Sunday 10-6-13 Grace under Fire

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ~ Brené Brown.

Happy Sunday!

I am now observing a new side of me; there is a very bold, courageous side I haven’t known arising. And more surprising to me than this awakening trait is that it seems to be bringing me praise, respect, and recognition.
I have boldness to speak my mind and yet, I am questioning whether it is coming from my mind?
From my awareness I have learned to trust my intuition so these days I will usually say what comes to mind. I am not ignoring my thoughts that express the true me; I don’t over analyze thoughts or turn them against myself; I don’t even filter them too much. I know I am worthy to say what I want to say. I have trust in myself and God and each morning I ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I live and act in Faith!
Being new to this bold behavior I expect that I am not doing it so well. I question whether I am being Loving. It seems like my focus is on Truth. I gauge myself against the masters like the Dalai Lama who are authentic, kind, truthful, and loving all the time. I recognized that I am just a novice stepping onto the next stone on the path.
So I mentioned last week that I was anxious about an upcoming public meeting. My preparation for the public speaking was to have all the display materials in order but not to focus on what I was going to say. I did think about my role and what the audience might expect of me. What they needed of me was for me to be the engineer and provide information. I didn’t need to be charming or to try to make friends, I just had to give them the information that I well know about the project. So my speaking preparations were to be confident in my knowledge of my work and to say a prayer for guidance. I asked God to guide my tongue that I could provide the information people wanted and for me to not be rude in any way as experience has shown me that people can have ridiculous questions and comments at these types of meetings and I have on occasion felt badly about my responses.
The meeting was a surreal experience. People showed up early and were hot to be antagonistic. I was guided. I lead my team and allowed them to engage while I stood back when I wasn’t needed. I was kind to those who where open to my information. I was direct and resourceful to those who were closed minded. People who had valid concerns, I believe my answers alleviated their fears. To those who wanted to pontificate, I was fearless, refuting their mis-information with facts. (Also, my boss commented the next day that when I held my tongue that was impactful as well.) When the meeting ended I had several kind ladies tell me what a great job I did. Then to my surprise, most of those who were combative came up and shook my hand. I got much praise from my supervisors for taking on some of the toughest political personalities in the region.
That night I struggled to go to sleep, my mind wanting so much to recount each moment of the evening to analyze it and form opinions, my heart said no. I woke in the morning after a short sleep and my mind was still struggling against my heart which kept saying just let it go, “the past is gone.” It was a battle. I chose to care for myself and go into work late giving myself time to get centered in meditation. It helped but I still was concerned for myself as I felt totally weak and vulnerable; I felt used up.
Well lots of talk about the meeting was already happening by the time I got to work. I was pleased to see my boss standing in the same boldness I had expressed the night before – I left it to him. He shared with me an email he received early that morning from a resident saying we had done a good job with the added statement, “Grace under fire!”
That phrase summed it up for me but with my own meaning that differs from how most people think of the phrase, of acting graciously under pressure. For me it was God’s Grace, acting boldly through me, not standing for anyone’s political posturing. Yes, God’s Grace was there for me, moving and working through me.
Grace under fire – I knew I would write about this as soon as I read the phrase in the email. What I didn’t anticipate was further understanding to come this week about what I was experiencing.
Things that came along this week brought me to watch a Youtube video of the Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. He was answering a question on wisdom and he said that for mystics, when the heart opens the mind closes and that wisdom is now brought to the heart from connection to the Universe (he didn’t call it this but I think of it as the connection to Christ Consciousness).
I have been thinking about my experience during and after the meeting. During the meeting, facts that I hadn’t thought of in years popped into my head to answer tough questions. For the couple of days following the meeting I was aware of my mind just feeling blank, empty. Possibly exhaustion; possibly something else.
Is this what living in the NOW feels like?
So I have more questions for God including the big one …
Who Am I?
“Wholeheartedness. There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.” ~ Brené Brown

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