“Between 1 & 10, what’s your level of excitement with all the juicy ideas you have for your joyous-passion career?”
I ask this to my client, Judy who I’ve been supporting to revive her purpose and discover her passion in life.
Judy flatly replies, “Six or seven.”
I squint my eyes as my jaw drops open a little bit. I can’t hide my surprise. I then follow with, “I’m a little confused. Let’s go through the list of possibilities.”
Judy reluctantly lifts a list of possible passion ideas that we unearthed in session last week. Some of these ideas she shared were a 12 in joy! Today, she’s at a six or seven and I want to discover why this is.
She reads them off in a resistant-monotone voice, “Cooking classes - 6, Recipe book and blog - 5, Farmers Market in downtown - 7, Food Critic - 5, Jams and Marmalade - 6, Bed & Breakfast - 7, Yoga Studio - 7, Medical Clinic - 6, Water Company - 5...”
I ask, “Judy, what happened? Last week you seemed through the roof excited about some of these ideas and now it feels like you want to bury ‘em six feet under. Why is that?
Judy shrugs her shoulders as if she doesn’t know.
I’m not going to let her slide out of this, “Walk me through what happened. After our session last week, you got of the call, went to the farmers market, immersed yourself in the colors, smells and sounds to inspire you... then what? When did you drop from 10+ with some of your ideas to six?”
Judy glances away from the computer screen. I can feel her frustration, sadness and confusion. She finally shares, “I started to think about how possible these ideas are. Like the blog... who am I to write a blog on cooking. I like to cook, but I’m not a professional.
And, being a critic? I don’t know anything about being a food critic. Then I thought again about the jams. I don’t know where to start. The bed and breakfast might work, but I don’t think I want to do that now. Then I spoke to my brother and he told me that these we not very good business ideas. I don’t know.”
I ask, “How do you feel right now?”
Judy blurts out, “I feel defeated and like I’m spinning in a circle.”
I continue, “Do you want to stop spinning?”
She replies, “Of course.”
I smile, “You know me Judy, I like to ask the obvious question so we both hear the obvious answer out loud.
Before I share what path Judy and I took to shift this test of spirit, I would like to know... what would you suggest or where would you guide Judy, a client, a friend or yourself at this juncture?
As well, what would be your intention for this person in confusion and defeat?
The problem I am sensing at this point in our session is that... well, instead of telling you, I’ll share the rest of our conversation.
I dig a little deeper with Judy, “Judy, let me ask you... what do you feel is the stick in the spokes of your creative wheel?
She flatly replies, “I don’t know.”
I love the challenge and also love discovering the gold in these situations without giving up the potential answer. I ask her, “Before you started thinking practically about making your ideas a business, where was your excitement? And, I don’t know won’t work here.”
Judy pondered for a moment, “I think I felt good. I actually, felt excited about many of the ideas. I was so happy with my kids in the farmers market. It was one of the best days this year.
I keep digging, “Where was your excitement after thinking about how possible and realistic your ideas are?”
Judy glances up to the left then down and says, “A lot less excited, because they don’t feel realistic or even do-able.”
I go further, “What happened to you after sharing your ideas with your brother, Andrew?”
Judy tenses her jaw and lips then exhales in exasperation, “I don’t think any of my ideas are very good Jason. After speaking to my brother who’s good in business, he told me all the reasons why not to pursue my ideas.”
I jump in, “OK. I get it. Can I share what seems to be happening?"
Judy nods her head yes.
I excitedly share, “Great. We’re in a very gentle stage right now. We’re in the stage of germinating your seed of creativity. In this stage, it is easy to over-water or under-water the seed, we could plant the seed to shallow or too deep, a bird, groundhog or insect could eat the seed, etc. Basically, we are in a very fragile state of the creation process.
This is the time to keep our ideas close to the chest. This is not the time to share them with any one who is going to interject their opinion, let alone squash your inspiration. Your brother is well intentioned with his advice, but it’s the wrong time to have him in the process.
Right now, is the time to be ludicrous! This is the time to think way outside of the box. This is your time to play with ideas, dream, to invite your imagination and 5 year old inside to go wild.
Explore from the place of excitement and innocence. Imagine possibilities while having no opinions about what’s realistic.
Close your eyes and explore your ideas from this place.
How do you feel with these ideas now?”
Judy lights up, smiles then giggles. She blurts out, “I love this. All my ideas seem fun from here... except being a food critic. I don’t want to do that one.”
I encourage her to stay on track, “That’s fine Judy, focus on what lights you up. Open up to even new possibilities. How do you feel?”
Judy swings her arms open, “I feel great. I just thought of another idea. Let me tell you about the one I had when I was in Glastonbury with my girls...”
“You’re right on track, keep this going Judy!”
So, the big question is... How often are you letting your critical mind or other’s critical minds get in the way of your creation process?
Of course, there is a time and a place to be realistic. The key is to know when.
When I would go sit with my mentor in the Andes of Peru, Adolfo would say to me and the students I would bring, “Keep your experiences close. Do not share them with everyone. Keep them sacred.
The more we parade them out in the open, the energy is lost... the specialness can be lost. Wait awhile. integrate what you’ve discovered. Then, once their really rooted in you, share them. You’ll know when the fruit is ripe to share.
But even then, be selective who you share your riches with. If you share and eat the fruit early, it will be bitter and will likely be thrown out. Don’t do this with your revelations, creations and transformations”.
If you are struggling to manifest your dream, your purpose, your calling... I ask, are you taking gentle care of that seedling of inspiration in your heart?
Holding you in your highest as you blossom your dreams into reality!
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