Before I go to bed I had to tell you this
Oh, it is late.
I’ve spent the last four days at a conference of the Association for Bahá’í Studies (ABS) in Atlanta.
It has been non-stop, in the best possible way.
On Thursday I entered a sea of 1,400 people who came to explore new ways to apply concepts found within the Revelation of Baha’u’llah to their lives, professions and community building efforts. I find myself more encouraged, inspired and curious than when I arrived. I'm also more aware of what I don’t know. It’s a good place to be.
Let me paint the scene: This sea of humanity included dear friends from all stages of my life: people who knew me as a little kid, people I knew as kids who are now grown, people who I knew from my youth from camps and service projects who I haven’t seen for over 25 years, people who know my family, and tons of fascinating new people who are now friends. It was impossible to walk down the corridors of the hotel without getting seriously derailed by hugs and conversation. I saw people from each of the places I’ve lived in the States. It was like a life review, only I’m still here. And I am very tired.
But before I crash into bed, I wanted to write and tell you this:
I almost didn’t go.
It’s been 10 years since I’ve been to an ABS conference. The last one was intense. I performed a spoken word and movement piece with two of my friends about the abusive marriages we had each escaped. We were not prepared for how raw it left us. We didn’t realize the level of containment and protection that is needed to bring something like that into the world while also keeping one’s well-being intact. The whole thing left a bitter taste and my interest in returning to the conference totally waned.
But when a friend from my youth unexpectedly passed away from complications from her treatment for breast cancer last month, friends starting reconnecting to offer prayers and share memories.
Spurred by the feeling to not let so much time go by before seeing each other again, three different people asked if I was planning on going to ABS. I wasn't even aware the conference was happening.
Each time someone asked, I watched myself reply with an adamant No.
By the third No, I got curious.
I mean, I knew why I was having the strong reaction, but it was interesting that the question kept coming up.
When I hear something three times, that’s my cue to listen a little deeper. So I put my immediate reaction on hold and turned to Energy.
Is it in my highest interest to go to this conference?
And to my surprise I got a big, buttery, solid Yes.
When those kind of Yeses show up, I’ve learned to follow through.
You see, I’ve had a pilgrimage planned to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama for some time now. You may have heard it referred to as the National Lynching Memorial. It looks powerfully and beautifully done and when I first learned about it every fiber of my being wanted to be there with a Costco sized pack of Kleenex to honor the people history has forgotten.
Since I was already headed to the area, by the prompting of Energy, I widened my trip to include the conference, not fully understanding why I was going.
But today, as the conference came to an end, I reflected on some of the highlights that revealed why it was such a big Yes for me:
I had an amazing conversation with three dear friends from my youth, two of whom are men who listened to me recount the last two decades of my life told from the perspective of getting into and out of an abusive marriage. It’s a been a while since I’ve shared that story out loud and it was amazing to tell it in a new way and have it heard by men who so deeply honor and champion the women in their lives. They listened with their whole selves and demonstrated such tenderness, genuine care and protectiveness. They asked the most insightful questions and I felt deeply heard. This experience alone was worth the trip. Despite the fact we’ve had no recent contact, we were transported back to the same spirit that characterized our friendship 25 years ago. There was so much love, humor and joking that it extended out from us and encircled the waitstaff. By the end of the night everyone felt like family. It was pure heaven.
I gained a deepened way of thinking about my activism in the world. It helped me build the bridge between what I am experiencing in the community building work I do and how I am advancing my professional life. I gathered more insights into my own path of working to uproot racism in America.
I experienced a renewed sense of purpose and wholeness. I was inspired by the quality of discourse taking place between all the conference participants. I witnessed and learned from a beautiful moment of truth being spoken to power.
I am so grateful that Energy guided me to take advantage of this new experience. I feel made new by it all. It feels like a qualitative leap forward at the right time. Without Energy, I wouldn’t have gotten an indication that there was something good in store for me. I was firmly set against coming to this conference. And if I didn’t check in with Energy, I wouldn’t have gone.
I am so, so grateful for the ability I have cultivated within myself to check in with my truth, especially when my habitually patterned mind is telling me something else.
You too can open yourself to new information that generates all kinds of surprising possibilities. It’s as simple as getting started with the Energy Checking videos and shooting me an email if you get stumped while putting your new skill into practice. I’m happy to answer your initial questions by email.
Though I'll share with you one of the things I hear most from people who are just learning: they simply forget to use Energy Checking.
That’s why I created the 30-day Energy Checking Intensive (Option 4). It is a great way to get a jump on your Energy Checking practice and develop new habits and deeper trust in your ability to use the tool.
I’m in the process of creating a series of videos that showcases a wide variety of situations in which you can use Energy Checking in your life. This series will be included in the upcoming Intensive.
This month-long program also provides extensive one-on-one support as well as two group sessions. Each are designed to support you in moving through the unique challenges that keep you from trusting and following the answers you get. One of the group sessions will be on the topic of how to Energy Check when you're in a state of fear and confusion and the other group session will be a Q&A so everyone can benefit from one another's questions and experiences.
The next 30-day intensive starts starts October 22nd, and ends November 20th. I’m only enrolling a handful of people into the program and it's the last time I’ll offer it this year. I've priced this offer at half off its current value so it's a great opportunity to get a lot of support for a very reasonable investment. I likely will not be offering it this price again.
So if it feels like a YES for you, shoot me an email to let me know you’re interested!
Good night sweet people!