April 22, 2011

The Push

photo credit: dannyfowler

Man is there a lot of shifting going on in April.  The pace has picked up, and for me personally it’s becoming a thrilling ride.

At the start of this year I made a conscious decision to move in the direction of my dreams.  I just didn’t realize how fast I’d be moving.

By early March I found my passion for taking Accidental Seeker from a blog to a livelihood barely containable.  All I had to do was give voice to this desire – and several ideas accompanying it – and it began to manifest.  Yeah, pretty much on its own.  I didn’t need to forge ahead so much as I have been instantly, unexpectedly pushed.

Just to give you a quick taste of how I’ve been shifting since the pushes began barely a month ago (and because I promised to chronicle my personal shifting process here) I have co-hosted my first spirituality group meeting locally, written and led my first guided meditation (the Still Water Meditation – soon to be recorded and available here – sign up at right to be notified when ready), created my first yoga class, and will likely be instructing my first paid Zumba dance class in about a week.

Since my ski vacation to Colorado in mid-March (a shift in itself – of latitude, altitude and attitude!) I’ve begun a daily morning meditation practice – twenty minutes of silent meditation facing the serene stone Buddha statue gracing my patio.

In the past, when it came to meditation I went more for duration than consistency, meditating for an hour once or twice a week.  Now, I’m happy to report I’ve quickly learned that regularity outweighs clock time when it comes to meditation.  I can feel the benefits in lower stress, greater emotional stability and resiliency, more insights, higher tolerance and the return of random joy.  No surprises there, science at long last caught up and just proved as much.

There’s also the obvious – acceleration and flow of what I want.   And best of all – meditation begets more meditation.  As I’ve experienced before, the more I meditate, the more I want to.

(A quick side note on my meditation practice: I didn’t feel pushed to do it nor was I externally pushed in the literal sense.  I simply was overcome with inspiration to get back to it, and in a way that I could stick to. Each morning I drive my daughter to school early, come home, sit down and set a timer.  Yes, I’ve made this as procrastination and avoidance-proof as possible.  I know my weaknesses!)

The Bright Side

The upshot? I feel like at long last the ostensibly divergent interests I’ve invested time and money into over the last five years are coming together in beautiful synchronicity.  I am clear and focused on what I want, and moving into action on all fronts. It all feels AMAZING.

Maybe most of all it is endlessly fascinating (admittedly, to me, perhaps not to you) to watch how my passions (spirituality, yoga, dance, writing and teaching) are literally meshing together in ways I could never have imagined.  I’d have been happy with any one of them taking off, but maybe that was never the way it was supposed to go.  For now, I’m doing a little bit of everything I love and finding a magic formula of happiness – and income – in that.

On the contrary, what I thought I would experience was distraction and overwhelm.  Instead, the moment I “kicked it up a notch” and moved whole-heartedly in the direction of my dreams, the faster the universe has laid out a path and opened doors.

It’s not lost on me that I could-have/should-have been moving into action doing MORE of what I love and less of what I didn’t a lot sooner (and yes I do see a relationship between quantity and quality), which is probably why I didn’t get this kind of flow when I wanted it in the past.  Everything in divine timing I guess.  But I’m done “shoulding” myself, so enough of that!

The Flip Side

While this shifting is quite hunky-dory for me at the moment, let me rewind a second to the “before” picture.  The time when I knew what I “should be” doing but didn’t.  This is the period of intense fear and discomfort that precedes all change, and I realize there is plenty of it still out there and likely more to come.  Let me assure you I’ve had my fair share and am probably due for more.  While I can list my accomplishments above with exuberance, I promise you they were preceded by mountains of self-doubt, low self esteem, fear, intense feelings of failure, hopelessness and even at times, utter despair.

I kept moving anyway.  Why? I got this great reminder that helped:

Fear is simply a natural human reaction to the unknown. Natural. Human. Reaction. It WILL come up whenever you don’t know the outcome of something.  So let it come, but don’t let it stop you.

Moving Through Fear Into Action

If you’re not being spontaneously pushed, you can set the wheels in motion so it feels that way with a few simple steps:

  • START.  Take an action toward your goal, any action.  Just do it, even if small, especially if imperfect, and definitely without knowing your next step.  You only have to know this step. Begin, commence, GO!
  • Go Big.  One of the best ways not only to start, but to leap over fear altogether is to get into MASSIVE action.  Make it so big you don’t have time for the fear.
  • Ask For a Push.  This is a no-brainer.  Find an accountability partner and literally ask a trusted friend or resource to keep pushing you.  It definitely takes the heat off pushing yourself.
  • Don’t Go It Alone.  Better yet, pair or team up with others.  The higher the esteem in which you hold the person or people you’re partnered with the less likely you’ll be to disappoint them with inaction.There’s nothing like wanting to save face and avoid a crash and burn when someone else is on the line with you to motivate you to keep moving.  Amazing how that self-sabotaging procrastination disappears when you have someone besides just you expecting something.
  • Move Fast.  Less time to think means more likelihood to do.  So as you plan your start action, small or massive, make it something you can complete quickly.

On that note, I’m on to my next steps and looking forward to sharing more with you next week.  In the spirit of this fantastic April energy, keep shifting and tell me what how you’re handing the pushes, and the lightning speed of change!

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