How to Be a Love-Based Leader

How to Be a Love-Based Leader

As I considered what is crucial for leaders to embody in a time when everything is changing fast and when we are being called to connect with each other, human to human, and learning how to be more humane in the process, I realized, again, that we need to know we matter, than what lies within us is good and real and alive, and that everything we need to give what we are here to give is waiting inside of us to be shared with the world. And, that through this creativity that we are each so capable of sharing, we will find the new and exciting ideas and possibilities we need to solve our most vexing problems.

As leaders, we are designers of containers in which people can be fully creative, in which they can emerge with everything they have to offer to the organization, community, city, family, the world.

Love-based leadership has many qualities. Here are three…

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Remove Your Shoes and Enter Into Something Vast and Rich


The space gets thick and silky. Like honey. Flowing — slowly, richly, sweetly, fragrantly.

We’ve entered into something vast and rich. Together. Each in our own inner world. And still together.

We’ve entered into the center of the labyrinth within our own vast inner world. In a circle of women, the space becomes thick and rich in the way when we open to the unknown. The unknown isn’t empty. It is rich and succulent. It’s space filled with possibility. Fecund space. Fertile space. Rich space.

In the way we are able to in this moment, we’ve entered into this circle of Writing Raw with open hands and hearts, having left behind the need to know, the need to judge, the need to praise; we’ve let go of what keeps us from receiving, honestly; we’ve let go of what keeps us from hearing, clearly; we’ve let go of our need to control. And we enter into the space of receiving. Receiving words. Receiving courage. Receiving love.

We’ve removed our shoes.

And then we write. We write the rawness of our lives, the rawness of the unknown and how it offers itself to us, the rawness of our souls. And then we read. We read our words. Aloud. And then we offer a simple, “Thank you.”

Maps that guide us.

There is an ancient knowing offered throughout the ages through mythology and many native and indigenous wisdom ways that we can intentionally enter sacred space. There are many ways to do this, but at the heart of this entry is the understanding that in order to do so we must ‘take off our shoes’, something spoken of and embodied in eastern traditions. Our shoes indicate the outer world, the profane world where we’ve lost sight of our sacred nature and the sacredness of all things. There really is no physical line where the profane becomes the sacred, but there is in our minds for when we walk in the world with forgetfullness we walk with a kind of (often unrealized) disrespect.

There are maps others have left for us, maps humans have used to enter into and navigate the creative unknown. What I’ve come to see is that many of them show us that in order to receive something from the unknown, we must first release something before we enter. We can’t receive if our hands and heart are not free and open to receive. And, once we’ve received, we must bring what we’ve received back into the outer world, whether it is to be created in form and/or as a transformation within ourselves. We must live the gift(s) we’re given.

While the map can never be the territory, they can remind us of what we know somewhere ancient and deep within. In the courses I teach, I offer a map of the creative process, something to guide our minds with understanding in how to engage with that which is beyond knowing. Another map is the labyrinth. It offers a way to enter into sacred space.

And it is through the inner labyrinth that we’ve come into this space that is like honey. Women gathered together. To listen. To write. To read. To be heard. To be seen. To be acknowledged.

While the writing is beautiful and real and often deeply transformative, it really isn’t the writing we are here for. We are here for what happens when we enter into this unknown territory,


with open hands and hearts, with courage and the desire to remember.

As the one who leads us into the labyrinth through guided meditation, I never know what will come, what words will emerge as I guide, and what words will emerge through my own writing and the writing of my sisters. But, after three years of leading these circles, I completely and lovingly trust what comes. What always comes.

The space gets thicker each round, the honey sweeter. It has become an offering that nourishes me as much as I’ve heard it nourishes my sisters.

It is the trust that grows — of self, of other, of the sweet darkness of the unknown and the love it has for us. Yes, the unknown offers us love and remembering of our nature as creative beings, as respectful beings, and as joyous beings.


Writing Raw

You don’t have to join Writing Raw to enter this sacred space. You can walk the inner labyrinth yourself. You can use this to enter into any creative space. Business or personal. Alone or together.

And, if you’d like to join me and the women who will gather together, a new six-week circle will begin on September 5th. You can find out more and register here. It is truly a transformative experience and a delightful one you won’t soon forget.

Yes, we write.

But it’s not about the writing. Not really. You do not have to be a ‘writer’. You only have to be able to put down on paper what you hear from within. That is all. And that is more than enough to come to know yourself in a whole new way.