July 3, 2023
Invitations for Traveling with Me
By Amba Gale
Here, at Isle Royale National Park, in Lake Superior, the largest island in the largest lake of the US, I let my eyes rest upon, and, join my energy with, the tall pine tree across the harbor, strong, stalwart, true.
I am happy to greet you now, having just returned from an astonishing six-week adventure to three entirely distinct places, histories, cultures – Morocco, with its golden Saharan desert, wandering labyrinthian alleyways, souks in medinas (old part of town) kasbahs, delicate crafts, mosques, mellahs (Jewish sections of towns), interesting, spicy food and welcoming, inclusive people. Yes, we rode on a camel in the Saharan desert, and climbed, and slid down, sand dunes, visited a Bedouin camp, delighted in the plethora of sounds, colors, smells, vibrancy of the souks in the medinas.
Then, a beautiful in – between moment: visiting Brother David Steindl-Rast’s Benedictine monastery, Gut Aich, seeing through our own and the eyes of his devoted assistant, in St. Gilgen, Austria, where he lives when he is in Europe, sinking into the vibrant art and peace of that Sacred Place.
Following our visit to St Gilgen, we drove to the Danube, where we began our cruise between Southern Germany, and Hungary, with Austria and Slovakia in between, with its (good, bad, and ugly) dynamic history, from the Nazi camps to the transportive awe of the wonder of Mozart’s music.
Ah! While I have yet to fully integrate what those outer travels have gifted me with, I do know one thing: travel is, for me, a practice for Self-Care. Or, as Parker Palmer puts it, a quote I love as people frequently think of ourselves as selfish when we practice self- care–
Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift that I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.
And, so, I travel, as one of my forms of self-care.
While I have just spoken of recent outer traveling, most important to me, as you well know, from working with me or reading this blog, are the inner travels.
Traveling inward we find vast territories of space, just begging to be explored, mountainous terrain and quiet, spacious valleys of the heart, that invite stillness and Silence, calling to be known.
The paths that lead into the Heart are sometimes difficult to find, as they live in the invisible depth of innerness, where we don’t look or, sometimes, even avoid looking, afraid of what we will find. And, yet, peeling the covers back, revealing and seeing what is there, uncovered now, with self – compassion, love, and grace, reveals a world of wonders, including our own profound Connection to ourselves, others, and Life itself.
The Heart of Leadership is a conversation, a pilgrimage in a way, that serves as a guide, leading you to find your own paths, paths that lead to your own heart wisdom, Spirit, and Wisdom. Paths that allow you to complete and heal whatever is currently in your past that is limiting you, or hiding you from your own passion, casting a shadow on your life or, in some way, limiting the possibilities. The conversation is an opening into Trust, into freedom, into choice, into authorship, a threshold crossing of sorts, from victim to authorship, resignation to joy, disconnection to Belonging to Life.
If you have not taken The Heart of Leadership, I invite you to read more deeply about it; it is an inner Pilgrim’s path which ultimately takes you home, or to a new home, from which you can emerge, create, and explore a new life that calls to you, from your newly invented spacious horizon of Being. Many people who have dived deep into spiritual/ontological/developmental work in their lives have reported that The Heart of Leadership yields a strong new opening into Inner Peace, transforming external turbulence into opportunity, and into allowing the Heart to lead the way.
Here, re-connected to your Passion and your Aliveness, you are FREE to create your future, a future “that was not going to happen anyway.”
If you are asking yourself, “Who am I now?” and “In what ways can I bring my greatest gifts into today’s world?” and “What are the tools for dialogue that I must practice, and/or master, to accomplish and fulfill my heart’s desire and accomplish what I intend?” The Heart of Leadership may be, as Victor Hugo says, “an idea whose time has come.”
If you have taken The Heart of Leadership before, I invite you to consider that we are in a new time, a new place, and there is a new you, given our recent travels through this recent storm. You are not the same person who participated in your last Heart of Leadership.
To honor that passage, I am granting a limited number of graduate scholarships to graduates of The Heart of Leadership, a gift of $500 off the tuition, on a first come, first served basis. Look and see — this may be your time, to renew your connection with your Self, Others, and Life.
I would love to see you there!
In all circumstances, may you have calm winds and a following sea as you sail across your next threshold.
Inner and Outer Traveling
By Amba Gale
Being One with the Pine tree across the bay.
Pointing upward towards the sun,
Pointing downward into the lake.
As above, so below.
Which way do you wish to go?
The Way is both, you know.