“Life wasn’t meant to be easy, my child, but take courage: it can be delightful!” ~ George Bernard Shaw
I received an email from a student recently, who has just started working as a healer in a new clinic. It’s been her dream for many years, and she’s good at what she does. Here’s an except of what she sent me:
I start in my new clinic today, but I’ve had a challenging night last night and my bowels are misbehaving. I don’t know if it’s fear, if perhaps I got this all wrong and the universe is telling me so by putting so many obstacles in my way, or if it’s testing my resolve to do this work. But I thought if you were on your path, things would flow. Terribly confused. I wonder if you might consider a blog on this subject.
I love that she was brave enough to share her fear and insecurity, rather than pretending everything was fine while inwardly imploding! Especially because what she expressed is so common, and many of us have felt this way at times.
There are actually a number of issues within that one little paragraph, so I’ll deal with them separately.
1. WE place big expectations on ourselves. We’ve become a society where winning is everything, where the grand gesture and the overnight success are held up as examples of normal. Some of the anxiety my student is feeling is because she has created an image in her head of what success looks like, and that is generating fear and doubt about whether she will now live up to that preconception.
I have great faith in my student. I believe that in time her healing practice will exceed the the image in her head. But on Day 1 of her opening her practice it’s unlikely.
What needs to be celebrated here is that she is opening the doors, that she has furthered her dream with action, that she was brave enough to put herself out there. It’s a beautiful thing that she is giving life to what is in her heart. And this is one little step in a massive continuum. It would be sad indeed if she judged the potential of her new business by the first few days, or even the first few months…
2. Sh*t happens, and inevitably in life some things don’t go our way. Don’t feel special. It happens to everyone. Life is challenging. Sometimes extremely so. It is unrealistic to expect that everything will turn out smoothly and be problem-free every time. Don’t take it so personally.
People with a spiritual outlook on life will often try and interpret and understand what’s going on. If things aren’t happening in a streamlined, efficient and easy manner it could be because “The Universe is trying to tell me I’m on the wrong path” or the flipside of that, “It’s a test to see if I am committed enough”. While I do believe that there can be a Higher Wisdom involved at times where it all comes together, or where it all falls apart, we are often so busy interpreting the signs that we lose faith and momentum. Don’t disempower yourself – you are a soul with free will and a bright mind. Don’t be afraid to make decisions, and to figure it out for yourself.
All of the people I know who’ve enjoyed success have had their fair share of failures, rejections, disasters, narrowly avoided catastrophes and slow starts. The thing that sets them aside from other, less successful, people is that they gritted their teeth, held onto their dream and kept plugging away, long after others had quit. The journey changed them, the journey grew them, and from the journey they BECAME the person they needed to be in order to have that success.
3. When we step outside our comfort zone it’s uncomfortable! Who isn’t a little scared and nervous when they try something new? In fact I know seasoned performers who still get nauseous before they go on stage. The funny thing about stretching ourselves is that eventually we become comfortable in the expanded space, and then we’ll look to try something new and repeat the process all over again.
4. We all have to serve our apprenticeship. Even people with natural talents need to hone and polish those gifts with experience. And the only way we get experience is to do this thing that terrifies us. Why does it terrify us? Because we care so much about it. If we didn’t care, it wouldn’t matter! You learned to walk by getting up, tottering around and falling down. Same same with any new thing, be that writing a novel, opening a healing practice or mastering the perfect sponge cake. Embrace that state of learning – it’s a powerful and wonderful state to live within.
The path to your dream might be rocky, and it might be steep.
But I promise you the view from the top of the mountain, or even part way up, will be magnificent. And the journey – that’s the best part of all. It’s why we’re here, and why we keep coming back.
I honour all of you who are bravely embracing your dreams. Baby steps, my friends, and sometimes giant leaps. Hard bits and easy bits… If it’s in your heart don’t give up on it. I have so much faith in you. Be gentle with yourself, and remember to celebrate the journey.
Bless ♥ xx