community building, COmmunity engagement, economic development, ego, engagement, innovation, Lifeclass, Mary Margaret Maule, Oprah, OWN, personal development, self, Tolle, Winfrey, women in business
I was recently fortunate to participate in the new Oprah Winfrey project called Lifeclasses. It is a 25 episode series of life lessons that Oprah shares with her audience via her new network (OWN), Facebook, Oprah.com and a live interactive studio audience. I was a part of the audience for the first show.
Let me say, whether you are a fan or not, it is hard to not be impressed by the processes of this media juggernaut. Truly amazing how people are entertained, engaged and generally nudged by happy and smiling employees in the direction needed. From an organizational stand point, one would never have known it was a new studio, a program, a new format, a new everything.
And Oprah- in all her presence- is just , well, Oprah.
I have spent most of the morning kneading the dough of what was introduced last night. The topic was The False Power of EGO. How does ego prevent you from living your best life.
This is a topic of great personal interest. How is it that you get out of your own way? Not fall victim to the trolls in your head that narrate many of our stories? The general sense of self doubt that is a part of many of us. How do we stop wanting more and start being present with what we have?
I sit this morning with two things growing in me around this subject. One, I find myself becoming angry, yes, angry about some of the questions posed on the show last night. They were presented with a sense of hope- “how do I stop doing these things that I know are bad for me?, (even though I just admitted, I don’t really want to give up the good parts.) But with no real accountability. “Can you bring forth my transformation with out any suffering or pain please and get me past this to my future success?”
This is not to cast judgment on anyone, it is clear to me, these people were doing the best they can in the moment. What I am sitting with is this, where does that live in me? Where is it that I am wringing my hands in angst about something self created that I don’t want gone, I just want easier?
What struck me was the feeling that there was no accountability- as if these choices were the work of some outside force and if you could just make the icky part go away, (the lack of wealth, power and prestige) We would all be fine.
Can we reset the clock to when things were fabulous please?
There seemed to be a general resistance to the idea that YOU, each of us, were fabulous, just the way you are.
It is not surprising to me that Eckhardt Tolle stated most people reach this level of awareness after a catastrophic loss or tragedy- nothing like a psychic “boot to the head’ to adjust your view of life and align what is truly important. But how do we develop that muscle without the tragedy? How is that we move from lack of accountability for choices we are actively making to ownership of and trust in what is.
Oprah spoke to the beauty of our worth defined by the miracle of creation- that “you” being- simply being- is enough. It is these simple concepts that are the ones that I struggle with. Simple. Complicated by my ego and the outside units of measure I cling to validate my right to take up space on the planet.
What does this have to do with business you might ask. I spent the evening with this growing sense that if I could communicate this simplicity; trust your instincts, use benevolent acceptance, let go of the anger and defense that feeds the ego, in a way that encouraged or engaged people- perhaps we could begin to rebuild.
Communities come together in amazing ways when tragedy strikes. Stories of helping hands, sharing resources, working together abound in tornado ravaged towns. How do we get the buy in without the disaster? The rainbow without the flood so to speak.
It is what we are asking of our communities- to have faith in something you have not seen before, that is unfamiliar and unproven…. so we can move you out of the path of destruction that has not yet happened to out there for the general masses?
We are asking communities to put aside your individual goals to make your life better and work tirelessly towards a future brighter than you can comprehend or have experienced for your entire community.
To allow yourself to Imagine the Possibilities. To move together towards a common goal of living better; with an engaged community whose first and foremost goal to is have enough.
(Ideas+Innovation)Involvement= economic development.
Thank you, Oprah. You are a true Catalyst.
Gail Myers said:
I agree that we, just our being, is bigger stronger and more noble than we, (I) know. I remember when our Japanese exchange student went home, I was crying over her leaving, and I was awed by the innate ability of a woman loving a child that did not come from her womb and was only on loan to her for one year. I thought, wow, if we could harness this power of love, we could have WORLD PEACE! Best back. Gail
April M Williams said:
Thanks Mary Margaret for being a catalyst in McHenry County and for me personally. You inspire me with your commitment to economic development, your unwavering integrity and your leadership by example.
April M. Williams