Life Skills – Please Take This with You…

by Carolyn Lebanowski

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

— Khalil Gibran


As a parent of adult children, I am learning to surrender to the need to fix, make right or make better. It is in my DNA or ‘learned behavior’ to have some sense of control over their happiness in the face of discomfort or a sense of brokenness. As parents, we have lived long enough to know that their journey is not ours and yet there is an innate instinct to protect. Navigating the gap of independence to outcomes is where the love grows deeper.

In the wake of our new normal and minimal interaction I realize my words will be my legacy for them in a new world. From the deepest space in my heart — to my children, to your children and those yet to be born. Take a piece, a part or everything…but please take this with you on your journey. Listen to the whisper, the churn in your belly and the goosebumps on your arms. Pay close attention. Those sensations are not sensations at all, they are you speaking – it is your heart.

Don’t listen to the second voice, that is just doubt, and definitely don’t listen to the third voice, that is just someone else’s opinion. Your intellect is a great source for information but your heart knows your truth. Slow down and pay attention. Bottom line — trust your instincts.

Keep your mind and body healthy and whole…

Go to the gym, take a yoga class, find a running track…Find something that keeps your mind and body connected, healthy and working together, because in the times when everything else seems disconnected, it will keep you centered and grounded. Your physical wellness is the starting and ending point to everything In between.

Use your words…

Find the confidence to speak your truth gently and powerfully. “Don’t shrink, don’t puff up – just stand your ground. Use your words to express your courage, make personal connections and share your compassion.

Find your gift…

God put you on this Earth to share your gifts. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Learn as much as you can, read as much as you can, dance as much as you can, listen as much as you can, do as much as you can, travel as much as you can because that’s how you will find it. It’s already inside of you, you just need to spark it, so ignite as many flames as you can, and notice which one keeps burning. Your gift is your legacy, the legacy that will help serve the world

If you only remember one thing, remember this: You are the most important person in the whole world…we are all connected and there is only ONE you and you are unique. You will be the change you want in this world because of who you are and the gifts you bring.

You are a powerful force in this universe, and the world needs you. You will be the one to determine your own direction, and if you trust your own compass, you will always remain on your path. And when you look back on your life you will see the wake of a life well-lived.

As a life-long learner and student of human potential, I believe in vulnerability, authenticity and connection. I have learned that we all experience seasons and chapters in our lives that are sometimes hard to navigate. We struggle with unexpected scenarios and hunger for simple solutions and in the end we all yearn to be heard and seen — without judgement. This is life, our life, our journey.

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Carolyn Lebanowski is an experienced and respected senior level executive with expertise in strategic development, organizational communication and executive coaching. She has 27 years of proven success with corporate organizations in organizational development and has spent the past 12 years as the Executive Director at Unity of Houston in Houston Texas, and is currently the COO of First Unity Spiritual Campus. As ILLLI’s Strategic Leadership Partner, Carolyn exhibits passion for life with a clear understanding of the relationship between the development of human potential and overall business success.

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