Beyond Awakening Q&A – Part 3

Carrie asks: How do you develop confidence to start putting yourself “out there” as a leader? Sometimes I feel wise and semi-enlightened, and other times I feel like a mess. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, and I don’t want to be built up as a “guru.”

A: The old adage applies – “We teach what we need to learn.” All of us are works in progress, especially teachers. That’s why the best teachers aspire to transparency, telling stories about their own foibles, triggers and vulnerabilities in order not just to instruct but also to remind everyone that we really all are the same. Plus, in this way the message always gets across in the warmest, most beneficial way.

No one who doesn’t want to be built up as a “guru” will be. If you find that happening, the all-important question is, “What am I doing to promote this?”

From a perspective beyond awakening, it’s clear that a teacher plays his or her role in the great Oneness of all things, just as the student does the same. In this sense neither has something the other doesn’t, or is missing anything. And the roles can reverse in an instant. Understanding this leads to a natural, authentic humility.

Final thought: Why do you want to be a leader in the first place? If this desire comes from a deep, heartful call to serve, go for it. If it comes from anything else, or if the answer isn’t clear, it might make sense to let things cook a little longer.

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About Raphael Cushnir

Raphael Cushnir is a popular contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine. He has also been a teacher, activist, screenwriter, and film director. His own heart was rekindled after a period of profound grief. His first book, Unconditional Bliss: Finding Happiness in the Face of Hardship, was twice nominated as Best Personal Growth title of the year and introduced the "Living the Questions" process. His second book, Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life, is used as a teaching tool in churches and spiritual centers around the country. His third book, How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment, was named one of the "Best Spiritual Books of 2005" by Spirituality and Health magazine. Raphael shares his work in talks and workshops worldwide. For more info: www.livingthequestions.org; www.heartonfire.org; www.hownow100.com; www.innermanagement.biz.
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3 Responses to Beyond Awakening Q&A – Part 3

  1. Lynnet says:

    So true! We learn best when we are relaxed, and I personally find it much more relaxing to learn from a REAL person.
    When I stepped into a “leadership” role (against great internal resistance), I found myself believing I had to meet some ideal standard of behavior at all times in all situations. This became a drag in personal relationships right away.
    I make sure now to just be authentic, and it feels divine!

  2. joni says:

    This is a great question and response because I can truly relate. I being the eldest of 12 siblings assumed the role of advisor when my mom passed.
    Being a senior and considered somewhat wise I did try to invent myself so to speak. But I quickly learned that it was best to be honest and open and to acknowledge the fact that we are all somewhat flawed as human beings.
    But it is important to also remember, as spiritual beings identified as having the mind of Christ we are absolutely perfect and divine. Coming out of being separate from God to accepting ONENESS is the key to harmony and peace in any and all relationships.

  3. Eileen says:

    I’m exeriencing a similar internal struggle about ‘leadership’ at the present time. My desire for a quiet life struggles against my wish to use all the talents I’ve been given. My solution for now is simply to try to be without trying to lead.

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