I’ve been thinking about this blog for awhile, specifically the intention I had in mind – what I wanted to convey regarding our will. The third step of the Twelve Step Program came to mind:
We turn our will over to the care of a higher power as we understand it.
(The original version is: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand him. Quite often, people are turned off by the religious components of the twelve steps, so I am paraphrasing in order to hopefully make this more palatable).
What I realized was that throughout our lifetimes, we’ve turned our will over to higher powers many times. From the time we take our first breath we turn our will over to our parents, teachers, coaches; we turn it over to our employers, our lovers and sometimes our children. We turn it over for the purpose of physical survival as well as emotional, spiritual and economic survival. We turn our lives and our will over to those who require respect and authority over us. As a consequence, we often learn to choose disempowering interpretations about ourselves and our lives; we learn to compromise and compensate for the loss of our will; our spirit and life-force; and we choose to use our will in ways that temporarily relieve suffering of such a loss (most of this is unconscious).
In a sense, we have surrendered our essential-self, which handicaps our capability to fulfill our highest expression of Self. Instead we compensate for what is no longer accessible by justifying our existence with what we do and what we get paid to do. Connection with our life force is lost and we use our willfulness to do what we are supposed to do.
To be willful is to thrive and yet, to be willful as a child or as an adult who is required to meet certain expectations is often punished, rejected or humiliated. We’ve all learned to temper our will for the will of those of higher authority. Feelings of powerlessness and helplessness to make a difference in the world turns us toward activities that numb us in all ways. TV, food, gaming, just to name a few, keep us from experiencing the desperateness that underlies so much apathy and dis-ease caused by surrendering our will to others. When we capitulate our ability to empower ourselves in service to our highest truth and our highest good we’ve lost connection to our essential nature and to Universal Consciousness, the source of all that is.
Not my will but Thy will be done
In the world of business each of us is required, sooner or later, to discover what is ours to do. Recognizing and acknowledging this then requires us to observe how we choose to use our will and whether this is, or isn’t, in service to our highest knowing. This is the moment when great leaders are born, as well as great managers and team players. When we choose to use our will to play it safe and stay small we are willingly fencing ourselves off from what we are wanting to avoid, that, however will inevitably precipitate a breakdown. Our survival mechanism – the way we use our willfulness to suffer, settle and survive, will need an overhaul.
I have no doubt that each of us is exactly where we need to be in order to figure out what’s truly ours to do. Willingly and courageously inching our way through the maze of confusion; willfully taking a stand for a quality of being that will transforms corporate culture is a self-transcending process for each individual and for each individual business institution.
We are all essentially in the process of recovery from the influences of our current paradigm, primarily the fear-based reality we are immersed in. Any traumatization we’ve experienced by our circumstances, to whatever degree, has to be worked through, reintegrating our souls/our will back into our bodies. Business environments are a perfect for this healing to occur, because of the multitude of opportunities we meet daily to use our will in alignment with our highest truth. Sometimes we can do this on our own, sometimes we have to reach out for help, and sometimes we feel like we are beyond help. In these moments we realize that we’ve turned our will over to a higher power that failed us. With no hope in sight, where do we turn?
We’ve corrupted our own identity by willingly surrendering our life force to those to whom we have been forced to trust. How do we begin to willingly choose differently, to will the will of our own highest power – our own highest truth?
Willingly stopping the corruption inside ourselves and all of our organizations is only possible when we are willing to notice that it is in all of us and that only through each of us can we begin to practice something different.
At what point do we consciously choose to turn our will over to an invisible source of support? Most of us wait until it is beyond obvious that our lives have become unmanageable and we are powerless over our addictive ways we deal with our circumstances. At this point, too frequently, we hurt like hell and feel as if we have no other option but to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Universal Source of all the is.
Though it is the same process – turning our will over to God as we understand him (Sorry for the religious languaging), to do it consciously feels vulnerable and scary. Consciously choosing to surrender is different than using the usual logic and justification: “I have to because my boss says I have to; I have to if I want this promotion; I have to if I want to if I don’t’ want that SOB breathing down my neck.” Surrendering our will in these cases required a surrender of our integrity and dignity. I think that’s very telling. We can stop this corrupt practice by revealing the denial that is going on inside each of us.
Regardless of our work environment we have the opportunity to notice how we use our will to empower or disempower ourselves by giving power away to those we choose to have authority over us. How has it served you to exercise your will in this way? What’s it like for you to live with these choices? Are there other choices that would be more empowering for you and your company?
Notice when what you are wanting isn’t in your highest good or the highest good of anyone! Continually ask yourself if what you are thinking or doing is in your highest truth and highest good. If it isn’t, you might want to engage with someone that can support you in making the changes you want.
To willingly engage in this practice of cultivating awareness is in alignment with the paradigm shift. More and more support is available to you and your business organization to ensure an extraordinarily empowering experience. Enjoy the Adventure!
This article is contributed by Dr. Rosie Kuhn, founder of the Paradigm Shifts Coaching Group, author of Self-Empowerment 101, and creator and facilitator of the Transformational Coaching Training Program. She is a life and business coach to individuals, corporations and executives.