I'm in a profession where how I'm being in any given moment or interaction is what matters most. More even than what I say. What tools I bring. What ideas or strategies. The way I show up - the energy and intention - is much more important. Who I am is what I give. It's less important to give things away to add value. It's much more important to be the space that invites others generously and genuinely into the fullness of their own experience. It's not always easy to remember this. Everyone gets triggered and thrust into reaction now and then. So it's a daily practice of coming back to choice and presence.
My last name - Douglas - means dark water. Like a river that acts as a dark canvas reflecting what is around it (as opposed to a clear ocean that shows the sandy beach below). We make the picture whole together - by inviting contribution and honouring what is shared. Sure, this image is actually of the 'Devil's Bridge' ;) but the devil is in the details. What I mean by that is that when we get too caught up in the details of what we are giving, we miss the beauty and honour of being - and all the things we can see, know, understand from there. It's an ebb and flow. As I do this work, I come to appreciate more fully each day that the gift we all give others is the gift of space and reflection. Being the mirror for someone else to acknowledge and honour themselves. Being witnessed in that truth of who they are beyond the stories they tell themselves, the identities or roles others ascribe to them (that they take on to varying degrees). There is such grace in being a loving mirror for someone. Such privilege in honouring the truth of what someone is going through - without making it wrong, judging it, reacting to it, advising on how to 'deal' with it - just allowing.
At this early point of spring where the processing of winter release winds down and new buds of possibility begin to poke through, allowing is the chief state for us all to embody. It's all we can do sometimes. And I'm here to remind us all that that is actually A LOT. Being is doing a lot. Living from the heart is even faster and truer than living from the mind. There are seasons to life and to every relationship - a time to inhabit mind or heart more than the other. This is my invitation to honour yourself and others right now with the gift of conscious, intentional, loving presence.
I did not remember to do this today. In a conversation this morning with a loved one about something that really mattered to them, I forgot myself because I forgot them and actually focused more on what I wanted to express and share and give. When focusing too much on what we're giving, trying to add value, we can squeeze out what others want to give. It's a balance. It's a flow. It's a daily practice. It's a choice about how we want to be with each other. About the impact we want to have in relationships, yes, but also about the experience we want to offer, the way we want to do life. Remembering who we are is remembering we are not threatened or less than anyone else when we worry less about what we can give and just let them share and express. Sometimes it's highly healing to simply hold space and invite contribution from the other. To reflect the bridge so it can see itself. And stepping back, the combination creates a greater whole and a new universe previously unseen and inaccessible to either the bridge or the water around it.
So I guess what I'm saying is - be the water, and in so doing, be the bridge.