Are You A
Lemming or an
eagle? “What do you really want?” “What is your passion?” are questions I often ask people. Often I am met with a blank (and sometimes embarrassed) stare. It is almost as if we have been programmed to bury our passions by a society that on one hand says it wants us to excel and then tries to hold us back when we do. We receive the mixed messages of “Anything and everything is possible—especially in America, the land of opportunity” and “No, Mary, girls (or No, John, boys) don’t do that.” There is a television ad about how a large percentage of girls are interested in science and math, yet few follow that path. The ad presents a story of a little girl, whose parents discourage her natural curiosity with comments such as “Come out of the tide pool, you’ll get dirty.” “Oh, this science project is getting way out of hand, you’d better stop.” “Be careful, give the electric drill to your brother so you don’t hurt yourself.” By the end of the ad, instead of reading the poster for a science fair, the girl uses her reflection in the glass case holding the poster to put on her lipstick. There could easily have been an ad showing a boy being held back from a desire to follow a path outside the male stereotype. Have you ever had this type of experience? You get excited about a new idea— goose bump excited—and you start down the path of bringing your idea into physical reality. Then SMACK you run into a wall of naysayers and dream busters. Yeah, me too; however, when the wall is put up by others, I’ve gotten pretty good at breaking through. It’s when the wall jumps up because of my past programming and self-doubts that I have more of a challenge. A few years ago a Scandinavian couple refused to tell anyone the sex of their newborn. They wanted their child to have the freedom to follow his/her natural interests rather than have family and society influence how he/she should behave. It wasn’t until the child was school age that the parents divulged the child’s sex. Imagine getting that kind of a head start. A world where you are encouraged to follow your own innate, natural curiosity and talents—and then celebrated and supported for whatever you felt guided to explore. I find that a lot of individuals are living down to other people’s and society’s expectations. When I’m coaching someone, I encourage them to take the time and introspection necessary to answer my questions: “What do you really want?” “What is your passion?” Recently I watched with delight as three individuals got in contact with their inner callings. One, had told me he had decided there wasn’t anything more for him to do, therefore no reason to think about the future. He recently realized there were still some things that excited him, and he was working toward making them happen. Another person was finally writing down all his wants and desires and creating goals. He contacted me for guidance regarding guidance on the “how to” on a few of the items. The third individual knew what she wanted but thought it was impossible. As we talked and I asked “what if” questions, her face lit up as she realized the “impossible” was very possible. She started taking action that day. In each instance I did a little happy dance inside. How about you? Are you living down to other people’s or society’s expectations? Or are you living up to your personal passion? You and I can either be lemmings and jump off the cliff of living down, or we can soar like the eagles we are meant to be. However, before you can move from lemming to eagle, you need to figure out what you want in life. Start noticing thoughts of “Oh, wouldn’t that be nice to have in my life?” or “I wonder if I could do that?” Write them down. As you focus on these inner stirrings, you will begin to see possibilities that were not present in your thoughts in the past—or you may rediscover desires long since buried. As your field of possibilities increases, use the momentum to grow your list. Revisit your list, embrace it, make the items on it your friend, and allow yourself
to become excited and inspired. Under no circumstances share your list and your enthusiasm with any lemmings around you. Look for an eagle to share with. Your eagle could be a trusted friend or family member, a co-worker, your spiritual leader, or a coach. Because they are eagles, they will encourage and support you on your path. They will take you to the edge of the cliff and teach you to fly. If you’re already an eagle, remember to pause to appreciate and celebrate yourself. Then soar even higher. Sophia Falke is a transformation w w w w w coach, speaker, and author. You can reach her at Sophia@EmbracingGreatness. com or by calling or texting 702-283-3117. Sophia is also minister at Unity Center in the Valley, Las Vegas. Information on programs at Unity Center can be found at www.uciv.org, Facebook.com, or Meetup.com.
IN LIGHT TIMES • september, 2014 • PAGE 9