Continuing in my search for inner inspiration, this week I spent time with the second of the North Star components that Lance Secretan discusses in his book, The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch. This second component aims at understanding my Character. The idea is that I can create a character statement as a way to describe how I would like to “be” in fulfilling my Destiny. My destiny statement crafted in last week’s exploration is “to increase nurturing and connection in the world.” Now the question is, “Who am I in bringing that to the world?” Character is a reflection of how we serve.
Last week’s destiny statement came from what I thought was wrong out in the world. This week’s statement comes from more of an internal assesment. Says Lance of how he began to understand his own character, “Reflecting on what I do that gets in my own way and diminishes the level of fulfillment and meaning I achieve in my life leads to a greater awareness of how I need to be. Or, to put it more positively, it informs me about how I will choose to live my life—how I will be—so that it contributes to creating the kind of world I long for.”
Now that’s a loaded sentence! As for the first part—reflecting on my own life and what I do to get in the way of fulfillment and meaning—I find one of my gifts standing in my way. Now, like most gifts, it can be a double-edged sword. Let me explain. I have a gift for seeing how almost anything could be better. Not better because there is something wrong with it but better like my yoga teacher used to say, “No matter how divine the alignment, there is always a tweak or nudge we can make to put us even more fully in the flow of the divine.” It’s sort of a finishing touch that can take something over the top. As a coach, that’s an awesome gift that can help my clients go from pursuing something that could bring happiness to chasing absolute delight or go from finding more self-acceptance to loving themselves unconditionally.
But here’s the kicker. Our western society has gone a bit overboard on this idea of improvement and has been using it for many years in the guise of “you’ll be happier if you just get better at _______” (fill in the blank). We’ve created generations of people who are exhausted from trying to be better and really long for some good old acceptance of where they are, who they are, and what they want. So sometimes my gift comes at the expense of acceptance. Acceptance in some ways is a part of connection, no? Acceptance into something (a group for instance) often implies you are now connected there. Also, when you meet someone where they are with the idea that nothing different is needed, that’s connecting with them as they are. It’s connecting with what’s already perfect in them. Although it’s perfect when someone wants to change, for those who are needing acceptance in a particular moment, my gift can create a separation between us more than a connection.
The other place I decrease my own and others’ level of fulfillment is with frustration. This past week I had a Human Design reading and learned that frustration is my built-in response to what’s not going well for me. And, in general, things don’t go well for me when I’m not in a state of response. Meaning that if I try to force things to happen, I’m going to feel frustrated. It got me thinking, and it’s true that almost all my moments of frustration—especially with others—are when I have an expectation that something should go a certain way or already have been done. Hello—talk about the opposite of nurturing! Imagine demanding a plant or baby to grow. Ha! In truth, nurturing is the act of responding to another in ways that are supportive and caring, not demanding that things progress the way I think they should.
On to part two of the sentence, the more positive view that I can be a certain way that can help bring about the world I long to live in. How beautiful is it to consider that! This is the stance we use in constructing our character statement. So if suggesting improvement and frustration are in my way of meaning and fulfillment for myself and others, how could I act in order to fulfill my destiny of creating more nurturing and connection? The statement I came up with is “Be accepting and responsive to myself and others.”
So there’s my character statement and you can see that it’s very personal to me. Someone else who had the destiny of bringing more nurturing and connection to the world might want to be kind and honest as their character, for example. It’s really about what you do that gets in your way of enacting your destiny that informs what character traits would help you get there. Simple but profound.
What do you do that gets in the way of being who you want to be in the world?
Linda believes that small business owners can step into a better version of their business when they embrace authenticity and become more fully themselves. Her 25-year marketing career has included Kimpton Hotels, Jamba Juice, and Disney helping her clients win awards and placements in publications like The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, as well as on the front cover of WIRED magazine. You can visit her website here: lindabasso.com or join her FB conversation.