I hope you’re feeling the effects of spring as much as I am! The sunshine, the transition from dead and brown to alive and green, even the happy robin’s song outside my window brings a smile to my face and peace to my heart. I have my spark back! And I am on FIYAH!
It’s been a long winter, and while the change of season does help, I can’t attribute all of the return of my spunkiness to the weather. There has been some definite action, on my part, that has contributed. I often say that the energy we put into things, is the energy we get back. So, by putting a little energy into changing things that weren’t working for me, I feel I’ve gotten a lot in return.
I really do try to “practice what I preach” in the Finishing School classes, and live by the advice given and the lessons learned from co-teachers and the Modern Women who attend our classes. It isn’t always easy, and I get stuck just like everyone else, but I can honestly say that working to become more self-actualized is worth the work.
Writing the Embracing Change class, which I’ll be teaching this Tuesday, April 17, was difficult and cathartic for me. I have reinvented myself many times throughout my life, sometimes by choice and other times when choices were made for me. Something that writing this class helped me discover is the more I embrace change, changing the things that aren’t working for me, the less often change is forced upon me. Resistance to change is futile.
Of course, recognizing when to make a change is part of the trick. There are obvious indicators, like feeling overwhelmed, that we talk about in class. Rather than “coping” or “dealing” with change, in this class we discuss how to embrace change, create safety nets, and sort through the stuff that comes with change. If you’re working on this, I hope you’ll join me. Spring, a time of rebirth, is an excellent time to make changes.
Asking for, and really listening to, the advice of people I love and trust has been extremely helpful in getting my spark back. I always try to remember that depression is a liar, so I know I need some additional insight at times to see things more clearly. The advice that helped the most was “slow your roll.” For months I’d been working at least 12-hour days, six to seven days a week - and I was burned out. My self-imposed deadlines where too much, especially considering everything else I have going on. I gave myself permission to ease up a bit, and lay aside the online classes until I was feeling it again, even if that meant waiting until fall – or later. I set new boundaries for myself about how many hours I work and what kind of new projects I’ll accept. I got some much-needed rest, which has probably helped more than anything, and gave myself permission to spend time with friends to have some fun.
Reading “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, was life changing. It helped me get new insights into things I’d been working on. The advice to look at the stories we’re telling ourselves was worth the price of the book alone. Now that I know this trick I’m able to get to the bottom of what’s going on faster, and rewrite the story to make it more powerful and meaningful. A couple of days ago I said to myself, “I think my spark is coming back.” Thinks to Jen, I was able to turn that into, “My spark is back!” The more I think that, the truer it is, helping me feel powerful, alive and back to my normal Jilly-ness.
If you haven’t read this book yet, DO IT! Better yet, come meet Jen in person at her book reading and signing at Watermark Books and Café on Monday, April 16th. It starts at 6 PM, but you’ll want to get there early to get a seat. There are no tickets, and it is free and open to the public. If you want to have a book signed, even if you can’t be there, call ahead and reserve a copy before they sell out.
Being at peace with where I am, and not putting so much pressure on myself, has been the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. I am driven to pursue my mission, but that can’t be at the cost of my health and well-being. Learning to “surrender” has been the key to this, and it isn’t easy for me. Thinking I can control outcomes, and that working harder is the way to make that happen, has been a false narrative I’m working to change. Worrying about the things I can’t impact, only makes it harder for me to achieve what I want. Faith that things will work out the way they should, maybe in a way I hadn’t planned, is challenging. By not trusting the Divine to lead me, I’ve been fighting against myself, closing off from paths I don’t even know exist. Since I’ve been practicing “surrender,” new opportunities are opening up and life is getting easier.
Now that I have my spark back, I’m super excited about getting back to work on the online class subscriptions! I’m learning how to make the video class modules, edit with Adobe Premier, and put it all up on the website. There’s a steep learning curve, and I’ve been fretting over that. (Have you ever noticed that fretting over something takes more time than actually doing the work? So much more stressful too.) I know that by doing something, anything, on the project and putting some energy into it, I’ll get it figured out. I know I have a lot of help to make this happen, and an amazing support system, who believes in what I’m trying to do, and that means the world to me. I am inspired to make this a reality, to help people, especially women, find our spark and become more self-actualized to reach our full potential.
Feel the spark!