If ever there is a time to follow your heart, it is now.
For it is sharing with you the whispers of your soul; the life that it longs to live.
If ever there was a time to listen to your soul, it is now.
For it is begging you to be free; to step through the fear that holds you back.
If ever there was a time to really love yourself, it is now.
For the world needs the love and acceptance that overflows from those who know their own worth.
If ever there was a time to share your love with others, it is now.
For each human is a spirit who longs to connect beyond the surface; to be seen and heard by those around them.
If ever there was at time to be vulnerable, it is now.
For through that transparency—by exposing your softer, more real parts—comes connection and intimacy that heals the world.
If ever there was a time to speak up and share your voice, it is now.
For there is power in sharing the whispers of your soul; the convictions of your heart.
Honestly, I was a little scared to share this here, but I decided I was going to walk my talk and have the courage to share myself. I had never written a poem before, but one day a few weeks back this poem came through me. It was meant for me, really, and what I needed to hear at this time in my life. However, as a way of sharing my voice, I am offering it to you, as well.
We live in a High Achiever Culture. So many people are focused on achieving more and more, doing more and more, and having more and more. As a trained personal and professional development coach, I often feel the pull between supporting my clients in setting goals and Achieving More, and yet feel a strong desire to teach and guide them in embracing where they currently are and focusing more on how they want to feel, rather than what more they want to achieve.
Not that I am against achieving. I love the feeling of a goal met, a project launched and desire fulfilled. But the reality is that once I’ve gotten The Thing I’ve been working towards; a new goal, project and/or desire emerges. It’s constant. It’s unrelenting. And sometimes, it just feels so freaking exhausting.
The place I like to play more these days (and which I am teaching more) is to focus less on the What You Want and more on the feelings you want to have associated with what you think you want. Or even if you don’t know what you want, but you know you want something different—-to be different—-you can tap into what you are wanting to feel.
I have been working a lot with younger (Millennial; Gen Y; under age of 30) adults over the last couple years and the topic that comes up more often than anything else with them is that they struggle with where they want to go next in their careers. They are all high-achieving, driven, outwardly successful individuals. They have worked hard, achieved goals and driven themselves to get where they are. And yet, they have hit a point in their lives where their next goal isn’t laid out for them. It is no longer a multiple choice test of which of these classes to take to get to college; which of these colleges to go into your desired career; which of these majors to get you to your next job; which of these jobs to meet your career goal. Now it’s just a big HUGE open-ended essay question: What is next?
And when I talk with these young adults, time and time again, they feel so stuck and frustrated that they can’t pinpoint the next Big Thing to go after to achieve.
I ask them to let go of trying to figure out the What’s Next—-The Thing that they Want—-and instead start focusing on how they want to feel. Cause, let’s be honest, what we all want when we chase after something is the feeling that we think we’ll feel when we get There. When we get IT.
I write this today not only as a reminder for you, but for myself as well. The times in my business when I get the most frustrated and feel the most stuck are the times when I feel like I can’t clarify the Big Vision or the Right Direction or the Next Goal. But when I step back, let go of figuring out what I am trying to achieve outwardly and instead focus on how I want to FEEL inwardly (and with my family, my friends, my colleagues, the people I serve) a tremendous weight is lifted off my shoulders, my heart feels lighter and my soul feels freer.
And the very BEST part of clarifying how I want to feel instead of what I want to achieve, is that more times than not, what I end up experiencing, achieving and “getting” shows up in ways I never would have even thought and feels WAY better than I could have ever imagined.
Being present—being really present—is such a gift to ourselves and those around us.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the #1 thing I hear from clients, friends and so many people I talk to is a strong desire to be and feel more present in their lives.
But if we all have a desire to be more present, and we know that it’s such a gift to ourselves and others, why does it seem so hard to accomplish? I believe it’s because we look at being present (i.e. being in the moment) as being at the opposite end of the spectrum to being productive. We feel that they are at odds with each other.
So let me share a mind-set shift that can change everything.
What if being present and productive are actually complementary to each other, not at opposite ends of the spectrum? What if you need one to really have the other?
Close your eyes for a moment and visualize a giant infinity symbol. Now see the word “PRESENT” inside one side of the infinity symbol and see “PRODUCTIVE” inside the other side. Visualize yourself walking along the symbol, moving from the “PRESENT” side to the “PRODUCTIVE” side. They are not at odds with one another. They are not at different ends of the spectrum. They are inter-connected.
The present-productive point—the point in which we are engaged, present and proactively being productive—is the place where the two parts intersect.
Throughout your days you will move along this symbol and between feeling more present or more productive, perhaps spending more time on one side then the other.
With this new mind-set shift, what you will learn is that by taking the time to be more present, you will in-turn end up feeling more productive. And when you are productive, but in a more present way, you will feel better about what you have accomplished. In fact, there’s a good chance you will be even *more* productive!
Your mission (if you so choose to accept it) is to be conscious as to when you are staying on one side too long. Visualize in your mind where you are on the symbol and see yourself walk back towards the present-productive point.
Try this visualization, choose to shift your mind-set, and then let me know what you think!