Last week we celebrated the Summer Solstice which marks the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Solstice was also the anniversary of the day I took my first breath of life in this world 43 years ago.  Wow how time flies when you’re having fun!

Every year when my Birthday rolls around, I take some time to contemplate where I am on my journey and what I’m moving towards.

I think about what it means to live a fully expressed life that actively demonstrates to others who I am in a deep and Soulful way.

I think about how I can show up with more vibrancy and less rough edges as I step out of the illusion and embrace a grander view of what life really is beyond our immediate understanding of it.

 
And I think about how to engage with the Pageantry of Life.  Pageantry meaning a colorful, rich, or splendid display within the container of specific experiences that call forth the highest expression of who we are.

This Pageantry is actively happening all around us and within the whole of life. Think of a field of flowers actively in bloom, a new born baby entering our world, a presentation at work or a first kiss.

 
I see Pageantry in our relationships, in how we conduct business and in small everyday interactions.

As Shakespeare said:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages….”

And yet I find for the most part people aren’t really aware that they are IN the Pageant.

They don’t feel called to bring their best self forward in aptitude, attitude or appearance whether showing up for a networking event, serving someone at a restaurant, exercising patience during rush hour traffic, or speaking to their spouse.

Bypassing the luxuries of smiles and kindness, we now live in a world where people feel entitled to bring their inner a**hole with them wherever they go. We have a culture where people in positions of power actively demonstrate that character development is overrated.

And as a result of forgetting the larger picture, individuals actively wear their ‘prickly pear’ energy.  This is a term I coined for the spikes and thorns that we carry with us that include our fears, shadows, idiosyncrasies, armor and judgment.

Navigating prickly pear is like walking through a minefield.  We get triggered by the smallest things that others do and say because we make it all about us.  These triggers are power leaks, zapping our creative energy. We can’t be fully expressed when we are ticked off that someone said something weird or looked at us a certain way, or an event unfolded in a way we didn’t like.

The level of energetic sandpaper that we carry around with us is quite astonishing.  AND this is being broadcast out to everyone and influences the experiences we have.

Without mindfulness to how we’re being, we often show up in a way that doesn’t:

Build intimacy or rapport with others.
Move us forward in our businesses or careers.
Create good will in our relationships or communities. 

Our prickly pear energy doesn’t serve us at all and it further blocks our ability to engage with the Pageantry of Life.

When we live from an existence devoid of color and full of dissatisfaction, discontent, judgement and fear, it creates limited experiences and limited perspective.

 
However, when we show up fully in our highest and best expression, we can embrace new experiences and new adventures which allow for creativity and expansion.

Being clear and aligned with our best self opens up so many more opportunities for joyful collaboration with life.


Yes, it requires us to step outside our comfort zone and bring a level of openness to new experiences.

Yes, we have to be able to see the big picture and not get lost in our fears and shadows.

Yes, we have to get over ourselves and understand that we share the world with 7.5 Billion other Souls who are on their journey and navigating the same up’s and down’s as we are.
Yes, we have to bring kindness and warmth to engagement with other human beings, the animal kingdom and the natural world.
Yes, we have to get out of our heads and learn to embody our heart and soul wisdom giving others and ourselves a healthy dose of grace and understanding.

 
Embracing a connection with the fabric of life allows for more of our expression to flow through.

The fascinating thing is the more we step into embodying greater and greater depths of our Soulful self, the more color our life has.

When I was in Graduate school I remember the Dean coming in to speak to us.  She was a very wise woman and her message was clear.

“It is your responsibility as a human being to be interesting.  Learn, travel, and read about the world you live in. Connect with others in a way that they will remember you long after you’ve left the room for your charisma and personality. If you commit to this, it will create success and fulfillment for you.”

She was speaking to the Pageantry of Life!

If there is one thing we have complete control over, it’s our attitude and how we show up.

We say we want success, abundance and joy in our relationships yet we often overlook the fact that our energy is communicating the exact opposite.

There is magic all around us.  But we have to be able to perceive it, receive the gifts of it and give more of ourselves to it.

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