When in discernment.....
- Should I stay in this job?
- What if I went back to school?
- Is it time to launch my own biz?
- Is this relationship for the long run?
- How do I find my way back to myself?
Discernment is different than making a choice. It is a common term in the language of theology and spirituality. Why? Because the church/temple/mosque have been the traditional places of spiritual connection with the Sacred.
The world is moving out of the holy walls, into the streets and into common and shared spaces. We are awakening to the reality that the Sacred dwells everywhere! The advantage of bringing out spirituality into the fold of a ready made religious community is that there are experts (I would hope) who stand ready to guide you. Women and men who have prepared deeply to guide your heart and holy connections with profound care and confidence.
But we're the DIY generation (whatever your age). So we read blogs, books, go on retreat. We are cobbling together belief systems that are unique to us, like a smorgasboard where you can have 3 shrimp or all the shrimp, veggies or leg of lamb. Whatever calls to you. We have access at our spirit-tips to the traditions and writings of the Sufis, Mennonites, Mystics, Humanist Wisdom, nature, one another.
I think this is amazing.
And then along comes a moment when we have filled out plate of experiences, rituals, and influences, and we realize it is time to do something with it all. It is time to craft our life. The best of any belief system or sacred experience is that we will be led back to ourselves. Our essential selves. Our beings at soul level, deep within, the part of us that *pings* with a tone that rings true when we meet another being or fantastic phrasing of wisdom that matches, harmonizes.....is always truth.
Decision making is made at the level of head or gut.
Discernment incorporates the head, heart, spirit, body. It is a quad that creates something else altogether when we seek the whole. The wisdom that flows to us comes from mystery, from the ineffable, from the outer that is actually the inner.
What then happens when it is time to take a leap?
We work it through in our own minds. Over and over and over we chew on it, we sleep with it, we space out with it. We might go to a trusted friend with it. Our first instincts take us close, feeling the possibility in our gut (our glorious guts which are so freakin' smart). As we take it to our outer spaces we can begin to see the impact and implications. Some may be dire. We might not know where the next paycheck will come from. We may walk away from a marriage. We may put on yoga pants before we lost that 30 pounds we've convinced ourselves we must do in order to do the next thing.
Discernment takes in all the implications. We go in with eyes wide open. We can imagine back up plans like a friend's couch so we know we won't be homeless. We test and check and imagine. This is the sweet window. If you are someone who taps into intuition of heart or tarot or the pendulumn you can just ask "When is the most auspicious time for me to make this leap?" And trust the answer.
The sweet window allows us to leave, move, act, change with integrity. It is sweet because it is not led by fear but but bravery and vision. It is so important to be in touch with your sweet window. To know its opening and then its closing.
But I've also seen courageous women take HUGE LEAPS with their kids at their sides. I've witnessed and supported women experiencing domestic violence who had no back up plan or resources LEAP and LEAVE because their lives depended on it. I've seen grad students doggedly persist to get the job they wanted when they were the least experienced, AND GET THE JOB. Everyday, people walk into work and just KNOW that this faint day of leaving has arrived in full force and they put their keys on the desk and their belongings in boxes. It doesn't just happen in movies. Some Leaps land in hard places where the scrabble up is hard and long, but so much better than if they had stayed.
I've seen many people stay past that sweet window. And it isn't pretty. If we miss the moment of the Leap Taking, it almost takes us into a parallel universe, where we are back at square zero but with all the knowledge of why we needed to leave. Depression, Disgruntlement, Disappointment start to chip away at our character. They start to dismantle our well being and all that we were building toward.
I almost hit this point in my recent Leap, not out of fear, but because I so deeply loved my job and the mission of it. Everyday I've had to hold myself back, to disentangle, to say inside my head (It is no longer my job it is no longer my job), I've had to breathe deeply and let it go, let it go. Psychologically I've had to move myself along from full attachment and identification with the role, to that of part time, and now as trainer. Soon, it will be done.
Let's talk about that psychological and energetic space: It is not only fun, but it is imperative. We must be able to see ourselves in the new role. We must be able to feel who we will be Post LEAP while till in the Pre LEAP. It matters how you introduce yourself. It matters how you dress. It matters how you use any free time. We are shifting our energetic space to a new vibrational match. This is best done with a coach because it will look like imaginal arrogance to anyone else. I must see myself, feel myself as the CEO, as the college graduate, as the single parent free from a violent partner, as the badass entrepreneur who is ready to roll. See it and feel it. Be it.
I don't want to hear the backlash from anyone saying this is unrealistic. I would bet anyone who scoffs at the process of Leap Taking....has never taken a Leap. Not everyone who is rising or at the top has taken Leaps. Some have moved in those places because of familial privilege and a leg up. Not a bad way to go, but they have nothing to say to someone taking a Leap. However, when we get scoffers, the question I want to ask them is "What Leap are you dying to take?" Chances are, they are living a life that has been given to them but is not them. Oh, how important our own authentic living is for the movement of the whole. Jealousy is often an alarm going off inside of us that we are ready for a change.
If you are at that place....that square zero again because the Leap seems too scary....then let's switch gears. Simple really.
- Do I remain in my misery, or
- Do I go where my heart, head, spirit, body are aiming me toward
Self chosen misery is a dark place. We can lose friends. We lose self respect. We lose vision. And worse, we might even lose that job or marriage or friendship or self investment but it won't be on our own terms. It will be decided for us.
Goodness, me. I want to work with you to find that sweet window to take your Leap. I will encourage you all the way, helping you to see your blind spots, the unimagined, the back up plan. It isn't easy work, OMG, is it a bouquet of flowers sitting on your desk. And while it is easy for me, the coach and spiritual director, to say all of this to you (because let's face it, it is YOU who will be doing the leaping).....rest assured that I have Leaped into the unknown and I know. I know.
With Loving Vision,