“When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that’s wisdom. When I look inside and see that I am everything, that’s love. Between these two my life turns.”
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharah from the “Zen of Gratitude”.
FORCE OF NATURE. What does this phrase mean to you? How do you embody this idea?
I’ve been playing around with this idea since REI rolled it out this summer…
What is it to BE a Force of Nature?
It is the heat of the sun unfolding a flower. It’s persistent and determined – a bulb pushing up through the earth. It’s the destructive, gale-force winds of a hurricane. It’s patient – a river carving a canyon through the millennia. It’s a nourishing – a bee pollinating a plant. It’s flamboyant as a tangerine sunset. It is the push of tetonic plates forming a mountain range. It’s the grandeur of mountains. It the moon’s pull of the tide. It’s crashing ocean waves.
I am these things and more. I haven’t often enough claimed this power.
Today, I state this truth: I am a force of nature.
In my 20s I moved from the African continent which had been my home since birth, and learned to build and live a life in what was then, to me, a foreign country – America. Resilience. Adaptation. I claim those traits along with a broad, unique world view.
In my 30s I was the force of nature behind the building project that is now the Mount Horeb Public Library. Under my direction it went from a sleepy, small-town, 4,000-square-foot building to a 16,000-square-foot-building bustling with services. Everything from location, layout, design, the color of bricks and carpet, to the fundraising, policies and procedures, to the staff hired, every last detail, I had a hand in fashioning. This is a significant legacy. It is one I have been too modest in claiming.
In my 40s I rebuilt my life from the ground up after miscarriage and divorce completely leveled it. I discovered a well of strength and fortitude I realized I had never adequately tapped. Resilience. Adaptation. Creativity. Persistence. Determination. Transformation. I have created (continue to create) an amazing life for myself in what felt like great odds. I re-discovered running and biking. I’ve used my running to help raise money for hospital supplies in the DRC. I ended a career. I started another one and another one. Daily, I choose hope, love, adventure.
Why do I bring this up, TOOT MY OWN HORN? Because I don’t always choose to stand rock-solid in the truth of who I am. I don’t embrace the force of nature I am; I fail to claim my power.
And when I don’t claim what is mine, I show up scattered and distracted, like I did recently at a networking event I attended.
As Marianne Williamson or Nelson Mandela (whoever the quote should be attributed to) said: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
When I don’t admit the full truth of who I am, I feel angry when others ask to be more fully recognized. “Who do they think they are?” I wonder. And, yet, part of my anger lies in the fact I don’t adequately take time to recognize and appreciate my own contributions to the world.
The truth is, each in our own way, from moment-to-moment, we can choose to be forces of nature.
We ARE Forces of Nature.
As Mingyu Rinpoche, a well-known Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and best-selling author reminds us, “At any given moment, you can choose to follow the chain of thoughts, emotions, and sensations that reinforce a perception of yourself as vulnerable and limited, or to remember that your true nature is pure, unconditioned, and incapable of being harmed. You can remain in the sleep of ignorance, or remember that you are and always have been awake.”
So, my friends, if you don’t naturally claim your power, let today be the day you claim the full force of your nature.
What makes YOU a Force of Nature?
What does this phrase mean to you?
How do you embody this idea?
If you would like to explore what makes you a force of nature, I will be happy to be your thought-partner in this exploration.
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Give yourself the gift of space and time to reflect. You can, of course, do this on your own some rainy afternoon, sitting with your journal.
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