This blog post wasn’t intended for this week. In fact, I was proud to have one written, edited and ready to go by Monday. But one of the many things that I’ve learned in my personal journey is that when inspiration strikes, grab hold and follow it to the end.
And inspiration hit on Tuesday night. And inspiration is asking that I share this with you.
That night, I was fortunate enough to attend a speaking engagement given by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yes, THE Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love and the latest book that I love, Big Magic. She was in town in collaboration with the Dallas Museum of Art and their Arts & Letters Series.
The mostly-female audience was entertained by her storytelling. There was laughter and there were tears; there was inspiration, calls to action, and many times there were moments where I wished I had taken notes.
At the end of the talk, Elizabeth (don’t you love how I can act like I know her enough to use her first name?) held a Q&A session which was just as meaningful as the rest of the evening. A moving question was asked (and one you could tell struck a personal chord with the woman asking) about how she was able to create and write Eat, Pray, Love while being in the fog of depression. Elizabeth shared her exploration around darkness and acknowledged that getting out of the depression was her project at the time.
Another question was around boundaries and creating. “How to do it with lack of time, resources, and ability to say “no”….”
By this time, I had pulled out my notepad and I wrote down her story of wanting to be an author sometime ago and complaining to a friend how it wasn’t happening. Her good friend turned to her and asked, “What are you willing to give up to have the life you are pretending to want?”
If you could watch in slow motion the audience at this very moment it would look like this: A stunned micro-moment of silence; not like in a moment of prayer of meditation but more in a sense of everyone collectively catching their breath. Almost a creation of a vacuum with the absence of oxygen with the simultaneous intake. And slowly a nodding of heads and a release of “ooohhh…”
It was an ‘a-ha” moment that everyone understood.
I thought back to my own journey over the last 10 years to begin living a life that I dreamed of creating. I thought of what I had to learn to give up: the habits, the ego, the capital-S Stories (personal beliefs that shape our perception of the world and the choices we make), the resistance, the inner mean girl. The excuses. I also was consciously aware of what I am continuing to choose to make this a reality. And what I need to give up as well.
Please don’t think this magical question only pertains to wanting to leave the 9-to-5 world by starting a business or wanting to become a best-selling author.
This question of choice pertains to everyone who is wanting to make a change and dreams of making it a reality.
What are you willing to give up to heal after your divorce? What are you willing to give up to make a career change? Ask for a raise? Forgive your parents? Meet someone to share your life with? To learn to love yourself?
There is always something holding us back from what we want. If this weren’t so, we would already be there. But until you make the decision to begin clearing the way, it’s only pretend. It’s a wish.
These obstacles could be physical and real but most often we have created our own limitations. We create them and then project them as being out of our control. But is that really true?
If the wounds are that deep, seek help and stick with it. If you are wanting to move past anger, look at ways you are trying to prove you are right; go deeper and look at what you are hiding from yourself through your feelings. If time seems limited (and let’s face it, it is for everyone), do an inventory of where it is going (Netflix? Facebook?) and make changes to your schedule. If self-love and -compassion are needed, get curious as to what your life would look like when those were embraced, proclaim it and start living it.
The consequences of not asking and not taking action leads to the “maybe someday…” mentality. It leads to this time in life wasted and opportunities missed. Haven’t you had enough of that? Haven’t our lives up until this point been one of longing for something more and waiting for just the right moment?
My friend, that moment will never come. It must be created.
What are you willing to give up?
It’s a serious question with infinite possibilities and glorious outcomes.
Isn’t it time we all stopped pretending?
Liz’s Love Note: I’d love to here what you are ready to move forward on and stop pretending you want. Leave a comment below or book one of the few remaining complimentary birthday celebration coaching sessions. They are going away at the end of May and you don’t want to miss an opportunity on making your “maybe someday…” into today. Click here and book a session today!