Saturday, November 12, 2016

When competitors cooperate

When I attended business school, the concept of competition was re-enforced. A competitor was to be studied, their weaknesses analyzed, and a strategy developed to highlight their negatives while ameliorating our positives. I learned that cooperation was important, but only when used to gain competitive advantage.

That was twenty five years ago. And ten years of working in the corporate world only entrenched those views.

When I started our business a few years ago, authoring and publishing books, I had no other skills to draw upon. I used traditional metrics to measure my success, and by those standards, the business was a failure.

Yet, I knew I was doing the work that my heart was calling me to do. My pilgrimages had shifted my world view and my values, and I had used them to fashion the life I live. I decided to use them to examine every business principle I was taught.

Competition topped that list. It is based on a belief that we live in a world of scarcity, of limited resources (be they material, financial or otherwise),so, we must compete to get our share.

When I walked the Camino, and then from Rome to Jerusalem, in 2001, there were few pilgrims and even fewer resources or books.

The Camino has since become ubiquitous, and with that has come the explosion of books and materials. Every time I  read about the launch of yet another Camino book or website,  I would only see one more bit of competition in what I believed to be a limited resource. I mean, how many ways can you speak about the same path?!

It took a while to silence the voices that insisted that any attention those authors received took away from mine; that their successes meant my failure; that I had to compromise what I believed to sell books and build my platform.

I began the difficult task of shifting my inner dialogue, and writing an entirely new story about what I am offering to the world.

My "business" is, first and foremost, a reflection of who I am, not some entity separate from me.

I am here to bring forth a perspective that elevates and awakens. I am not unique or remarkable in that task. I believe each and every one of us is born to do this.

What is unique is how I bring it forth. My words, my presence, my way of being and seeing the world...those are unique. As they are for each and every one of us.

My perspective of the world will resonate with many, but not necessarily all.

But the EXPANDED perspective must be birthed. And it is the role of the "competition" to take on that task.

Each of us, even though we appear to have had the same experience, must share it in their unique way, so that the WHOLE is lifted.

It is when we LIFT our so-called competitor that we accomplish the GREATER GOAL, which is to lift the whole.

I didn't have to go to Spain to support my friend Sue Kenney's launch of her Spanish book. Our collaboration could have easily ended when Alberto delivered the Spanish translation. By my previous definitions, and traditional business wisdom, she is my competition. We are both pilgrims. We are both women who walked alone. We both speak to the spiritual journey.

I had only ever promoted our book and our journey. It was a little awkward at first. I couldn't find the right flow without sounding forced. Yet, as I began to promote HER story, HER achievements, HER successes, I began to feel a shift within me, a feeling of genuine pride and happiness for her successes.

It was a milestone moment in my inner journey.

Then, without effort or even the need to ask, Sue began to do the same for me, even though this was HER MOMENT.

Without the need for words, we understood that each, in her own remarkable way, was filling a piece of the Divine Puzzle. The higher goal we were both realizing had nothing to do with the book. We were participating in the birth of a higher consciousness, and THAT goal invited us to cooperate.

This experience forced me to, once again, redefine my measure of success.

The shift is a radical one, challenging so much of what we believe about ourselves and the world. Befriending a "competitor". Unbelievably still, promoting them. Lifting them.

If we could do this, how would that change our business? How would that change us? And the world?

It is a path I continue to explore.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Measure of Success

After last night’s presentation, I was left with a lot to consider about what success means.

We were a handful of people and, with the exception of one woman who wandered in, all friends. I swallowed my disappointment and delivered our presentation as if I were standing before thousands, with the same enthusiasm and energy, because my friends deserved all our attention as well.
But then I began reflecting on what success means. Coming from the business world, I was accustomed to looking at the numbers and measuring success or failure based on those numbers.

By those standards, our event last night was a failure.
We spoke a great deal last night about lifting our perspectives of the world, of being authentic to our calling and having the courage to follow our dreams even when no one else understands them.

I finally realized that I had been using the wrong measures all along. It’s not even about success. That what the Universe, and our Highest Self, asks is that we express divine energy in the way that only we can express it.

That we become the means through which love, compassion, peace, kindness… manifest.
Our task is to put that beautiful energy out there, and to add to the beauty, perfection and wholeness that already exist in the world.

Alberto and I spent a great deal of time thinking about why inner peace was, for us, the key to global peace. That was the theme of our talk. We dedicated hours of conversation around the ideas we wanted to express until they came together in the final presentation. And we both felt elevated by the dialogue. We both felt that these energies, through the words and through our voices, needed to come through.
And we could feel that energy vibrating in the room. We only spoke for 45 minutes, but the conversation afterwards lasted for more than an hour, and continued as we were packing our things and walking to our car! LOL 

Curiously, our talk last night focused on the fact that we need to look beyond appearances, that we often have no idea how far our peace and positive energy will travel out into the universe and change the world.

I think we needed to live that last night.
So, it has nothing to do with the number of bums in the seat, or the number of books that we sell.  It has everything to do with the opportunity to express that energy.

Each and every one of you reading this is an instrument, bringing forth those higher energies which only you can uniquely bring. 

No one else can paint like you do. 

No one else can speak like you do. 

No one else can care for another like you do. 

No one else can plant a garden like you. No one else can bring peace forth like you do. 

No one else can love like you do.
You are the manifest expression of divine energy, of love in all its forms.

And by that definition, any work that you do to bring that forward is, by my definition, a success.
So keep on keeping on. Keep searching for the ways to use your unique gifts to bring into manifest the grand love of the universe. Don’t let the outer circumstances, or outdated definitions of success or failure, bring you down.

You are powerful beyond measure, and are changing the world in more ways than you can possibly imagine.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

PODCAST and VIDEO Pilgrim Story Hour - Courage

When I began walking alone, many people said, "Wow, you're so brave! Aren't you scared?"

Of course, a certain amount of courage is required to embark on any journey into the unknown, but I have come to appreciate that it's the small, moment-by-moment choices that we make about who we are as individuals that define true courage.

And sometimes, courage fails us.

On this episode, I share a story that took place in Syria and Lebanon, when my courage should have carried me, but didn't.

This AUDIO podcast, and the entire series, is on:

- SoundCloud and
- iTunes

Thanks for tuning in. Please feel free to Like and Share.

#pilgrimage #pilgrims #CaminodeSantiago #Camino #WayofStJames #Caminostory #storytelling #storiesthattransform #journeysthattransform #travel #adventure #walkingforpeace #walking #innerjourney #RometoJerusalem #consciousness #Ottawa #monydojeiji #PilgrimStoryHour #podcast #video

Thursday, November 3, 2016

AUDIO and VIDEO Pilgrim Story Hour - Oh the Rains! :-)

How many times have we walked in the rain, and wished it was sunny?

Or walked in blistering heat, and thought about nothing but the cool rains?

On this episode, inspired by the rains of this day, I share a story about a rainy day’s walk in Croatia.

This VIDEO, and the entire series, is also on:
- Facebook:, and
- YouTube:

This AUDIO podcast, and the entire series, is on:

- SoundCloud and
- iTunes

Thanks for tuning in. Please feel free to Like and Share.

#pilgrimage #pilgrims #CaminodeSantiago #storytelling #podcast #consciousness #walkingforpeace #innerjourney #RometoJerusalem #walking #storiesthatinspire #sacredjourney

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AUDIO and VIDEO Pilgrim Story Hour w/ Mony Dojeiji - Synchronicities

“Synchronicities”: often dismissed as random coincidences, these messengers of the Universe can help guide and support us in our journeys, if we but open our hearts and minds to them.

On this episode, I share the story of one of the many synchronicities that have guided me during my pilgrimages.

This VIDEO, and the entire series, is also on:
- Facebook:

This AUDIO podcast, and the entire series, is on:

- SoundCloud and
- iTunes

Thanks for tuning in. Please feel free to Like and Share.

#pilgrimage #pilgrims #CaminodeSantiago #storytelling #podcast #consciousness #walkingforpeace #innerjourney #RometoJerusalem #walking #storiesthatinspire #sacredjourney #coincidence #synchronicity

Thursday, October 20, 2016

AUDIO and VIDEO Pilgrim Story Hour - The Sacred

Pilgrims throughout the ages and across all traditions have embarked on the quest to touch the sacred, that undefinable something that has power and meaning beyond what is simply physical.

On this episode, I share the short story of how I first touched the sacred, and what I learned from it.

This VIDEO, and the entire series, is also on: 
- Facebook:

This AUDIO podcast, and the entire series, is on:

- SoundCloud and
- iTunes 

Thanks for tuning in. Please feel free to Like and Share. 
#pilgrimage #pilgrims #CaminodeSantiago #storytelling #podcast #consciousness #walkingforpeace #innerjourney #RometoJerusalem #walking #storiesthatinspire 

Friday, October 14, 2016

The American Elections: my spiritual practice

We all talk about being peace in the world, and it’s easy to do when we are surrounded by peace.

But as the American elections are demonstrating, putting that peace into practice is no easy matter.

I long ago determined that my spirituality would be an active, in-the-world part of who I am. And with each situation such as the one facing our American friends, I ask myself: how can I contribute to the highest, most loving outcome?

I’ll state outright that I have no idea what it is. It could be either, or neither, candidate.

But I do want it to be the outcome that brings healing, reconciliation and love to this great nation.

So, in the moments when I feel filled with light and confidence myself, I begin to do the work to heal my ideas and stories of them. I look at Donald, at Hillary, and say:

Donald, you are my brother on this journey together called life.

Hillary, you are my sister on this journey together called life.

And although I may not agree with what you say or what you believe, I love you. 

I see you, to the heart of you, and know you to be my brother, my sister, fellow pilgrims on this path, doing the best that you can from the place where you are.

And I know that you are capable of great love and compassion for those whose beliefs and ideas differ from your own… because I have done it.

I know that you are capable of changing your beliefs (and in consequence, your actions) in an instant…because I have done it.

I know that you are capable of elevating your discourse without raising your voice…because I have done it.

And if I have done it, then I know you are capable of doing it as well.

I know that the seed of divinity, of light, that exists within me – and every single living creature on this earth – also exists within you. 

Past all the words, the appearances, the emotions… I now see that light, and only that light, within you.

That light is wisdom. That light is truth. That light is love. That light is beauty. That light is grace. It is who you are. It is who I am.

With great respect, I bow to this light within. I honor this light.

Now glimpsed, this light can’t help but grow. 

You may not be able to see it, but I do. 

And until you can touch that light for yourself, I choose to do it for you, my brother, my sister, on the path, and hold in my mind that image of you as a light-being.

That light now grows, unstoppable. Because love’s true nature is to expand. 

It expands, and continues expanding, until it fills every atom of your being. 

Radiant light fills every cell of your body, beautifying it.

Radiant light fills every thought, elevating it.

Radiant light fills every emotion, calming it.

Radiant light fills your every word, spiritualizing it.

That is the truth of who you are. Who I am. Who we all are.

And it is unshakeable.

This same light now awakens in the very being of every individual of this great country, and is entrenched, unmoveable.

Light floods every space of every heart, of every thought, of every emotion, of every person in this country.

I hold space for this light, and only this light, to be at work.

I see the great United States of America indeed united…in light, in love, in harmony, in spirit.

I once again hold space for this to naturally occur…in my mind, in my heart, in my experience.

In this space, all that is needed to bring about this united, wise, loving, powerful country emerges in ways I can’t possibly envision…because a greater power than me is also at work, a power that I have invoked and that is grander and more loving than anything I can imagine. 

In this power, possibilities and solutions arise that I alone could never have imagined. In this power, conditions arise that bring the unity, harmony and love that we choose to live in.  

I bless this unity. I bless this harmony. I bless this reconciliation. I bless this love.

I bless this great United States, its people and its brilliant light, shining forth the highest love, the highest truth.

And so it is.