I used to think the word potential was too nebulous to have actual meaning in my life. The definition of potential is to "show capacity to become something in the future." By definition, you can never get there. And then, I read this book. I won't dilute this extraordinary read to a single sentence. The best I can do is urge you to read it.
It reminded me of a life principle I've held true for many years now — that you don't interact with the world by how you see it; you create your world by how you see it. You draw to you the very experiences that uphold your beliefs, and therein lies the greatest opportunity of the human experience: you are not beholden to where you are today. But to live the life you feel destined for is going to take more than a desirous longing.
It is going to take gumption.
My mom had gumption. During her life, she mothered, started businesses, became a writer, was an artist, drove across the country, fell in love with nature, and made a decision early in her life that her daughter would not know the tremendous pain she did as a child.
That her daughter would have the freedom, education, and opportunity to act on independent choices no matter what the world told her she was or was not. That daughter is me.
I didn't fully appreciate growing up what my mother was doing. I didn't know any different. She was, in many ways, my first coach and mentor. But beyond that, she did more than cheer me on. She told me every day that I could do what I set my mind and heart to.
But as an adult woman who spends her days riding the fine line with people between encouragement and unrolling the past, I bump into story after story riddled with reasons why someone must stay within the lines.
Why someone is bound to where they come from more than they are prepared to let it go.
This is the hard part of the work. Not untangling your stories or bumping into limiting beliefs or self-doubt. Put me in the ring with these parts of you any day. The hard part is watching someone who truly believes the fear and is choosing a life path that abides. A path that keeps the gremlins in play.
I'm not OK with this.
You see, I was also raised with one single rule. This was more important than our homework or weekend chores. This rule was paramount and respected. It came with no guidebook or instructions but it was pre-determined on behalf of me and my siblings that we would live by this rule.
Follow your bliss.
Now, as a child, upon hearing this I remember thinking, "That sounds easy enough. I mean, it has the word 'bliss' in it. How hard can it be?" (This is where I insert an eye-roll emoji or several.)
Don't be fooled. While bliss is the thing that keeps you going, it is not a place you arrive fully. Thank goodness bliss dangles its light at the end of the tunnel or we'd never do the unfurling, untangling, or unhooking from our life in an attempt to reach it.
But to follow your bliss is an act of courage.
Following your bliss is not about pursuing your passion. It is about going in search of the meaning of your life. I believe every human being has a bliss-point — a place within themselves through the pursuit of which they will discover the purpose of their life.
You don't land in this meaning as a single revelation. As my dad told me once, "Andrea, don't go in search of the meaning of life. There is no ONE single meaning of life. You must CREATE the answer you seek."
In my own experience, this has meant walking through storms, sitting in dark nights of the soul, and crossing many plains of fear.
There are many moments where following my bliss feels lonely. Not because I am alone, but because along the way, I bump into so many people not following their bliss. People who choose their past as their default future and people who see bliss as the thing of fairy tales and child-like imagination. Certainly not a place to dedicate your life.
Well. I see things differently. I think the cost of us each of us individually and valiantly pursuing our bliss is precisely why we're suffering so immensely. Someone who is wholeheartedly dedicated to his or her life purpose and path isn't gleeful all the time or blindly happy. They are aware of something far more powerful.
They know their wholeness.
And let me share a secret that you already know — when you know your wholeness you don't need to diminish the light of another. There's no competition, no battle, no lesser than.
From this place, abundance flows because you are literally enough, along with joy, contentment, trust, meaning, and the inevitable rise of the people you surround yourself with.
The choosing of this, however, is where gumption comes in.
As far as I am concerned, I have only just scratched the surface of this work. I may be 9 years and 5,000 conversations in but it's just the start. However, in this time I can say one thing for certain — far MORE people will turn away from this than toward it.
It isn't always for a lack of motivation or resource. Sometimes it is.
It isn't always for a lack of clarity. Sometimes it is.
It isn't always for a lack of desire or seeing what's possible. Sometimes it is.
It isn't always for a lack of gumption. Mostly, it is.
And if I want to see more people choose their PATH than not, I better also be prepared to go first. The thing about living your path is you get it wrong a lot. I get it wrong a lot. But it's my path, I have the right to fail at my own path! But I also have the right to get up, dust myself off, and keep going.
If I invited gumption to the table and asked her where it's time to dance what would she say? Well, per usual she did a mic drop last week. And I listened.
The places I get to invite so many of you into are very meaningful to me. Places like this weekly practice space, our free community, my monthly classes, our weekend immersion, my coaching circle, and my coach training program. I do my best each day to bring my wholeness through my work and these are the expressions it currently wants to dance with.
One was missing.
I was missing a sacred place in my work to see what the sum of my parts is capable of creating with someone. Isn't that we all want? When you really can step out of your way, stop dancing with fear, and start dancing with your potential what is available to you?
I was asking the wrong question. I've been asking of this work, "What is the least someone can do and still experience a powerful shift in their life?" Sometimes, less is more. And sometimes it's not nearly enough. It's a question that wasn't giving me the room to pour on the possibility.
I changed the question and asked myself, "What is this work truly capable of and what is the REALITY of that?" This is a vulnerable question. Because the answer isn't convenient or for everyone. But when I meditated on the few people this would speak to it was exhilarating. It felt like the place I am finally ready to go.
I've created a year-long coaching experience and have begun inviting a few individuals to be part of it. I've put together a page about it but it comes with this request:
***This is not for everyone. I am currently interviewing those it is a good fit for and will take my time with a process that is sacred to me. You can check out the program here but you must input your name and email to view it.
If we are just getting acquainted...
If you are new to my world...
If you have never worked with a coach...
If you don't know what you're dedicated to wholly or working to fulfill...
Then I can tell you now this is not for you and I've created plenty of awesome places for you to get what you need. If you are in a place where a year of self-study, dedication, intentional creation, unfurling the past and questioning every belief getting in your way is for you then I invite you to learn more about this year together.
I will be personally following up with everyone who opts in. I look forward to having a conversation! Get the details here: