For a long time, I lived the belief that to create the life I wanted, I needed to work harder. This meant less sleep, long hours, and even “forgetting” to eat so that I could get the job done.
There is a place for rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work that is called for. This is an ability that many people lack and because of it they stay stuck in one area or another in their life. But for me, I’ve overused this ability to my own detriment.
I started out my adult life with a trial by fire – no resources, no direction, and a baby. I was fortunate enough at the time to call on this ability to work hard and not quit. Because of this, I put myself through school and developed my business, along with a number of other accomplishments.
Whether it was true or not, my ability to work hard became linked to my ability to get results. In other words – hard work meant survival. But it goes further than that. There were a number of other beliefs that were strengthened at the same time, including:
Again, there are whole segments of people who would benefit from some deeper understanding of hard work and sacrifice. But above all else at this time, I needed to remember self-care, support, sustainability, and nourishment. Cultivating the psychological and energetic capacity to embody this shift in the way that I show up to life, has been critical in the unlocking of my personal power and stepping into my calling.
I circled through this territory time and time again. But I was so deficient in my understanding, that try as I might, I could not get these things to stick. Until one day, I found myself cracking. My patience was thin, more and more situations were bothering me, I wasn’t enjoying the people I usually enjoy, I was super thin and really tired. Because of this I was making bad choices and errors in judgment. It is scary that when you are in a place of leadership, so few people are willing to call you on your dysfunction even when it is staring them in the face – but this is a topic for another day.
Long story short, I was swimming as fast as I could and sinking from exhaustion. I had learned along the way that I needed to ask for help. So, I asked for help and got a cosmic level dose of instruction. Some amazing support came my way – just enough to stop me from sinking. However, I also received an enormous heap of challenges, and this was the true teaching. Opposition can show us exactly where and how we need to grow. Here, I was shown the internal mechanisms that were putting this all in place.
I don’t like to repeatedly bang the drum of a certain brand of oppression – throw all my “problems” into one bucket and blame it for everything. Life is much more complicated, and I would rather not make my life story about victimhood. However, that is very different from turning a blind eye to some of the realities of the world we live in.
And for me, this particular issue is about the oppression of the feminine force within us all.
I learned to survive from doing rather than being, so I was not standing in my genius.
I learned to identify my value with my looks, so I never got to know my own beauty.
I learned that care of others was more important than care of myself, so I lived in a place of depletion.
I learned to ask permission to stand in my power, so I was never fully in it.
I learned that the wisdom of my body was inferior to the knowledge of my mind, so I neglected my truth and covered up my wisdom.
I learned that it was ok for others to use my hard work and life force and call it their own, so I let them take without giving until I was exhausted.
And, yes, I believe that this is symptomatic of the long-standing historical oppression of the feminine force and its wisdom – and it affects most of us in some way. Historically, women have been the home-makers. They clean the house, tend the fire, and cook the food. But the wisdom of any oppressed group survives. It just goes underground. It gets preserved and encoded in the simple acts of every day. So look closely, for the greater healing is here:
Clean the house.
Tend the fire.
Cook the food.
So, I started cleaning my house. I put boundaries in place and moved unsupportive people to more distant places in my life. I looked at the places where I was out of alignment with myself and my deeper truth, and I made shifts to get back on track. I repeat as is necessary. And, yes, I literally clean my house.
I started a desire journal and wrote at least one thing each day that stoked the fire of my life. I added in one activity that was just about enjoyment for each day. I paid closer attention to where I lit up and what brought me joy, and recognized this as my divine intelligence.
I looked at what sustains me, what supports me, and what allows me to thrive, and to this day I continue to make choices to bring this into my life. I am taking time to see what will truly nourish me, and make sure that I have put it on the table.
As I do these things, I heal. I love myself more. I find it easier to stand in my power. And as I make these shifts, I uncover a new way of working where I am cared for, supported, and can create more with less effort. Today is your opportunity, and I invite you to gently allow the feminine force within to come alive.
Well at this point I have been around. I have been part of the therapeutic community, part of the business coaching community, part of the academic community, women’s communities and spiritual communities.
No matter where I go, I notice that there is a group of people who are thinking out of the box and wanting more for their lives, their work, and the world. Whatever group they are part of, they do not “drink the KoolAid”. They are thoughtful, considerate, creative and unwilling to settle for just a small part of what they want.
These are my people. If you relate to the above, I want to tell you that it is great to be on this journey with you.
You know that there are a lot of people out there who do not care whether what they do has a positive or a negative impact on the world around them, they really just care about making money. But, if you are reading this, you are not one of them.
My work has always been for people who are looking for the essential information that they need to grow their business, but a business that adds richness to their life in more ways than just monetarily. A business that adds some value to the world.
If you boil it all down:
Purposeful Profit = Lifestyle + Impact
Lifestyle is the way you want to live. It covers how you spend your time AND your money. It determines how much of either of those you want to have. How you feel as you go about your day. What and who you are surrounded by.
Impact is the way you want to interact with the world around you. The ways you would like to make the world a better place by having lived. When you create your business, you want to create a profitable business, otherwise there would be little reason to create a business at all. However it is just as important as you move through live to think about the PURPOSE behind your life and your business.
Because if you are driven by a sense of purpose nothing else is going to leave you feeling more fulfilled than achieving that purpose. And all the money in the world will not make up for that.
Want to learn more about this? My Power Purpose Profit eBook is a workbook that will guide you through turning your desire for impact into a business and lifestyle that you can start LIVING instead of just dreaming about. Purchase it here.
Last weekend I went to see my son at college. It was great. There is nothing like a bunch of 18 year olds to get you to reflect about what has changed over the decades and what has not.
As I was talking to him and his friends, I remembered driving cross country in my Ford escort, wondering what the heck I was going to do with myself, and simultaneously feeling free and terrified.
Whenever we start out on something new, we need to take risks (think old ford escort!). Doing something new implies that there are unknowns and we likely feel both exhilarated and terrified in the face of that.
And if we keep fully living, the situations change, the way we relate to them might change but these feelings are pretty consistent.
However, it can be easy to get a bit apathetic in our lives. It can sneak up on us so quickly.
We stop looking at how we can enjoy life more, how we can find a new challenge, or learn something new. Days can start to blend into each other in a type of sameness.
And, sometimes we can even feel grateful for this –for sameness and not for stress.
There is a beauty in the quiet times. However, we sometimes confuse this comfort with having it made. Then we can become attached to it and have a hard time accepting when it is no longer working for us. When it is time to leave some things behind and head out to parts unknown.
So my question for you this week is: When was the last time you felt as excited about something as when you were a teenager and trying so many things for the first time?
If it has not happened in a long time, what might you dream up that leaves you feeling really excited and maybe even a little terrified?
It can seem like we need to either be powerful and confident or we need to be humble, but this is not really the case. We can be both. Unfortunately, most people do not pull it off.
When power and humility are in conflict within ourselves, that means we are in our ego self. Our ego self requires us to equate power with worthiness — those who are exhibiting strength are better than those who are exhibiting humility. When power and humility are in balance, though, our power is truth and love; our humility is wisdom and compassion.
So, how do we get humility and power to work together? We need to connect to our core self instead of our ego self.
When we are in the ego part of the self, it is almost like living one track of a multiple-track recording. In the ego, we think we need to be a certain way in order to be loved, accepted, and safe. We can get kind of caught up in this and even start to think that this is all there is of us. It is normal to be caught up in this in adolescence and early adulthood, but we often get caught in this part of ourselves for longer. When we realize that the ego is just a part of us — and not our entire self — our view of the world and ourselves changes profoundly.
One of the most important things to do when working with the ego is to confront it — question its self-definition as our truth. Some of the things we can ask ourselves about our ego in order to help confront it are:
After a while of observing this ego, we get more in contact with our core self — our higher self, the truest part of who we are. When we live from this part of our self, balancing humility and power is a non-issue. They are both present.