Fearlessness & Work as Offering



I’ve been a little stuck lately – wanting to step out more fully into the world, fully embodying the Work I am here to do, yet meandering in a place of trying to figure the Work thing out. Business is really good right now, and…

I can see snippets of what that Work is. Although my work with people, mostly women, to help them move toward their vision has found great success already, there’s a place where I have felt somewhat stuck.

Just today, in researching for this post about Margaret Wheatley (who will be speaking in Oakland this Saturday), I came across words she wrote some time ago that seem to directly speak to the place inside of me where a sense of stuckness has been living.

“What if we could offer our work as a gift so lightly, and with so much love, that that’s really the source of fearlessness? We don’t need it to be accepted in any one way. We don’t need it to create any certain outcome. We don’t need it to be any one thing. It is in the way we offer it, that the work transforms us. It is in the way we offer our work as a gift to those we love, to those we care about, to the issues we care about. It is in the way we offer the work that we find fearlessness. Beyond hope and fear, I think, is the possibility of love.”

I usually see insights…meaning, I see images that show me something I’ve not known. In these images that have come to me, I see myself offering this work in love, from a deep place of love that is far beyond me or anything my rational mind could conjure up.

Work as Offering

Perhaps like you, I’ve been taught and conditioned to look for results, to see success in my work as something results-oriented. In our current paradigm, that’s how success is measured. Even streams of thought that teach us that success is not based on dollar figures still hold a sense that success is about a certain outcome.

When I read Margaret’s words, “We don’t need it to be any one thing. It is in the way we offer it, that the work transforms us.”, my mind relaxes. I can feel how its been caught up in ‘understanding’ what the ‘one thing’ is that my work must be.

When I read, “It is in the way we offer our work as a gift…”, “It is in the way we offer the work that we find fearlessness.”, I can see my focus has been on the how, on what I am getting done (or not), rather than on the way I offer it and how I hold the work itself.

I sense the how comes out of the offering, the next step comes when I am let go into the love that is there for “those I love, to those I care about, to the issues I care about…”

A love so vast

In the short video on fearlessness I’ve shared with you below, Margaret shares this quote:

“Fearlessness is not being afraid of who you are.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa

When I heard these words, I saw that being tied to the ‘what’ of my Work keeps me stuck.

When I feel the love I have for those I am here to serve, I feel a letting go happen on its own.

Simply offering what is here without any attachment is having to ‘be with’, really ‘be with’ the vast unknown that is at the heart of this love.

It’s a vastness that is terrifying yet in some strange way reassuring because it is the only thing that never changes. It is that which has always been here, unchanging, yet from which change seems to be born from.

I have a sense that who I really am is a love so vast that it scares the begeebus out of me. I’ve had glimpses of this love and I literally can’t hold the glimpse, can’t stay with it because it is too much contain.

Latent Powers

I have to laugh at these words as they appear on the page. Of course I can’t contain it. The small “I” seems to think it can do this. This small “I” sees it all as impossible, because the small “I” is not the power behind one’s life-task…

“Our proper life-task must necessarily appear impossible to us, for only then can we be certain that all our latent powers will be brought into play.” ~ C. G. Jung, Letters vol. 1, p. 94

I can see that what I sense lies ahead appears impossible, and reading Jung’s words helps me have a sense of why that is. These latent powers within us can come forth when we get out of our own way, in a sense a kind of ‘bowing down’ to the real you that you are, the one you are afraid of. In my experience, it doesn’t have anything to do with the small “I”, or me, that is attached to the outcomes, does want success, or longs to have it be seen or received in a certain way.

That part will always try to control, and it is this control that is creating a sense of stuckness within.

A Call to Fearlessness

I have dined on Margaret Wheatley’s wisdom many times in my life. I first saw her speak in person in 2005 at one of the Thought Leaders Gathering in the Bay Area. Her wisdom, as she shares in this short video, always opens something new in me…

This Saturday, October 22nd, along with the wise and multi-talented Barbara McAffee, Margaret Wheatley will speak to a community of change-agents in a day-long event titled, A Call to Fearlessness: Discovering Your True Leadership Voice to Create Community and Joy.

Hosted by Bay Area Coaches, this is going to be an event to open your heart to doing work in the world in an entirely different way. Even if you don’t live in the Bay Area, you can still attend via simulcast.

And, if you buy one ticket to attend in person, you can purchase a second ticket for a friend at half price – either in person or via simulcast.

Take a moment right now to taste more of Margaret Wheatley’s wisdom in this article on Eight Fearless Questions. I promise, you’ll come away with an entirely new take on what it means to be fearless.

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