“You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so.
For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except the mind”
- Dale Carnegie
“I like the word changemaker, but you should definitely drop the word sacred, people aren’t ready for that”. These were the words I heard over and over from many trusted colleagues as I prepared to launch sacred changemakers. And the truth was… I was scared.
Deep inside my heart I knew I was asking for permission, I wanted someone to tell me it would be okay. I wanted the certainty, the reassurance that I would not lose my hard earned credibility by following my destiny and bringing my soul-deep legacy work to the world. It didn’t help that every time I typed the word “sacred” into my computer my spell checker automatically changed it to the word “scared”. I began to imagine the Universe was trying to tell me something!
On the other hand, I knew it was inevitable, there really wasn’t any question about the name, it was not going to change, I was going to do it anyway. But the tension inside me was palpable, it was consuming my every minute as I wrestled with the direction my path was leading.
And the truth was, I valued the presence of the sacred in my life. After spending many years resisting it, I had explored many different aspects of what it meant to me, and had transformed my relationship with it. I had redefined the word for myself, opened myself fully to it and allowed it to transform my interior and my life, not to mention my work. I was beginning to realize that by coming out and declaring my commitment to it, by going public there would be nowhere left to hide, I was being flung out of my comfort zone to share my secret with the world. I wasn’t ready.
Those six letters form a word that carries so much baggage in our world, even the dictionary definition didn’t resonate for me (connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.) I was worried about going against spiritual authorities, that others might mistake the word as referencing a religion or ideology, which I’m not.
I knew that for me, the word “sacred” was simply something to be honored, it was a connection to something bigger than myself and this was important because I knew it was my soul’s calling, and I was way more committed to this than I was to any business idea I might dream up in my head. I knew I was going on the mythical journey that Joseph Campbell describes as the hero’s journey, I would have to fight my demons, it was going to be challenging and I would keep on walking forward regardless.
And as I leaned into the discomfort of my fears, I realized it wasn’t the only one. I was afraid of not being “spiritual” enough, I was afraid of failing, of losing and not being able to support myself and my family financially. I was afraid of losing the respect of the people I love, of valued colleagues, and I was fearful of rejection. And with that acknowledgement to myself, I began to laugh. It felt like an emotional release. The irony was not lost on me that this is the work I do with others in my coaching and I was simply being asked to walk the path myself.
In that moment, I surrendered. My fears were merely an illusion, as the popular meme suggests, the word fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. I was suffering from my own assumptions that I would experience more challenge than support, more pain than pleasure, more loss than gain, and it was time to honor my commitment to my path. It was time, probably for the first time in my life, to be ALL IN.
- How do you define the word “sacred” for yourself? What does it mean to you?
- Do you relate to your life, your work, your relationships, the world as sacred? What would be different if you did?
- How can you develop your relationship with the sacred?
- What fears are holding you back?
Getting intentional about change can be challenging, it can be overwhelming. To survive, you must build and maintain a supportive community around you.