Happy Sunday everyone,
Over the last couple of weeks I was being tested.
Tested Big time!
I’m sure we’ve all known those times, times when you want to pursue a goal or particular direction, yet the energies seem to be conspiring to either scupper your efforts or keep you in your current space.
What to do in this situation?
My response is: DO NOTHING
Now when I say do nothing I don’t mean absolutely nothing, but I do mean don’t push against the energy.
You think you’re so sure?
You see, I’ve noticed in life that when we decide to be or do something different or change in some way the universe will challenge you. “Are you sure this is what you want?” she demands “Yes” you reply and again comes the ‘You sure you’re sure?” and sometimes, even when for a second time your conviction holds and you navigate another hurdle she’ll (the universe is always a ‘she’ to me) come in with another…
“I’m not convinced; prove it to me one more time!”
Boy! This universe is a hard woman to convince eh?
But these challenges are not easy choices to make. For example:
You may be thinking of changing your job. You’re not being as stimulated as you once were, you perhaps are not getting the recognition you feel you deserve or whatever the reason.
You decide to leave: YOU SURE?
You investigate and make connections and an opportunity presents itself. It’s with a relatively new company, more responsibility and challenge and a great match for your skills and values; a huge potential for growth, maybe even a stake in the company in the future.
Like a giddy Kipper!
You get fired up about it, you consider it carefully, you’re excited and full of joy a feeling you haven’t felt in some time and like a giddy Kipper you convince your partner that you’ll be so much happier, that it’s a better fit for you and that the future holds the potential for greater promise if you travel this path. It will just take some time to fully realise its potential.
You’re all set to leave: YOU SURE YOU’RE SURE?
And then your current boss invites you into their office and offers you the promotion you’ve been wanting for the last year and a half!
The one you’ve worked for and deserve and had lost hope of achieving. It’s much more rewarding financially than the vibrant new opportunity, but your boss is a challenge and there have been times when you didn’t agree with decisions they made nor how they made them.
It would mean staying within the confines of a large organisation and the structure, rather than the ‘freer’ environment and autonomy of the new opportunity.
You have to think. You agonise for days (your boss gives time), but you know you can’t take too long as they’ll think you’re not enthusiastic and a little ungrateful; after all, you’ve wanted this for many, months.
No…I’m sure, I’m sure
You decide that you’re still going for the opportunity that offers autonomy and expansion and then:
She says: I’M NOT CONVINCED PROVE IT TO ME ONE MORE TIME!
You find out you’re having baby…
- Stay…Take the stability, comfort and security, the familiar structure that you know how to navigate, the ‘devil you know.’
- Take the risk on an unknown future, with potentially unsteady and unproven variables yet potentially the reward, lifestyle and peace of mind you’ve always dreamed of?
Do you stay true to the YOU you want to be or the you you already know how to be?
This is the space I have been in over the last few weeks and the space I’m sure many of you will find yourself in at some point in your life. This is what I have learnt.
Be still and listen for the Divine Whispers
The push & the pull
In middle school we had a gruff, blustery teacher named Mr Hardy. He was a rugged Geordie and very ‘no-nonsense.’
As well as being my form tutor he ran the gymnastics team of which I was a member. Now, I think we all know the form and shape expected of a gymnast. I on the other, hand have always been more of a Serena Williams body type, boobs and all! In most conventional thinking not the most efficient shape for elevations, lifts, jumps and springs; yet I did very well, but you can imagine I often felt a bit like a sunflower in a garden full peonies as well as a deep-seated insecurity among those sylph like others, who seemed to effortlessly glide through the air like a hot knife through butter.
One day he pulled me aside and asked me a question:
“Pauline,” he said “ have you ever tried pushing a pram on the sand?
“No sir” I answered.
“Well,” he responded, “you push and push and you just churn up more sand and the wheels get even more stuck, your progress is erratic and you get tired. Do you know what you should do?”
Of course I didn’t and told him so. He said…
“Turn around and pull…then you’ll glide over the surface with ease”
There is a point to this…I’m coming
You know I never forgot what he said.
I have remembered this throughout out my life and it has served me well.
To me he was telling me to stop trying so hard…to relax and let my muscles do what I was training them to. The ‘effort’ I was putting in was causing tension and that tension was creating stiffness and not the ‘flow’ necessary for transformation.
The very effect I was trying so hard to create I was constraining. I needed to let go and turn around and ‘PULL’ I would find the movements would then unfold and create themselves effortlessly.
So, I’m in the middle of being tested and I remember the story. I remember and chose to stop endlessly ruminating on the topic, do the necessary but not make major decisions and be still…
As soon as I did the ‘whispers started’
- I was watching a film and heard “stay the course” twice…
- Then I heard the phrase “Be the true you” I knew these phrases were messages to me because you know when you get that churn or wrench in your stomach/solar plexus as if you’re being told to:
Then there were butterflies; not unusual at this time of the year I know, yet I seemed to be followed by them and they were unusually tame around me. I even had one following me in the middle of London!
On looking them up their significance I see:
“Lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously. Get ready for a big change, one where and old habit, way of thinking, or lifestyle is going out, and a new beginning is emerging. It’s time to make the changes you’ve been considering. In spite of the challenges you’ll get through this transition, and as always know that ‘this too shall pass.’”
Well blow me down with a feather!
It was clear to me that I indeed WAS being tested. Tested to know completely that what I was choosing was exactly what I REALLY WANTED, being tested and challenged to recognise when I’m being guided and supported and being tested to
`Trust my own inner guidance.’
If we are to ‘stay the course’ when things get tough, we need to have complete conviction.
This conviction comes from pushing through resistance and knowing absolutely that the path we have chosen is the one we truly want. In order to know this we need to have fought for it, to face adversity to win it and so the universe will ‘test.’ You, but will show up to guide you and give you clues too.
‘In gratitude’ to Mr Hardy
At various stages in my life I have recalled `Mr Hardy’s voice telling me this tale. Mostly at times in my life when I was being tested, had decisions to make and I have automatically gotten into worry or anxiety mode. When I’ve been pushing myself for a finite and definite response and ‘stressing.’ Not knowing which direction to take.
Sometimes these dilemmas have been about my life path, or decisions about career and work, sometimes the decisions have been ones about love and partnerships.
When we remember Mr Hardy’s tale it reminds us to:
- Stop…turn around
- Be still… listen for the divine whispers
- Heed the messages we’re being given and only then should we move…. We’ll find then that we’ll glide over the sand.
Do you need an opportunity to be still and read the ‘whispers?’
Perhaps you’re restless and you know there’s more
Perhaps like me you’re being tested
Perhaps it’s just a niggling feeling…
Perhaps you’ve decided things need to change but simply need support and guidance
On 22nd August take some time and ‘listen.’
I’ve created a space for just 28 people…
An intimate supportive and powerful workshop where you get to focus on YOU
A Space for you to become still and start ‘pulling’ YOUR pram across the sand.