The play of light and darkness is a story that precedes all stories. In fact, it's the foundation that gave birth to every human quest, desire, and expression -known and unknown. The path of discovering authentic self leadership in life and business is no different, and as we explore the nature of being in darkness and trying to find the light, you’ll see beyond doubt how simple this all really is.
We are about to pull back the proverbial curtain, and expose a game being played within the hearts and minds of every human being.
Authentic Self Leadership
Let’s set the stage by looking at our desire (and wanting) for authentic self leadership. As with every desire, it’s an expression within the heart that begs the answer to a primal and ancient question, "Who Am I?". Every desire is a desire to see yourself, know yourself and express yourself.
If one feels divided from an internal self leadership, then there is a feeling of not knowing the self, of a separation in authentic connection between an inner world and outer world. Naturally, within something screams, “What the hell is going on and why can’t I seem to get my act together?”
This question gets expressed ten thousand different ways. Essentially, it’s some sort of inner or outer argument with what you are, which can only imply something is left unknown, lacking, or in desperate need of fixing. Naturally, since all desire is to fully see yourself, there’s an intrinsic and soulful pull to improve, resolve and understand the separation from what is desired. Maybe you can begin to see here, the obvious correlation with the play of being In Darkness, to being In Light.
In Darkness; the Absence of Light
Again, stay with me here in the simplicity. Even though you might really want to understand more your idea of self leadership, I’m telling you… it’s the same as understanding everything else. To really be with Authentic Leadership, with your-self or with others, the more you understand this dynamic of being in darkness with a desire to be in Light, the more you will be prepared to truly understand everyone you come in contact with.
In darkness, the light seems to be lacking. In this, we simply cannot see clearly. Imagine if you will, you’re in a dark house that’s totally unfamiliar and you desperately want to find your keys. Can you see that the darker it is, the more frustrated you become? So much so, that internally you start to feel violent. Luckily, you’re in this house alone, because if anyone else was around you probably wouldn’t be very pleasant company. In fact, you might even be violent to them.
To feel separate from what you feel is genuinely important to who or what you are is the most painful of things. This pain drives itself deeper with the degree of perceived distance between you and… you. Naturally you can see that the darker the darkness, the more violent you become. Understandably though, and with a great deal of compassion, because you’re trying to find something that sincerely matters to you. Yet, it’s so dark that you keep hurting yourself as you search. You feel the sharp sting of the edge of the coffee table making contact with your shin. Toes are bruised as you continually bump into unseen furniture. Objects that are just being objects, now become your worst enemy as you feel they are demonic forces that keep you from authentically connecting with what you are searching for.
Anger ensues as you frantically seek the keys required to connect with what you want. Furniture destroyed, glass broken, and a unfamiliar home becomes a battle field that now imprisons a heart that is rapidly losing all hope. Now, you sit. Faced with the reality that you can’t see anything. Terror is a word that doesn’t do justice to that inner feeling of completely not knowing who you are anymore, or how it is you will ever again find your keys.
As it relates to Authentic Self Leadership, being in this kind of darkness looks like a self who feels completely out of control, and undoubtedly unable to do what’s necessary to reach a desired objective. You lower your head and question if it’s your team that’s blinded, “How could they be so stupid, so blind, so unmotivated and dysfunctional?". Or, maybe, as the leader you want to be, you question yourself in the same manner that you blame your team, “How could I be so stupid, so blind, so unmotivated and dysfunctional?”. To question this is to admit there is darkness at play.
In Absolute Light; there is No Darkness
Principally speaking, this might be rather controversial, but again stick with the simplicity of what I’m pointing to. Authentic self leadership begins with acknowledging the most simple and basic truths of reality. The truth is, if light is fully present then darkness simply doesn’t and cannot exist. Please read that last sentence again and again.
In the presence of Light, darkness doesn’t even have the chance to say, "Hello.” There’s not even a conversation about if the darkness can have just five more minutes. It’s immediate, instant, and eternal; it’s absolute. To open a dark closet, and to flip on the light switch, the darkness doesn’t even fade away, it vanishes. See how this has played out in your own life, where there was a moment when you had doubt, confusion, frustration or some element of fear. All of a sudden a light switched on inside and in an instant all expressions of fear vanished.
The Play of being In Light, is to know; and in this knowing there is no separation or distance between where you are and where you really want to be. It is seen, that You Are. In this, you’re not looking for anything because everything is illuminated and seen. In the dark house where you search for your keys, a light switch is flipped and illuminates everything. You see immediately where the keys are, there is no more looking for them. Doubts disappear, frustrations vanish, and confusion instantly transforms into profound clarity.
The instantaneousness of this might seem extreme, as many of us seem to have a gradual process of searching and finding. Maybe you’ll hear me here, maybe you won’t, but I’ll still tell you. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. However, the human being really likes to have their process; and that’s perfectly fine. The human being really likes to complicate things as well, when in truth, all things are extraordinarily simple, direct, and... present. Can you see, and yes you can, in your past experience when this light came on, in some cases it really was available much sooner, you just had to come to terms with the truth of the situation.
There’s an intrinsic human delay, and it’s a classic killer to authentic self leadership. The avoidance is birthed through self deception, an attempt to lie to yourself in hopes of avoiding any need to look at the darkness. Not realising that this in itself is the conundrum that prolongs the suffering or ineffectiveness and wastes valuable time and resources.
The delay is only required, so that you see the delay isn’t necessary at all. Same with suffering, it’s only required so that you can see beyond it. To transition from being In Darkness to In Light is as simple as an openness to look where you are avoiding what scares you. Usually, wait… always, this is an issue of radical self honesty. The beauty is, you are already connected to a universal and cosmic organisation that is trying to assist you. Much like in you reading this article right now, it can only happen because there is a willingness to look. The willingness came first, and then an opportunity showed itself.
Self Leadership; In Light Connect and out of Darkness
Simply put, it’s what we do. Why? Because of Self Leadership. We know beyond doubt that this is our area of excellence; so we move wholeheartedly in the direction of expressing an inner light. The path of becoming was, and still is, a path of radical self honesty and a devotion to an unpopular truth; that truth being total experiential accountability.
The Light is a truth that exposes the untrue and forever will it be avoided by the masses. This truth is always what everyone wants but it scares and terrifies most back into a place of hiding. Until the pain simply becomes too much to bear. Much like in your own experience, the major breakthroughs have followed a season of pain; you can see how the pain builds up until you're ready to acknowledge a truth that’s always been there.
Authentic Self Leadership is to really acknowledge this truth as quickly as possible because you see the absolute benefit to the whole. In appearance it’s a sort of self sacrifice, however in the Light it’s not a sacrifice at all because the only thing being sacrificed is an imagined sense of self importance. The beauty of this that is eventually seen, is that you notice the fundamental nature of this play of darkness to light, and it’s always the same. To say it directly, if you experience lack in any way, fear in any way, then you are in the darkness of self deception.
However, in truth there is no judgment about this. Judgment that questions your worth and value is the same play of darkness that drives you deeper into a black hole of doubt, confusion and overall dysfunction. In truth, to recognise this with a deeply sincere willingness to look at it, is to open yourself to see beyond it. This is Self Leadership, a willingness to look rather than avoid, hide or blame. This is always where the hero becomes a hero, which by the way has nothing to do with feeling important, being approved of, or even being seen by others as a hero. It’s at the point when the self is willing to fully acknowledge the play of darkness, see the self-imposed limitations, and still do what is necessary, simply because it’s the truth.
The Reflection of Self Leadership; All is a Mirror
Here’s the deal, whether you want to acknowledge it or not. If you lack Self Leadership, then your external play of being a leader for others will lack as well. If there is a play of inner darkness, there will be an obvious reflection of external darkness. This is unavoidable, this is the direct truth of existence as it pertains to being a human. If you look out into the world, through a filter of darkness, you will see dark things. If you look through the filter of light, you will see light filled things.
To see an avoided problem within yourself, this will by default become your filter that then sees avoided problems outside yourself. In this, your external play of leadership will always and forever mirror your play of self leadership. This is the opportunity, profoundly so. We can look at the external condition that might appear as a team of staff or employees that seem to be out of control, dysfunctional and uncommitted, and see what it points to within yourself. What’s the filter say about the one who is looking, here you will find the disconnect and the obvious solution.
Most people, and I do mean most, focus so much on figuring out how to change the surface condition, they don’t give any consideration to the reality that the surface is just reflecting the internal. Why? Because to look in this direction of seeing themselves more clearly, they have to face the truth that they might not know themselves at all. They will see darkness, they will see confusion, doubt, chaos and all flavours of fear they’ve been avoiding their whole life. It ‘seems’ much easier to just figure out a way to manipulate other people through fear, rather than taking total experiential accountability for the source of the fear.
This is the inherent darkness of a villain in every story. The one who uses fear to control, manipulate and separate, because this one feels that the external is the source of the problem that keeps this one from being free. This is the violent one. Just as when you look for your keys in the darkness while you smash and destroy everything in your path. It’s a form of blame that says the external world is to blame for your lack of connecting to what you want. When really… the problem is that you're unwilling to turn the light on, because then you would see that there’s no one to blame, thus you have to take full responsibility for the source of fear and conflict you experience.
Life is already set up to assist you in this discovery, to assist you in connecting with the light. The question is, are you willing to play the game? The answer is already there, just as the reflection is unavoidable. Why this isn’t a priority, is beyond comprehension but at the same time completely understandable. Just watch, as the solution presents itself and it is within your capacity to move forward, but you continue to give validity to the thoughts that attempt to avoid, delay and hide from the real issue.
Self Leadership; Training and Coaching
The truth that leads toward authentic self leadership is disruptive, but not toward anything that actually matters. It demands a real humility and vulnerability which will destroy imagined ideas of self importance. However this is where real growth happens, first internally and then by default externally. We can do this the hard way, or the easy way. The hard way is to constantly look for an external change to hide and avoid the real issue. The easy way is being radically self honest with a deeply sincere willingness to acknowledge the real issue.
The 'InLight Connect' easy way of self leadership is easy, because it’s focused and direct -toward what it is you really want. The hard way is hard, because it’s avoiding what you really want, and subsequently you never actually end up where you want to be; or you just end up taking the slow and lazy route because you fear the adventure of being alive.
Those I work with on this subject, in the capacity of training or coaching, are always amazed at the simplicity of the answers that show themselves. It’s like the play of spontaneous recognition of beauty, where you’re going about your day and all of a sudden you're struck by the most profound insight that simply comes out of nowhere. Also like being lost in one’s mind and then all of a sudden being captivated by a sunset; every problem melts away, and you discover an inspiration that automatically answers every question ever pondered.
In this space of clarity, or being In Light, you are now free to do what really matters. You are free to be; and this is a being that’s connected to all that is. Connected to yourself, to your team, your vision, creativity and most importantly to authentic self leadership.
No more excuses, any darkness that might be showing itself in your world, inner or outer, personal or professional, can now be addressed in a direct and sincerely unapologetic way. Unapologetic, in the sense that you see it as an opportunity, and not as further evidence that you're doing it wrong. It's simply time.
The Conclusion of Every Story Ever Told
The ancient play of Light and Dark is a story about sincerity, renewal and expansion. Any story worth listening to always has that point where it looks like either darkness has already won, or it's about to. This of course is where we discover an unknown courage that's willing to face the reality of the situation; that courage is the willingness to move forward amidst even the most insurmountable odds.
If you look back at your own life experience, you'll see this cycle has played out time and time again.
- You had to get radically honest with yourself.
- You discovered a renewed courage to express that honesty.
- You expanded in your heart and felt a deeper connection to self, others and life.
This cycle doesn't end, it will never go away because it's the function of infinity. In order for the infinite to be the infinite, it must always expand into areas that are unseen. Light must move into the darkness. The real pain in this breath of in-and-out, of contraction and expansion, is the avoidance of what's wanting to be seen. The breath itself isn’t painful. The pain is from the one who is resisting the breath.
This life becomes so much easier when we see the game being played, and fully acknowledge that it's unavoidable, even though something within us desperately wants to avoid it. There can be a genuine compassion for that part of ourselves (including others) that will do anything possible to avoid letting the out-breath be the out-breath; scared, as we fear not receiving another in-breath.
Yet, here you are. Right now, with a breath that allows you to be.
Can you see that this is really the only thing we've ever worried about; to really break it down and get profoundly sincere about the worry we've experienced. What it was really saying was simply, "I was worried that I wouldn't make it to this moment right now."
Whether you accept the invitation or not, we already consider ourselves (InLight Connect) your partner in this adventure called life, living and being. We see you, because we see the real nature of the game being played. It's an opportunity, to uncover your inherent connection with all that is, and allow for life to guide you toward what it is you want most in this life.
Is it anything other than the opportunity to connect deeply with yourself, so that you can connect deeply with others and life?