Israel Leadership Lessons: Big YES Changes Lives

Mollie in The Light
Mollie in The Light

Back from Israel and musing about the power of saying yes to those bold invitations…that almost seem to whisper to our soul. Like how I found myself saying YES! to an impromptu invitation to be re-baptized, fully immersed in the River Jordan. At this very moment, a bus of African pilgrims arrived, causing a JOYFUL RUCKUS as they jumped and frolicked in the river, singing their praise.

You can count on one hand the number of useful “selfies” I’ve taken in my life…despite instruction by adept kiddos, I just can’t quite get the hang of it. But I wanted to capture the joy of this blessed moment, so I snapped a selfie. More comfortable with hashtags than with selfies, let me say … #Holy #Light #Mystery #Unfiltered

Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee

The next day, while on a boat in the Sea of Galilee, my heart was captured by children playing in a waterfall at Tabgha, by the Church of the Loaves and Fishes and Mount of Beatitudes. As they joyfully jumped and waved, exclaiming, “Halo! Halo!” I found myself saying, “Well, Jesus did say, let the little children come to me…”

Looking directly at me, the boat captain said, “Would you like me to stop the boat so you can swim out to the children?” My head, with its logical mind within, immediately started shaking no…when my spirit roared, “YES!” Within moments, I was swimming, fully clothed, toward the shores of the Sea of Galilee. After some play and rock collecting, I reboarded the boat. We left to a new children’s chorus, “Noooo. Don’t go! I love you. I lo-o-o-o-ve you!!” #Heartmelt

So many stories and lessons to share… The profound respect we witnessed between people of different faiths – and the extreme intolerance of the same – forever changed me. Many of these threads undoubtedly will be woven through our Wild Soul, Wise Women Retreat.

For now, let me share a couple words of wisdom that landed upon a tender heart upon my return…

While attending a Catholic school fundraiser to provide scholarships for students in need, the Archbishop said,

“Accompanying others on their journey is underrated. It’s powerful. Rather than trying to take someone where you want them to go or to have them walk in the way you think is best, simply walk with them.”

How different our relationships might look if we shifted the focus from our own agenda for others… to simply connecting and supporting them… as they walk their path.

A few days later, my friend Mark Silver, a wise Sufi practitioner, wrote:

“Even when, perhaps especially when, the world seems fraught with pain and suffering and disaster, I most need spiritual connection. Not to escape, but simply to duck out for a moment, catch my Breath, remember Love, and be able to duck back in and keep walking. Because we all need to keep walking. Because we’re all on our path and that’s what we’re doing- walking it.”

I have complete faith that you can walk your path. And I deeply appreciate your faith in me that I can keep walking mine. In the words of Daniel Ladinsky’s rendering of Hafiz: “We’re all holding hands and climbing. Not loving is a letting go. Listen: the terrain is far too dangerous around here for that.”

Choosing not to love lessens us… and it creates a vacuum that tends to fill with despair and resentment. Within our highly scheduled and full lives, we each must nourish sacred daily practices that remind us to love. Remind us to intentionally hold out a hand and walk alongside another. Remind us to boldly jump when our spirit says YES!

“I have complete faith that you can walk your path.” Truly and wholly. If you’ve forgotten this, here is a reminder. No matter where you are today, you can carve a path forward that serves your life and uses even the greatest of trials in ways that transform you and others.

Let us be bold … as we keep walking each other home with love, respect, and care.