This is not a new question to any of us who are familiar with personal and professional development. It is a question asked when you’re going back to the foundation… when you’re re-evaluating what you’ve built your life and business on… and when you’re carving out a new and clearer direction:
What breaks your heart?
Whatever the answer to that question is – whatever tugs at your heart the MOST in life – is your calling.
It is often something we are already addressing and helping in our lives in many ways merely through our being, even before we’ve made any kind of plan around it, because it’s a fundamental part of our unique make up. It’s already there. It just continually gets buried and dug up in new ways over the course of our lives.
There are SOOO many things that break my heart, but when I really sat with this and whittled it down to the core for me this past year, I got clear that the thing that most breaks my heart is people not seeing how absolutely precious, valuable, unique and unrepeatable they are. That they are an integral cog in this infinitely mysterious wheel we call life. That they matter. And are deserving of the love, care, belonging, support and dreams and desires that they yearn for deep down, and always have.
How I address that in my life, is that I’m an observer by nature, I SEE people, I understand, and I have great empathy and compassion for whatever they share with me because I do not keep myself away from pain, I can go there with them, I know the place well myself… but because I know pain but do not LIVE there, I can help them out… or at least point to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Because I know, deep down, it is there. That light. I’ve always known it. This cross roads of sunny-disposition with fearlessness-of-the-dark-places makes me someone SAFE for people to share their whole selves with. They sense this about me, they know it, and they share with me in that safe space.
And I feel endlessly honored to be invited into their most tender and hidden places to help them in any small way I can to at least begin to see themselves in a new way.
How I address that in my work, is again, that I SEE my clients, I understand with great depth that they are trying to heal their own heart breaks through their work in their own unique and beautiful ways — ways most people wouldn’t see — but that I recognize, and help make visible not only to THEM, but to the world, through their design and wording and their businesses presence. And also through my interactions with them and my influence on them, and their influence on me. It is a beautiful partnership that grows and flourishes with age… a mutual commitment and respect that uplifts us both in the end, as well as everyone else whose lives we touch through the process.
And I feel endlessly honored to be invited to show these clients their best and most beautiful self through all of these ways, and to help them connect with their people and their dreams and hopes by doing so.
The part that has come so much clearer to me now, however, is that I used to think this gift of mine was a liability. Something I should dial back and keep away from me professionally. But what I have discovered is it’s the opposite.
The world tells us to keep it cool and impersonal, to stay away from the emotional stuff, to not connect TOO much, to keep it distant and light and that THAT is the road to success.
It is not.
Well, it may be a road to a certain kind of success, but not the kind I want. And not the kind that most people want really want either.
What people really want is genuine connection and belonging, to feel loved and understood and appreciated, by both themselves and by others. To feel the well of joy and peace in our hearts. We try to get those things in all kinds of ways — like by trying to be cool and impersonal, staying away from the messy stuff, floating above it — not knowing that is PRECISELY the place we truly connect. In fact it’s the ONLY place we truly connect. And that connection and sharing is the great privilege of our lives as human beings on this earth. The great opportunity we all share, regardless of class, creed, color or gender.
But we can’t connect to others until we connect to OURSELVES. We all “already know this”, well and good, but it’s easier said than done. It’s talked about plenty, but rarely put into serious practice.
I help people connect to themselves through their work, so that they can then connect to their people in the ways that fill their heart up and light their life up in all the ways that come next. I am done apologizing for that. I am done pretending to be cool.
I’m not cool, or above it.
I am messy and all up in it. 😉
Those who join me in here will taste the sweetness of a life and profession that don’t have to live on two separate plains. That don’t require the real you, and your “representative”. You CAN have total professionalism AND personal connection and care with great integrity and success at the same time, and me and this business I’ve built is living proof of it.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of keeping parts of me out to make sure I’ll still be accepted, liked, hired or loved. I will not sail those parts of myself down river anymore so that I can make sure I’m acceptable to someone else’s space. I’m making my own space.
I TAKE UP SPACE. I need to constantly remind myself of that in this world that has told me to not take up any, to be quieter, smaller, and easier for everyones needs but my own.
Because the the thing is, it is no one else’s job to change their space for me, it is my job to create and fully OWN my own. And then invite people to share in that space that want to be there. No harm no foul.
What I am discovering is the more I trust this, and follow this, and stop apologizing for this, the more things bloom beyond anything I previously imagined possible. It is a rocky, crazy, up and down rollercoaster ride getting there, full of terrifying twists and turns, but I am learning through every leap and drop that if I just stay the course, I am held.
Held by this infinite mystery, in its hundred zillion cogs and wheels, held by this precious un-understandable dance of life with all its losses and all its wins, and its one precious gift of the journey itself.
Chapter by chapter unfolding in a bittersweet heart-wrenching tale of guts and glory and most of all: LOVE. Love in all its forms and ways. An epic saga that can only be truly appreciated when you look up from the daily mud and roses and reflect on the wonder of it all.
In this next chapter of my life I am committed to unapologetically bringing my whole self to the table, because I finally get it that anything less is a kind of holding back that not only hurts me but every single persons life I touch in turn. As long as I disrespect any of my own gifts, I will unconsciously disrespect others too. That’s the way it works. And I definitely WON’T have that!
This does not mean that every relationship in my life, working or otherwise, has to be a deep and burgeoning mush-pot… it just means that I am a safe place for both myself and others to begin to stretch and grow and explore beyond what we’ve previously believed possible for ourselves…
It means we don’t have to play by the antiquated rules in order to get what we need from life as functioning adults. Because the truth is we really don’t. I’m discovering that more every day.
So that’s me. 🙂 What are you committed to in this next chapter of your life? What have you been wanting and how would fulfilling that want connect-with and help heal your biggest heart breaks? (for yourself and others)
P.S. I just want to take a moment to say thank you so much to all of YOU who read these… for being a safe place for me to share these things that *I* need to hear the most.