The thing that is most important to me in life is that all people have the access and opportunity to live their lives out loud, fully expressing what matters to them and being the difference they are committed to being.
It’s Saturday night, and I just climbed from an Epsom salt bath where I was sipping a hot cup of tea and reading “Clean Gut,” a book about how our bodies’ roots lie in our guts ~ the place we need to repair first if we want to achieve the ultimate health.
I had just started reading a passage in the book about the writer’s dilemma of his future and how he was confused about what he wanted to be and what he had prepared himself to be. At that moment, Bonnie Raitt and John Prine were singing “Angel from Montgomery” on American Roots, a PBS radio program. And I started to cry.
I am in the middle of a detox program designed to jump start my metabolism and give me an edge on fighting the cold and flu season which usually manages to sideline me from life every winter. One of the things my coach has warned me is that people on this program may become emotional. I scoffed at the suggestion, certain that my training, work on issues through various avenues, and my faith, humor, and resilient roots had allowed me to avoid those pesky emotional releases ~ hadn’t I released enough already?
Apparently not. When I read of the writer’s struggle, I was reminded of my passion and my commitment ~ to become a Landmark Forum Leader. I took on this commitment before I completed my own Forum in 1997. Within six weeks of that day, I had closed my law practice, packed my belongings in storage, and moved to Tulsa with only what I could carry in my car to begin the leadership training process to fulfill on my commitment.
Over the next year, I completed the initial programs, the leadership training, and became a staff member for Landmark. I spent nearly six years on staff in the Dallas Center where I led any and every program I could, worked in every position, succeeded and failed in varying degrees, and continued the path to my dream of leading the Forum.
When I got sick in 2004 (see my earlier post about this), my commitment, passion, and dream came to a crashing end. I was unable to function at all for so long that I wondered if I would ever be able to distinguish the fundamentals of transformation that I had been at work mastering.
And tonight, I cried about that loss. It was as if all the pores of my skin were crying for the lost future, the failed effort, the abandoned dream. To my surprise, that dream was still living in my cells. Looking through the past couple of years, I could see all the attempts to compensate for what I could not be ~ trying to practice law, becoming a laughter yoga teacher, writing a book, taking and selling photographs ~ all done in an effort to somehow fulfill on my commitment to be a difference maker. And even while some of those efforts have proven to be challenging, rewarding, and fun, they have not been satisfying and fulfilling for long.
I am committed that the release of the toxins from my cells tonight through the crying, the mourning for what might have been through acknowledging it, and the alignment of my spirit with my life as it now presents itself will lead to the shedding of more than just weight. (I have lost 10 pounds in 10 days on the detox!)
This one precious, crazy, inimitable life will be one that makes a difference ~ no matter where or how or what that might look like. And now, I have wide open space to create it