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4 Ways of Being

I often go back to teachers I’ve had over decades of exploration and remind myself what I’ve learned and how it shows up now. I re-read books to review particular knowledge that landed and stuck. Angeles Arrien is one of my favorite teachers. She is a cultural anthropologist. She studies people and rituals all over the world and brings the relevance of what she learns into our modern lives.

She says that in shamanic societies, the warrior/leader archetypes practice what she calls the Four-Fold Way ™. The basic principles are:

  • Show up (choose to be present)

  • Pay attention (to what has heart)

  • Tell the truth (without blame or judgment)

  • Be open to the outcome (not attached to the outcome)

Sounds simple.

Each of these 4 ways of being take commitment, practice, support, and courage.

I challenge myself to take one at a time and commit to practicing. I’ve found that the first two lead to building the courage for the third: tell the truth.

First, telling myself the truth, with as much self-compassion as I can muster up. Then, tell others the truth, risking being dismissed, ignored, or made fun of. In the 90’s I had a bumper sticker that said:

“Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.”

I often find that when it is an important thing to say, especially in a group, my heart pounds in my throat letting me know that it needs to be offered up, and my voice always shakes.

I invite you to play with (not WORK on) the first two practices:

Show up (choose to be present)

Pay attention (to what has heart & meaning)

Showing up and paying attention both take practice. Break these down into small steps.

Let me know how it goes.

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