#IAMENOUGH starts with you...
Encouraging women to simply, "Play big" or to "Stop getting in your own way" isn't helpful. Advice like this means well but we can't effort our way out of not feeling good enough. No amount of reaching will help us to feel inherently worthy.
When I was a little girl my mom's favorite advice was, "Follow your bliss." She loved to tell me that I could do anything and be anything so long as I put my whole heart into it.
I loved this advice. There is just one tiny problem...
...she didn't leave me any instructions on HOW exactly to do this. And she certainly didn't warn me that in pursuing what lit my heart up I would encounter so much self-doubt, fear, and not feeling like I was worthy of what I wanted.
I learned the hard way these things were as alive as my desire to serve others.
In May 2017 I was sitting with my best friend at her dining room table and explained that while I wasn't depressed, something was certainly off. I had been climbing my own success ladder, and in some ways, the ladder others left for me without questioning it.
It was as if for the first time I stopped climbing to look up and down and see that there was no top in sight and no matter how fast or swiftly I climbed it I could still see the bottom. 'What was I doing?', I thought.
So I got off. And with it, my business started to crumble, fast.
It scared me but for the first time in almost two years I had something I didn't have while climbing the ladder. I had clarity. I stepped outside something that had convinced me I was built to succeed in one particular way and if that way didn't suit me then somehow it meant something was wrong with me.
Could there be a different way? Not even an easier way or quicker way but a way that actually felt like me, a way that felt good?
I wanted to be done with "hustling". I wanted to stop caring so much about my bank account. I wanted to stop worrying how well I could enroll clients. I wanted to stop comparing myself to people in my industry who were also friends and colleagues. People I admire and people I was envious of. I wanted to stop searching for my business in other people's ideas.
And mostly I wanted to love every aspect of my work and knew if I was waking up every day feeling numb something had to change. So maybe it was ok that it started to crumble. Maybe in that crumbling I would have no choice but to listen to my heart again and let it be easy.
This was the moment I returned to my roots.
In what felt like a flash of insight I remembered why I chose to work with people in the first place. It wasn't about healing or fixing. It wasn't about making the world a better place even. I have loved people my whole life. And I genuinely mean this.
I love the way we think and see. I love how hard we try and how silly we can be. I love our naivete and brilliance at the same time. I love our fierce compassion and I am just as fascinated by how hard we are on ourselves and one another. And I love that we are ever-expanding in our own ways and that we can never fully know humanity. And yet it doesn't keep me from trying.
This is why I do this work. To SEE people.
To really see you and hear you.
What if there were nothing to fix or change? What if there were nothing to solve? What if service work weren't about getting us someplace but instead loving ourselves right where we stand? How radical might that be?
These truths are my roots. And when I returned to this place I found everything I couldn't find from up on the ladder. From up on the ladder my life became about measurement and success was predicated by getting someplace else every day. New growth, more clients, more money, better programs, more readers...
But every place I arrived lacked in some way. It never felt like enough. Have you ever felt like this? As if no matter how much you "arrived" didn't offer you what you thought it would? The more I arrived the less at home I felt.
While I am still learning and navigating this return, I do hold this truth closer to myself more now than ever --
We have already arrived.
Does this mean we'll keep growing? Yes.
Does this mean we want things we don't yet have? Yes.
Does this mean we will still try and get someplace new? Yes.
What if we stopped thinking in the 'getting someplace else' we'll find more of us? What if growth didn't create us but gave us more to love? More to explore? More to enjoy? What then...?
In November I sat around a massive dining room table on the final night of a retreat for my Awaken Your Life students. One of them said to me, "I want to be able to say I knew you when..." And while this made me feel amazing I also feel like this IS the when. Right now.
I still have goals and aspirations. I want to write books and speak to large audiences. I want to be on Super Soul Sunday and I want to live at the beach. I want things. I am human after all. But this year taught me that to spend excessive time and energy in the wanting is to miss the very things that are taking me there.
I am a writer.
I am a speaker.
I spend time walking the beach.
And while I don't know Oprah I practice our conversation when I am driving. You know, just in case ;)
Wherever your 2017 took you or shook you I hope you take a moment to reflect on it. To give as much space and grace to what actually unfolded this year and not just to the things you wish had or wish will in the future.
After all, you can only be where you are.