Laying Hold of the Dream

Today is the celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential civil rights activists in history. He is known for his tremendous vision, unbelievable bravery and powerful speeches. He was, also, a man, who had challenges, heartbreak, and moments of doubt.

Did you know that his most famous speech, the “I have a dream” speech just about fell flat? In front of a crowd of a quarter million people at the March on Washington in 1963, Dr. King seemed to struggle a bit with his speech. It wasn’t flowing. At one point he looked up from his notes and said:

“Go back to Mississippi; go back to Alabama; go back to South Carolina; go back to Georgia; go back to Louisiana; go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.”

The people on the platform with him knew he had gone off his prepared remarks, and that’s when Mahalia Jackson, a renowned gospel singer, shouted to him: “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin!”

Dr. King pivoted, found the fire within, and proclaimed:

“I say to you today, my friends — and so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day, even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day, right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

And with that, Dr. King delivered one of the most powerful and famous speeches in American history.  It would have been a whole different story had he stayed in the nightmare.

My prayer today is that this country will one day live up to Dr. King’s dream, that it will become not only our collective dream but also the reality on the ground.

And I also pray that each and every one of you reading this, no matter the struggle you may be facing, no matter the hardship, will find the courage to pivot from doubt and despair and take hold, once again, of your dreams. Powerful dreams are what change our lives and our world.

Love,

Cylvia

Giving Birth to Self

I had a powerful dream recently. I gave birth to myself! Literally.

In the dream I give birth and I know the tiny infant is me. I am flooded with love for her and wrap her in a snuggly blanket.

But then, I put her down inside my large purse and lean it up against the outside of a building. I go inside and start working on some project with a team of people. After a little while I realize, “Oh my God, I left the baby out in the cold!”

I rush out and find the bag with the infant me in it. The little one is basically OK, but cold and I hold her against my body giving her warmth and love.

And then, I put her back in the bag and go back inside the building to work!

After a while I remember her outside and in a panic, afraid I will find her dead, I rush back out and pick her up. I hold her close, rock her gently and promise never, ever to abandon her again. I am flooded with love as the dream ends.

I think we do some version of this to ourselves over and over, when we put aside our true glorious Selves and opt to be something less than we really are.

We do it when we change our true nature to conform to someone else’s idea of what we should be.

We do it when we compare ourselves to others and believe we are coming up short.

We do it when we act with less integrity than we know we have.

We do it every single time we choose to believe we are small, powerless and alone.

The good news is the real us is always there just waiting to be remembered, nurtured and valued.   Always there ready to grow and shine.

Here’s to never abandoning our True Selves again.

With Love,

Cylvia

 

Are you using Confirmation Bias against yourself?

We’re hearing a lot these days about “Confirmation Bias” in our media choices. This is the tendency we have to only tune into (and be sent info from) media sources that are likely to confirm what we already believe. Because it is challenging for us to admit me might be wrong we gravitate toward messages that tell us we’re right (even if we actually are wrong!). This leads to a massive constriction in our worldview.

But there is an even more dangerous version of Confirmation Bias — and that is the tendency we have to keep believing our own limiting stories about ourselves and our world.

These stories we tell ourselves LITERALLY create our experiences in life. Take that in for a second. Your life reflects the stories you have accepted as truth.

This puts a whole new spin on “Who do you think you are?” Victim. Overcomer. Don’t really deserve. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not good enough. Unlucky. Happy. Gifted. Fortunate.

We also create the lens through which we view the world. Hard. Dangerous. Dog eat dog. If you believe life is hard and you have to fight your way through then you will do a lot of struggling. Believe me, I know all about this one!

If you believe most people can’t be trusted then you’ll see a lot of untrustworthy people. Due to my childhood I used to believe that, but when I got a little distance and looked deep, I realized by far most people I’ve encountered have been good and kind people. I am now continuously blown away by the beautiful, caring, generous people that come into my life.

It took me until my late 40’s to shift the belief that I was a survivor to the truth that I AM a thriver. Talk about a powerful life lens changer!

Confirmation bias in our media choices leads to a constricted worldview. Staying blind to the confirmation bias in our self-beliefs leads to emotional constriction and constriction of our true potential.

Your core beliefs and your constructed identity are like powerful magnets drawing to you experiences that confirm those beliefs. One of the most important self-empowerment strategies is to become aware of the stories you’ve been telling yourself about yourself and our world. This is your life. This is your story and you absolutely have the right to rewrite it!

Happy editing!

Cylvia

 

If you are interested in scheduling a session to work on core beliefs and rewriting your personal story fill out the inquiry form here: https://www.cylviahayes.net/coaching/

#Empowerment #CylviaHayes