This was supposed to be a very different email coming your way. Today was supposed to be the launch of a really big project I’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s an opportunity that has excited, scared, and challenged me all at the same time. I dove in head first, excited by the chance to try something new.
It forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to encounter my inner critic, the imposter syndrome, and that obscene fear factor. I faced them though, head-on, and trudged through the muck, trying to make this happen in the time and the way I wanted it to.
Yet, a few weeks ago, things seemed to go wrong – little things, big things, and even bigger things. My response (after a bit of a freak out) was to go into that “figuring out” mode. I worked harder, stayed up later, and really tried to get this to come together. I was forcing solutions and>wound up furious, fatigued, and frenzied. Nonetheless, I pressed on.
The stress continued to culminate until finally, my website (the crux of most businesses) went down for more than 15 days and no one seemed to know why.
That figuring-out mode turned to frantic mode. I know systems fails, people disappoint, and technology… well, we all know it seems to have a mind of its own. But seriously, all at once?!? Right now?!? At this moment, after all of the time and effort, during this project, things were going to fall apart?? I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I did not want to go down without a fight, but finally I knew it was time to “re-decide”. Life was trying to tell me something and I wasn’t listening. I was so focused on forcing solutions and had lost any sense of “flow”. Painfully, I made the decision to halt the project.
Waving that delicate, white flag of surrender took more strength than I thought I had. On a logical level, I knew this needed to happen and that in the scheme of life, it really was going to be ok. I believe Life works in our favor and that things work out for a greater good even when we can’t see it. My head knows this so clearly. I’ve lived it hundreds, if not thousands of times and shared an equal amount of those experiences with clients.
My heart however, has a different story. My heart takes a very, very long time to catch up and buy into that trusting belief. The mental and emotional gymnastics I was trying to perform were astounding as I encouraged my hurt little heart to catch up with my logical brain. I knew I needed another plan and that a reset was in order, yet the emotional tale I was weaving, along with the feelings of confusion, defeat, overwhelm, and uncertainty were deafening.
Trusting the process of life and learning to listen, really listen, to the direction it is trying to take you is critical and also takes practice. Life offers important information, direction, and cues. At first, they’re often very subtle but then the prompts get louder, harder, and more firm. Otherwise said “First a whisper, then a nudge, then a firm tap, then a baseball bat upside the head”. Yeah, I got one of those.
Necessary lessons can be painful when learned this way. And yet, they are so… necessary. You see, there were signs I wasn’t listening to. There were things that needed my attention that I was dismissing with thoughts such as “it’s not that big of a deal; things will work themselves out; I’ll deal with that later”. I was overlooking things I knew needed to be addressed because I was too busy pushing down a path I thought it needed to go. I ended up ignoring the warnings and my inner instinct by not heeding the small nudges, until finally, I experienced that devastating blow upside the head.
Life tried to warn me. I didn’t listen until I got clobbered. Sure, I could be mad at life; who doesn’t like to play the blame game every once in awhile? But, the truth is, I did not pay attention and honor my own inner-knowing and the responsibility lies solely with me.
This experience has taught me, yet once again, that that inner – G.P.S. (Gut, Perception, and Senses) needs to be listened to and honored, even when I don’t want to. It has taught me Self-Honesty and Self-Responsibility, two things I’ve written and taught about for years. Obviously, I needed the reminder. I’ve also learned the sharp contrast between figuring-out, force, and fury vs the magic and ease of Flow. If you pay attention, you’ll understand the difference too.
Here’s my challenge to you friends – what is it in your life that needs your attention? What signs or warnings is life trying to offer you that need to be respected and heard? Are you paying attention? Are there things you need to take responsibility for, re-decide, or re-set? Are you in flow or are you too busy forcing solutions and trying to figure everything out? What emotional story are you writing in your head that needs to be rewritten? Share with me, I’d love to hear your story.
In the meantime, stay tuned. I’ve got to take some time to reset and reconnect with that inner-GPS before I move forward. It’ll happen and I’ll be better and stronger because of it. Trust the process.