Unrelated but awesome! Today is Tu B’shvat. The birthday of the trees! So I will eat figs while thinking about sovereignty. Happy birthday, trees.
This is a very partial list. Some of these things I learned from my dear, sweet Hiro, my sister-in-silliness and calmer-of-worries.
Others are things I knew and taught before.
But the past two and a half years spent studying and playing with Hiro have given me a much deeper understanding of all of this.
These are in no particular order. You are welcome to add to the list!
- When someone throws a shoe, that’s their stuff. That person is a sovereign being, and as such is allowed to have their stuff.
- I’m a sovereign being too, and I have the right to respond to shoes. I have the right to say, “Hey, listen, it hurts when you throw a shoe and it lands on me. This is not okay.”
- Their shoes don’t have anything to do with me. The better I get at remembering this, the easier it is to see that they’re rarely even intended for me.
- Every time I work on my stuff, that’s a sovereignty win. Every time I remember that I am not responsible for their stuff, that is too.
- “Not everything requires a response” is a sovereignty practice.
- So is the practice of pausing.
- And the practice of letting people have the right to feel what they’re feeling. While giving yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling.
- Sovereignty provides spaciousness. And spaciousness strengthens sovereignty.
We do not get to impose our sovereignty on other people.
I can invoke sovereignty, and make room for everyone to access their own truth and wisdom by establishing a culture of sovereignty.
If I try to determine how things should be or feel for other people, it doesn’t give them the space to have their own experience — which is part of what this is all about.
Sovereignty is connected to freedom and responsibility.
Not an especially sovereign sentence: “You make me so mad!” or “I feel shut down.”
No responsibility, because I am not owning my own experience, or acknowledging the relationship between my stuff and my feelings.
And no freedom, either, because I have surrendered my power to you and given you the ability to make me feel or experience something.
I am the one who feels mad. I am the one experiencing shutting down. And I cannot put that on you, because it is my reaction and my experience.
Compassionate communication helps infuse each interaction with sovereignty.
“I felt upset and anxious when you asked me that, because I wasn’t sure if you were asking me for my opinion or giving me an instruction, and I really need to know that this is my choice. Obviously, this is completely my stuff. And any reassurance you can give me would be helpful.”
There is freedom because I am taking responsibility for what I feel and what I’m experiencing. Freedom and responsibility.
- Your sovereignty does not in any way diminish mine. And vice versa.
- The more sovereignty there is for you, the more there is for everyone.
- And the clearer you are about what you need, the easier it is for me to assess whether or not I can meet that need.
- Sovereignty creates more room for both of us to have our own experience.
Sovereignty is connected to caring and not-caring.
The practice of intentional not-caring leads me to not take it all so personally, which brings me to the practice of detachment, which actually allows me to be more compassionate.
That’s because the better I get at stepping out of my pain, the easier it is for me to meet your pain with love.
And if I can step out of experiencing your pain long enough to see what it’s like for you to be in it, that’s where I find the ability to truly empathize.
To be with you while you are in your pain and to remember pain and to love you in your pain, without going into my pain.
- You know who else is a sovereign being? Your project. That’s why we take the time to ask our projects and gwishes about what they want, what they need, and how they want to be put to bed at night.
A favorite sovereignty practice of mine is the comment zen here on the blog.
It’s a way to get clear about what I need, and to demonstrate how the culture of this space needs to work for us to feel safe, supported and loved.
- Another favorite is proclaiming SILENT RETREAT! when I don’t feel like talking.
- All of this takes time. But not as much time as you’d think. :)
- Any destuckification practice gets a little bit harder when we first start working with sovereignty, because it brings up all our stuff and rattles our world.
- Totally worth it.
These skills and this approach will bring more ease and flow into everything. But the starting? Oh, wow. It turns everything you know upside down.
Something to think about.
And comment zen for today.
Oh, boy. This is probably the toughest destuckification concept there is. And the one that brings up the most stuff for us.
So instead of being in our stuff, we consciously make room for it to be there.
We ask ourselves smart questions. We give ourselves room to make mistakes. We let everyone have their own experience.
And if you want to know more about how to really internalize this stuff so you can use it, I highly recommend Hiro’s new thing: How to Rule Your World.
Hiro has taught me more about wearing my crown than I ever dreamed possible, and so many concepts I’m passionate about have become ones I can now also live by, thanks to her help. I wouldn’t be the pirate queen without her.
Well, I would. But I wouldn’t know it.
Happy Thursday and so much love.