Friday, June 14, 2013


I'm terrified of flying.

Anyone who knows me well, knows this about me.  

It's embarrassing.

For the day and hour and minutes leading up to launch, I dissemble.

I feel sick. My palms sweat. My breath goes bad. 

My heart races. I yawn and yawn. For all intents and purposes, I feel like I'm falling apart.

I literally forget all that I know about being safe.  

I can't reach out.  I can't connect.  I can't remember who I am.

I go inside this very small, dark place where I wait and breathe and hold my belly to make sure that I AM still.

Leadership is like this sometimes .

It is painful and scary and vulnerable-making.  

As Pema Chodron says, "It brings you to your edge."

It makes you weep. It makes you lonely. It makes you FEEL your smallest self. It can also makes you soar.

Here's the deep irony.

I work for a global organization.

Literally and metaphorical my job demands flight.

I have to be in two places at once. 

I have to imagine and experience the world across borders.

I have to take off and touch down in foreign places.


This is a post about the POWER of being uncomfortable.  About living life on the edge. Of taking risk. Of dissembling. Of touching the dark places.

If you lead well, if you care deeply about any project, person, or place, you will experience terror. 

You will find your edges and in the darkness you will not meet rainbows and fairies.

And yet there is POWER in experiencing your most fragile, fearful self. In noticing and honoring just how weak you can be.

From this experience, you can die a little.

You can find the truth of your own humanity. You can connect with all of the other sentient beings out there who suffer just like you.  And you can enter into a deeper, kinder relationship with yourself and others.

Come fly with me. Come lead with me. Come find out who you really are.


Cappy Harmon said...

Thanks for the beautiful post! It helps me remember that Fear is the opposite of FAITH!

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