When I read her blog post, I wanted to jump up out of my chair and cheer her on from halfway around the world (she lives in Japan). We all create false starts and false realities and false stories; we all have the power to tear down those falsities and start over, fresh, with a new truth. We are creators, and so we are destroyers. We are allowed to destroy that which no longer serves us.
I recently took an eleven-day hiatus from business development and, in that amazingly free time, I was able to clear away the cobwebs and wipe some the dirt off the mirror. I started to see, more and more clearly, that I was hung up on a conflict between myself and my perceived expectations. And this conflict had been influencing my business development choices for some time.
When you choose to build a heart- and soul-centric business, you choose to put yourself out there. It’s vulnerable. It’s scary. It’s liberating. It’s beautiful, and you grow and thrive by connecting with other heart- and soul-centric creators. There’s a lot of conversation revolving around Being Of Service, and for good reason; a heart- and soul-centric business is all about the personal connection you make with each and every person you work with.
If you are not creating from your heart, bringing about your amazing work to fulfill your deepest, truest needs, your service to others comes at the cost of being of service to yourself. You end up creating from the outside in, seeking first to provide something for others, and eventually hoping it somehow fulfills you in the end.
This doesn’t work. Not in the long run.
Those eleven days were just the right amount of time for me to realize that I was (subconsciously, unintentionally, unknowingly) creating parts of my heart- and soul-centric business to serve others first and myself… maybe? Hopefully? I was chasing the dream of growing a profitable business, that would help others, and be recognized for doing good. But how did I fit into that plan?
On the evening of the past new moon, I sat on the floor with my Mr. Sketch markers and my 3M pad of giant paper. I hashed out “What Do I Desire” alongside “What Is Fun For Me?” and I made a big list of “What Do I Want To Do?” Then I color coded, connected the dots, made a messy map of intersecting things that made me feel good.
Turns out, a lot of it overlaps with where I want Studio Kittie to grow and thrive. Some of it doesn’t. And that’s ok. My complete life is my business; but my business is not my complete life.
I’ve been living with these gloriously marked-up mind maps for days now, and as I re-enter the world of business development, I find myself growing more and more clear that every thing I choose to take action on must fulfill me in some essential way. The personal, the familial, the fiscal and the developmental - all must come back home to roost in my heart at the end of the day. Or else I will forever feel that I am serving others before myself, and not equal to myself.
Anything I do - even the boring stuff - should somehow fit into the This Fulfills Me box. Even the boring things (e.g. taxes) serve a greater purpose and can fulfill a future dream! If it doesn't fit, I reassess.
Then, each of the Me + segments are equally weighted; one is not more important than the others. I realize that now, having given too much weight and priority to the Me + Others category these past few years. From there it's a pretty straight shot to figure out how the thing I wants to do fits into my life's flow!
I totally get how this might feel like over-thinking. For some people, you lucky ducks, it is overthinking and I am glad you don't struggle to do things that feel good when you want. But for those of us whostruggle to balance our "obligations" with our "pleasures," it's crucial to sort out a way to allow all tasks, endeavors, projects, and plans to fulfill a central desire. That evening of the playing field takes off so much pressure.
I invite you to join myself and Marci in examining where in your life you might be creating from the outside in, allowing your own expectations (and the assumed - or real - expectations of others) to tip your scales of internal/external balance in an uncomfortable direction. And then share your findings! We are all in this together.