This week I have been having a lot of conversations about growth. Growth in romantic relationships, growth in business, growth in family dynamics, growth in bank accounts. As we begin to grow and define our vision for our life, everything shifts. It’s not just that you shift, it’s that your relationships begin to change; people treat you differently or see you in a new light and therefore respond to you differently. Your work either becomes more exciting or less fulfilling. Your eyes start to see things they have never seen before. Perhaps you notice new people on your commute or colors start to stand out in a way they never have before.
I like to call this coming out of the fog. Things becomes clearer. You’ve done some work to clean out your stuff and now there is a lot of room in that big beautiful brain of yours.
You look around you and you feel less connected. There are less text messages coming through on your phone, less emails showing up in your inbox asking for your time. You begin to look at the groups you used to participate in and notice that they are meeting and you are just, well, you are at home.
So you get scared. You wonder if you made a mistake. Did you clean out too much stuff? Did you judge your relationships incorrectly? Did you draw too many boundaries? You will probably feel a bit judgmental, really take time to look at people and what they spend their time doing and analyze their value to your life. This will feel icky, and you will wonder why you can’t just accept people as they are but you will know deep down that there is a reason for this evaluation.
And you sit in this scarcity mindset for awhile, you wonder if you got it all wrong.
This is your nervous system defending against the one thing it fears the most: not belonging.
This is the plight of the conscious. As you continue to breakdown your conditioning and define your life on your terms, you will belong to less groups. You will be less patient with exercises in vanity or belonging just to belong. This will result in a period of time where you are alone. Alone with your ideas, alone with your feelings, alone with your fears.
And this is where the real work begins.
When you finally have space to really explore, that is when you get to fill that space up with things you actually want. And this can be terrifying, because perhaps you have never done this exercise in your life. Perhaps you have always just followed the rules put on you by others and checked the boxes of a “good and appopriate” life. But you don’t want a “good and appropriate life”, you want to live.
And there is risk here, right? What if you choose wrong? What if you choose the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong business idea, the wrong vision for your life?
Here’s a little secret: There is no wrong choice. It is all an experiment. The only way to find out if it is right for you is to, well, do it.
Living requires relationships with deep meaning, activities that fill you up and bring you life, work that feels impactful and aligned. The only way to find these things is to go out and explore and then be discerning. Your experiences are your research. Your research will define your vision and your vision will define your actions.
And this time of solitude and perceived loneliness is imperative to our next level of growth. Solitude is not loneliness, be sure not to confuse the two.
When we’ve spent a lifetime seeking belonging everywhere (wanting external approval, looking for validation) and then we start growing, we are going to often feel like we no longer belong anywhere. This can make us feel lonely.
I will give you a simple example. I did a lot of work this past year to define who I wanted my work to impact the most. I decided on those that are on the edge of self-discovery and ready to build a life on their terms, especially, but not exclusively, women.
As I began living my life with this mission in mind I began impacting more women, connecting with more people who are ready for a shift and attracting people who are inspired to live more consciously.
And you better believe I spent months wondering if this was going to work. Was I going to really get this specific about my life? End a big public consulting contract to make room for more clients and fulfilling work? Let go of an identity that brought so much respect and so many accolades to my life? Be this careful with my messaging and only help people who are in this stage of their growth? What if the people who used to love me for who I was don’t like or accept this new person?
And I decided to do the research, which meant I had to just try. And since I ended my big fancy consulting contract, work showed up that aligns with my deeper mission, I have on-boarded four new clients this week, and booked speaking gigs where I’ve been able to share this mission with a broader audience and inspire more people.
Am I scared? Absolutely. But, as I continue to live in my authenticity, I continue to receive engagement from extraordinary people and come up on opportunities that are deeply aligned with who I am.
My goal is to help you do this as well. I want your life to be defined on your terms and I want you to feel free to be who you are and in all cases, I want to help you make money doing what you love to do.
Consciousness requires a certain level of flexibility. A flexibility to shift, sometimes on the daily. A flexibility to allow space for the unexpected. Flexibility in your relationships, to be brave enough to continue to define them as you grow, and a willingness to be wrong.
Yes, you will be wrong. You will make mistakes. You will break hearts or get your heart broken. This is living.
Truly living requires us to show up; to not avoid, to not hide, to not pretend, to be raw and dirty and complicated and love ourselves and each other anyway.
Your opportunity today is to wish without restriction. I call this the magic wand exercise. Now, fear will tell you that when I ask you what you want that you have “no idea”. I hear you, when we finally let go of playing follow the leader in our lives, defining what we actually want can be an excruciating exercise. But fear is just afraid that if you say it out loud, or write it down, that it will sound silly or stupid or TOO BIG for your britches.
No idea you have inside of you is stupid or silly or too big for your britches.
I want you to challenge fear and get as silly and wild and stupid as you can muster.
What do you want?
What is it that you want? How do you want to spend your time? What do you want to see in the world? Who do you want to spend your time with? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want your life to look like? How do you want to feel?
Get crazy. Get creative. Break out the markers and the colored pencils. Whatever you need to be free to desire, that is what I want you to do. And if you want to share please share. I’d love to see your big scary wishes below in the comments or shoot me an email to tell me all about it, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your solitude is a gift, let’s use it to change your life.