Some time ago during a ladies dinner with former colleagues we had a discussion about leadership. As a lot of the ladies around me had been or are working for leaders of multinational companies, we were discussing what made a leader a good one. What is true leadership? Someone noticed most of them have had quite some difficulties in their lives, or experienced a crisis which they overcame and because of that got true insights. And someone mentioned they all had overcome their big ego’s in order to become a true leader.
Fantastic how many people stand up and go out there to help people in need. They are truly making a difference in a lot of peoples’ lives. Entrepreneurs, families, friends, initiatives in all forms. And apart from the enormous refugee problem Europe is facing at the moment, and all things people organize to help, there are a lot of initiatives to create a better world, from the inside out. And thank god, because we can’t wait for the government to create a better one, as their processes became so bureaucratic it would take years and years before we’d get somewhere…
And you know what, they can’t help it. Most of the people working for the government do this with the intention to truly help their community. But their bright spirits get washed away by the immense piles of paperwork we created during the years to get things aligned and registered. And where do we find ourselves now? In a situation where no single government can take true action when it is needed the most. We’ve got this far, because of our civilization and all the regulations. But now we’ve reached the point when we are going downwards, as it is killing our flexibility, our stretch. We’ve created our own prison. Our hands are tied, which excludes the possibility to move in an organic way. We’ve turned from water into rock.
Now what needs to shift here? How do we tear down these walls instead of figuratively placing even more? It is up to the leaders to stand out now and show the world why they have these positions. Because they are the ones who can make the walls tumble down, who can make a difference on a large scale. By following their intuition instead of their procedures. They have to step up and let the procedures be, look beyond the forms and administration and focus on what has to be done. It is up to them to give the order to their administration to go beyond the frameworks and let people help others free of unnecessary obstacles.
So leaders, step up! The population will follow you. And yes, that is needed, because a lot of people want to help, but don’t know where to start. That is your role. Give them a start. Because just changing the system from the bottom up is not enough. We need you to change our system from the top down as well. To tear down the walls, without the intention of ever raising them again. And I understand it must be difficult and scary to have the whole world look at you. But you are there for a reason. So make it count!
How many people say: “Wow…I just love what he or she is doing! Wouldn’t it be great to work in this or that?” or “I would love to start my own cafe or web shop, but I can’t..” and then followed by a little over ten reasons why they shouldn’t. It is so easy to give yourself hundreds of reasons not to do something out of your comfort zone, that most people don’t. Positive thinking is often deducted as naive. It is a pity, because I honestly believe, that the world would look so much prettier if everybody would be doing what they love to do, when what they do comes from the heart. It has this sparkle in it, that just doesn’t stop burning.
Do you know when it is time? Time to change things in your life? Do you also hear people complaining about their jobs, but at the same time telling you it is fine and they want to stay put as in these times it’s so difficult to find something new? Do you notice the life you are leading is quite comfortable and you hush away the little voice inside of you, telling you you need to change something? Why is it so difficult to make a choice even when you know it has to be done? What are we afraid of? It is postponing the flow to run through you as you block it conscious, or unconsciously.
Is it true that we, by filling up our agendas to the max, take the flow out of life? More and more I think it’s true. More and more, I realize that by planning ahead, we stop the flow of life from going and showing us what we need to see or work with. In our private lives as well as in our business lives. I tried to keep our private agenda empty for a while, to see what would happen. We had a great time, as things happened very spontaneously, and we got to do things we had on our bucket list for a long time, but never managed to do. But we also noticed, that we didn’t see friends as much anymore. Simply because their agendas were packed and they only had time in about six weeks to have dinner with us. And I’m not talking about just one couple here.
Recognizing the fact that things happening to you happen to other people as well, can be such a relief sometimes! And of course it does, as we are here with so many, everything has been experienced by someone in one way or the other. You’re never alone. But especially if it is something you feel and can’t rationally explain and another person experiences it the same way, it can be a relief. Well, that is exactly what happened to me last week. Talking to my client, telling her about my blog as I was asked by one of her colleagues to be her sparring partner for her speech in ‘The month of the Spiritual Book’. She said: “Oh, that is exactly what happened to Ruth Stone, the poet Elizabeth Gilbert was talking about in her Tedtalk.” I was stunned.
Knock on that door! It was the first sentence that came to my mind while I positioned myself outside again this morning. Now today was a bit different as I wasn’t quite sure if I had to keep on doing this early morning session outside anymore. The last few weeks our son has been pretty moody and uncontrollable and I suddenly realized yesterday, the timing matched exactly with the moment I started my morning meditations and writing. The thing is, that we always cuddle a lot in the early morning. He is five years old and always sneaks into our bed around 6.00 AM. The exact time I got up these last few weeks. So yesterday, after ten minutes outside realizing this, I packed up my things and joined him for a big hug. And after that I doubted whether I should continue. I made myself a promise to keep on doing this on a daily basis, but whenever I felt like doing it. And sometimes I write, sometimes I don’t. Now this morning when I woke up, I felt I wanted to go and sit outside. So that is what I did. And what happened? Ten minutes later I heard a knock on the kitchen door. It was our son…I felt deeply moved and asked him to join me outside under my blanket. He folded himself up in my lap and told me he missed me and wanted me to be there when he woke up. It was one of those miraculous moments.
Oh my…making things public is what I’ve been doing these last seven years. All, but myself. And now I have to make this blog public, otherwise it doesn’t count. I can blog as much as I like, but without communicating it, it’s still safe and under the radar. So I have to push the ‘send’ button and fully show up! Amazing how difficult small steps can be.
Do you remember your first step at all? Walking those little feet of yours? I certainly don’t. But it was the first of many ‘manifestations’ to follow. So, as of now, I would like to introduce ‘Manifestation Day’! Big or small steps, it doesn’t matter, just make sure you keep walking. It’s the only way to come closer to any goal you set yourself. And do remember it’s not about the goal itself, but the path towards it. After all, if you choose to sit at the table, you might as well enjoy the meal!
Why is it that we generally tend to put each other in boxes, these frameworks? By doing so we take away the other one’s authenticity, their creativity, their ability to learn. That makes people feel safe. We can close boxes, put people in closets, order them in any rank we might like or fit us at that moment. We have this friend in the upper right drawer and one in the left cabinet and we can have our pick whenever we like. And put them back whenever we like. It’s like a menu, at what moment in your life you need who. This all feels very controllable and safe. The sad thing is, that by doing so, we don’t see the greatness in the other person. We don’t fit in drawers or boxes, we are all so much bigger than that! But unless you dare to stand out in the crowd and open up this closet of yours, you’ll never be able to witness the wholeness of another human being. And let me be very clear. I as well get myself caught up in judging someone once in a while. Just as long as you notice this, you are able to set them free again. So dare live in the full trust that we are all here with our own mission and therefor our own history and backpack. All precisely formed in order for you to live your greatest potential. So don’t wait any longer, open up your drawers, empty your closets, drop your judgement and be surprised of what people can show you, learn you or be, when you hold space for them and allow them to grow. And please embrace yourself for who you are. So you can shine your light too, the world cannot afford you not to!
In 2001, Saga Falabela identified the need to change as the core basic need that could be satisfied by a department store. Since then, Saga Falabela’s leit motive has been women daring to make changes that will improve their lives.
The commercial was produced by Tiago Guedes