In our Masonic LifeSkills Conference we seek to create a healthy, trusting, emotionally safe community of learners. Community means that we are connected. We are open to relationship and connection. We are never completely alone. In our large group initiatives we create a community where joy and sharing become the norm. In our small groups we deeply dialogue, and address concerns and challenges.
We create opportunities that invite our intellect. We analyze, offer logical solutions, and work through the methods of science.
We create a safe space that invites our emotions to be heard. We play, we cry, we can be angry without hurting anyone. We are authentic, we are transparent, we are real.
We create solutions that recognize perseverance as one of the most essential human traits. In teams we consolidate our effort and energy to reach shared goals.
In our community of trust we all grow into servant leaders. Through our principles and practice of respect for self and others, responsibility for all I think, feel, say, and do, and quality relationships, we grow as leaders.
One of the greatest things we have that can influence people is inspiration. The word inspiration literally means to breathe in spirit. As we inspire, we breathe in divinity.
We can not force, manipulate, or coerce. Everyone, ultimately, makes their own choices. We can introduce people to themselves. We can awaken them to their spirit, to their divine heritage. This awakening, this influence, this inspiration is never forced. It cannot be done with debate or argument. It can only be done with inspiration.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi
I work very hard at offering assistance rather than trying to change someone. I am sometimes tempted to want to change family, friends, workmates and loved ones. When I am aware my helping is slipping into changing, I look in the mirror and ask, “What areas of my life need to be changed? What do I need to do to grow?” We all need to find our own joy. We all, as Joseph Campbell suggested “need to find our own bliss.”
When I attempt to try and change someone to be as I think they should be, we both are hurt. I have always found it is healthier when I accept someone as they are; Children of God. Mother Teresa once said, “If everyone cleaned up their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.” I can only change myself. In each situation life presents to me I realize if I want to change the situation, I must first change myself. If I want to change myself, I must first change my perceptions.
Change situation à Change self à Change perceptions
- Stephen Covey
When I see others and the world through the eyes of love, I see them as they truly are; Children of God. Seeing through the eyes of love changes our perspective, changes ourselves and often changes others. When we feel acceptance, we can let our light shine. When we express love, we receive love.
Every dream, every vision, every fragile secret desire of your spirit is life assuring you that you are one with your dream. Our dreams are not to be taken lightly. They are not “day dreams.” They are soul dreams. They have been sent to us by God. We are part of that divinity. When we reach for our dreams, divinity is always there to assist.
Some ideas that I share with my students on achieving our dreams are:
- Write a vision statement. Write it in the first person, present tense. This way you can feel it and sense it as if you are living it in the here and now.
- Take time to visualize your vision statement. Relax and see it in your minds eye.
- Create a support group or team that can help you accomplish your vision. Be sure to include people who have been down the dream road you are traveling.
- Let go of negative people, places, and things (behaviors) that will roadblock your dream.
- Take baby steps. Your new business may start as a weekend or evening activity.
- Take a new step toward your dream, now.
As human beings we have an innate, overwhelming, biological need to be creative. We need to contribute something of value to this life. We need to feel that we have made a difference.
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic and power in it.
Begin it now.”