What happens when your life is going along in a fine fashion, the way you envisioned your life going, no, the way you intentionally created it to be, and then something changes to seemingly spin you off the rails?
“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”
This John Lennon lyric has come to mind often in my life, and revisited again recently.
The month of May and June 2022 have been full; full of wonderful things, yet full enough to make me step back and take a deeper look at the structure of my life. While at first glance there was a familiar feeling to the busyness, as I took a closer look, I found that underneath it all was a sense of calm and peace. I did not feel the panic as I wondered what wasn’t working after I had seemingly carefully considered the structure of my life. (what I used to do until I got to this stage of flow)
For part of that time, we were supporting Peter and his family with almost fulltime child care for Arya, our almost 2-yearold granddaughter.
During this time we also had out of town guests, we got sick, (not covid) and our support was needed in additional ways. Throughout all of this, I was very present, I was still doing the basic things I needed to do for myself, and for our business, and I had a chance to see how the life I created was working. (!!!)
This year has been a year of further grounding and anchoring deeply listening to myself, and staying loyal to my soul.
As a part of the move from Raleigh to St. Paul, I not only left behind stuff that no longer was needed, I also examined my resources for my business and relinquished everything that I thought I needed, yet when I put them into practice, discovered that I didn’t.
Things that coaches I’ve worked with told me I needed to do to be successful, that didn’t feel aligned with my Truth. Things that I thought made me a failure if I didn’t figure out how to fit them into my work. And the judgment that I sometimes felt for myself for not conforming to what others told me would be sure success. The thing is I tried a lot of those things, and none of them worked. Why?
Because they weren’t aligned with my values.
There are so many strategies, formulas, and techniques that help to create a successful business. And just like there is no one perfect diet or food choices for everyone, there is no one formula for a successful entrepreneur.
Many coaches wanted me to turn to something other than grief as my work. Here are some of the things I was asked, or was told.
“What made you choose grief as a focus?” (I didn’t choose grief, it chose me)
“Are you sure you want that to be your message? Not many people are comfortable talking about grief?” (I know, and it’s so needed……)
“You talk about gifts from your grief journey, and how you are living a full life, how is that even possible after such a devastating loss? If you tell that to your potential clients, they will think you are making false statements to get a sale.” (I can only speak from my own experience, and as I traveled my own grief journey, I was receiving gifts, the very gifts that allowed me to stay on my path, and yes eventually find meaning, purpose and joy again in my life.)
“You can’t talk about meaning and purpose you have to illustrate it in your story. It needs to be grandiose and larger than life, you need to have glitzy programs that cost a lot of money, or your potential clients won’t see the value you bring.” (no)
About this time, I was beginning to see that most of the advice I was receiving was not in alignment with my own values, my own experience, and my own truth.
I got really good at discerning for myself what is a good fit for me, and sometimes took a kernel of an idea from a coach and made it my own. Perhaps that is what they had intended all along.
Perhaps our coaches, teachers, and mentors are in service to us to help us to learn to be ourselves, unapologetically full of vibrant life.
That, at least for me, is the life I wanted. And I found a couple of coaches who helped me with that discernment process and gave me permission to listen to the longings of my own true heart. Longings that have been whispering to me for most of my life.
I was able to tend to the inner little child victim who has been a part of my life for so many years. She wanted to know “why me? why do I have to be the one that……”
I found that staying there kept me in a loop of doubt, kept me from fully experiencing my own wonder that I see reflected in Arya.
Arya makes it simple for me to love myself, when in the past it hasn’t been easy, or even possible.
I look at her and her own love for her self and feel sad for the little girl who experienced original grief at a young age, and lost her innocence without any support to find herself again for many years. I know that all of the inner work I’ve done, and that I do is not only for myself, it’s also for my family, and for Arya, and now she is like a guru for me.
As I look back on this recent busy time from where I am now, I can see that the basic structures I had in place for my own self-care, (the non-negotiable stuff that I need to fill my energy reserves) and for our business, are in place, and do work.
Were there other things that I would have scheduled if I had the additional time, maybe, yet I know myself well enough to know that trying too hard no longer gets the job done.
I’ve created a flow that keeps me able to auto correct my course at any given time.