“When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
A huge amount of my stress comes from wanting to do so many things. It starts with the excitement, the spark of energy and motivation for a new venture or an old one rekindled. Then the surge towards making it happen, the planning and creative thoughts about where, when, how.
And then it hits; the heavy, dark, overwhelming, despairing panic of ‘theres not enough time’, ‘I haven’t got enough energy’, and ‘theres so much stuff I have to do, theres no time or space for what I want’.
When I look back through the journals I have kept for the last 7 years of this healing journey, I find these words over and over,
“I can never do what I want to do”
“I have no choice”.
And it is right there that I find my limits. If every thought and want and desire and action triggers this feeling of despair and desolation, its not a surprise that I end up defeated and thinking, ‘what’s the point?’.
Life is not for me. Joy and fulfilment are not for me. Passion and purpose are not for me.
I sat and tapped on this again this morning, recognising that old thought pattern popping up at the beginning of a new sunny day, a day in which I get to choose my activities and set my schedule. I immediately had 100 ideas and needs and desires arise, overwhelming me and triggering the ‘I can’t do it all, so what’s the point’ thought that I grasped and made a commitment to sit and work with.
Sometimes it will take an hour, hours, days, weeks even to circle into the core of an issue. Years for some of mine. But this one was instant, a bolt of insight the second I started to tap on my hand – no one can do all of these things in a day, or even a lifetime. These things are not all for me.
I need to connect to my courage and say yes to the things that set me alight, and no to those that are not part of maintaining the blaze of my hearts desire.
This was not a happy moment. It was not a sad moment either. It was a powerful moment and in those seconds I centred, stopped, calmed and came to look the truth directly in the face yet again.
It is a truth I circled around and avoided and denied and crushed and despaired of my whole life. I believe it is the truth that the illnesses I developed throughout life came to re-align me with. The message, when I face it, when I summon my bravery and sit in silence to hear my heart speak, is always the same. It is telling me why I am here, and what I need to express to fulfil my passion.
For me it is that I must tell stories. I must release the stories that live inside of me, the worlds that my own ecosystem sustains and nurtures in waiting for their moment to be shared with the world. They are worlds that come to let us know that we are all connected, we are all vital and unique, we all have passion and purpose and we are all being called to connect with that purpose and share it with each other. My stories are about this and my purpose is to inspire everyone I can to live this way too, to shed the outer behaviours, beliefs and feelings that do not align to their own innate purpose.
The therapy work I do is aligned to this purpose. The community work I do is aligned to this purpose. But the old voice was scratching at the inside of my mind again this morning – “I can never do what I want to do”.
It shocked me, but when I listened to it’s message it was clear – You are still doing it all for others; do some of it for yourself. The purest joy for me is to sit and write, with no end in sight, no restriction on subject or form. I’d been writing for others only, believing that I was fulfilling my passion by creating for a productive purpose. I was still mis-aligned. I was now party to the truth – I needed to commit time and space to write for me, for my joy and pleasure only. This is what my heart wants.
Its a subtle shift in some ways, and in others monolithic! Why am I doing what I am doing? What is my motive? What is the benefit? Over and over I learn the same thing – I could ask myself this question as thoughts and desires come up and I’m planning what I will do with my days:
“What is the benefit of this?”
If I had asked myself that question as I started my day today, wanting to write but also feeling I didn’t have time because of the chores and necessities of a working day, I may not have felt so overwhelmed. If I had asked it straight away I would have easily been able to go through the long list I wanted to achieve and say YES or NO to each of them, on the basis that if they do not benefit my true purpose in this life, they are not necessary for me to undertake.
And when we live in purpose, in passion, we move into health, happiness and freedom.
The more I live this way, as challenging as it can sometimes be to break free of those musts, shoulds, have to’s, the more I come to know they were never a must or a should or a have to at all. They were beliefs from an old me, made in times of trauma, a me I have grown from and thank for all her suffering because I got to turn it into power.
It is a belief that “I can never do what I want to do”. It comes from “I have no choice”. I decided this in a moment of trauma, as a child, when I didn’t have the resources to decide anything else. But I’ve lived this way my whole life, until now. Doing deeper work on releasing this belief and choosing new beliefs that support me to flourish has gifted me the power I never knew I always had; I can choose, I’m in charge.
I am living proof that there is a choice, there is always a choice, even when it seems impossible or implausible. You have a choice. As Mary Oliver so powerfully prompts us,
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
Inviting you to choose life, Jen
Quotes from Mary Oliver’s poems “When Death Comes” and “The Summer’s Day”
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Jen Evans: Women’s Wellness Circle Co-Director and Coach
Jen is a dedicated and compassionate Wellness Coach, EFT and Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner (EFTi Accredited), teacher, writer and (slightly obsessive!) herb gardener.
Jen spent a lifetime with stress-related illnesses that culminated in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2012. Through her recovery journey she tried – well, everything – and truly started to heal after joining the Gupta Program (for which she is now a coach).
She now strives to support and develop nurturing spaces for others to connect with their true self, and realise their abundant power to heal and live purposeful, passionate, fulfilled lives.