My one wish for you this year

Jan 07, 2019

"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves."
- from Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver

My one wish for you this year, is that you will let yourself love what you love.

Growing up, my family loved all things intellectual. Thinking, intelligence, being smart...these were the things that mattered most. The arts were good (I learned to play the piano for years), sports were tolerated, but academic pursuits of the mind were of primary importance; indeed they were the only things that were really of value.

This served me well! I built my first career in the public service largely on the strength of my intellect. My desire to serve people in a very tangible way led me into leadership development where I added a big dose of heart, even naming my business as my "heartfelt offering".

Today I am stunned by how much I love to work with my hands.  

From the mundane like reorganizing my living room or stripping the wallpaper in our powder room, through the whimsical like colouring mandalas and drawing in my journal, to the profound: writing poetry and creating my website, I find so much joy!

Yet I never really valued any of this hand-on stuff. So I robbed myself of the pleasure it gave me, discounting and devaluing it as frivolous, self-serving and a distraction from the "real" work. Wow! My beliefs are shifting, but it's an ongoing process that is working me slowly from the inside out.

One of the more clear glimpses came a few weeks ago when I joined a small group of fellow learners at Nic Askew's training in his Inner View Method. Knowing nothing about making films, I was blown away by how satisfying it was to learn to create art through my work with human beings. Even though the equipment, set-up and editing is daunting, my hands are relishing the chance to get in there and create. I'm sharing a link to my first film, so take a look if you're curious, and let me know if you'd like me to make a film for you. We're planning to integrate this into our work at Anjali Leadership, and I couldn't be happier about this.

Hands-on! That's what I'm letting myself love in 2019.

What about you? What love will you allow yourself to love?

Until we join again,
Shahmeen

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