It never fails—every time I’m fearful about putting something out there, it ends up getting an enormous response. After a long hiatus from my newsletter, I wanted to let people know where I’d been all summer. I was very reluctant to tell the story but I did. Based on what came into my inbox after the newsletter went out, apparently it’s not just my story, a lot of people’s related to what I wrote.
Thanks to everyone who wrote about how the newsletter impacted them and shared their story of trying to push through.
So I wanted to talk a little more about The Summer Of I Don’t Know and to share some more details of my experience in the hope that it will help you avoid some of the resistance and tricks that the ego will play on you.
By May, I had already hit that brick wall that I was headed for so taking time off was no longer a luxury, it was a necessity. During Memorial Day weekend, I made the decision to finish up with the clients I was currently working with and not take any new ones so I could take a month off. I made the decision when I did my business plan the prior December that I would be leaving a lot of unscheduled time in the summer anyway, since I barely left my office during the summer of 2013—also known as The Lost Summer.
I figured that a month of not working would be plenty of time to decompress and realign myself.
When I started disconnecting from business the first thing I did was just allow myself to do whatever I wanted to do: sleep, read, watch TV, see friends, go to movies. I wanted to address the burn-out before anything else and let myself unwind.
Here Comes the Resistance
Because I really had no plan, I figured once I felt rested, some clarity would emerge and I’d get back to work.
I kept waiting to feel better about my business…
I noticed a very interesting pattern during this transition. I would meditate and journal and do visualizations which have always been part of my routine but now I could see that it was with an agenda. I was doing all that in the hope that it would lead me to a great idea or get me inspired to GET BACK TO WORK!!!
I wanted to be better because I thought that would help me to create success.
So I was micromanaging my meditation and my energy to think myself into a positive state so that I could tap into some inspiration and move my business forward.
Once again, I’m totally missing the point and I still haven’t disconnected from the thing that’s at the root of the problem:
Fear of not having enough clients/money.
“You can come to God as a lover…or a prostitute.” – David Wilcock
We could say that it’s normal to want to be successful and that everyone has to earn money to live so I should be pursuing clients and business.
This is not what this was about. I’m not denying that the need to earn a living is very real for most of us, but you’ll have to tune in to the next newsletter where I’ll talk about how I put that into perspective. Let’s just say that my demons were not about making enough to survive, it had to do with a definition of enough that was constantly changing. In other words—an insatiable need for more.
So it’s week 4 of the break and while I was grateful for the epiphany, I still didn’t have any clarity on what to do with my business nor was I feeling the least bit inspired.
I told myself I couldn’t possibly take any more time—but because I’ve basically been off the grid and done nothing to market my business I didn’t have any work lined up for July.
So I start thinking about what I “should” do.
“I should really get back to work…but I can’t face it…but what am I going to do this fall? If I don’t start planning something now, I’ll have nothing happening in September. What if I don’t have any clients?”
And a moment of Grace happens and I feel into my gut and I get the sensation of trying to drive a car that doesn’t have any gas in it. I just can’t make myself do it. I simply can’t. I’ve already invested four weeks into the process. There’s no turning back until I get what I came for.
There’s still another month of summer so what the hell. I just have to trust that I’ll make the money up later and won’t end up in financial ruin at the end of all this.
So now I start mediating without an agenda and journaling for hours with no other motivation than to know myself better.
And I trust.
“Fear of emptiness is primal. People get close to emptiness and struggle to fill up the empty space.” – Katherine Kerr
And then I saw the way in. I needed to answer the question:
“What is the burning need to have a big successful business covering up in my life?
Working constantly on my business was a refuge for me away from the things I didn’t want to face .
My unhappiness in some of my close relationships
Feeling deprived by the food program I was following to deal with a health issue
My weight gain since I started my business
My feelings of not having/being enough
The fact that I was unhappy where I was living
The fact that I had given up my social life and all the things I used to do for fun to pursue my business
It just seemed easier to keep working because I brainwashed myself into thinking that once my business was where I wanted it to be I’d feel better about life and somehow magically all these other things would resolve themselves.
A lot of the next four weeks was spent feeling very agitated and angry which made total sense. The thing I was using to distract me from my discomfort was out of the picture so it was just me and my unhappiness.
“All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell its story. It wants to dissolve like a thousand writhing snakes that with a flick of kindness become harmless strands of rope.”- Geneen Roth
Once I cleared the space, I was able to focus on what things I wanted to put in that would bring me joy and feed my soul.
What if what you needed was right in front of you but you kept missing it because you were looking for something else? – Geneen Roth
I stopped looking for my business to fulfill my needs and started deliberately bringing more fun into my life.
After making a promise to myself in January 2013 and then talking about it for a year and a half, I finally went back to dance class.
I’m starting an improv class next week.
I started attending lectures and workshops that have nothing to do with business.
And we are moving from where we’ve lived and not really liked to a new place in a different community.
I started making a more deliberate effort to see friends.
I never could have made these changes if I stayed on the hamster wheel.
Once I addressed what wasn’t working and started to give myself the time off and fun I had been craving, a new vision for my business organically started to emerge and because it was coming from a place of want-to instead of have-to, I saw the areas where I wasn’t really showing up as myself in my business and got clarity on a brand new business model that’s so much more aligned with who I am.
I had a most incredible guide book for dealing with all of the feelings that I’d been repressing but was finally ready to look at. I cannot recommend The Four Principles by Katherine Kerr enough.
This book helped me to stay on the path and not run back to trying to make something happen in my business.
It’s about removing the emotional blocks that exist for you through feeling your feelings.
“The trick is to really care about something or someone and still hold it lightly—to be fully committed and relaxed at the same time. It’s important to remember that these two things are not in conflict—Relaxation actually serves the Commitment. If you’ve lost your sense of play, make it your job now to recover it.”- from The Four Principles by Katherine Kerr
So that was my summer.
I’m curious, how was the Summer of 2014 for you?
Leave a comment below