We live in a caffeinated culture, and I’m not referring to people drinking coffee.
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We exist smack dab in the middle of a 24/7, nonstop culture where people are always plugged in and tuned out. We feel constant pressure that with so much going on in the world we need to stay engaged all the time. So many demands on our lives, so little time to fulfill them all. We live with guilt if we don’t.
And we’re paying the price for this!
My wife and I spent some time reflecting on these questions this morning. We always enjoy year end reviews and new year’s anticipations as we try to shape the kind of lives we feel called to. Our answers gave us some rich conversation about things we would love to step into during the new year. Why not use these questions for yourself and for your most important relationships. It might even open up some interesting doors for a deeper, more meaningful life. (from Angeles Arrien, The Four-fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary)
Many of us tend to have a rather complicated relationship with power. We’re at the same time both afraid of it and hungry for it.
Our fear of personal power often revolves around two poles – we want to appear humble and not prideful, on the one end, and we don’t want to be seen as too pushy or selfish, on the other end.
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And yet, deep inside, we hunger for personal power. We long to feel like we have what it takes to accomplish what we truly value, that we can be competent and successful, that we have a say about who we are, how we want to live, and what matters most to us, that we have a voice and our voice counts. Personal power.
I never considered myself a rebel growing up–unless you count having long hair and sideburns during the 60s and 70s, or using contemporary chords in my songs that some felt played to the “baser instincts” (I still smile with this critique I got from some of the “gatekeepers” in the church), or when I became a pastor not wanting to preach traditional sermons in style and content to instead stretch theological boundaries and congregational methodologies.
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Maybe some of those things could be considered “rebel”-like? But really, me a Rebel?
But the older I get, the more I realize how significant it is to learn how to say No to some things in order to say Yes to others. And especially to learn which are the more important things to push back against and push forward toward.
I read this week a powerful quote from the author Gregg Levoy which really helps to contextualize what it means to be a Rebel. Notice this …
Springtime is about embracing new life, renewal, transformation, new growth. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on what’s happening inside us and what wants to emerge in powerful new ways.
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The butterfly’s metamorphosis process is quite a profound metaphor for personal transformation and development. I wrote about this process several years ago and want to again comment on one of the transition stages that is particularly challenging for many of us. I hear from people I work with all the time about this issue. And having gone through a major transition in my own life, I can relate to the challenging dynamics of this stage quite well.
Think for a minute of all the voices of authority that exist in your life. Your list most likely includes people you trust and admire, books by authors and experts, perhaps religious figures you know. We tend to put our trust (sometimes exclusively) in external authorities.
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Many of us were raised to distrust ourselves. We were told that we could easily be deceived or led astray by looking to self. So we often don’t stop to consider internal authorities.
But we should. And here’s why.