Back in December I made some big goals for 2021. I put my thinking cap on, tapped into my dreams, and threw practicality and rules out the window. I put a list together of some things that would be equal parts challenging, fulfilling, and exciting. Some of those goals had a breadcrumb trail of clues lined up. Other things included absolutely zero indication or opportunity to align with other than my intentions. I knew my goal setting would bring a season of challenges, of big emotions, of growth, expansion (my word of the year), and unknowns. What I didn't know was that at the same time I would be navigating some of the biggest shifts setting my goals into motion, I would also be experiencing additional personal and professional challenges that would blind-side me, throw me in a bit of an emotional tail-spin, and drain my energy. I guess the big question is, is it too much? Over the last week, I've been sick (a couple of days I was a physical and energetic puddle on the floor - this doesn't happen very often), I've had some huge challenges with old relationships from the past (think emotionally draining and psychologically manipulating), I was rejected for a seemingly aligned coaching contract, and found myself not really liking who I am in this current chapter (I'm still chewing on that one). I can feel old tendencies coming up (armor, shutting down, and avoidance), and now I'm sitting here staring them in the face because, goddammit, I've done the work and we are NOT going back to that. Starting this week I'll be participating in a 6 month mastermind, something I've been aiming for, for quite some time. I'll also be starting the process of packing up the home I've lived in for the last 8 years, something that's both energetically and emotionally demanding. My to-do lists are getting longer by the day, with all the things on my plate, and although I'm not frozen in overwhelm I'm definitely feeling the challenge of exactly WHERE to focus my energies the most "appropriately". So where am I going to start?
1. I'm going to start where I am. I'm going to take some deep breaths, do an assessment of how much energy I have to contribute, gauge whether I can influence that energy level at all (yes, that's a thing), and start taking action on the things that a) have to be tended to NOW, and b) will provide me the most relief and peace once I tackle them. I think that second piece is a crucial one that we can sometimes neglect. When we feel like all of the things need to be taken care of right now, but feel the energy either caught up in resistance, or escaping us completely, it's easy to stay stuck in emotions and overwhelm. When we can step back, pinpoint where we're spending our time and energy the most, and bring harmony back to where we're exerting ourselves, all of a sudden the overwhelming number of tasks can stat to work together instead of against you. And another thing - Before we get too far into the steps we can use to move through situations like this, I want to share something. One of the NUMBER 1 reasons that I'm able to move through experiences like this, why I'm able to coach in the capacity that I do is because it comes from a place of coaching myself. I can't even begin to tell you how enlightening and healing it was to put "pen to paper" (let's be real - fingertips to keyboard) and work through my situation from a coaching standpoint. What would Rebecca do? What does that look like (and why)? How do those things break down in a way that I can not only share my experience, but also be able to explain the how's and why's in that? But we have to peel back one more layer. Before you can understand and share how to work through something like that, before it becomes auto-pilot, you have to learn to sit with the things you are working through, learn to sit with yourself, and get real raw and honest with yourself about where you are starting. And that's where I come in STRONG as a coach. Not only do I get to share the tools and resources, I get to show you how to sit with yourself, so YOU can learn to empower yourself. 2. I'm going to surround myself with support. I shared this point last month, but it's worth sharing again. I talk to my clients all the time about making sure they don't self-isolate. More often than we'd like to admit, I think we can make it a habit of staying in our heads about the things that are challenging or troubling us the most. And I'm no different. One of the best things we can do is reach out, share those things with those we trust, allow them to support us, and tap into different perspectives and considerations that we don't have the ability to see, in the moment. With that sharing we can let go of the shame, or guilt, or judgment we're carrying and recognize that (get this) we're HUMAN. Who'd have thought? Sure things might be a lot, or hard, or challenging, or all of the above, but we're not here to do it perfectly. And we're also not here to do it alone. 3. I'm going to be VERY intentional about incorporating joy. I take time for myself every day. I know what fills my cup. I know what lights my heart up. When there are a million things to do, and you're feeling challenged, at capacity, or overwhelmed, JOY is something you can focus on that will keep those other things in check. That doesn't mean making it the next thing on your to-do list. It means recognizing those tiny pockets of time, those fleeting moments where you're still able to experience happiness, gratefulness, and beauty. For me that looks like brewing a cup of coffee in a beautiful mug, and adding all the wonderful things to it that will allow me to enjoy aroma, ritual, and feel satisfaction every time I take a sip. It looks like the few minutes I take in the morning to relax in my comfy chair, snuggle with the resident fur-child, dive into a wonderful book, and bask in the Soulshine in our east facing room. It looks like appreciating a quick question or a short conversation with my teenager, the connection, the curiosity, the mannerisms he has. All of these things allow me to experience joy. It's not about making joy a task, it's about recognizing the joy that already exists and plugging into it in the simplest ways. 4. I'm going to put on the Big-Girl panties, 2 pairs. Why 2 pairs, do you ask? First of all, this is some hard shit, y'all. And that's okay, because we do hard things ALL of the time (you better be giving yourself credit for that, otherwise..... we need to talk). So 1 pair of big girl panties is for ASKING for those things. I chose my goals. I am THRILLED to be a part of the mastermind. I leaned into the coaching contract that I didn't get. I was very intentional about my word of the year, EXPANSION. And ALL of that means one thing - I HAVE to grow in order to receive those things. The second pair of big girl panties is for the challenges, the lessons, the opportunities to choose differently while experiencing all of these things. Even when it comes to the challenging personal experience I'm in the midst of - maybe I didn't ask for the discomfort, the frustration, the mental exhaustion of it. But I can *SEE* the beauty in it. I can see an opportunity to set healthier boundaries, I'm looking forward to resolution, and freedom, and peace that will come from setting those new boundaries. So remember, 1 pair for asking/choosing/deciding, 1 pair for receiving, growing, accepting. 5. I'm going to lean into the reminder that ALL chapters are not this challenging. We experience changing seasons on the regular (or we should, anyway), and these seasons do not all require the same level of intention, focus, growth, and will not feel equally heavy. You know the saying, "this too shall pass"? Well, it's true. When we choose intentionally, when we decide, when we empower ourselves to curate our lives, we are CREATING, not reacting. And creating just hits differently, doesn't it? 6. I'm going to trust that all of this is FOR me, and lean into that. As one of my favorite authors (Caroline Myss) says, "We're not here to GET IT, we're here to DO IT". That means that all the understanding, over-thinking, worrying, obsessing is not only a huge energy suck, it's also completely unnecessary for taking action and making choices. I do not have to figure everything out right now. And in the grand scheme of things, it's not even possible to see how all of the pieces fit together, let alone understand them. So I'm going to trust myself, trust my path, trust the opportunities that present themselves, and, more than anything, keep taking action.
This season is going to take a whole lot of grit, some amazing support, some humility, and some big girl panties. And I'm okay with that, because that means I'm right on track for this adventure called life. And maybe I don't actually know exactly where the destination is, but I'm sure as hell going to enjoy the ride.