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Sacrifice Doesn’t Mean Suffer

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The limitations that feeling fearful places upon you create internal suffering that sacrifice relieves.

When the sun sets to sacrifice the day into night, you experience a natural transition. Do you not revel in the beauty of sunsets rather than feel sadness for the end of the day? Rather than perceiving the duality of night and day, we notice a continuum of experience, one that emerges and influences our mindset and choices. We move through our lives in similar ways. Each chapter an opportunity for learning, growing and changing our worldview, presence, and experience. In this context, sacrifice in our lives means setting down a familiar tool bag in favor of choosing a new one with resources that inspire us more strongly than the voices of doubt and fear. Do you see yourself as an innovator, a person who trusts your innate creativity and expresses original thinking to solve problems? Perhaps you are deeply curious, always learning and applying that toward producing new, useful resources for others. How do you know what you imagine is valuable enough to break through resistance and take the risk to claim your agency in life?

When you’ve said the words and been witnessed saying the words that describe what you most want next or you deeply know is your way forward, your body says, ‘oh, yes, this is real’ and you experience a kinesthetic and emotional quality specific to that moment. I have a hypothesis about this quality of experience: the invisible becomes revealed when you sacrifice your grip on what’s visible. This hypothesis requires that you tap into your wonder, noticing what emerges beyond what is familiar to see a bigger picture, to fill in blank spaces on your life canvas. Your learning and growth generated from seeing what was blocked from view. Paradoxically, that moment of sacrifice relieves your suffering. All that is visible to you in life feels limiting and less satisfying. The choice to change results from sacrificing what creates suffering and turning toward what already exists, yet is new in your perspective.

In order to perceive and pursue on purpose in your life, you must allow perspective and experiences that disturb your habits and preferences. Maybe you label this as sacrifice. Pleasurable experiences produce happy chemicals for you that memories, upon quiet reflection, evoke and fill you with attachment to what was. Linger there too long and you miss the opportunity in the present moment for new experiences.

I remember the moment, as if it is right now, when I realized the time had come to leave a corporate leadership role in favor of being an entrepreneur. Exhilarated and terrified both, my body, heart, and mind knew that staying meant suffering. The sacrifice of all that I had achieved was necessary to create the space in my life to incubate new ways of contributing to the world. Twenty-five years later I feel deep gratitude that I listened deeply to my inner wisdom and perceived sacrifice as the relief to my silent suffering in boredom and the constraints of other’s opinions and stereotypes of who I had become. My life has unfurled before me in ways my imagination could not conjure because I was unable to see beyond my history and known capability. The life lesson learned for me is that I, and you, are part of catalyzing awakening.

Through your choices to engage, connect and empower your vision, you can and do claim and act through the agency within you. Find your voice and use it to generate a fully potent life. Leave behind achievement as the goal in favor of spontaneous self-trust that invites others into a co-creative relationship with you. If you are longing to lead with authenticity and sovereignty, if you’re looking to get unstuck from the ‘same old’ while pushing past fear and the antiquated status quo, then pick up a copy of Invite Change… today!

Janet M. Harvey, MCC

Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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