I started trying to love things and people back to life when I was a kid. I hyperaware and super sensitive kid who could make myself sick worrying over if other people felt sad or bad, and if animals were sick or motherless or if Armageddon was coming any day. In hindsight I’m not sure I was particularly effective. I guess it was based on the assumption that their happiness or wellness had something to do with me, when really it has everything to do with them. Based on this assumption, later on I began to assume that my wellness or happiness had everything to do with everything outside of me instead of with me.
It’s a long and lonely journey of misinterpretation and miscommunication when you assume anything about anyone or anything. Including yourself. Somehow, I got lost in a life that felt like it was happening to me, with very little choice of my own. What I have come to learn though is that you are always choosing something – but how you think, what you focus on, your daily actions, your habitual moods and all the ways you experience life because of this.
What I now know is that you choose, or life chooses for you. It’s as hard and a simple as that.
You choose how you’re going to show up
You have to really know who you are and how you get in your own way (self-sabotage, tumultuous relationships, distractions, blamey and bitter and all the rest). This work (to know this about yourself) can be (always is) super uncomfortable and confronting. Sometimes being who you are is the safest and most comfortable place to be, even though you are not getting what you want. Many of us are too scared to acknowledge that OK is not enough. And when we look at our lives that there isn’t really anything to complain about. I am a very independent and very capable woman and spent much of the early years of most of my children’s lives as single mother of 4. To get what I wanted I had to first get clear on how I arrived where I did, and my part in that.
This is the bit about continuing to show up. About vulnerability. About letting go of what you think everyone is thinking about you and choosing to show up anyway.
If you don’t know what you value, what you believe in, what things matter to you and how to make a stand for the life you want then there is absolutely no way you can get it. You will live outside of your integrity and the truth of who you, meeting the basic needs of survival but never the deepest yearnings of your soul. When you do this for long enough (not showing up as the real you) you will wonder if you even exist at all. And each day you will miss the magic that it’s possible to create when you stop busy-ing it and/or hiding it away.
You choose what you do with your time and how to do your ‘work’ in a life that has many things to juggle. You learn how to say NO and how to graciously juggle the rest.
If you don’t choose then you are at the mercy of all the things that will fill the time anyway. There are always plenty of things to do. Mostly those things fill all the space that exists each day with the practical and the functional, and one by one they get done. And there is no space left for creativity, for the unfurling of the untapped potential that lives in all of us, but is so often dishonoured. I am aware of my capacity and capability for the everyday things, but I am terrified of my capacity for the big things. Mostly it is easier to let the everyday things hold up the big things, so I don’t have to wonder at their size and depth. But I am never as satisfied with a clean house as I am with a healed heart or some true depth in communication or a family system that is starting to work or a magnificent purpose being born to the world.
The starting to point to purpose (the big/deep/wide/magnificent thing) is making space for it in your life. You don’t have to know what it is yet (although I believe we all at least have an inkling and it’s connected somehow by a thread to all the things you’ve already done) and you don’t have to know how to do it. You just need to make space to hear it. It’s calling. It’s always been calling.
So right now, I just want to do an exercise.
Deep breathe. Ground your feet on the floor. Close eyes if you feel comfortable. Connect to your system. Ask ‘What must I stop doing?’ – allow it to come. It can be household related, health, lifestyle, community, the bookwork…let it surface. And when it has write it down. Somewhere. Don’t worry about how. Just start with what it is.
It’s not so much that you don’t know what to do (even if that’s not clear just yet). It’s just that you won’t stop doing everything else.
And grace. It’s the ultimate superpower for me. When I’m tapped into my feminine – which is like an infinite pool of wisdom and energy and clarity – I can do things with grace. And if I can’t do it with grace then I go find some grace or I don’t do it. You choose.
You choose others
As capable women sometimes the hardest words to say are, ‘I’m not coping’ or ‘I’m at my limit’ or “I’m at capacity’. But not acknowledging what you need means there will never be any space to tap into the resource where purpose (everything) lives. It’s time to become a team player.
It is not your job to do it on your own. Yes, in the end the inner work is yours and yours alone, but to get there is not a solo-ride. You can try it if you like, but I suspect you already have, and no matter how clever or independent or capable you are you can’t work it out from within it. Not enough to change it. Plus, trying to work it out on your own means you’re focussing on you – when if you bring your focus out to others you can always find the answer out here. Every day the answers come to me from outside and I realise that that’s what I was meant to be seeing all along. The magic, the messages, the synchronicities, the guidance and the truth. When you choose each day to surround yourself with and speak to and read and listen deeply to others then you will find the pathway to the inside answers that you’ve held all along.
And mostly, you choose to believe it all works out. Always. And there’s nothing you have to be or do to make that happen. Except choose.