and failure, insight and confusion are love. Nothing we see or cannot see, long for or push away, celebrate or regret is not love. Everything and its opposite is love. When you see this, you step into love.

Your life – all of your experiences – becomes an uninterrupted flow of opportunities to expand into love instead of contract into fear. You see the power of your choices and the extent of your responsibility for what they create. You see that when you create with brutality, the experience of brutality comes to you or another of your soul’s personalities. You see that when you create with love, the experience of love comes to you or another of your soul’s personalities. Eventually, you learn to create with love no matter what circumstances you are in. You see your circumstances differently, too. You see that all of them beckon you to Love, to fall into Love, to allow Love.

When you cannot feel the call, when you fight the fall, when you refuse to allow, you are experiencing fear. The experience of fear, also, is an experience of Love. Eventually you will come to realize that Love is all there is. Why not open to Love now? Why not begin the process now? Why not step into your life consciously and responsibly? There is no other way to Love.

Love.
Linda & Gary

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INTENTIONS OF INTEGRITY

INTENTIONS OF INTEGRITY

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Integritylove, and authentic power are inseparable. Integrity is much more than doing the right thing. From the perspective of your soul, there is no “right” and “wrong” thing. There are causes and there are effects of causes. When the cause is love, the effect is love. When the cause is fear, the effect is fear. When you are torn between love and fear, or between fear and love, your personality is splintered. It is not whole, not integral. You are out of integrity. Your wholeness is not present.

Only creating with integrity can re-establish it. That means creating with love, even while fear is present within you, for example, speaking with patience while impatience seethes inside you; acting with acceptance while anger rages through you; and honoring the needs of another while a frightened part of your personality demands that its need be met first. It means honoring others in deep and substantive relationships even when frightened parts of your personality demand that you exploit them – emotionally, psychologically, sexually, financially.

Integrity often requires courage. It takes courage to challenge a frightened part of your personality, for example, to not act in anger when you are angry and to listen respectfully when you feel superior. You act courageously each time you choose to act with love while you are experiencing fear. Courage is always required where will and fear intersect. What could be a better use of your courage than to create with love? When you hold the intention of love, when you act with the intention of love, you align yourself with your soul, and you are in integrity.

Love,

Linda & Gary
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DEPTH, BEAUTY, AND POWER

DEPTH, BEAUTY, AND POWER

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I am always amazed by the depth, beauty, and power of people. I see these things often at our events, and they thrill me. Last month at our first urban Journey to the Soul retreat, a large, beautiful, black woman stood to speak. She was big in size, voice, and presence, but she was trembling and struggling to find her voice. A previous sharing about loss had activated a frightened part of her personality, a part deep in terror, pain, rage, and humiliation. She spoke haltingly. “I am fed up with it. I am sick of being afraid. I am so tired of fearing the police. How many more of my black friends will be arrested, beaten, or killed?” She was sobbing with despair and rage and powerlessness. “Everyone I know who is black fears being stopped by the police. The police always have a reason. Its driving while black. Or breathing while black.” Now her whole body was shaking, and her face was wet with tears. She held to the back of a chair to remain standing. “I am fed up!” she struggled to say again. “FED UP!” Then she seemed to physically grasp herself and said in a different voice. “A frightened part of my personality is fed up. It has had enough. Enough!”

The transformation was palpable. Before she was speaking from a frightened part of her personality. Now she was talking about it. She was present again. Her shaking stopped, but her face was still wet. This strong woman was an executive in a multinational corporation. And she was black, terrified of the police, and had had enough. I could see her centering herself, scanning interior places for painful physical sensations, and deciding not to act on them more. This was a moment of creating authentic power. It was intimate and heroic. As she moved beyond the fear of beatings and bullets, beyond the control of this part of her personality, she entered a courageous, compassionate, and caring part of her personality, and we all moved with her.

Another woman on the other side of the room stood up. She was small and blonde. “I am the wife of a cop,” she said. “My husband is not like that. I feel what you are saying, but he is not like that.” There we were, all of us, courageously experiencing the ragged tear in our country and in our world without the anesthetics of righteousness and rage. It took courage, because creating authentic power always does. It requires challenging painful frightened parts of your personality that are so strong they shake your body or so beguiling they envelop you in blaming. These two souls did neither. They cultivated loving parts of their personalities, the big black woman and the white wife of the white cop.

Our dear friend, Maya Angelou, often said, “We are more alike than we are different.” She was so right. We are all immortal souls learning how to love in the Earth school, in the domain of the five senses, in the realm of right and wrong, gain and loss, good and bad. This requires creating authentic power, and we all witnessed a moment of that creation, one of myriad moments in the life of each individual who is growing powerful – aligning personality with soul.

Can you challenge the frightened parts of your personality and cultivate the loving parts of your personality like these two women did and do? Can you create authentic power?
Love.
Linda & Gary