The biggest determining factor to success in any endeavor is not goal-setting skills or good planning. It’s not laying out a clear vision. It’s not time management. Not even energy management.
And it’s not your habits.
The most crucial factor is so obvious that it’s often overlooked or — even worse — taken for granted.
For success in any endeavor, especially sustainable success, the number one element you need is safety.
Not just conscious, physical safety, but psychological safety. Emotional safety. Nervous system safety.
A home. A place of belonging.
The messaging about “leaving your comfort zone” is misguided and misinterpreted.
We cannot take risks unless we feel a base level of safety.
Without a solid foundation of care and nurturing, we don’t have an anchor from which to launch into the world.
If we are not well planted and rooted we cannot rise and extend.
To even have a vision or a goal, to create something that is sustainable and sustaining for ourselves and others, we first need to feel sustained and supported.
We need to feel nourished and nurtured. We need to feel the safety of a home. Of a tribe. Of belonging.
We need to feel cared for.
On a physical level. On an emotional level. On a psychological level. And deep in our unconscious.
When the system doesn’t feel safe, energy goes first to creating safety. This takes bandwidth from the other resources of the system.
This is the teaching of the first full moon of the year, which happens tomorrow in the sign of Cancer.
Full moons pull focus and illuminate polarities. At a full moon, the moon is directly opposite the sun.
The sun is in Capricorn, a sign about long term goals and the structures we need to create something sustainable and sustaining.
It’s shining it’s light on the moon in Cancer, a sign that is about care and nurturing.
Cancer represents home, parenting, our family lineage. The foundations of our lives.
The Cancer/Capricorn axis tells us that in order to be successful out in the world we must first have a rooted home life and foundation.
We cannot hold space for others when our basic needs are unmet.
When we feel nurtured and cared for, when we feel safe to be who we are in our home life, when we feel a sense of belonging, we show up differently in the world. We serve more effectively. We create with greater coherency and ease.
What would be possible in your life if you built from a foundation of feeling cared for?
What might the world look like if each person felt cared for and nurtured, if we all felt the most basic level of safety?
The invitation of this full moon is simple, yet complex:
- attune to what you need to feel cared for;
- ask for what you need;
- allow yourself to receive it.
That last piece is often the most difficult, especially for those of us in service or helping professions.
But nobody wins if you’re a martyr. Your ability to serve and give at the highest level is directly correlated to your ability to receive.