Do you need permission to lead? Or were you just born naturally a leader? I am a leader, yet it would depend on the situation and the environment when I was younger, whether I would be willing to lead or not. Whether I would even believe whether I could lead or not. Because the experiences I had in life had conditioned me to believe that I needed permission to lead, and that permission had to come from somewhere outside of myself.
Because I am a highly sensitive person, I could tune into my environment, and I could sense whether it felt safe for me to step up in leadership or not. I was also very good at becoming a chameleon. When I tuned into others, I could sense what the needs were, I’d then drop my own needs to serve them, to contribute in their lives. I didn’t use that language at that time, I didn’t even realize that is what I was doing.
I could sense what others wanted me to be or do, because I wanted belonging, I needed inclusion and to know I mattered. I believe all human beings love to contribute to life. But the beliefs I had were not true, they were hiding who I really am. The need for safety, the need to feel free to be who you really are, can feel elusive. This affected a lot of my relationships because I was only partially present most of the time. This can be our lived experience and we can believe this is all there is to life. When we sense that there are things outside of our capacity to navigate, we can shut down, we can hide, become invisible, or stop talking and stop engaging in relationships with others. In my experience as a young one, I believed I didn’t matter, that I was nothing.
When you are trying really hard to be who the world says you are supposed to be you can learn a lot of things. One of the things I learned was that it’s possible to look outside of the world says you are supposed to be. I began to have the experience of looking within. For me this through my children, literally looking within. Being pregnant with my children was an amazing miracle with each one of them. I love the connection that I have, even today, with all of my children. But there was a deep connection within that supported me during that time to begin to look beyond myself, beyond my own conditioning. Because what do I want for my children, what do I want for those that I love? What do I want to nurture for them and their way of being in life? What am I modeling, not just for my children but for all of my loved ones and the clients that I care for?
So, I was able to stretch and grow and mature from the inside out, the places and pockets inside of myself that were very immature, because they had never been nurtured yet. We all need that kind of nurturance and resonance to support our health and well-being. My kids, my kitty cats, dogs, and my horses, I built trusting relationships with them that supported the relationships to thrive, instead of only survive.
When my children needed me to be there for them, when life would become difficult, I discovered I had a momma bear inside of me. This momma bear is determined to make a difference. And this aspect of myself, when you think about momma bears and how they are with their cubs, to us humans they may look rather rough. They do the rough and tumble with their cubs and they nurture them as well as set very clear limits with them, and they are very protective.
So, this momma bear knew she didn’t want to cause any harm, and some of the ways I was showing up in the world were not going to be life serving for my children to emulate. I looked outside of the box and I dug a little deeper, and I was determined to find a way to get others attention, to slow down and see a new path in the forest that was calling to me. That path for me is to be in service of life, of a way of being in life that is harmonious with nature.
It’s to be real. To drop all the masks and pretense to be real, to be authentic. To develop the ability to stay in conversation. To sum it up, the gift that I’ve received from life and getting to birth new life into the world, is seeing the beauty of that. For people to have the experience of being met right where they are and being welcomed and engaged with and enjoying it every step of the way.