On Family: Feeling Connected. Feeling Sovereign.

Washington, D.C.. Photo taken October 2015. © blissandradiance.com
Washington, D.C.. Photo taken October 2015. © blissandradiance.com

My Holiday season is filled with celebration and time with friends and family. This time of year also takes place when the seasons transition into the height of summer or the darkness of the winter time.

At this time of year, I feel a strong sense of togetherness with my family: I belong and I feel connected. I’ve realized how profoundly those who know me best (and the longest!) have influenced me, no matter how close (or far) we are from either other.  Just as coaches and mentors can inspire us in other aspects of our lives, our families can serve as our role models.  Family can also remind us of the parts of our personalities that we want to seize and make our own.

The following quote explores the dichotomy of ‘togetherness and connection’ with family versus our own ‘sovereignty and individuality’:

Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet

How about you:  How do you draw upon your family’s influence to inspire your intentions, thoughts, words, and actions?