What is the potential of a single person? Could one person change the world by just being themself and living day to day? We often ponder the great worries of the world and look at how we might change them, all the while plotting great courses of action and believing that our most complex plans will surely save the day. We look to the most complex tasks as though they offer us true mastery, we add bits to ourselves as though we can become composite perfection and we worry endlessly about others while never turning the lens upon ourselves. How limitless is true human potential? How much can we really do? And what would finding that out even look like?
Jennifer Santoro truly believes in the potential of human beings. It has been a lifelong journey and study for her to explore it in both herself and others. I have met Jennifer several times at networking events, but we never really took the time to dig deeper and connect with one another, so I was eager to take that opportunity today. We sat down at Sojourn Coffee in Charleston to talk about her story and discovered so much more.
Jennifer is pure love and joy. That is the single best way to describe her incredible smile, the light that comes to her eyes and the most amazing embrace you may ever feel. Her size may be small, but that core of love, that wondrous heart, is a powerful thing. She has some background on me in my previous life so she knows how I used to be. The moment she enters the shop her smile is huge, her eyes are two shining stars and she is ready for an embrace. Jennifer feels genuine joy at what has transpired in my life, at the true me that I have embraced and become. She hugs me like a sister who has seen her brother after many years of absence, love that has seen its way through sadness. Her shirt this morning has the word love written in large print, a fitting label if there ever was one. She has followed my journey and tells me how proud of the man I am she is, how wonderful it is that I have embraced purpose and become my true self. As she explains, my energy is brighter, stronger and far more positive. it has a healing effect to be around someone like that, and you can clearly experience the same thing with Jennifer.
For Jennifer self mastery is so important. She acknowledges the duality of all things including people. We all have positive and negative sides, but we can choose when we act and that is the start of self mastery, the choice of how and who we will be. Jennifer talks about how we are not in a race, but on our own path, always our own path. When we think we have deviated, it is more like being on a treadmill, the illusion of movement rather than actual motion. We lose momentum and become confused until we take that moment and confront the fear of falling. Confronting fear, choosing hope instead, might be the greatest act of self mastery. We share stories about our hard times, the moments on the road when it seems like fear will win and we will fail. Jennifer shares moments where things became clear for her, great stories of transcendence that are truly powerful.
A morning with Jennifer Santoro is truly amazing. She is a shaman of the modern world, a guide for those seeking something deeper of themselves. And so a shaman and a storyteller sit at a table and share.
What is most amazing about Jennifer is her desire to truly help the world as well as her perspective of how we do that. I have always talked about being the change we want to see in the world, but Jennifer has put a new perspective on that. For her the change I am making in the world is simply by being my authentic self, by living the powerful self that is me with all of the additional material whittled away, the true sculpture. Being that person and living is enough to make change, to alter the world for the better. We reflect on that and I share stories of how some people have told me this has inspired them. She tells me about people who have been inspired that I don't know about.
Jennifer is right. When we live our authentic lives, give life to our true selves and show others that they can live that way, we create a great ripple where they in turn try to live their authentic lives as well. It is a chain and it is amazing. We talk of compassion, of how we are meant to love each other because each person carries a piece of our reflection within them. We talk of her further work, of her exploration, of knowledge, wisdom and the sacrifices needed for both. It is an enlightening morning and I wish it could last much longer.
I have seen a reflection of myself in Jennifer today, and it brings a tear to my eye. This woman is pure love and compassion, it has always been her energy and her core, and she sees in me a great light that has developed because of a simple plan to change my life. As we talk we speak power and when the time comes to part we promise to do it again and embrace one more time.
Her hugs are true wonders. They can change the world.
Favorite Dinosaur: Triceratops
Why: Three reasons (1) The Power of Three, life speaks to us through these things. (2) They were herbivores, as is Jennifer. (3) They were gentle warriors, possessing great strength to be protectors.