Speaking up in turbulent times
There was an awkward silence between us. This conversation was not going well.
We’d been here before.
For him, information in the mainstream media could not be trusted. It was all censorship and lies.
For me, many alternative information sources seemed wild, reactive, contradictory. I couldn’t join the dots.
These disagreements hurt my heart, rocked my reality and triggered my insecurity.
At a time when the world was imploding. When insecurity around health, travel, income, equalities and everyday freedoms was skyrocketing. (And when I was uprooting my home to move to another country)
Distressing splits between loved ones and cherished communities were accelerating.
Have you noticed yourself holding back, hiding your voice and wisdom ...
… because you didn’t know what to say?
… because you didn’t want to add to the tensions?
… because you felt overwhelmed by all the noise?
It’s not easy. Wherever you are with this is okay.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.*
I’ve always loved this Rumi quote. But what does it mean in practice?
We live in a time of painful polarization.
Good/bad. Liberal/conservative. Racist/anti-racist. Leave/remain. Authorities/conspiracy theories.
Which side do we choose?
Whose voices do we trust?
Where do we feel we belong?
What I noticed for myself:
✨ Beliefs are fleeting. When I look back at my life (or even a year), my beliefs change and grow. When I identify with them strongly, I defend them heatedly. But when, at times, I allow my reality to be shaken, I discover valuable new perspectives.
✨ When I choose the highest perspective, I find unity. My deepest belief is that the universe is always evolving towards greater good, even through its darkest moments. When I sit quiet long enough to connect with that, I overcome mistrust and return to trusting myself, life and others.
✨ When I hold a space of empathy, I access peace and overcome insecurity. When we see, with clear-eyed compassion, people’s insecurities and agendas - including our leaders, our loved ones and ourselves - we can choose to believe that we are all doing our best in challenging circumstances.
✨ When I allow myself to hold the paradox, to dance in the unknown, I no longer have to make myself right or others wrong. When we hold the questions open, see the nuances on both sides, rather than snap our minds shut from fear, we allow a more complex truth to emerge.
Our future is being forged inside the creative tension of these polarities.
There’s a lot at stake. Tensions run high.
Let us meet each other, wherever we are, in that field, and call each other ‘friend.’
Moving through these shifts is intensely vulnerable. You may find yourself free-falling through a period of groundlessness - not knowing who or where you are anymore.
As a transformation expert, I hold a safe space for my clients to move through this.
And what I know is holding a space of radical empathy, love and compassion is THE most powerful thing we can do to birth our new reality.
From this place, we can be the visionary leaders our world needs right now.
Your voice matters.
Your wisdom is needed.
You’re not alone.
P.S. Reach out if you need support sharing your voice during these turbulent transition times. I’d love to hear from you.
*from a poem by Jelaluddin Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, from The Essential Rumi