By Amy Turner, The Courage Tribe Founder
In leading The Courage Tribe I am both teacher and student. This suits me well; when we stop having an openness to learn, we cease being an expert. I lead a weekly inspirational group in Bend, OR called Tribe Tuesday. Recently we were talking about purpose, getting clear, and being in wholeness. Everything in me paused when one person summarized the collective wisdom of the morning with, “Know your wholeness.” As the power of those words landed on my ears, they humbly pierced my heart.
I felt a shift in my whole self. In the hustle of life I’d temporarily moved away from my wholeness, and that powerful, simple phrase was enough to bring me back.
How does that phrase sit with you?
There is wholeness within each and every one of us. We are brought into ease of wholeness when what we’re doing is aligned with the truth of our hearts, aligned with what is right in our bones. It doesn’t happen when we are merely appeasing social conditioning, fear, or mind chatter. We have to get quiet to hear our hearts among the noise of everything else around us. Wholeness happens when we live in courage beyond our fears.
When we know something is right, but aren’t doing it (or when we know something is wrong and we do it anyway), it tugs at our hearts. We feel broken and things in our lives become blocked. Relationships deteriorate, we become uncreative, life feels grinding and lonely – even in other people’s presence.
Feeling broken can come in the form of not speaking up when you know you need to or yelling your head off when grace is what’s called for. It can come in the form of gossip, trying to control people, having weak boundaries, judging others. A list of what brings people out of alignment with wholeness is endless. When we feel broken, we become self-reprimanding into a downward spiral – disconnected, depressed, despairing, anxious, addicted. In living from this space, we drag other people down too. We’re left wondering why things are difficult and falling apart. We can become so used to feeling broken that it becomes our baseline normal. This is not what we’re after.
We have the power to acknowledge this when it happens and change it. We need reminders and each other – we weren’t meant to go it alone. We were born to thrive, to help each other and be helped, to love and be loved, to use our talents and receive the talents of others – to be connected in our jobs, in our homes, in our communities. We are human and err often, so we need to pause for humble self-checks often. Movement between being in wholeness and feeling broken happens all throughout life, but wholeness is there to return to. The trick is getting back on track as often as we can. It takes awareness, openness, humility, forgiveness, and courage at least.
Personally, I have to pause far more often than my social conditioning tells me I should. As a result, I sometimes push until I’m out of balance, stagnant, uncreative, and short with myself and my kids. When I heard the words “know your wholeness,” I knew I’d shifted into this out-of-balance state fueled by shame and a need to get things done. I believe in walking the talk, so it was time for honest self-awareness, to forgive, adjust, and courageously move back to wholeness. Instead of pushing through tasks, I practiced saying, “Let it be.” I connected with my kids and sought time with old and new friends.
Important achievements usually happen through consistent action over a period of time and they don’t have to come at the cost of what we love in life. Within this framework there is time for a balanced, well lived, connected life. It’s not enough to say we believe in something and we’ll live it someday. We have to catch ourselves and do the work of living it now. When we are courageously in line with wholeness our lives become in flow.
Know your wholeness and courageously live it.