My Six Weeks Of Laddership

Posted by Lara Galinsky on Jun 26, 2017
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Earlier this year, when I applied to be a part of Laddership Circle, I followed the guidance of my trusted source even if I didn't fully understand it.

Now, after completing the six week course, I understand it a bit more. I deeply desired a space and a community to better be myself. I desired contemplation without any attachment to answers. And I desired sitting with others who were on a journey too. I wanted an opportunity to surface what has likely been unconscious agreements with myself that I picked up over the years. These agreements not only ruled my life, but they also had a large part on how I felt about myself and my role in the world.

When I applied, I was in the midst of a deeper inner transformation. I have always been mission driven. Intensively mission driven. But now I see that I was mission driven and partially blind. That doesn't mean that I didn't listen, or wasn't reflective. I likely was. But blind in that l was action-oriented without enough deliberate sense of my "being." I didn't have any rest or even proactive practices in my life that helped me best align my vision with virtues with practices .. with action.. with destiny.

When I collided with hardship and blessings -- first in 2013 when my son was born and then in 2015 when I left my longstanding leadership role -- I yearned deeply for "more." At first I thought that "more" was about healing. And that certainly rings true to me then and now. I am now understanding that my healing was bigger than pushing through the other side of trauma. Bigger than rest. Bigger than "prioritizing my priorities" which is what I translated my life to be in 2016.

The "more" was becoming a friend - a best friend - to myself. Knowing myself. Loving myself. Respecting myself. Understanding myself. Essentially living fully out what I am understanding as my "being." That led me to Laddership.

How have I evolved? I am not sure yet, except to say that the former me wouldn't allow "not sure" to be an answer.

What I sense, though, is that I have a clearer sense of how I can align my most coveted virtues, my sense of purpose with how I live my life and the decisions I make. I value small right now. I am evolving my relationship with money. I am working on deep listening. I smile more with my son. I feel more patient. I am playing with the notion of impermanence; I am more confident about my views on scale, and I value the notion of service and community in a deeper way.

Laddership invited a few practices in my life that I want to keep stoking. First, depth. I allowed myself to "go there" and be utterly honest with myself in the most forgiving and accepting way. Second, inquiry. I sat with questions more than I have in a long time. And while some thoughts emerged -- the practice was more about asking and allowing "answers" to reveal themselves when ready. And lastly, depth with connection. Laddership brought intimacy, trust and connection across all sorts of differences. Our partnership conversations were able to get to the heart quickly because of these conditions. I was able to ask big questions and listen in a new way. My intention is to continue to bring these practices in my life without the rhythm of Laddership.

The biggest question I'm holding now is -- how can I more fully love? Everything else falls within this. And it leads to: how can I create a more empowering relationship with money? How can I deepen my community here in NY? How can I be of love and also understand what to do with hurt, pain, and trauma? How can I judge less and accept more? How can I focus more on my family?

I see now that I am unraveling to reveal a truer sense of my being. I am more deeply internalizing that worth is not a mark of what you do (or how you spend your time) but just in your being.

It's amazingly freeing. But so very different.

This also feels like the journey is just beginning. I have always valued the phrase "make the road by walking." And that is exactly what I feel like I am doing with my life.

I'm so grateful to David from Spain, Tehzeeb in Dubai, Devendra in India, Kush from UK, Monu from wherever she was in the world, as well as Nicole, Chandi and Nipun alongside the larger group, for elegantly coming together in a way that allowed for so much.



I sincerely wish that we think about each other and send each other love and energy. I'm sure we'll continue to share resources and thoughts. I hope we can all meet in person one day too.

And finally, I hope that I can be of service to the ecosystem. Being OF service is service to me.

[P.S. from Laddership Crew: for context, and to embarrass Lara a little bit, :) here's a brief background on her journey thus far. Her first job was leading programs at DoSomething where she worked with 20,000 educators and 4 million young people to organize service learning and community service projects; later, she led Echoing Green, which supported more than 700 innovators who then launched projects like Teach for America, City Year, One Acre Fund, SKS Microfinance, Public Allies and more. In between, she co-authored two books on purpose driven work. What comes next? We'll see. :)] 

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Comments (7)

  • Birju Pandya wrote ...

    i really appreciated being a part of the extended circle with you!

  • Yoo-Mi Lee wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing your journey to self-love.

  • Nipun Mehta wrote ...

    Lara, thanks for being such a rockstar! Your open-hearted ways, your keen intellect, your deep curiosity, your sincerity and humility in withholding judgement when confronted with radically foreign ideas ... it all blessed our circle in so many ways! And I'm sure that circle will continue to expand in myriad different directions. Looking forward to staying connected in the spirit of your fundamental question -- "How can I more fully love?" The way you have framed it implies that it's an ongoing journey without a destination, which is even more good news. :) 

  • Preeta Bansal wrote ...

    So grateful for this share, and for your open heart! Thank you. 

  • Trishna Shah wrote ...

    Grateful for your vulnerability to share your inner journey in this beautiful post, so much that so everyone can relate to. Loved your biggest question that you are holding: How can I more fully love?

  • Patricia-C wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing your story, you are a wonderful being :-)

  • Susan wrote ...

    Thanks for writing your thoughts and inspiring me, Lara. We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS, afterall. And your article reminds me that our best actions come out of this deeper place of love.