OK, to be clear, even though I’m not much of a shopper, so Black Friday doesn’t hold much appeal for me, I love yummy food, AND the experience of abundance – tables overflowing … family and friends gathered round … delighting in the experience of being embodied in human form! So the idea of now living in the USA and having two opportunities each year to celebrate Thanksgiving is definitely not a hardship – we have such an extraordinary number of things in our lives that are easy to be thank-full for.

Some of us gathered last New Year’s Eve – another cause for full table, dressing up, and celebrating the gifts of life!

I was reflecting on all this as I came to write this eNews, and somehow that line from the Star Spangled Banner – the land of the free and the home of the brave – popped into my head, and the words freedom and bravery began to swirl in me.

Along with the swirling words came the wondering – what does freedom actually mean? What does it mean to be free? What is true freedom? Is it dependent on our circumstances and where we live? How can we create more freedom in our lives? And what about bravery? What are the situations that call us to be brave? Are there some of us that are brave and some (like the lion in the Wizard of Oz) more cowardly? Or is bravery a capacity that we can nurture and expand?

After having grown up in the tiny island of Barbados – 21 miles long, and 14 miles wide as its biggest points – one of the things I so appreciate about being in North America is the freedom to hop into my car and drive for ages without running out off the ‘edge’! Freedom and ease in moving around, the resources to do so, and (without negating the possibility of accidents and the many other challenges we in our society experience daily) the relative safety we in North America experience are just some of the multitude of things for which I am thankful.But what about all those challenges we face locally, and globally? And on top of that, what about the many challenges and major limitations to our freedom that we generate and impose on ourselves?! For me, there’s not much freedom in only being able to be thankful for the happy, comfortable things in our experience. That’s a limitation far more confining than living on a small island!

Certainly, living with eyes wide open, neither fixating on, nor having to pretend that there aren’t things in our world that evoke pain and fear in us is hugely challenging! But for me, in our commitment to expand our capacity to do just that, true freedom and great bravery are called out of us.

Beauty embedded in what appears to be chaos 

I’m imagining that many of you drawn here share my sense that embedded in the things that seem to be chaotic and crumbling around us are the beautiful seeds of new possibility that are gestating in our world. One of the challenges of being in this period is that there’s so much out of our control and not possible to be known. And yet we are neither helpless nor powerless.

I recently heard a quote from Rudolf Bahro who said “When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.”

For me it’s not so much about not being afraid, but that we’re WILLING to be insecure, and recognize and learn how to be with our fear. This expansion of our capacity for bravery, leads us to greater freedom to be present – whatever is happening around us.

If we hold fear as a given in our lives, and not as evidence that we, or the situation we’re experiencing are wrong, we can feel our fear and use its presence to deepen our commitment to be present to any confusion and uncertainty that’s evoked. We can choose to engage whatever practices we have – starting with pausing and taking a deep breath – to step back and be curious about what’s actually happening here? Wondering about what might be missing that we might be being called to bring to the moment? We can be open and allow for the emergence from our deep knowing next steps and choices that seem to be our most authentic response – at least right now!

For me, this is freedom and bravery in action. These are the capacities that the ‘brave souls’ who have joined me over the last weeks in the first beta version of  Relationship Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight, are engaging and expanding. It’s been a joy and a privilege to see (and experience myself) the possibilities and freedom that are emerging for us all.

We’re truly, expanding our capacities to embrace and be thankful for ALL of life, and the freedom that results for those curious, creative and brave enough to engage this path is SO worth it! I’m more grateful than I have words for, to be joined by each one of you in this community exploring Realizing RICH Relationships together.

For those of us celebrating Thanksgiving this week, have a wonderful celebration, and for all of us – wherever we are – what else is possible as we choose to embrace, rather than turn away from the many insecurities in our lives?!

Nurturing juicy co-creative partnerships
…with ourselves, others & life!