In April 2012, when I stopped broadcasting my live radio show
, it happened in the strangest way. I had to choose to continue or not, and frankly, I just wasn't sure. Up until the last possible cliff-hanging moment, I didn't know whether to go on or stop.
All I can tell you is I waited and waited and waited and I got no Inner Gong
The sound of that "Gong" is one way I refer to the feeling that I get inside when I know something is right for me. It can be a tingle or a feeling that my heart is bursting, or a simple internal whisper of Yes
Which is great, except for that I had nothing. Nada. Zip.
Which meant I also wasn't getting an inner "No Way
!" This was beginning to look like a bit of a problem. Then I thought, "Well, without a clear yes or a clear no, what shall I do?" I decided to simply let go of the show and wait.
Now if you know me, you'll know I'm a workhorse. I can be pretty tough to keep pace with. I walk fast. I eat fast. Normally I decide fast. I am not the kind of gal who just sits around and waits.
So maybe I should clarify what I mean by "let go and wait."
What happened really was, I tuned in. For once in my life, I slowed down just enough to not rush forward into the void, and began to turn my full attention inward. Not just my partial attention.
Over the last few years I've learned enough about how the mind works to know that you cannot solve problems by getting busier, speeding up, forcing things or taking on more. The only way to know yourself, to know your own mind, and therefore to really hear what you want, what you'd love and what you think would be wonderful -- you must listen.
I have not listened
for most of my life. Case in point (FYI, Elese), there's a much better chance I might not have married a heroin addict in college if I had. (Amongst other things which would take me way off topic...)
This time I opted for listening before doing.
I mean, I needed to learn how
to hear, but most importantly to what.
So it has been an ongoing education for me, culminating in this very strange situation with the radio. With a quarter of million listeners behind me, I just simply didn't continue moving forward with something that was successful and growing, based on well, let's be fair, a guess.
I made a guess that if I waited, I would hear something eventually. Then it all went pretty quiet. Didn't expect that. So there I was, watching it end, with nothing new to go on and no direction to go instead. (Here's the blog I wrote at the time
) To follow my gut this time round meant allowing myself to release what was working, not for something better, but for something unknown.
I'll admit during the following months it felt like I was being stretched on a rack! It seemed like I was in the unknown without a map and with a GPS system that refused to cooperate. I realized I couldn
't make it talk but also, since most of my mistakes happen in the gap between not-knowing and not being comfortable with that, I knew I wasn't willing to try to force it.
Tough one. If you are me.
The longer this went on, the more challenged I was. I would get some notions, follow a few ideas, throw things out there -- but my inner gong still wouldn't play my way.
I had got myself by the "short and curlies," as they say.
For eight months things kind of fell apart and were replaced by one increasingly large question mark. I'd love to say I was comfortable with all of this. The truth is I went up and down a lot. And that is the nature of the mind. Luckily I also knew that and it helped me immensely. I was able to stay in the discomfort zone and even to relax there, and as I did, I started to get finer distinctions for myself about the different tones of the gong. Eventually I began to be moved by something within that I could hear clearly.
There is no real end to this story, but there are some interesting conclusions. Today I have more clarity about my reason for being on this planet than I ever have, and that's pretty amazing to me. (Read my newsletter
of today for more on this). Had started this process with that in mind, I am not sure I'd have seen that result. Maybe. But that is certainly not what my clever mind thought I needed at the time.
Could I have learned all this without dropping everything?
At the same time I have to admit I feel so much more myself. Even though it
doesn't feel like I'm the one holding the mallet.
During eight months winding along a path of hairpin turns with no horizon in view, something else happened. One day I woke up and wrote down Ten Keys I use to recognize and tune in to my Inner Direction. I hadn't noticed these before.
In the autumn of 2012 I shared these Ten Keys with people in the form of an free ebook, which is still around on iBooks
. I loved choosing the photographs for the book. They are amazing! You can check them out on a copy I have available here
if you don't have a device with iBooks.
In addition, many people wrote me and shared their stories of following Inner Direction. I have not compiled these in the book -- yet. Why? No reason, really. They are all really great and wonderful. One day I might. Or not.
Isn't it nice to know that nothing has to be wrong -- or even right -- for you to steer in any direction you want? And for no reason at all except you.
Sounds like freedom to me.
In the last two months I've added exercises to Inner Direction (based on many of the questions I asked myself going through this process of change and inner attunement) and expanded the book content, plus I've included pages you can take notes on. More Here.
Have you noticed lately that lots of things we never thought could possibly happen, have happened? Did you know bionic research is in the process of creating the 'Million Dollar Man'? (OK, actually she's a woman and she has a bionic arm she can attach where her physical arm used to be. See last months' National Geographic if you think I make this stuff up). More to the point, guess how you control a bionic arm? You use your mind. Not the conscious mind, the one that takes effort - the other one, the one that just simply 'moves the arm'.
The mind truly amazing and too wonderful a thing to waste. I believe it is not confined to a brain, but just as we supposedly activate only a small portion of the brain, we waste the true power of our mind every day.
What does this have to do with the limits of the impossible? Basically, our minds have a lot of say over what we believe is possible. Ever tried to outwit your own mind when it says - I can't? Now when I suggest we waste the capacity of the mind, I'm not talking about creative day-dreaming. I'm talking about going unconscious. For example, you might go to exercise after a hard day, let's say, taking a long run in nature but as the body oxygenates, you use your mind to replay the stress of something that happened earlier, over and over again. I'm talking about going for a massage and lying there thinking about all your faults and all the ways you hate your body. That kind of thing.
How many times have you had a wonderful idea and then stomped it out with all the reasons why it is not possible? If dreams were socks, somewhere there are drawers and drawers full of all the lost socks waiting to be found again and paired up with their owners.
Although we may be more accustomed to choking off our dreams, by labeling them 'Impossible' the good news is that we can use the same imagination either to argue for our limitations, or to find creative ways to dance our way to our target. What I'm saying is essentially, it's possible to change the film running in your head from today's matinee of fear and limitation to tomorrow's long running smash hit called your life. And while I don't think that's accomplished by "positive thinking" alone, I do think our creative resources are easier to access from a mindset of openness rather than shut-down-ness.
Argue for your limitations and quite simply, you'll have them. Unless you have a great friend (or a great coach) who will risk being honest enough to challenge you, I don't think many people will bother to take the opposite view. In fact, most people are happy for you to keep your limitations and live happily ever after with your long list of These Are The Things That Are Quite Impossible For Me, Thank You Very Much. Because they are doing exactly the same.
If this sounds horrid, it's because it is.
Challenging your 'Impossibles' is one of the most liberating experiences you can ever have. I saw it in Michael Neill's
"30 Days to Creating the Impossible" and I've talked about it plenty on the show. Most recently with 'Who Says The Impossible is Impossible" (aired January 20, 2010)
To challenge your 'impossibles' I highly recommend keeping an eye out for Michael's next program. Until then, here are some things you can do/read:Gay Hendrick
s' book, The Big Leap
Get past your Upper Limit Syndrome, by expanding your tolerance for things going well in your lifeBarbara Sher
's books Wishcraft
and I Could Do Anything, If Only I Knew What It Was (I highly recommend her Twitter IdeaParties on Thursdays for getting past dream blockages!)
And you can:
- Create a powerful mantra that is true and makes you feel good (use it to replace the "I can't" dialogues you've got running). "I am open to more good that I have ever experienced before" is a great one!
- Create a self-care routine that puts you in touch everyday with the well of good feeling in you
- Get a buddy or coach or guidance from a spiritual teacher to challenge your limiting beliefs and fears and let them go
- make room in your life for new ideas by mindfulness and openness practices - especially forgiveness - which is the best mental de-clutter I know of
If you know you have a dream and you want to start getting it out of the sock drawer, talk to me about my ProjectDream Mastermind group where you can learn to get creative, take action, enjoy the process and build something you've always wanted. This is a small group of very focused people, so you'll need to talk to me to see if there's room and if it's right for you. You can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I got Lynne Klippel's book, Overcomers Inc., in the post, I have to say my initial reaction was I liked the book, hated the word. Overcomers. I don't want to be an overcomer. I want to sail effortlessly through life and have everything be easy. Overcoming is such a dull, pedestrian task. Maybe, "Go Climb That Mountain!" just make you tingle with inspiration, but it makes me want to climb back into bed.
I read the book and the true life stories in it, and although I still don't like to think of myself as an overcomer, I have to admit that I am. We all are. If you got through asking someone on a first date, or wearing really high heels for the first time, you are one too.
And that's not a dull thing at all.
In fact, there are some pretty hefty qualities that we need to be able to call on when the going gets tough. Here's what I think those are:
In every real life experience in that book, as well as in my own life and the lives of people I coach, these are the core of creating a new life - whether you are creating on the rubble of an old life, or you are just ready to move to the next square on the board.
OK, swallow hard now, this is the painful part. Yes. We all have to take on the fact that we live in our bodies, and that what we chose is what makes our life a heaven or a hell-hole. Until we do, even if it's just saying, "I'm really the only one who can get me out of this mess", no change can begin. As Debbie Ford
used to say in our training, over and over again, "No one is coming to save you." Ouch.
This is a bit sucky too. When you are very used to being the project manager of the universe, or at the very least queen in your own teacup, surrendering to the idea that you just don't know how to fix it is, well, let's just say, not fun. Surrendering doesn't mean giving up, it just means giving way. You have to get your own ideas out of the way in order for new ones to come in. In my life, this often mean surrendering some idea of who I am, in order to get a glimpse of a bigger me.
We place our trust in many things, including the universe, our pets, our friends, and our lovers. Maybe you trust that things will 'all work out for good' or some other spiritual principle. Whatever you chose to trust is up to you, the one thing I know you can trust, always? Your own inner guidance. When that channel is clear it is never leading you astray. It might take you in a direction you don't like, but that's another matter!
Oh, you have to be willing to change, to move, to be different, to let go of what you thought would be. Willingness is the oil that greases all the wheels. Willingness to try the new, to step when you can't see forward very far, and willingness to fail - help you take it all less personally. And that's a good thing.
For more on this topic listen to the radio show from January 15th with Lynne Klippel
These months have been jammed with growth and leaps of faith. No sooner did I toot my radio show's first year anniversary whistle, then I found myself saying Yes to starting a second show. An act of fearlessness, for sure, since on Friday's show I speak with guests and it's all very fireside chat ... whereas Wednesday, the new show is just me.
Gulp. It's an interesting thing, a leap of faith.
Interesting, because of the both the 'faith' part, and the 'leap' part. When you really, really decide to no longer consent to a life half lived, full of compromises, and stuff you don't want to do, then there is an immediate recognition that wherever that that leads, the one thing it won't be is - familiar! Yet, still there's the shock of the leap. Must be like when you drop out of a plane on a skydive. (Minus the G-force that makes your face look all funny). You know you decided to be there, and you want to be, but there's that split second of total terror.
Thinking about jumping out of a plane seems a lot tougher than opening my mouth live on air, but it's my leap and I jumped.... That in itself has given me a new perspective on the 'faith' part too. I have to say, I've not so much 'faith' as a better attitude. I realize that I simply accept that it could simply not work out, not be fun, or good, or interesting to others. For some reason, that doesn't bother or worry me. (though I'm aware of the idea that I could make all of those things devastating potential outcomes - ergo - reasons to shrink back from the ledge). What most fascinates me is that I see all those scenarios as potentials and I am OK with them all. I mean what can I do? All I can do is, as Anthony de Mello says, "show up and dance my dance".
The thing about a leap, is you do end up in the unknown... and that could be a place of massive failure, but it could also be the most satisfying pit stop of my life.
I just can't know unless I leap.
Oh, the last newsy bit is that I wanted to try to find a way to display radio archives so they are searchable by keyword. Just felt people might want to look up what's important to them by topic and find resources...please bear with me as I am still getting all the shows archived but again... Fingers crossed. x
Club Fearless is a great place to find resources that will help you pack your bags and move out of that down in the dumps-victim mentality once and for all!
Here are some free audios from Steve Chandler, founder of the Club.
To learn more about Club Fearless go to www.clubfearless.net
. You can use my friend's discount (type in 'Elese' as the code) and try out the club for free for 30 days. And by the way, I don't get paid for this, I just think it's really, really good.