It happened to me in the past month or so, and it surprised me. I know better, but I'm still easy prey. No matter how much I preach this and support others to NOT do it, I caught myself getting swept up in ambition that wasn’t mine. I was striving to do more, be more, make more, be like people I admire, and live up to what I think other people want for me or expect of me. And, I got really, really out of sorts.
Thankfully, in the wee early morning hours (as so often seems to be the time for these epiphanies!) I felt a clear “Stop! What are you doing!? Why are you making yourself crazy and beating yourself up? What’s true for your heart?”
Once I paused, I was able to recognize that what IS enough for me has nothing to do with reaching millions of people or making millions of dollars. What is enough for me is showing up fully to those I am graced to work with – to touch one life at a time. It’s enough for me to be able to give where I can. It’s enough for me to really appreciate the life we’ve created. My soul breathed a sigh of relief… There you are, she said. Thank goodness you’ve remembered. Settle down now...
It’s so easy to get swayed off course. So many outside voices gratuitously offering their thoughts on what we need and what we should do. Watching other people do what you thought you wanted to do and judging yourself as inferior. For me there was also a story running that went something like this… If you’re not going to have a big business, go on tour, speak to thousands, make a lot of money, then what has all this training,coaching, and retreating you’ve done to support you and your business been about? And, in that moment I unearthed this story that told me I needed to justify all that I’ve done in some way through my business results.
Then the inquiry to get at the deeper truth came pouring in… What if all of the work I’ve done has been to help me be better for myself, for my family, and for those who I am lucky enough to be able to serve? What if it fulfilled my insatiable curiosity and love of learning (and that’s OK)? What if what matters to me most is my family and my home and I no longer desire to go after a dream that would take me away from them a lot? What if it’s enough that 111 Invitations is rippling out slowly, naturally, and organically?
The truth is, for me, it is exactly enough for this moment in time. I am right where I want to be today. I am relieved to admit this to myself and to give myself permission to stop feeling like it’s not enough – that I need to push for more. For today, I’ve landed on what feels right on a deep, deep level. And, that gives me a ground to stand on and a newfound energy that inspires me. Instead of feeling discouraged, I feel alive and excited. Some of my dreams no longer fit, and for now I can drop the burden of carrying them any further.
What are YOUR dreams?
So, how about you? If you stopped trying to be what you thought you should be or what you thought someone else wanted you to be, what are YOUR dreams? Are there dreams you once held that no longer fit you? What would happen if you let them go or at least set them aside for now?
These answers will come from your heart, not your head. I invite you to take some quiet time, place a hand on your heart, and ask. Then listen. Jot down what you hear. And, listen some more. Allow insights to come to you unobstructed. This isn’t the time to edit or argue. Allow yourself to be surprised. See what lights you up from inside, brings you that sigh of relief when you let go of something that is no longer yours, or electrifies you with excitement.
You may find a new sense of energy and motivation that had gotten bogged down in the misdirected efforts of wandering a path that wasn’t meant for you. Lucky you! Now you know, and you can begin anew.
In our culture we are solidly conditioned that more and bigger are better. It’s just not necessarily true. We’ve been told to “dream big.” Hell, I’ve told people that for years, and I still believe it – the important piece is to discern and define what’s BIG for you! Big isn’t necessarily measured in dollars or numbers. Big impact can come through small actions.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~Steve Jobs
The truth is when you speak, act, and create from a place of deep integrity, being true to yourself, following the call of your heart and soul, you will find more peace and joy, and you WILL make a difference. Your being will be happy and fulfilled, and in that happiness and fulfillment, you will have a ripple effect you may not even be aware of! When you come from a place of authenticity, there’s no telling what surprises await. You just don’t have to try so hard to make things happen.
If you’d like to take time for this inner exploration, join us at one of my upcoming retreats. Part of the reason I’m so passionate about retreats is that they give us the gift of time and space to touch in with questions like this. While it is possible to sit with this type of inquiry on an average day, it’s much harder when we’re wrapped up in daily to-do’s, distractions, and demands. Stepping away for a bit, allows our nervous system to let down, quiets the outer noise, allows our hearts to open, and allows our intuition to speak.
If you enjoy writing prompts, you might play with some of these, taking a few minutes each and writing without stop to see what comes through:
- The parts of my dream that are alive and well right now are...
- I am willing to let go of...
- I'd love to bring in more...
- What really matters to me...
- What I appreciate about where I am right now is...
Please share your insights, wisdom, and reflections here - we learn and grow together!