I have surrounded myself with a new tribe of people who are working to be more in their life; to break free of all of the limiting beliefs and fears that have been holding them back in love, in all relationships, career, adventure, spirit, health, life in general. They know, in order to thrive and avoid stagnation, we must stretch and grow beyond who we were yesterday. What I have come to understand from my own experience and the stories shared by my innovative and brave tribe is, “the dark, challenging days when you question your ability and doubt your vision,” is an inevitable part of the journey and cannot be avoided. It is the natural consequence to venturing outside of the familiar and into unknown territory. The natural consequence of becoming intimate with the fears you have spent your life thus far avoiding.
I saw a quote the other day by McCall Erickson, that read “Soul work is not a high road. It is a deep fall into an unforgiving darkness that wont let you go until you find the song that sings you home.” This endeavor to let go of all that is holding you back in life, is the “soul work” that is referenced here. It is about letting go of everything that is not authentically who you are. It requires you to put it all on the line!
We typically move through life trying to maintain comfort and safety. Striving to reach full potential, is about getting uncomfortable. Not a little uncomfortable, but painfully so. It’s key! This willingness to lay it all on the line without care of who approves and who does not. The willingness to stand alone and keep writing, teaching, speaking, loving; without an adoring audience, a reciprocating lover or friends. You must be willing to show up and address what burns so brightly inside you to be expressed again and again and again until one day the right people find you.
The ‘unforgiving darkness”, that springs from moving through crippling fear, activates the inner critic inside each of us, and soon you are telling yourself and believing that the challenging moment or day (s) you are experiencing is an indication that you are failing, that all of your work has been for naught. You convince yourself you are depressed, incapable; doubt and confusion follow and if you are not surrounded by a community of people who are on a similair journey and have experience in this part of it, you continue the spiral down until something occurs that disrupts your pattern. Unfortunately this is where some people quit, not realizing this is actually huge movement forward, progress, deep soul work that so many will never get to. This experience I describe, is actually one of the prizes.
This is the time to stop all negative inner chatter, drop all judgements about what you are feeling and just observe them. Get curious about them. They are neither good nor bad, these are emotions that surface when you are moving towards and through things that have scared you, and also comes with moving outside of your safety zone. Go into these emotions and feelings like you would if you were swimming through new waters and exploring a new reef. Swim in every thought and emotion. Be in awe of it. Talk to it. “Ahh hello fear, self doubt, feeling of worthlessness, what do you have to teach me?” Talk to yourself. “I love you. I have your back, these are only feelings, some of which are not even rooted in truth, they arent going to kill us. We are going to be okay.” Be the loving voice to the scared you instead of the critical voice. Stay curious. “Why are you afraid? What do you need right now to feel better.” Men and women, if we need to curl up in a ball and honor fear for a day or two, a week or month, so it can move through us, do it!
Emotions literally take seconds to process through us and it is actually our judgements and beliefs about them that keep them around for days, months and sometimes years. These judgements and beliefs we have around feets that are typically labelled negative, keep us imprisoned in fear of them. Become friends not only with joy and excitement, but also fear, anxiety and sadness. Fear, anxiety and sadness are powerful teachers that are trying to direct us onto a path that serves us and away from one that does not, just as joy and excitement do.
All of this is the journey of one reaching to be greater and the journey of one who strives to live in their potential.
Dont play small anymore. From there you only attract people who cannot see you nor appreciate you for who you are or what you have to offer. Playing small, pretending to be less than we are, leads to depression, confusion, anxiety, and more feelings of self loathing than one can bear.
Be curious, be brave, be the greatest explorer in your life. Go into the darkest corners and the greatest challenges next time they present themselves and listen to what they are trying to tell you. Know they are indications that you are moving forward, getting closer to what you most want for yourself and a consequence of traversing unexamined parts of YOU. This is a transformative exercise that serves not only your highest good and your dreams, but will lead you to “the song that brings you home,” to the highest version of your self.