Leaving the nest: learning to embrace hope and fear

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” -Pema Chodron

Three months ago, I embarked on the next leg of my leadership journey. It was shiny, and exciting, and new. Little did I know my world was about to get rocked.

To me, leadership has diddly-squat to do with a position, however that sometimes happens. Leadership is way more about our way of being, how we lead our own lives, and how we show up in the world. Often, that means influencing others – yet that is not the focus. The focus is taking responsibility (response-able) for one’s life, direction, relationships, and impact.

Back in May, when the journey started, I was blissfully living in my little bubble. Work was “good”. My relationships were “good”. What I was creating in this world was “good”. Yet no matter the “success” I achieved, there were questions that remained.

Am I living into my fullest potential?

Am I living in a way that’s congruent with who I am at my core?

Am I serving those important to me, my work, and my world?

Perhaps it’s a curse, this constant desire for more. Or perhaps it’s the motivation that fuels the fire of growth. Honestly, the jury is still out. Sometimes I love this fire for more. Other times, I resent it.

But it’s this desire, to be fully alive, awake, and human that had me sign up for Co-Active Training Institute – CTI’s Leadership program. I saw transformation that’s taken place in others and what they were creating in the world. I want that. Yet, being in it, is rididulously hard.

I’m looking at my life with a new lens.

Old patterns and ways of being are falling away.

Relationships that have outlived their time are dissolving.

All of this requires a strength inside me that I’m only beginning to know.

Here’s my point: most of us (not all) want growth. We see others that are doing amazing things whether they’re, on stages, leading the front of rooms, or changing policy and the world in profound ways. However, very few of us are willing to do the work to actually get there.

In full transparency, there have been times over the last three months – as recently as last week –  that I’ve almost quit.

There have been times that I cried so hard while being held both literally and figuratively by the other members of my leadership class (my tribe) that I’ve experienced connection and love like never, ever before.

Which is why I love the quote above so much.

To be fully alive, human, and fully awake is to be continuously thrown out of the nest.

The nest is safe. Outside is not. Often, I want to stay in the nest so badly that I pull the twigs over my head and, well, nest.

But I know in my soul that the nest soon becomes suffocatingly small, and the desire to fly becomes intoxicating.

So here we go again. Retreat #2. If it was anything like the first- send wine! And love 💛

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