What lights you up and what is keeping you small?
There are many times in life when it all feels a bit of a struggle. When we feel overwhelmed with the magnitude of work that we have to get through. We create lives that are often so busy. We are pulled in many different directions. And the relentlessness of life often makes us feel as though we are going through the emotions. When we look up and press pause, we are often left wondering what really is our true purpose on this planet? Or what difference am I making?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not proposing that all of us have to get really big in the world. But I do believe that we must align ourselves to the things that truly light us up. As Marianne Williamson said in her famous quote “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”. We worry about being seen, about being visible, about going against the norm and finding our true happiness, our north star. That’s not how life is. Right?
I was disturbed this week, to see a client who is so overwhelmed with work, they are at the point of burnout. When you have got to the point when tears are your only release and your emotions have taken over, that really is a sign something must change.
It reminded me of my own situation, many years ago, when my children were small, and I was working full time in corporate. We had bought a business that was struggling. Our finances were not in a great shape. My relationship was struggling, and I was not sleeping properly. The corporate I worked for was going through a lot of change too. I remember on my 45-minute commute spending much of it in tears. My rational brain seemed to have turned off and I was acting on instinct and emotion – almost as though I was in survival mode. I couldn’t see the wood from the trees. I knew in my heart that this was not sustainable, and something had to change.
With hindsight, I recognise that this was a turning point in my life. I was sitting on the cusp of a big breakthrough. And it was in during those dark winter months that I made the massive decision to leave a secure life of corporate pay and benefits to set up as a consultant and work for myself. I knew I sought freedom to make my own decisions and I knew my family needed me around more. As soon as I had allowed that possibility into my brain it was as though the light had been turned on. I finally felt free, excited and lighter than I had felt in years.
Our Emotional Radar
For us women, our emotions are a pretty good indicator of what is truly going on for us. Esther Hicks talks about our emotional guidance system in her book Ask and it is Given. The idea is that we should always be seeking higher level emotions. Her guidance system ranges from Joy and Peace at the top to Fear, Grief and Depression at the bottom. It’s never a good sign to be experiencing sad emotions day in and day out. When we experience those negative emotions it’s usually a good sign that we are playing small. It’s a great guide for helping us move through our emotions and find our happy place.
Tapping into our Light
And to quote Oprah Winfrey, “What I know for sure is….” That we all have a light within that is guiding us to be bolder and more confident in ourselves and our potential. We know when we are there because we feel so goddamn good! I describe it as feeling in flow. The inner chatter turns off. Our gremlins are quiet. We feel happiness, confidence, peace and connection.
There are many things we can do to tap into our light. We are all unique in the things that connect us back into our true selves. My coach describes it as the Vortex pie. The vortex, being this idea of connection and flow. Whilst we will all approach this differently, there are categories of self-love that you can create. For example, a category (or slice of the pie) could be exercise. Is there an exercise that you enjoy and brings you back to a calmer state? One of my daily activities is to walk my dog. I love fresh air and walking in nature – it always brings me back. Another category could be in how you are spending time with loved ones. Another might be travel. And another might be music. Music can be a great uplifter to the soul. Perhaps you might consider creating a favourite pick me up playlist.
And when we start to feel in that better place, that’s when we can start to look at our bigger purpose in life. Starting to tackle those questions about what it’s all about and what I am here for. Because when we find our true purpose, our soul’s calling if you like, it is incredibly freeing. There’s a deep sense that we have a meaning and reason for being. And I believe it starts with realising when we are playing it safe and playing it small. You know. If you are anything like me, you know in your heart when things need to change.
Remember. You always have a choice. Now might not be the right time for you to change. But there is always a right time to feel good about yourself. And you should be working on this in every moment of every day. Get doing more of the things you love and watch your confidence and your light start to shine ever more brightly.