If I am honest with myself, I can look back over the years and notice the myriad of times when I had a chance to participate or maybe even connect deeply but instead I choose to hold back.
It seems to me that true connection often requires emotional risk and a willingness to be vulnerable if not open-hearted. If we wish to pursue true connection, we will be challenged to move outside of our emotional comfort zone.
A dear and beloved spiritual ally of mine recently shared some of his personal challenges with me, which I know was a risk for him. His daring inspired me to take more risk and reach out in a deliberate attempt to connect more deeply. Part of this endeavor has included a move into deeper authenticity. It is Anne Morrow Lindbergh who offered, “If one is estranged from oneself, then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.” Not only do I believe that authenticity is the way forward in creating deep connection, but I find other’s authenticity magnetically attractive. My guess is I am not alone in that realization.
Today I had the blessing of meeting spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson. Ms. Williamson was speaking at my wonderful friend Dr. Rev. Michelle Medrano’s church, New Vision Center, in Scottsdale, AZ. This opportunity for connection took me back mentally to one of the first times I saw Marianne speak about 15 years ago in Los Angeles. I attended the lecture with my friend Teresa. At intermission, Teresa wasted no time in going right up to Marianne to ask her about some linguistic challenges she was having with the A Course in Miracles text. I so admired Teresa for her unabashed ability to go right up to Marianne without a moment’s hesitation. It took me years (probably five) to move outside my comfort zone enough to simply ask Marianne for a picture with her.
So today, inspired by my open hearted friends, I walked up to Marianne during the morning exchange and talked with her for a few minutes about the Course, our mutual friends, my gratitude for her commitment to the work and her inspiration to me as my most profound teacher. We embraced and even held hands-both in fact! When I came back for the second service, Marianne looked right at me, smiled, and said, “Jeanine, I am so glad you came back for the second service. Thank you.” Sometimes God gives with both hands.
Just yesterday, my friend Justyna and I spent the entire day in Sedona, AZ. Justyna will be returning to Poland at the end of the month and the unspoken truth is it is likely we will never see each other again.
Justyna and I spent the day getting massages, eating delicious food, hiking and generally indulging whims, laughing hysterically and having a great time. At the end of our Thelma and Louise-like mad cap adventure Justyna said, “It’s too bad that it took my leaving for us to connect like this.” I had to ponder the potency of her declaration. It left me thinking that the only real risk we really face is never taking the chance to connect.
Jeanine Marie Austin, Ph.D., C.Ht.
Doctor of Life Coaching, Certified Hypnotherapist
Simply Divine Solutions
Life Coaching and Hypnosis Worldwide
Free Consultation Available
justyna and jeanine sedona