It has been four months since Be the Change made it's way into the hands of the public, and what a ride it has been. I have had many people ask me: "what has shifted since releasing the book?", "what's next?", and "what has the entrepreneurial journey looked like for me. How does the story continue?"
I figured I would take some time to answer these questions in a thorough and inclusive way, not only for you reading but also for me to support my own clarity and continuity. With that in mind, I am going to use this as practice to create a flow from Be the Change (book #1) into the conversation that I want to create in book #2 - yep you read that right ;).
The Conclusion of Be The Change reads as follows (all in italics):
"You think if you change things outside, you'll be okay. But nobody has ever truly become okay by changing things outside. There's always the next problem. The only real solution is to take the seat of witness consciousness and completely change your frame of reference...No solution can possibly exist while you're lost in the energy of a problem."
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
It has now been three years since I took that leap away from my career at lululemon to launch my business and become a yoga and spin instructor. There have been a lot of ups and downs but I have held strong to the belief that with practice, patience and perseverance I will carve a path that is uniquely mine and will have a positive impact on the world. After years of an intense inner-battle, I can finally say that I have found myself and I am a legitimately happy person. Don't get me wrong: I still struggle. I still have moments or days here and there where it takes a lot of energy to get myself going or to ground myself. I am not ashamed if I decide to reschedule everything planned to gift myself a full mental health day. I don't feel sorry for myself and I certainly don't get into the downward spiral by thinking I am broken, incapable or not enough. Instead, I love myself up. I put my hand on my heart and repeat "I am safe. I belong. I matter. I am perfectly imperfect." I don't resist the natural ebbs and flows of life. I let myself fall and I trust that I will bounce back stronger each time. I am able to share my story, my current struggles, and offer support from a place of desire for connection and pursuit of instilling hope and motivation in those who feel defeated or left behind.
I truly feel like the chapter in my life that was resoundingly saturated in darkness and pessimism is no longer a part of my being. I remember the struggle, I recall the pain and anger, and I can confidently say that my thought patterns have become aligned with who I am at my core. I am far from perfect and I make mistakes, but I love who I am and I can see that my path is unfolding in a direction that I am proud and excited about. My hope for you is that you remain conscious and open to what life can teach you. Practice being conscious of your subconscious. Step into life like you are here for a reason and don't want to hold back. You are here nonetheless, and it's worth exploring what you are truly capable of.
It's time to get out of our own way. Listen to the voices from those who are also doing their work and eagerly want to lift you up. Commit to your practice, build your road-map and know that with time and persistence you will shed the layers and habits that don't serve you. You will grow into the sustainable, resilient, vulnerable, content, and open person you have the privilege and honor to be. Don't waste energy trying to hide. We slowly take off the armor once used to hide weaknesses, fears, and failures and dive into opportunities that could lead to heartbreak. Because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger -- if you let it. Be open to discover what lights you up, what triggers your limiting beliefs, and what song your soul is dying to sing. It's time to fly.....(end of Be the Change - but the story continues....)
Creating this awakening is just the beginning. We need to cultivate the ability to re-awaken over and over again, as we continually slip back into old habits and ways of being. My biggest learning as an entrepreneur and constant-seeker of enlightenment is the importance of getting out of my head, away from my mind-chatter, and to tune into the universal flow that connects me to a reservoir of peace, creativity and trust in my energetic contribution in this world. I have found this to be the most fuel-efficient and heart-warming practice to engage in. Life as an entrepreneur is bountiful and challenging - as most great things are. It is up to me to stay motivated, get creative, think outside the box, enroll others, and put myself out into the world to continue generating work and relationships. It has taken a couple years to find my groove. I have launched many events, and some have been total flops (and therefore amazing learning opportunities) and others have been so successful and easy that it felt like the universe wanted something and I just happened to be the one ready to deliver at the right time and place.
At least once every couple of months I take an hour or two to slow down, write out my mission statement my core values, and ensure I am grounded in what I set out to do. I remind myself of my purpose, direction and business model. I re-work what doesn't seem to be working, and I open up conversations with my trusted tribe of inspiring entrepreneurs to get to know my blind spots and try on new perspectives. I am constantly reading, writing and exploring the word of other's and integrating this new knowledge into the structure and systems I have in place, and add it to the plethora of what I offer small businesses and one on one clients. I play with my social media content weekly, trying to find the rhythm and intervals of sharing versus asking, giving versus receiving, creating versus regurgitating, promoting myself versus promoting others, etc. Basically, I am still figuring things out, and I have come to realize that being in the process of figuring things out and being open and curious to continue learning and growing is my sweet spot.
One of the metaphors I continue to come back to, and that I love sharing with other budding entrepreneurs or go-getters, is to think of myself as a fisherman in a row boat. Out in the middle of a lake, I cast out a hundred fishing rods. As a fisherman, I know I like to fish and I enjoy generating nourishment for myself and others, and that is enough to keep me grounded and patient in this boat. Overtime, I notice some rods are generating way more fish than others. I notice certain times of day and certain types of bait that seem to be more successful as well. Slowly, I begin to drop the rods that are not bringing anything back my way. Eventually, 100 rods is pruned down to the 5-10 most consistent and plentiful tools.
But just as anything in life, as the universe expands and we all shift and evolve, the balance point we strive for also changes. This is a dance with the universe, and it takes mindful attention and daily attunement. This is why it is way more important to fall in love with the process versus get your sights stuck on a particular reward in the future. The external future stuff is fleeting and doesn't exist until it is the present, and it won't fill you up the way you think it will. The real, life-sustaining work is being in the practice of loving who and where you are right now, and continually creating experiences that take you further from the ego and closer to the interconnected energy that we are all a part of.
We are all trying to do our best, be our best, and prove our worth. We are on our own journey, intertwining with others, but on our own path, creating our own reality. What we create is completely our own doing. Of course, we can't control what we can't control, but there is still a lot that we can control - through awareness, choice and practice.
We are not meant to be followers, blindly inspired by the experiences of others. We all must experience "ego death" - not to actually destroy the ego but to experience the loss of its grip and discover what waits on the other side. It is a retraining of the foundation of the relationship with the ego. From this unique experience, we then can each put words together to describe the insights from interconnectedness. Feeling a part of everything and nothing all at once, disconnected from time, with moments of clairvoyance, transcendence, and purity. It's a unique and nourishing process that each one of us has the ability to foster, but only when we pave our own way, do the work, and lead our self.
Human beings by nature are imperfect and to follow others' without creating your own experiences and ways of knowing is a sure-fire way to create cult-like thinking and stunt your own growth. While I set out to learn and share my experiences of retraining my relationship with my ego and develop more of a deep-knowing in the higher consciousnesses or energy that we are all a part of, my invitation to you is to embark on your own journey inspired by mine. Don't take my word as fact, use it as a starting point for you to be in your own inquiry and discovery. My story may light the fire within you, but it's up to you to nurture it, get to know it, and allow that fire to become the furnace for your own beautiful creations and authentic joy.
So, welcome to the continued journey of my life. A passionate entrepreneur who is committed to growth and self-discovery, and is lit up by the opportunity to support others in creating the foundation and momentum they desire.
Cheers to loving the process and sharing more of our hearts as we go. I am happy to lead by example, but remember, nothing changes for you until you commit to your work as well.