I’ve been feeling contracted lately. I have a year long coaching program (Year of Awakening) starting in January and have 1 person signed up. It’s like a flash back to a few years ago when I had a workshop no one had signed up for. I’ve been actually considering getting a ‘real job’ and have been questioning what the heck I’m doing thinking I could create a successful coaching business.
I told Elke (my Loving Your Life Retreat partner) this morning, it feels like I’m sitting on a fence post. It’s uncomfortable. It hurts. It’s sharp and poking me. I feel like I’m stuck.
I have these success principles I share with our retreat participants to help them continue on with and keep the momentum going after they leave the weekend retreat. I thought I’d open the kimono and share not only with them, but with all of you how I’ve been using these principles to move through my contraction. Here they are (feel free to click on the success principles link above to get the full meaning). I’ve just summarized here and then shared what it means to me in my situation:
Commitment – how bad do you want it? Making and keeping commitments to yourself is important to stay on track. – So I asked myself… how committed am I? And the answer was actually another question. Committed to what?? Committed to being in business for myself? No. The answer that showed up was … committed to being happy. Because that’s really what this is all about for me. My commitment is about creating a happy life for myself. It’s not about owning my own business. It’s not about helping others. It’s not about working for someone else or a regular pay cheque or benefits. It’s about being happy. How committed to being happy am I??
So the next question is…what makes me happy? When I look at job ads and think I could do that, and then feel this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach reminds me why I left my ‘real job’ in the first place. I was living life on a tread mill. I was spending hours a day commuting and away from my family. I wasn’t happy. Which then brings me to the 2nd principle:
Self Love – ask yourself how you can show yourself more love in the situation. So, I asked myself this question and realized that how I wasn’t showing myself love was by attaching my self worth to how many people signed up for my program. Wow. That was an eye opener. I know intellectually that’s not true and somehow, it still shows up.
Realizing this and reminding myself that my self-worth has nothing to do with anyone or anything outside myself, opened the door to looking at the ‘empty room’ in a different way (i.e do people even know about the program or what I do, how my message crafted, how I reach the audience that would resonate with what I do). I also realize that another way I could show myself love was to really get clear on what does make me happy. And what I wanted from the Year of Awakening program. Which brings me to the next principle.
Clarity – when things aren’t happening as you’d like, get clear on what it is you want. The answer as mentioned earlier … I want to be happy. OK, so the next step is asking myself what makes me happy. Helping people. Interesting. It makes me happy to help people.
What I love about the process of asking myself questions is the gems that come with the answers. Like earlier when I realized I am committed to being happy, rather than being committed to ‘helping people’. It makes me happy to help people, but I’m not necessarily committed to that. Notice the difference?
Meaning, I’m not going to do just anything to help people. If what I have to do to help someone doesn’t make me happy, I don’t want to do it. It doesn’t mean I don’t do it. What it means is, when I do something just to help someone else and make them happy, I’m not showing myself love. And, that’s often what happens. We’re so used to doing for other people. It’s selfish to think of ourselves and our happiness. And…I know that’s a lie. So, I want to be happy.
And, I want to be happy about this Year of Awakening program. So, when I got to ‘clarity’ and I realized I had some stickiness about the program I asked myself why and what I wanted. A whole year? OMG that’s a huge commitment. Can I really do it? Do I want such a long program? What if only 5 people sign up (or less) and here I am committed to 24 coaching calls, all the emails, videos, FB page management etc… a whole lot of work for very little $$. No wonder only 1 person had signed up… I’m not clear. So then I decided to fill out the chart I encourage others to: Want Don’t Wants Chart
Here’s something I learned recently to add to this process. Once you’ve created the list, go back to the ‘don’t want’ column and ask yourself what it feels like, tastes like, the colour of it, the smell … use all of your senses to describe that column. For me, it feels hard. Pointy. Sharp. It’s black and cloudy and smells burnt. It’s heavy and tastes like bland.
Now the “I Want” list and how does it feel, taste, the colour of it, the smell … using all of my senses: It feels light. Airy. Fresh. Smells good, sweet but not too sweet. It tastes yummy, flavourful. Its’ blue, a nice sky blue. It makes me smile, feels happy. Smells clean.
Usually I create these lists and I skip over feeling the ‘unwanted’. I want to quickly move to the wanted and feel that. What I’ve noticed is when I allow myself to feel the unwanted, it releases it. I don’t feel as stuck. So, on to #4
It’s all about me – you are responsible for your happiness. Notice when something is outside of your control and get back into ‘your business’. This is a good one. I take pride in my ability to notice when I’m in someone else’s business and come back to my own. I rarely hold grudges or sit in the muck of what I think someone else ‘should do’.
That is until now. For whatever reason, I’m in it. I’m playing around in it. I’m staying here throwing mud at friends and family.
So much so that I haven’t talked to one of my best friends in weeks. It’s like we’re both ignoring what happened. There are some pleasant group messages but that’s about it. We used to talk almost every day. We’d be our sounding boards helping each other through whatever it was we had going on. So what’s going on? I’m being shown something I don’t want to see. So I don’t want to see or talk to her.
So what is it that I don’t want to see? It’s the self doubt. It’s the feeling less than. It’s that feeling of low self worth attached to no one signing up. So that brings up other friends and family who haven’t shared or liked & promoted my posts. Or those who have unsubscribed from my affirmations or ask for advice and want my support but don’t want to pay. See…muck. Yuck. Ugliness. Who wants to see that?
Crap. I guess I do. I do because it’s showing up. It’s showing up to tell me something. To remind me of my worth. To remind me that I create my own happiness. To remind me that it’s all about me. It’s really not about them. It’s not about what they do, don’t do, say, don’t say. I know that and … why do I still feel this way? What’s stopping me from coming back into my business? I’m skimming over something.
What I’m skimming over is that when friends/family do those things and it hurts, I don’t acknowledge it. I don’t allow myself to feel that or express it to them. I immediately go into the mirror back mode, finding where I’m not supporting myself. I hide my feelings of hurt, disappointment, anger, frustration. And jump into ‘my business’.
So, if I want to stay in my business, unravel and release what is stuck, I need to acknowledge how I feel, express it (preferable directly to them in a loving way) and then move into what I can do to support, love and appreciate myself. Hmmm makes perfect sense! Looks like I may have some emails to write!
Ok, now onto principle, #5 which is TRUST and the suggested daily mantra is “I BELIEVE”! TRUST in yourself and in the universe that where you are is where you are suppose to be. And that everything that happens is in your best interest.
What I resist persists. It’s exactly what I just talked about. When I find myself fighting against, rather than trusting what is happening in my life or how my body is feeling, surrendering to it has a way of releasing the negative energy. Listening to my intuition and trusting that everything will work out in my best interest gives me hope in times of contraction.
So as I sit and share my personal story of contraction and sitting on that fence post, as I allow the word TRUST to permeate my body, I feel myself climb down off the fence and sit in the belief that anything is possible.
Believe in myself, my abilities and the knowing that if I continue to ask myself what makes me happy and make decisions aligned with that, then that is exactly what is going to happen… I will be happy.
From my heart to yours, happy holidays!