This is what wholehearted permission feels like...
In this photo above I am working with my Awaken Your Life students during their Equus intensive we do at the end of the program. We get to hang out for a day at Wild Horse Mountain Ranch outside Portland with one of my mentors and master facilitators, Jesse Johnson.
Do you have those people in your life who help you see to the truth of something without judgment? People who truly hold your best interest not only at heart but are genuinely thrilled for you when you land in that place of honesty for yourself?
Jesse is one of these people for me. We've been working together since 2014 which is really my way of saying he knows me very well. He knows when I am on my path and when I am off.
I've been knee-deep in enrollment for Awaken Your Life for the past few months. It's a long enrollment because it's a hearty program. It's 200 hours of content, most students have to get on a plane for the retreats, and it means showing up and playing full out as both a client and a practitioner.
It's no secret I love this program - but as we inched closer to the start date of the program something was off.
This is where most people would push through. They would bear down and require themselves to follow through at all costs. But I don't believe in this strategy.
Just because something was true in the past doesn't mean it's true for the future. I believe I have a responsibility to myself to stay in touch with this at all times. No matter how inconvenient it may be.
I knew something was off because my anxiety was growing. I felt this fog come over me and didn't trust that I had a strong foothold on the path I had said I was committed to.
So I called Jesse. I said to him, "Something isn't right, and I know what I want to do but I don't trust myself right now."
We chatted for a bit and then he said the thing that is reserved for people in my Brain Trust. These are the people I've given permission to guide me when I get lost. He calmly said, "I say this with love..."
Uh oh, I thought. But I said, "It's ok, I can take it."
He continued, "Normally when you open enrollment it feels like heart expansion. But something about the way you've been doing this feels...not you." <---There it was. Honesty. And I finally heard it.
At that moment I knew exactly what I needed to do:
1) I needed to drop this B.S. enrollment game I was playing. You know the kind, "only 2 days left!" and "don't miss out!" kind of stuff. The stuff I don't respond to and the stuff I'd wrapped my most tender offering up inside of.
2) I needed to adjust the program so that I could show up fully and stay congruent.
I will be totally honest, making changes to this program, while fully the right thing to do, deeply worried me because I never want my clients and students to think I am unclear or unpredictable. It feels risky to shift gears. But my goal is always to maintain the integrity of the work and to deliver in a way that allows even more people to say yes to their path.
Then I got this email from Brené Brown and she reminded me of a quote from Daring Greatly. She said -
“A surefooted and confident mapmaker does not a swift traveler make. I stumble and fall, and I constantly find myself needing to change course. And even though I’m trying to follow a map that I’ve drawn, there are many times when frustration and self-doubt take over, and I wad up that map and shove it into the junk drawer in my kitchen. It’s not an easy journey, but for me it’s been worth every step.”
Worth. Every. Step. I finally took the deep breath I'd been holding for weeks. And I got to work listening to my intuition and letting my inner wise self lead the way.