“I am already so overwhelmed and exhausted, I don’t think I have the capacity to add something more to my plate.”
“I am so scared of truly expressing myself, what if nobody likes what I have to say.”
“That vision is beautiful but so daunting. What if I fail.”
“Do I really need to disrupt the status quo when things are generally going on fine.”
These are some of the common lines I hear from my friends and clients, (especially parents) whenever we’re discussing longing in their hearts. There is this whisper that something needs tending, a voice that needs to be expressed, a project that needs to be birthed in their organization, or a new adventure waiting to be embarked on. And yet, there is almost always a fear, a sense of overwhelm, and often a good dose of self-doubt whenever we want to honor these rich and tender voices in our hearts.
The good news – this is normal. Absolutely normal. I have never created anything meaningful in my life (including the two monkeys – Vivaan & Saveer) without fear, self-doubt, and uncertainty. And, over the years I have had to learn tools to work with these emotions and not simply push them aside or wait till they’re gone before I start.
And one of the biggest myths about our callings is that they always have to be big and often times that can be the biggest blocker to claiming our power and living with more purpose.
Let me share an example. Let’s say – You want to work with young kids and create a safe space for them to express themselves. One voice in your head tells you that you now have to quit your job tomorrow and then start a preschool in a month. Your inner critic panics because you have never run an organization, you have a big income today and all alarm bells go off and next step, you kill your desire of working with young kids and instead go back to the way things are and tell yourself you are exhausted, overwhelmed and don’t have time.
Instead, if you peel the layers and pay attention, the longing wasn’t to start a preschool tomorrow, the longing was to work with young kids and one of the many manifestations of that longing could be to run a full-time preschool but not the only one. When we let fear run the show, we see only one vision that is often so grand and big that we shut down and escape.
I’d like to invite you to something different. When you have that whisper to do X, stay curious and really get to know why you are called to do X, what values of yours does it honor. What are you called to create and how are you meant to contribute with that longing. And then ask yourself, what is the smallest manifestation of that longing can I bring to life in the next month? What is a mini experiment that you can run in two weeks and use that as a springboard to try on something else to get closer to your longing?
Oftentimes, those simple, soul projects can give you so much energy and connection to your own purpose and wisdom that you will learn what needs to get dropped to create more space in your life. It will open doors to your own personal leadership and communities that can both inspire and support you.
And yes, this season of life is incredibly hard for so many of us with often no margin for anything beyond survival, often literally. And yet, if you choose love for yourself and your purpose, there may be some space. Perhaps, you trade an hour of Netflix with your journal this week. Perhaps, you take a day off of work and paint for 30 minutes, volunteer online, write a simple social media post or brainstorm ideas for a mother’s leadership group at work that you wish existed.
Perhaps, you simply start this journey of listening to what your own heart is trying to draw you closer to and stay patient to what emerges.
If you are feeling called to unpack what’s underneath your overwhelm and exhaustion, come join us. I am facilitating a conversation and coaching circle on this topic and would be so honored if you’d like to join. These will be small intimate circles with a combination of coaching, journaling, listening so bring your cup of tea, wear your comfy sweater and join me and other brave and curious hearts as we uncover how to create art out of this season, literally and metaphorically!
Dates: Nov 22nd
Time: 9 am to 10:30 am (Pacific Time)
Please email me to save your spot and receive the zoom link to join! You are welcome to forward this email to others as well. I had also written a similar post on this topic last week and can read it here if you missed it.
Photo Credit – Simon Berger