#7 If you're too busy to meditate once a day, meditate twice a day
On My Mind
We are living in historic times. I doubt I am the only leader who senses that every decision right now is an existential one. It can feel like the whole world is watching and we want to be remembered on the right side of history. But how do you make such weighty decisions when volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity are also at an all-time high?
A few years ago, a friend asked me about my connection to ceremony. He knew that I have a deep relationship with 7Directions Dance Ceremony (I became a facilitator in 2018) and he also knew I was a committed founder of Job Portraits. "How do they relate?" he wondered.
"Running a business requires thousands of decisions a day, most of which have no clear right or wrong answer," I explained. "Ceremony helps me access my internal wisdom, so I can make better decisions faster with less anxiety and second-guessing. Without it, I wouldn't have made it a month in this business."
I found it hard to create space for ceremony the last few weeks—and I felt my mind careening as a result. Every decision felt too big and each one I failed to make blocked dozens of others. I couldn't even decide what to say in this newsletter. Finally, last night, I danced in ceremony. And now, here I am.
On My Nightstand
Pamela Weiss' A Bigger Sky: Awakening A Fierce Feminine Buddhism feels like a roadmap through these heightened times. I came across Pamela when I was researching coaching programs and was immediately enamored. She trained thousands of coaches at New Ventures West, was one of the first people to successfully bring mindfulness work into a corporate setting with the Personal Excellence Program, and is the first and only layperson in the Suzuki Roshi Soto Zen lineage to receive full Dharma Transmission.
Her recently-released book is so many things. It's a succinct, erudite explanation of core Buddhist principles; it's a beautifully written memoir about an inspiring but rarely easy life; it's a retelling of Buddhist mythology that restores women to their rightful place within it; it's a rebalancing of the gifts of meditation away from a singular focus on the mind and transcending bodily existence and toward a recognition that the dirt and grit of life is integral to our spiritual journey; it's even a playbook for how to engage with deep societal injustice from a place of intimacy and right action.
A Tarot Card
The Emperor stands for power and leadership, a pioneering visionary who also creates stability. Two symbols suggest how this kind of leadership can be accomplished. The bees on The Emperor's robe suggest "varied forms of perception"—being willing to look outside your own experience or understanding—and the fleur-de-lis, or "three-pronged-flame" in Tibetan and some Eastern cultures, reminds us that "effective leadership requires the union of mind, heart, and spirit in making decisions and taking action." [Quotes from The Tarot Handbook, Angeles Arrien.]
Think of a time you've second-guessed a hard decision. Think of another hard decision you didn't second-guess. What's the difference between how you made the two decisions?
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