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Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
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Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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engagement

Bridget Pilloud Bridget Pilloud professional life shifter. intuitive advisor. authenticity aligner.

Creator of the Life-Shift series, Bridget Pilloud works with people all over the world to help them enact positive change in their personal and professional lives. [www.bridgetpilloud.com]

PostPILLOUD

Engagement is a willingness to show up for life. The word engagement comes from a 15th Century French word meaning to pawn or to pledge. It’s putting your skin in the game. To me, engagement means committing to presence, committing to living this life no matter what I experience and being present with others no matter what we experience together.

From engagement and presence come co-creation, whether in a moment (with my barista in the morning) or through a lifetime (with my partner and my children), whether with God or friends or strangers. The act of co-creating a moment or a project teaches, informs, and expands us.

Although I come from a family of people who try to engage, my mother is not a natural engager. Growing up, I saw how that affected her life and knew it wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to ever be afraid of experience. Many of the experiences I’ve had started out being frightening or uncomfortable, but turned out to be beautiful things.

I try to cultivate a sense of whether I’m engaging or not. When I’m not connecting, it’s not always obvious. It’s a slippery thing. Usually, I notice the symptoms: I’m watching too much TV or craving sugary snacks. Often, I’m acting on a child’s need to be comforted and I’m not engaging because I don’t want to feel something. So I ask myself questions like, “What am I afraid of feeling?” and “What feeling am I avoiding?” Then I stop and feel it. I don’t put a story to it or try to figure out the why of it. I just stop and feel the emotions coming forward.

The body is such a wonderful tool. As humans, we tend to be very cerebral. We tend to be way up in our heads. When we let our big, beautiful brains take a backseat and let our body or spirit drive a little more, or at least share the decision-making, our experience shifts. Our bodies allow us to engage. We can feel engagement in our bodies. There’s a physical reaction to it.

When I was thinking about the word engagement, I looked it up in the dictionary to get a better understanding of it. One of its meanings is to go into battle. So, when do we go into battle with life? How do you engage? How do you want to engage?

When I engage with life or myself or others, I commit to living this life. That commitment brings presence.

– Bridget Pilloud

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