“My sacred calling is to really know the essence of who I am – to embrace myself as the being that I am with my challenges and my gifts and my loving. As I bring forward my loving and self-acceptance to myself…this is really important to me – how can I bring that genuineness of that loving to the work I do?”

This was Kathleen’s prayer.

Kathleen’s upbringing was the antitheses of compassion and acceptance. She grew up in a judgmental shame-based home and religion and consequently, as an adult, treated herself the same way – with lots of self-loathing.

She also had assumptions about what spirituality, self-compassion and self-loving really was…

“I realize now after years of doing this work that it’s not about sitting in a Lotus position and chanting – but about being really authentic.”

The work that Kathleen was referring to was the Self-Mastery Wisdom School and the Sacred Ambition Mentorship. She had devoted many years to learning how to replace self-blame and shame with self-acceptance, compassion, and self-forgiveness.

In Kathleen’s career, her challenge is to bring that compassion forward in situations that can be contentious and full of litigiousness.

“How can I be genuine, truthful and honest but still share honestly, from a compassionate place, and stand up for things and speak about things that may not feel good to others?”

Kathleen goes on to say:

“Today there was an experience where I had to prepare for this court appearance. So I asked myself: How do I speak the truth without being so judgmental? I don’t want to be so activated to prove my point that I don’t maintain my compassion at the same time.”

This is an example of self-mastery and radical loving on the front lines of our life. The ability to bridge from a human nature reaction (which we all have) and access the ‘greaterness’ of our compassionate heart. The Self-Mastery Wisdom School, which is part of the sacred ambition work, teaches this – and Kathleen has gifted herself by bridging the gap inside herself.

Letting go of control; surrendering to the highest good; staying centered in who she is – all masterful steps in aligning her ambition and power to what she holds sacred inside.

“Being aware of my own judgments of myself and how I judge others has taught me what self-compassion really is. Comparing myself to others and saying inside “I’m not enough’ has been a big challenge for me in my professional life. So the inner journey of self-mastery and the spiritual work has been so important. I can be my worst critic. But the more I can show up for myself and use the self mastery tools – I can shift.”

How has this new deeper experience of self-compassion enhanced Kathleen’s work in the world?

Well, for one thing she doesn’t look outside of herself to blame her coworkers, or her circumstances or her boss for her misery anymore. Several years ago Kathleen was in a job situation that she knew she had to leave. So she opened her own practice – and guess what? All of the things that bugged her about her last job she now was experiencing just with herself. Hmmm…this was an eye opener for Kathleen.

And she began to see her old’ habits: extreme busyness, avoidance and constant distractions from self-care and her spiritual life as not loving herself.

“So I went into the deeper work with the sacred ambition mentorship and looked at myself and what I create, the choices I make – how I really don’t have balance. I’m recreating all the misery just with myself. This was humbling. I discovered a deeper level of waking up to how I can show up in a deeper way for myself. This is a new level of self-compassion for me.”

So presently Kathleen is looking at this whole area of her life: self-care and self-compassion with new eyes.

“Making time for my spiritual practice; making time to exercise; making time to be with friends and family; making time to do my inner work and surround myself with people who support that.”

I love this point that Kathleen is making. Often times when we have created a career based on our sacred calling we can become consumed with always showing up for that next person that is in need rather than also showing up for our self. It doesn’t have to be either/or but both/and.

Being able to balance care for self and care for others involves following Divine Guidance and asking inside – is this a compassionate choice for me? rather than always answering to the voice of the ‘shoulds’ which can be run by personality/ego.

“Putting myself last is not self-loving, self-nurturing or compassionate with me.” Kathleen realized she had a deep belief from her upbringing that in order to do her sacred calling she had to be self-sacrificing. And the BIGGER self-limiting belief: It is selfish to take care of myself.

Oh, if I had a dime for every time I have heard that one.

Thank you, Kathleen, for showing us the human side of our sacredness and how it all fits together.

Job well done!