Whether or not you appreciate his personal style or political policies, to me, the way Canada’s newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to a reporter asking why it was important for him to have a Cabinet that was gender balanced pointed to something that holds great power for all of us.
the things we most deeply desire and intend to create.
As humans, the emotions and sensations we feel when we connect with images of our future is a powerful driver. They tend to inspire or draw us into acting in ways that support what we envision. So in gathering around us symbols that express and remind us of what we most deeply want, we’re doing two important things. We’re creating reminders of what it is we’re about – reinforcing our vision. And these reminders also become important touchstones and anchors for us – especially when the going gets rough.
We can see this in large scale examples like the way I understand Justin Trudeau’s choices in the make up of his Cabinet. His vision was to have the Cabinet ‘look like Canada’. Is it a perfect representation of Canada? No, but in symbols we’re not looking for a literal image, we’re wanting something that reminds us, and is evocative of the future we most want to create.
After his provocative response of “Because it’s 2015.” to the reporter’s question as to why it was important for him to have a Cabinet that’s gender balanced, Trudeau went on explain another reason the symbol of diversity is important to him. In painting a picture of his vision of the future he said “I am committed to ensuring that all parliamentarians … are able to be strong voices for their communities, to push their issues, and to make sure that the diversity that makes us Canada, that makes us so strong, is the diversity of views that carry us forward.”
No wonder this felt so resonant for me! Honouring the other, appreciating the gifts of all, respectful accepting of difference, compassionate deep listening, and supporting each other in our choices and expressions – these are a some of the most crucial capacities for those of us wanting to collaborate with others in co-creating a world of our most powerful envisioning.
To bring it down to the smaller, more personal scale, I’ve posted below a couple photos of what I see as I sit at my desk writing this eNews article. Many of the things my eyes rest on are symbols of things that are important to me. They inspire, support and anchor me as I embody the principles and vision of my deepest desires, and become a more full expression of the woman I came here to be.
Themes here – stepping into my power, love,
light, beauty, fluidity, groundedness and freedom.
On this side – courage, the magical and the
practical, profound and powerful presence.
It wasn’t until I started looking around me as I was writing today that I realized just how pervasive this idea of surrounding myself with symbols is for me! These are just the ones that are directly in front of me as I sit and write.
Some of these symbols have been ‘featured’ in previous eNews articles, most recently, my KOABD tiara. But there are others too, my magic wand – a symbol for me of dancing between the magical and the practical in life. And my little Story People poster – a gift from my friend Elaine – that speaks powerfully of my commitment to be a stand for love. Like this one, other symbols also play a dual role. Not only are they symbols, but they also remind me of the precious community of loving support that surrounds me. Some are gifts my kids made for me – on the day I married Bruce, my son Matthew gave me his drawing of a butterfly being released from a hand. It reminds me of the importance in my life of freedom to choose. For my 60th Birthday my daughter Rachael made me the box with the irises painted on it. Not only is it beautiful, but she intended it to be a place where I’d keep notes from others expressing reasons they’re thankful I’m in their lives. In moments when I need to be reminded of who I am, reading these notes are one of the ways I come back home to me. The glass jellyfish reminds me of the first time we visited my step-daughter Pamela and went to the aquarium. There I was entranced by the responsive and fluid movement of the jellyfish – I’m inspired to move through the world in this way. My friend Birgit gave me the little black statue of a woman that for me represents profound and powerful presence – one of the ways I make a difference in this world. And I always keep a fresh flower on my desk as a symbol of the importance of beauty in my life.
Currently, one of the most significant symbols in front of me is the pink stickie note. On it I’ve written a quote from John Lewis whose parents didn’t want him to get involved with the Civil Rights movement. They didn’t want him to ’cause trouble’, but he did it anyway. His lifetime of service to that cause, and in the US Congress has made his a voice worth listening to. As I continue to cultivate the wisdom and the courage to discern when and where to stand and speak, John Lewis’ words both inspire me to act, and anchor me in moments I feel shaky. His words on my pink stickie say:
Sometimes it is important to cause necessary trouble.
As you look around your life, what are the symbols you see that remind you of your own deep desires? Are they ones that call you toward a vision of the future you intend to create? I’d love to know what they are! If you’ve never consciously considered this question, maybe for the first time you notice some things that no longer support your vision that you might choose to let go of. Or perhaps you’re feeling the stirring of ideas for new symbols – large or small – that might inspire you!
If and as it feels true, I’d love to hear what’s moving in you as you consider all this. What one change might you make that would support your unique contribution to creating the world of your deepest desires?