It was the first day of a 7 day retreat. Beginnings are such important things. The first handshake, the first hello, the moment you decide to engage or check out. I wanted to inspire them with a metaphor to ignite their desire to emerge into something new and inspire them to find the courage to do so. Embarking on the kind of journey ahead of them requires bold motivation and untethered inspiration. At the beginning of every movie there is some great moment that grips your heart, into which you pitch forward and will the character to chance it all and “go for it”- the kiss, the leap, the moment of truth. Buoyed by their daring, you feel the rush and the conviction of being able to do it yourself.
So I decided to take my group to the lookout, the highest point on the island, to see the spectacular expression of Dawn, the vulnerable but bold beginning of a new day.
We got up while the moon was still out, fumbled our way to the cliff path and stood waiting for the moment that, in my mind, had a movie score attached to it. I anticipated that a soft quietness would begin to stir and slowly pulsate then build into a full crescendo and finally arrive at a pivotal, undeniable, dream inspiring, uplifting chorus as the sun’s rays suddenly appeared and drenched each one of us in near blinding sunlight. A benediction, a call, inspiration all in one moment! We’d high-five the universe and everyone would turn to one another with great ignited energy and proclaim “let’s do this – anything is possible!”.
Only, that is not how we experienced the sun rise.
It just arrived.
No cymbals, no crescendo and no orchestration.
It just arrived…
…slowly, unannounced, like a soft warmth gently coming from a low burning fire, a tender kiss on the cheek that takes care not to jostle you awake, the rise of a a baby’s tummy while inhaling. Unassuming, steady, simple.
I don’t know why I expected something different.
Dawn simply arrives. It doesn’t come with a lot of fanfare. It seems almost effortless. Like the Universe is simply breathing.
It rises simply and envelops us in a sensation, a feeling, an awakening, there is no constipated pushing. As we stood there, I could barely notice the shifts, the colours, until suddenly I could see the expressions on everyone’s face, and I realized that, without announcement, it had already happened.
I was filled with a different kind of inspiration. Could important, critical moments sometimes just as quietly, unassumingly, without loud effort and push, without drama and exclamation simply become?
I’ve begun to wonder about the times that I have superimposed the cymbal clashing soundtrack on a situation and missed experiencing those very same things with the simplicity of a sunrise.
I am noticing a more graceful way of being these days. I ask myself “what if this were as easeful as the Dawn”, and I am loving the challenge. I have found that as I call the Dawn’s inspiration forward, I make different choices and have surprising lessons - things that require focus and effort can also be a gentle rising.
Before a challenging conversation with clients, I reframe my internal exclamation from “this will be hard” to “what if this was gentle and in flow?”. When I take away the loud soundtrack and replace it with ease and simplicity the complex conversation can still happen, but I have a different energy guiding me. A progression rather than and explosion.
I now think of it as my sunrise mantra. How could my next experience be more like the sunrise?
And those participants at the lookout? They connected to a sense of flow. As they explored the Re-Imagined Self, we challenged the belief that it would require the effort of heavy lifting. Another choice emerged; a deeper process of allowing and becoming.