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JOY, HOPE, PEACE & LOVE...
Happy Sunday friends!
This month's theme of "self-love" continues in this week's Spark, with a little insight into the concept of King Benjamin and its link to my journey with self-love...
(Also, thanks to everyone who watched the live "Forgive Myself Today" video. It's been really great to read your comments and hear how the song affected you!)
THE ORIGINS OF KING BENJAMIN
(Pictured above: Ben Caron, photo by Molly May McMahan assisted by Rexx Thomas.)
The TL; DR (too long, didn't read) version of it is: I used to fear my own power and desire to lead, but I am learning to love this part of myself more and more. King Benjamin, to me, is a symbol of my most noble, empowered and realized self, and it's an invitation to everyone around me to discover their most noble, empowered and realized selves.
Since, I was young, I’ve always felt a natural predisposition to leadership.
I remember realizing as a young person that when I spoke, people listened. When I organized plans, they manifested, and when I lead, people enlisted.
And so, I started leading. And speaking. And creating. And enlisting. Ask my mom, she'll tell you many stories of a young boy "bossing people around" (eventually I got more graceful with my leadership skills, and I'm still learning.)
But, since that young age, I’ve also always felt a tension around my leadership and personal power.
I think that I grew up knowing that I had great power and leadership potential within me, but I was constantly fearing that:
-I wasn't worthy of leading.
-I would be too much for people, intimidating or turning off those around me.
-That my power would set me too far apart from the tribe, isolating me.
-That my power might overcome me and turn me into an egomaniacal monster.
As you may remember from my last blog post, I also grew up with crippling perfectionism, so although I had a desire and ability to lead, I was also constantly in fear of making mistakes. I could never quite meet my own standards of perfect leadership. So, my fear kept me playing small, and I would self-sabotage whenever I would start to expand my power.
Essentially, I did not love the parts of me that were powerful. I feared them.
I totally get why I was afraid. It's a vulnerable act, leading in earnest. You have to stand in front of people and stand for something. You have to make choices and then accept that some of those choices will be wrong. You have to be willing to make very public mistakes (the most terrifying thing for a perfectionist.)
I think this is why it seems easier and safer to play small, to never go out on a limb or step forward when a leader is needed, why it's easier to pass off responsibility to someone else (if you don't stick your head out, you'll never get it chopped off.)
Eventually, though, through a deep, insightful meditation/dream experience in my 20's (we won't dive into that story, but you can read more about it here) I was confronted about my self-limiting behaviors, and challenged to step into greater self-realization.
Hence, King Benjamin was born. King Benjamin is a symbol of my most noble, empowered and realized self, and it's an invitation to everyone around me to discover their most noble, empowered and realized selves.
It's also a commitment I've made to myself and my community to continue to work to become a better person and a better leader, in service to humanity.
I believe we were all born endowed with limitless personal power, but our fears, culturally programmed over time, keep us playing small.
But, I'm here to tell you that the time for playing small has passed. Climate change could destroy our species within a few generations. Nuclear war poses a constant threat. People are suffering needlessly, and our political system and political leaders are corrupt and broken.
We have to find a new way of being or we may not survive, and we need NEW LEADERS, NOW, to help create the world we want to see.
We need every human to actualize their heart's calling, their life's mission, to its fullest potential, in service to the wellbeing of all beings. We need every person to access their personal power, their nobility, to get through this tipping point.
That's the message I am here to spread.
I hope you'll consider where in your life you might be self-sabotaging, playing small or hiding, and where you might courageously step forward to lead us toward a better way.
***THIS WEEK'S SPARKS***
🔥 BREATHWORK EXERCISES TO RELIEVE STRESS
My friend Tawny Dolley posted this video featuring our friend and teacher Scott Schwenck, offering a number of breathing techniques for stress relief. I was actually shocked by how many are in this video, and they're all techniques that are easy to use and accessible when feeling overwhelmed.
🔥 IMBOLC: THE CROSS-QUARTER HOLIDAY OF FIRE & FERTILITY
Yesterday, I lit my candles for Imbolc. My teacher recently shared with me the intention and origins of this Pagan day of reverence: a calling back of the sun and the light, an honoring of new life and new dreams soon to be born. Spring is soon to come, the cold and dark are soon to pass away. It’s time to incubate and enliven new opportunities, to light a fire for your heart’s desire.
🔥 THE POWERFUL PATRICE PIKE!
If you're not familiar with Patrice Pike, I want to invite you to take a listen to her music! She brings incredible power and musicianship to every performance, and is a force you have to experience live! Rolling Stone called her "Tina Turner, Bessie Smith, Janis Joplin, and Robert Plant all rolled up into a tiny but explosive package." She recently released a new video for her song, "Count On You" and is touring constantly! Follow her on Facebook to be notified of her upcoming tour dates!
🔥 FORGIVE MYSELF TODAY & MY BLOG ABOUT SELF-LOVE/SELF-FORGIVENESS
This week I released a new live video (below) and blog post about my journey with self-love and self-forgiveness. If you haven't had a chance to check them out yet, I invite you to see what's new with me!
WANT TO SUPPORT OUR CREATIONS?
CONSIDER BECOMING A PATRON!
If you're interested in learning more about my Patreon campaign, click here.
ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!:
Ben Caron's Royal Heart Tribe Experience
Experience empowered, heart-based community in practice with beginner's yoga/meditation, live, participatory music & guided movement.
Click here to register.
LAST SATURDAY OF FEBRUARY:
Ben Caron's The Joy Machine at The 11:11
Live, energetic music.
Inspiring originals. Electric covers.
Click here to get your tickets.
Thanks for reading this week's Spark! Hope you have a great week!