Inside: Media offers us quick fixes, spiritual gurus sell us bypassing, our own fear nature beckons us to hide under the covers or jump on the next shiny bandwagon; all feel preferable to slow, soul-stretching, deep work. But sustainable growth takes time. Don’t rush who you’re becoming.
In the summer each year I listen inward and choose a mantra for my year along with 3-5 mind-body-spirit intentions that help paint a vivid picture of who and how I choose to BE in the world.
This practice, firmly anchored in my core values, though simple, serves as a powerful light that directs my path. My mantra for my 50th birthday year has been Come Home.
Recently though, I’ve also heard a new word bubbling up strong and calling for my attention. The word is “expanding.” As in, I’ve been doing the work to Come Home to Myself and now am expanding into the full, most honest and integrated truth of who I am, shedding an old skin, opening, enlarging my vision and capacity. Preparing to write a new story.
And my goodness, I’ve done hard work through grief and trauma and all the normal life stuff to get here. It takes tremendous courage to become who you really are.
I could finally feel my messy in-between place as a place in its own right – as a place that is necessary. I could see that the task of becoming requires you to rest and stay where you are: that growth requires both rest and stillness. And growth requires awkward flapping. Flapping to feel yourself grow, to feel where your edges are, to feel the power and possibility of what you have created. Flapping that brings all the work of healing into the power of your wings -draws all that painful work you did to heal into your cells – so that you come to inhabit yourself differently – and inhabit your world differently.Gretchen Schmelzer
RELEASE URGENCY: don’t rush who you’Re becoming
I’ve learned not to rush who I’m becoming. Or what’s more honest, is that I’m practicing this. I practice listening and living awake and with intention, without rushing or pushing or buying into hustle culture. Sometimes I hear things loudly in my spirit, things that are true, as becomes evident later on, but they take far more time than I think they will or want them to.
We live in a culture of urgency.
We like 2 minutes in the microwave more than long simmers on the stove. We click away if a website takes more than 2 seconds to load. We’ve become habituated to clicking BUY NOW and having our package deposited at our front door 2 days later (I love this).
We have a very limited and often skewed understanding of time and what’s “good” and how life “should” be.
Circling back to my mantra, though, I’ve learned to trust what I hear. It never steers me wrong. But I’ve also learned to loosen my grip and trust and allow things to unfold in their own time. Believing that we’re in control and can force things is illusion, anyways.
WE MUST LIVE THE END OF ONE STORY BEFORE WRITING THE NEXT
Usually, there’s a lot of hard work between where I am and the fruition of what I’m being drawn towards. A whole lot of life to live in between. And it’s in the living, the showing up fully to whatever is in front of me that equips me for the thing that lies ahead.
In the past several months I realized that I’m living the end of one story. I must live the end of this story before I can begin writing the next. I heard this truth in my spirit three years ago and shared it on my blog, January 2019, and only now am I fully stepping into this.
I witness so many examples of outcomes I desired that I was absolutely not ready for. If I’d had my way, I’d have jumped through all the growth and skill building, the healing and understanding of self and life that was needed to build a reliable foundation of resilience and wisdom and emotional and psychological capacity.
We want freedom and wholeness and brave relationships and compassionate community and JOY… but we’re not always willing to do the vulnerable work required to sustain these states or experiences.
slow and steady is my favourite speed
Media offers us quick fixes, spiritual gurus sell us bypassing, our own fear nature beckons us to hide under the covers or jump on the next shiny bandwagon; all feel preferable to slow, soul-stretching, deep work. This is human. Of course we want an easier path. Life can be really hard and painful at times. And our old coping patterns are deeply rooted.
But we don’t always need new or shiny or more or faster. We simply need to be. To be with our pain and slowly learn to live again around our grief. To be with each other. To listen. To acknowledge. To name. To tell the truth about what is. To learn how to live fully present, embodied, with what is as we build, create, and practice hope in action.
Sustainable growth or becoming takes time. Not only time of course, but deliberate, conscious, values-aligned choice after choice within the time that we have. One step, one breath, one practice at a time. Slow and steady.
Again, this is how we heal, how we grieve, how we build a life that feels like home. How we become.
You don’t have to rush who you’re becoming. And you don’t have to see the whole path ahead to take the next small step.
NOW WHAT? I’d love for you to join me inside the Brave + Beautiful Community this year. New members can join us in September, January, and May. Join the waitlist for the next session by signing up below (no pressure but this way you’ll be notified when registration begins). Do you choose a word of the year or a mantra? I’d love to know what it is!