A little over two weeks ago, we finished another very powerful Noble Man workshop. On Sunday, one of the staff women approached me. She had just a few weeks earlier completed her Celebration of Woman workshop, and it was her first time holding space for men in this way.
“Britta,” she said as she looked at me with soft tears streaming down her face. “I feel so complete! I loved my Celebration of Woman workshop, but giving to the men in this way has completely fulfilled me. I just loved holding space for them and being in my deepest essence of love and devotion.” I could see it in her eyes that she meant it.
Ten days later we were talking on the phone, and she confirmed that this was not just a “workshop high” but that her whole life had changed from the experience of completely getting herself out of the way and pouring herself into these men whom she had never met. She found herself in her daily life in a state of abiding peace, even though on the outside things were actually anything but peaceful and the structures of her life were falling apart.
I felt reinspired speaking to her about the power of contribution. What if we could really find ourselves only by giving ourselves away? A dangerous counter-cultural concept in our modern-day world, which is all about, well, ME – about getting what I want, expressing my truth, doing what feels right to me, and consuming all the things that make ME richer, more powerful and more beautiful. In our world, it is all about whatever makes me somehow stand out from others, and if we are really truthful, above others.
It is indeed necessary to develop a healthy strong ego structure and to know who we are, aside from what others have told us. Although a deep understanding of our individuality is important, I think we might have gone too far in our current self-help world. The danger of all this inner processing is that it can be too much about ME. We might get stuck there, and never develop from “Me to WE.”
And then the mind becomes narcissistically obsessed with self-reflecting questions, like “Am I good enough? What do they think about me? Do they like me? Am I better than so-and-so?” Our world becomes really small, we approach every situation with a basic “What’s in it for me?” attitude and become more and more self-absorbed and – miserable. I have heard it said that there is a direct correlation between how much a human being is about “me” and how miserable they are. Interesting, right?
Also interesting that those kinds of people, people that are completely self-absorbed and miserable, make the best consumers. They always want to buy more, because they never feel satisfied. Hmm!
I believe we are all sent to this world to contribute. Yes, we are meant to discover our unique essence but not to hold on to it and thereby put ourselves apart or above others. We are meant to give our individuality to The Whole. It is my experience that the more I let myself receive from the Upstream, and then pass the gifts on to my fellow human beings, the more it keeps coming. On the other hand the more I hold onto it and want to keep it to myself, the less it keeps coming. If we hold on really tight, life’s ever-abundant river of grace might even dry up completely while we are grasping so tightly that nothing can get in or out.
George Bernard Shaw wrote: “This is the true joy in life …being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. … I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. “
And what if that meant RIGHT HERE AND NOW? Not when we are perfect or after we have gone through a whole lot of training, study, workshops, processes or therapy, but right now as we are. What if someone somewhere needs exactly what you have right now, and is actually waiting for a word of encouragement, wisdom or vulnerable exposure from YOU?
What if it is not about coming up with some extraordinary mission or purpose that will bring you great fame (only very few of us are called to this) but about being a gift in your ordinary life to the people that Life/God/Spirit has entrusted to you? Your family, your friends, your work colleagues, the strangers you meet every day.
In my personal and professional experience from having met people from all walks of life in almost all of the continents in this world, the happiest people are the most generous people, the ones who sincerely, powerfully and humbly ask “How can I contribute?”
With love and gratitude,
Britta and the COB Team