People often debate about whether our lives are fated — or — if it is we who shape/create our life experience. For the most part I’m an in-between believer. Though each one of us began our life journey with a certain set of “destined” parameters, experience has shown me that when we are ready for a big change, life will step up to both challenge and support our personal evolution.
I wanted to share a personal experience today because it was such a powerful moment and because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s been holding onto outdated ideals for themselves. I would bet that others could benefit from the insights. Although I’ve worked for and celebrated a movement away from pain and into joy, I just realized that some of those old ideals have continued to play in my mental background and have prevented me from feeling fully confident in my “new” happier/healthier way of life.
I happen to be working on what I thought would be a career development program. I’m participating in David Martin’s Impact Player Launchpad. I signed up for the course hoping to find greater clarity about how to balance my home and work life. What I didn’t expect was that the course would spark this personal revolution that is allowing me to better trust my path and to not feel so overwhelmed and “lost.”(Daveed — from the bottom of my heart – thank you for this opportunity.)
I’m six or so weeks into the course and have just entered the action phase which so far involves some contemplation, journaling, and affirmation. Today’s exercise was to create an “Impact Statement” in which we crystallize into words the impact we want to have on life. I wrote a beautiful statement — and ended up feeling completely embarrassed about it! I felt a familiar sensation pushing and pulling me around this impact statement. Conflict! I’m one of those people who can see many sides to an experience. This is both beautiful and frustrating — but that is not what today’s story is about.
In the form of affirmation, here’s the Impact Statement:
“I am contributing to the health, harmony, and happiness of the planet, and all those who dwell on it as I root into love and nurture it’s blossoming all around me.”
It’s a pretty sweet sentiment, right? I mean – I’d like to hang out with this chick. But here’s the thing — as beautiful as the sentiment is — there is/was another part of me who wants to puke at the thought of sharing this! I feel like “others” might view me as completely naive, simple minded, or too sweet to have any substance.
I’m working on shining through this embarrassment. As I move through the discomfort, I’m fortifying the confidence I hold around the deeper truths of my heart. I’m mustering the courage to be vulnerable in order to express what really matters most to me in the world.
All this “LOVE” talk really has me kind of embarrassed. I didn’t plan to grow up to be like this. I tried my best to be counter-culture. I wore all black, I was sarcastic, I liked to play it cool, deep, and dark. I imagined I’d grow up to be a power player… a kick ass lawyer… or a rock chick graphic artist. I envisioned myself in a sleek urban high rise looking sharp in a tight dark suit… successful…. powerful… free!
None of what I planned for came to fruition.
What I have is better than what I wanted —- (I hope – I think;-)
But… I’ve realized that even though the outer form of my life is different than what I thought I would create, there are still some old ways of thinking that have left me really confused about where I’ve ended up.
I went to design school so I could be an artist who actually got paid. I got side tracked on my way to the big city though. I “threw away” five years of school to become a health coach/yoga teacher/etc/etc… when I realized that I wanted to help people more than I wanted to make money. There’s been a lot of hard work and sacrifice to forge a new path for myself. I’ve been lucky to have great teachers, helpful guides, and many valuable learning opportunities along the way. While I always felt like it was the right choice to change paths, I also have almost always felt a little overwhelmed and a little lost too. What I’m realizing is that perhaps I never fully let go of that image of my future self that I had created so long. Because I couldn’t let go – I couldn’t really move forward.
I can say from the bottom of my heart that LOVE matters. If I can hold a place in life that helps people connect with love — helps them to actively love themselves — inspires them to share that love with others — well — I can call that success. The true beauty of this program so far is that I’ve begun to realize that I am already living my impact statement. I have a career that allows me to help people nurture themselves. In nurturing the self, healing takes place… love grows and spreads. I believe that nurturing love is a noble path and nothing to be embarrassed about anymore. So here’s to more love… rainbows… and light… and of course —- thank goodness, in Yoga, we have the dark goddesses too;-)