It Only Takes One…..

8 07 2009

Family UnityI watched a talk today by Seth Godin that spoke about tribes and how they,  founded on shared ideas and values, give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. This resonated with me in a big way and brought to mind a belief I’ve grown up with.

I’m a Baha’i. The Baha’i Faith was founded by Baha’u’llah who brought new spiritual and social teachings for our time. His essential message is of unity.  And that a fundamental unity, the basic unit and all-important building block of society is that of the family. Unless the family is healthy and unified, society cannot be healthy and unified.

Seth’s focus on the tribe and his example of how we are moving back to that equates to moving back to the foundation of the family unit. Because if we think about it, that’s what tribes were, families. And it took an all embracing, all connecting medium to help us see that. Bringing us back to the basics, but now within a completely different context and being able to expand on it to a scale never before imagined.

I look at my family, immediate and extended, and see this very trend occurring. We are becoming far more connected than ever before (as we all continue to grow in our own personal lives), maintaining it and setting a whole new pattern (unique to each of our experiences) for what family, and unity, means for the generation only now in it’s infancy.

Now I’m not trying to paint a sweet and idyllic picture of the process itself. Families torn apart by divorce, children deserted by their parents, abuse on all scales, control, manipulation, rebellion and the list goes on. These are present in some form or another in our families. As a result, many don’t want to have anything to do with one another. It’s no wonder we’re having a tough time bringing about world peace. How can we possibly unify the world when our own family is in disarray. Besides, our family would blow a gasket if we addressed any of this stuff.

Well, Seth offered 3 questions we can ask ourselves when  looking at leading a movement, when creating that change. First was “Who exactly are you upsetting? Because if you’re not upsetting anyone, you’re not changing the status quo”. Well I think we can safely say we’ve got that one covered.

ConnectingSecond was “Who are you connecting?”. Think about it, honestly. We all desire, deep down, to be connected with each other. That is why we hear so often, despite anger and sadness, of children deserted by their birth parent(s), seeking them out years later. When disconnected from our own family, seeking out that connection elsewhere, trying to make a family with those we surround ourselves with, yet still feeling resentment and anger towards the ones we “left” behind. Why? Because what we really want is to be connected to them. Even though claiming to have stepped out from under the shadow of a controlling parent, still catching yourself making decisions based on the hope that you may see some sliver of acceptance, acknowledgment or approval from them.

Third was “Who are you leading?” Because more than the mechanics of the process you’re going through, it’s about the who and the fact that you’re initiating the action.  “For who” is where we draw our drive and inspiration that propels the actions we take. Now the idea of “Leading” ones family can be taken out of context. Another way I see it is, by taking personal action, leading the way down a path not yet embarked upon, you provide the opportunity for that change to occur, that they in their own right, will become leaders as well, leaders in creating greater change in their lives around them.

It has to start somewhere. If all the families within a community are healthy and unified, then that community will be healthy and unified. If all the communities in a state/ province are healthy and unified, then that state/province will be healthy and unified. If all the states/provinces in a country are healthy and unified, then that country is healthy and unified. If all the countries of the world are healthy and unified…….

And it only takes one. One person to choose to create movement, to create the change in their life, to lead the way. To connect with one, another one in their family looking to do the same. One family to have the courage to face the pain, the sadness, the discomfort. One family to live the joy, the love, the adventure. It only takes one world to manifest the pinnacle of unity.

It only takes one……

Dare To Evolve,
Shane.

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Strength

11 10 2008

As a father of two, I have seen one of the purest meanings of strength: in their mother, the woman who carried and brought them into this world. And I’m not just talking about the labor, which trumps ANYTHING I have or will ever experience in my life. I’m also talking about the complete physical transformation that women undergo, physiologically, bio-chemically, all of it. Then needing to be so closely tied to them, for the first little while anyway, especially if you breastfeed them. The giving up of themselves for a time, to breath new life into this world.

The closest thing we as men will ever be able to come to experiencing that is by being by their side, day in and day out. It merely provides a glimpse.

I’m sharing these thoughts because a little while ago I came across another amazing example of this strength (my wife continues to blow me away with hers each and every day) when I came upon a training video of a woman getting herself back in shape after having had her son. Her name is Maya Garcia. She and her husband Steve Khuong are Strength and Conditioning Specialists out of California and run The Ice Chamber. I met Maya and Steve when we were getting certified as Kettlebell Lifting Coaches in San Diego. Really great couple.

Now, this isn’t some lose a bazzillion pounds, get ripped, never look like you carried a baby in 4 weeks kinda deal. This took a year of incremental progress, determination, consistency, patience , hard work and….strength. I have been truly inspired by Maya as I continue with my own training and practice.

Without further ado: Postpartum Maya!

s.