The other day, one of my beloved clients asked me a question. My answer got us both choked up & tearful. I've been thinking about that moment and want to share the deeper message with you.
First, here's what happened:
This strong, intelligent woman has a job that most would consider a "very good" and "very respectable" job. She went to an excellent college and has been following the "right" rules in order to "be successful."
Only problem is, she's uninspired in her work and feels like she's not doing the thing she's meant to be doing. There's no passion and no meaning, and it's impacting how she feels about herself on several levels. She has an inkling of what really turns her on - what she REALLY wants to be doing, but she's resisted it for a long time for a variety of reasons. We are helping her move through the fears (what will other people THINK if I actually do THAT? Will I fail? Can I really DO it?) and her internal resistances.
So back to our session. During a conversation about the ways in which she backs away from her desires when she feels fear, she turned to me and asked:
"Have you always known you wanted to do this kind of work, Karen?"
I paused for a minute, because her question brought me back to the days before I trusted myself, before I allowed myself to step-by-step activate the exact kind of work I love, that fills & fuels me AND serves others.
And then I answered:
"No, I was "supposed to" go to law school. When I finally realized that wasn't my true path, I was lost for a while. I knew I wanted to be a healer of some kind, but truly thought I was just too fucked up to help anyone else."
(Yes, I said that and I wanted to cry as I remembered that feeling).
She immediately began to cry. Through her tears, she said:
"It would have been a tragedy if you had listened to that voice inside your head. It is so obvious that you are doing the work you were born to do."
(Of course, my client is crying for herself too - recognizing her own internal mean voices that try to hold her back).
That's when I got choked up too. Choked up for my young self that almost sabotaged my true path; choked up for the parts of my current self that still try to sabotage my deepest desires; and choked up right along with my client as she sits on the edge, between her deep desires & her fears.
And the reason I can't stop thinking about it and needed to share it with you?
It's because the potential TRAGEDY that my client identified is one that I see every single day among so many women:
The tragedy of listening to your "mean" voice that tells you: You don't deserve to have what you want; you can never have that; no man will ever really love you; you've messed up on being a perfect (mom, wife, friend, human) - how dare you try something else; you're not good enough; you'll get rejected; you'l be judged; you'll fail; who do you think you are; you're too fat; you're not smart enough; and on and on and on...
- The tragedy of knowing deep in your heart that you are holding back & hiding out (maybe behind your kids? behind hating your body? behind your work, your eating, your to-do list. There are so many ways to hide out, yes?)
- The tragedy of feeling like you can't speak up about your desires & needs in your relationships (can anyone say "people-pleasing," or "resentful" or downright exhausted?)
- The tragedy of staying in a state of constant stress (about money, about your weight, about your kids, about life) which interferes with your ability to feel GOOD & make the impact you want to make
- The tragedy of watching time tick by and knowing in a deep soul-level place that a part of you is dying inside (that no new pair of shoes or fancy vacation can really fix). You are not sure how to change, but you know that staying where you are is not a viable option
I see some version of the tragedy of not being oneself & not honoring one's desires almost every single day, among women of all walks of life (most often, highly-educated, smart women who have SO much in their lives & can't figure out why they have this gnawing feeling that something is missing).
I almost didn't write this post because my own bitchy inner judge popped in and said, "it sounds like you are bragging" or "who do you think you are to take a stand for these women like this?" I imagined judgment, rejection, and a whole host of other things.
But then I thought about that client - and so many other women I have worked with, women I have in my life as friends; I thought of my mom and my daughter and my daughter's friends...and I said to myself:
If I don't take a stand for what I believe, if I don't reach out to you and let you know that I believe in each and every single one of you, if I don't take a stand for every single girl & women to access their deepest desires & truest self, then I am letting fear lead.
Been there. Done that. No MORE.
And guess what? YOU, my friend, do not have to let fear, frustration, self-doubt, perfectionism...or any of the other ways you take yourself down...run YOUR show anymore either. You have too much to say and too much to do.
YOU, my friend do not have to let fear, frustration, self-doubt, perfectionism, or any of the other ways you take yourself down, run YOUR show anymore. You have too much to say and too much to do.
If you are feeling the CALL to be guided by desire, rather than fear; the call to be the most vibrant & passionate & purpose-filled version of yourself; the call to create a body, relationships, a life that is aligned with your vision for yourself....then I want to extend my hand because I can help.