Tag Archives: self acceptance

Redefining Success


I am currently in a space of transition where I am really getting to look at what success means to me. I have been on similar ground before when leaving a well-defined position or a place where I have a clear identity.

I experienced this identity exploration when I left my corporate career and was finding my way to what was next, and again when I was no longer spiritual leader of a community, although in the latter case I stepped into a position of even greater spiritual leadership, so the feeling of loss of identity wasn’t as pronounced.

This time around is different. Having left a position of significant visibility nearly two years ago to create a completely new entity, as I experience the challenges to my identity I am being called to look deeper, to not attach so much of my identity to my position or station in life.

I am especially called deep into this journey of re-identification when I hit seeming roadblocks, whereby the possibility of not even succeeding at all, let alone finding a new identity, presents itself. I find that this idea of not succeeding at all rocks me at my core. And that is an indicator of an opportunity to let go, to surrender the attachment to outcomes, and specifically to outcomes that give me a desired identity.

The way I am redefining success is still a work in progress, but essentially it is identifying with who I am at my core, my divine essence, and the extent to which I allow that to shine forth, regardless of outcome.

It doesn’t mean I am not putting forth effort in the direction of my intentions. It means I am putting my energies into what serves in the highest way. Oddly enough, this focus breeds its own kind of success and prosperity. Yet, it is an act of surrender, thus my ego doesn’t get to claim victory, but my soul gets to rejoice.

One of my favorite spiritual writers, Joel Goldsmith said, “All of the good necessary to our welfare will be supplied to us in greater abundance than we can accept when we give up the effort and desire to get, achieve, or accomplish, and come more into the consciousness of desiring only to fulfill our destiny on earth.”

In our western world, if not beyond, it seems that the masculine in particular is socialized to identify greatly with success, achievement, and station in life. Our success or lack of success can become more than just an event; it can become the defining criteria of our sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

When I left my corporate career over 20 years ago, I let go of much of my prior definition of success, which was connected to climbing the ladder within that context and all of the external trimmings that go with it. Surprisingly, in this latest transition I am still finding some remnants of that paradigm in me. At times my sense of self-worth has been impacted by the fact that my new ventures are not yet shining successes.

Then I am reminded of my truer, more authentic intentions. I am reminded that I have no desire to identify my self-worth or lovability with my achievements or any other external conditions. I remember that my life is amazing in so many ways and I move into gratitude for what is. I reclaim perspective on the changing nature of all things in the world, and remember that if I base my happiness, self-worth, or lovability on any current state of my affairs, then I set myself up to be on a bit of a roller coaster of feeling good about myself one moment, and not so good the next moment.

The truth is we are perfect, whole, and complete, now, yesterday, and always. The opportunity is to enjoy and love it all, and to give thanks for it all. Yes, it really is about the journey after all!

Enjoy the journey.

The World is Ready for All of You


by Gregory Toole

I gave a talk this past Sunday in Oakland, California that was about the power and freedom of fully being who we are. Often we are so busy trying to conform, fit in, or not stand out too much that we forget the gift of our uniqueness.

We know intuitively that we are each a completely unique manifestation of Spirit, and yet sometimes we still find ourselves comparing what we do or who we are to what we see in others.

When I traveled to Ukraine in 2009 to be a keynote speaker at a spiritual conference, despite the fact that I had literally given several hundred similar talks in the past, I found myself wondering if I needed to somehow be different, or more, in Ukraine. I began to ask myself whether my style of delivering a talk would go over well in another culture. I finally remembered that all I have is me, who I am. So I decided to just go for it and be myself.

I had fretted so much over whether I would be acceptable that I forgot there would be an interpreter, since most people at the conference only spoke Russian. I got two sentences into my talk and I was stopped by the interpreter so that she could speak my words into Russian. It was a funny moment and I let go of all my angst. Then I told a joke and there was complete silence…until 30 seconds later when everyone broke into laughter. Ah yes, even the joke had to be interpreted into Russian first.

Even though my words needed to be translated into Russian, who I am needed no translation. Much to my delight, the crowd loved me. It was a reminder to me that who we are is the gift. When we don’t give all of who we are, we are literally cheating the universe, our fellow beings, and most importantly, ourselves.

Here are three affirmations I shared in my talk on Sunday:
The world is ready for all of me.
The world needs all of me.
The world’s going to get all of me.

And so it is.