I have a little voice that speaks to me sometimes. I don’t think it’s the kind of voice that will get me thrown in a padded room (well, maybe); in fact when I was younger I recognized it as my “conscience”. I went to private school until I was 8 years of age, so my early childhood was steeped in those religious foundational life lessons such as “do unto others as you’d have done unto you” and “listen to that voice inside that tells you right from wrong”.
The older, more self-helpy me recognizes it more as my Self… my highest place, the bit of my consciousness that’s always observing.
Anyway sometimes it gets real profound, this tiny voice.
For the last 6 years or so, the Autumn region of the calendar has been strange for me. Massive, tectonic shifts in my life have taken place during this time: the breakup of my longest romantic relationship took place in early October 6 years ago. Moving to Mexico was the product of leaving one job in favor of another, which didn’t work out, leaving me in a major lurch and needing to think fast 4 years ago. This too was during an October. As was my recent exit from the business partnership I had been a part of for over 3 years.
Hmm maybe it’s just October that’s got a problem with me.
Joking aside these were some of the best things that have ever happened to me and I’m grateful for every one of them. Though they were some of the most monumental rugs a person could have pulled out from under them, in a way they were all welcome tumbles.
- I was completely over that guy and the relationship I was in. I just didn’t break up with him because I believed that being a good partner was more important than the 40 decibel “This is wrong” alarm bell ringing in my head for years.
- I had been saying I wanted to move to another country for years too, ever since my friend did it back when we were 30. Right about the time I met whats-his-face, actually. But I didn’t think moving abroad was something I could do, I was resigned to a more typical life. One that I didn’t really want, and I’d always known it, but I ignored that little detail.
- I had been questioning things in my business partnership for several months. I knew I was in a place that was not great for me personally, but I was learning a lot and I was part of building something. And, as ever, it’s important to me to be a good partner, so I’ll stay with something in the hope that it will get better when somewhere deep down I know that it will not.
Do you see a pattern here? I sure do.
So I made a promise to myself during this last tectonic shift, to study that and figure out what my problem is with sticking with things I don’t like, placing other people and things above my own health, well-being, and even sanity. And money. Why I have always had enough but I seem to continually see to it that I never have extra. I know I’m not the only person who does this. Volumes upon volumes have been written on this.
But for me, that’s enough already.
Put simply, I’m really damn tired of watching myself self-sabotage my Self.
So in addition to trying to decide where to go professionally, I am also forging new paths personally. For me this means a lot of quiet time, a lot of space in my schedule, tons of reading and learning, meditation practice and yoga, good food, good sleep. Lots of running. Basically I’m always physically tired and my brain is always full right now.
I wake up each day and ask myself what I want to do and learn, and then I do whatever things sound cool for today that serve my two larger intentions of Building A Business, and Figuring Out What My Problem Is. I’ve been taking a lot of online courses, doing a lot of journaling exercises, getting clear on my business plan, and listening to a ton of podcasts about personal productivity, money management, the energy around money, etc.
Anyway, the tiny voice.
About 6 years ago I was sitting in my living room on my yoga mat. The epic breakup had just occurred a few days previous and I was still a little shell shocked. Glad to be on my way, but as I’m sure you might be aware, there are a lot of logistics involved in the breakup of a 5+ year relationship. So even though it was the right thing, it was a lot.
I had been spending a lot more time on my mat, practicing yoga, because as anyone who has their own practice knows, it has a very meditative quality to it. Where alcoholics turn to AA when they are triggered, yogis head for their mat. It has a calming and empowering effect, bending and moving your body in time with your breath.
So there I sat, sweaty and tired and blissfully alone after a long and intense yoga practice. My eyes were closed and I was just sitting there, not doing much. Feeling sad. You know, those waves of sadness that come and go during a breakup. In that moment, a voice… my own voice… my Self, said: “I alone know how to heal myself. I am my own best healer.”
That was a powerful and very necessary S.O.S. from deep in my soul.
It became a mantra for me, and sometimes it still is. Though particularly for those next couple of months, as I got set up in a new apartment and reclaimed my life, healed myself, and became stronger, that bit of “I alone know how to heal myself. I am my own best healer” would fly through my head like wind whipping through trees, and I would welcome it every time. It became a friend to lean on.
This morning the voice paid another such visit. I woke up when the church bells rang at 6am, like every day. It’s been cold in the mornings so my dog made her way up to my end of the bed for snuggles, while my brain powered up.
I have a lot of things rattling around in there, particularly right now. This week has been a huge one for both learning and planning. I am pretty close to knowing exactly what my next big adventure will be, and that means it’s getting close to execution time. Breakthrough time. And that of course means it’s also freakout and self-sabotage time. At least that’s traditionally the way it’s gone.
Laying there in the dark with my pooch, the old familiar feelings of doubt and overwhelm beginning to swirl within, out of nowhere the tiny voice, my Self, said very simply “Why not me, though?”
And I thought yeah, why not??? Why not grasp mightily for anything that sets your heart on fire? Why not pursue it with every bit of heat that your soul already wants to throw at it? How come so many of us douse that fire, deny our souls their deepest desires?
I think many of us believe ourselves unworthy for one reason or another… but certainly for reasons that are not originally our own. Over the course of each of our lives, someone or something… probably many someones and somethings… told us we couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t make it, and gave us the reasons. Their own flawed reasons.
Over time we then internalize those reasons and they become our own statements of ourselves, we give those statements way too much power.
But we can just as easily create new statements, give the right statements power.
We are all worthy of a fulfilling life.
Why don’t more of us seem to believe it? Why don’t more of us really go after it?
Why not you?
Why not me?
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