I am a Jewish girl raised in Texas. In the 70s and 80s. I like jewelry. My mom loved her bling, my Dad managed a department store with a jewelry department and I was raised enjoying my jewelry accessories. I had pieces of jewelry that I wore religiously for decades.
And in the span of 18 months I not only lost my most precious pieces of jewelry once but twice. In exactly the same way…I was traveling to Asia and set it somewhere and was not present. My jeweler’s wife actually said to me…”you are too busy thinking of all the things you got to do, slow down.” Ouch.
I lost pieces that meant a lot, were given to me by special people, things that are irreplaceable for many reasons. And for months, I couldn’t talk about it without feeling loss, shame, stupidity, and anger (at myself.) All of these emotions are still present, just more muted now.
And add to that inventory, two pairs of lovely sunglasses, a fitbit, and I am sure something else….
When I say “on the way to enlightenment”, I truly mean, I am on the way, like the first brick on that yellow brick road. And the lesson this affords me is not “lost” on me. I am shedding a skin, like when a snake sheds its skin for something new. I am shedding the past, just not how I thought it would look.
This all began as I let go of the core transformational business of the WorldWorks Trainings (loss number 1 was the night I finished my last Third Weekend for those of you that know what that means.) I am clear it was the best choice for me and as I look back it was how I identified myself. It was my baby, and my value in the world was very much tied up in that accomplishment. So…
Lesson #1: You are not your job, past accomplishments, reputation, successes or failures. Identifying with your past will only hold you back. Your past gives you experience, confidence (you are still alive) and possibly clarity…not much else.
Lesson #2: The universe will keep serving up the lesson until you surrender. I would never have imagined repeating the same lack of being present twice. And clearly I hadn’t learned the lesson that the universe is so graciously providing for me. Surrender early or pay later with penalties and interest.
Lesson #3: Stripped of your persona, you are left really looking at who you are and what you are made of. I have gotten to really see who I am recently, some of which I like very much and will continue to be…some of which I don’t and am working on transforming. As a transformational leader, this is both humbling and invigorating.
Lesson #4: Always go back to the basics. The basics for me are: come from Love as often as possible, be responsible for my life, my results, my choices and my interpretations, and give and contribute. Oh, and be authentic, especially when I don’t want to be.
Lesson #5: Allow people to support you. I have not always been good at this and not sure I really am good at it yet, but I know it works. Allowing support in any way that it comes takes clarity, power, and trust. You are creating it all anyway, so you might as well accept what you are bringing to you.
I wish for you enlightenment without losing things…and I am fairly confident you have lost plenty. Whether that be love, someone you love’s passing, a job, a house, a homeland…that you navigate your loss with grace, dignity, love and trust.
My losses recently have been material, much less confrontive than losing my mom’s mental capability to dementia. This too has been a loss…one that is bitter in its heartache and sweet in its innocence. And so I bless the moments with her and my family, my wife, my boys, my friends, my clients, my students and keep walking one yellow brick at a time down the road toward enlightenment, reminding myself of the beauty in the walk.