Every other Sunday I send out a newsletter where I share my personal insights to anyone wanting a little encouragement on their own creative journey - and sometimes I share these on my blog. Today I’m sharing one of my letters from last month, May 2019. If you’d like to sign up and read previous letters, as well as letters in future, you can sign up here.
At the end of this month I come to the end of working with my first set of coaching clients. I'll be honest in that I'm finding it hard to articulate just how rewarding an experience it has been to work with this group of amazing, creative women. It's been delightful, eye-opening, heartening, and beautiful. Suffice to say, it has been an absolute privilege.
Working together has taught me so much about the coaching process, about who I am as a coach, and the shared experience of who we are as human beings.
I am filled with gratitude, but also an acute awareness of how much of a beginner I am. There is still so much to learn. But I know that being a beginner is a most beautiful place to be, with all the fears and dreams we bring with us.
I also know that learning isn’t a one time thing; it’s a continual process. Deep learning requires action, and sometimes we need to learn the same thing over and over again before we truly understand how we can apply the lessons we have learned.
Today I’m sharing some of the most important things I’ve learned in the last three months. These are lessons I know I will need to learn again and again. I share them not because they are different and original, but because they are the lessons we all need to live, and make our own.
It takes time. To get to know yourself. To transition your business. To launch a new product. To build new habits. To heal. Give yourself the space to know this. Allow for so-called setbacks. To borrow from Elizabeth Gilbert, learn to give yourself all the credit in the world simply for being in motion.
Ultimately, it comes down to choice. It’s up to us to remind ourselves of how much agency we really have. We cannot control what happens to us. But we can choose how we respond. We choose how we relate to events. We choose how we communicate with ourselves. We choose to believe we can change.
All those answers you’re looking for - they’re right there, inside of you. Sometimes, they’re just a little hard to find. We can look to others for advice and information, but at the end of the day, you are the one who knows yourself and your circumstances best of all. Allow yourself the generosity of listening to the very wise person you are.
You live out your answers through awareness and action. Everything is neat in theory. But getting to your answer is almost always messier than you’d hoped. Don’t let that stop you from starting. There is no failure; only feedback. So start now and see what happens when you live your answers.
Let go of expectations that are binding you. Sometimes we place expectations on ourselves that just aren't helpful. We set ourselves unrealistic deadlines, or we place standards on ourselves that aren't even ours to begin with. Sadly, we can get so attached to the goal in front of us, we forget to enjoy the process of getting there. When I paint I learn to let go of what it absolutely needs to look like; and instead focus on the feeling and process of creating. When I coach, I'm not invested in a particular result; I'm invested in helping you reach your own conclusions. I’m not saying that we should give up on what we want. But I’d encourage you to ask whether an expectation is a hindering or helping you. And here's a hint: the more helpful expectations tend to feel kinder.
We’re all looking for love and acceptance. The word 'love' rarely comes up in my conversations with clients, but it's always in the room. We may mask our search with other questions, but there it is, hiding in plain sight. How will we know when we are loved? How can we build support and acceptance into our daily lives? And most importantly, are you showing love to yourself?
You are continually writing your story. There are a million different stories you can use to keep you small. But you get to choose which ones you believe. Ask yourself which stories are no longer serving you, and dare to write something else instead. You can choose to write a new story - and you can start right now, today.
Practice is everything. Learning. Mindfulness. Health. Creativity. Confidence. All practice. And you'd better believe you are worthy of it.
You are an amazing human being and you are so capable of doing this. Even if you don’t always know it. Take the time to remind yourself, every day. Because you need to learn this, and keep re-learning this. You need to know how wildly and beautifully awesome you really are.
Here’s to a life full of lessons. x