I interviewed Jessamyn Stanley this week for the podcast (listen here!), and I loved our conversation.
In her new book, Jessamyn writes: “No matter how toned your abs get, some kind of spiritual reckoning is always on your horizon.”
Which left me feeling both a deep yeeeeeees and also a really!? But I’m tired!
But: every time I think I’m finished, that I’ve learned the learning to be done, something else pops up.
And I can drive myself bananas playing whack-a-mole with all the revelations I’m supposed to conquer, or I can view them all as invitations.
Invitations to keep going deeper.
To keep turning towards what is even more true.
To meet whatever shows up with faith, grace, and an open heart.
Uh huh. Yes. And I could just leave it here: It’s all an invitation, not a game of whack-a-mole. But you and I both know that there’s more to the story. So let’s keep going.
The question to always be asking: what’s underneath all of this?
It’s one thing to be open to learning and spiritual reckonings, have a willingness to suspend disbelief, and lead your life from a place of radical self-belief. Nobody is arguing with that.
It’s another thing to actually do it.
Learning takes time.
Spiritual reckonings are hard.
Suspension of disbelief is a muscle.
Leading your life from a place of radical self-belief means doing a whole lot of things that are fully inconvenient and that many people in your life might not understand.
Which is to say: None of this is oh, I read it on a blog, and now it’s fully integrated into my life easy.
Actually, I’d argue that most things in life aren’t I read it on a blog and now it’s fully integrated into my life easy, but that’s a conversation for another day.
So how do we proceed from this place?
Here’s a short, very incomplete* list:
*because, honestly, if I were waiting to have a “complete” list, I’d be waiting forever.
1. Let your body be a body.
Here we are, flesh and bone. We have these bodies that require sleep and nourishment and crave physical touch and want to move and and and.
I can be so annoying, can’t it?!
Sometimes I wish I could just keep ignoring this body of mine for the sake of powering through!
But I also know that powering through is only ever a temporary means to an end. And that what I really want is for my whole life to feel different.
What I really want is to live a life where I’m fully allowed to be as human as I can.
2. Let (all of!) your feelings into the room.
Ugh! I know! Feelings! Blurgh. Can’t you just tell me what to do instead? I wish I could.
But just like we have these bodies that require our attention, we also have feelings that show up. Emotions. Instincts.
And, boy, oh boy, can they pop up at inopportune times.
The anger that means Thanksgivings will always be different even though your mom just got through her remodel.
The can’t-stop-the-busyness that requires you to give a discerning look at EVERYTHING even though the diapers need to be changed.
The grief of letting go of the thing you know looks stellar on paper, the thing you’ve worked so hard for, because you know there’s a nebulous, can’t quite tell what, thing that’s waiting for you over there.
And you’ve tried the push-those-feelings-aside-and-pretend-it’s-all-fine way of showing up.
But feelings are information. Always. And ignoring them doesn’t do anything to help you feel more alive.
3. Stop banking on the finish line.
When we’re stuck in striving mode, it’s all about the finish line.
As soon as __________ , I’ll be able to (relax/rest/turn my attention to myself/marvel/wonder/delight/laugh/feel good).
We probably all have a million fills for that blank.
But: what if there is no finish line?
+ What if what we have is today—right here, right now, this moment?
+ What if life is a collection of todays’?
+ How would you show up then?
And let me be clear here: I care about your goals and dreams and big ideas. Deeply. Fully. I want so much for all of us.
But (this is a big but): I also care about YOU, the person—the you who is made of stardust and inspiration and wonder and curiosity and joy.
And I’m unwilling to sacrifice the stardust for the goals. (Which means: let’s find another way, yes?)
Sign up here to get weekly-ish insights on keeping your life Technicolor, podcast episode releases (so you don’t miss a beat!), and early access details on opportunities to work with me!