Wow, where did August disappear to? Into the minutiae of busyness, that’s where. Busyness without real focus. Putting out fires, playing catch up. Whichever wheel squeaked the loudest got my attention. And it feels like nothing that I wanted to accomplish got done.
This is because I’ve been in immobilization through procrastination mode when it comes to doing what needs to be done. Do you get what I mean? Let me put it to you another way...
When we are young, we are put in a box. “Oh, she’s pretty, she’ll have no trouble finding a husband.” “ It’s a good thing she’s smart…” “He’s my challenging child.” “She’s the baby of the family.” “Who do you think you are… the Rockefellers? We can’t afford that!”
It goes on and on.
When we’re young we don’t know any better and we think this is just the way it’s supposed to be. Or, like I did, you might try fighting it, but eventually, we get stuffed into the box anyway.
We start making life choices based on the box that we were placed in.
We don’t try out for the school choir because we have to audition and we’re surely not good enough. What if we fail?
We don’t go to university because only smart girls do, or no one in our family has ever gone, so why do we think we could?
And then we don’t apply for the job we really want because we don’t think we’re good enough.
We start feeling more and more desperate because we cannot be who our souls are meant to be.
We need to bust out of our box. But how?
WHEN THE BOX GETS TOO TIGHT
Personally, when I am feeling stuck and I don’t know what is the next right thing to do, or my head is spinning because there is so much information in it, I know I have to let it out. I open my journal and I vomit out the writing. It doesn’t have to make sense, it’s just a download from my brain to the page, so I don’t have to keep that shit running through my head.
I’m ashamed to admit to you that it had been over two months since I’d last written in my journal. I was shocked when I opened my journal. I figured a month, but two? No wonder I was so dazed and confused! And what kind of an example am I setting if I don’t do what I ask you to do — write?!
When we feel stuck, we’re frozen in fear. It’s damned uncomfortable. We know the box we’re in is too small to fit us anymore, but it’s sooooo dark outside the box, there is no path, and we have no idea what is out there waiting for us. Even if we stick our head out of the box and have a peek, we can’t see anything.
We can try to fit our too big selves back into the box, but once we stick our heads out to peek what’s out there, the box no longer has room for us. It’s just too damned uncomfortable.
There’s nothing else to do but climb out.
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO RESCUE US FROM OUR BOX
When you’re unsure, do you find yourself willing to listen to anyone who has the answer? Anyone who can show you the way?
That’s how I felt when I got back from my vacation (has it only been a week for reals?) I started following some really knowledgeable folks in Facebook groups and I found myself getting further and further away from what I wanted to do. Feeling that feeling of “I should be doing this… Oooo, look, she knows what she’s doing, I’ll follow her... that’s a neat idea, I should do it too!”
My journal is usually my place to sort out what I’m feeling, what I’m reacting to, what’s holding me back. But this time, I needed some help getting unstuck. Paralyzed by the overwhelm of all I had to do and wanted to do, I signed up for a free 7-Day writing challenge called “Kick the Shit Out of Fear” that was developed by a new writer friend of mine, Debbie Pace.
Sometimes we just need to follow someone else’s guidance for a bit and give up wanting to always know what the outcome is going to be. It felt good to let someone else do the driving, discover how they do it. All I had to do was follow her instructions and show up for myself.
But when you step outside the box and don’t know the path, surprises can show up at every turn.
EVEN WHEN YOU’RE FOLLOWING SOMEONE ELSE’S LEAD, IT’S STILL YOUR JOURNEY
When you take one of my Writing From the Heart courses, you have to put your trust in me, allow me to lead you somewhere that you’ve never been before and also to believe that you will find some of the answers you are seeking.
BIG "BUT" HERE…
You still have to do the work. It’s never easy to take a long hard look at ourselves. We usually don’t like what’s reflecting back at us in the mirror. But we have to...
Things come to us when we are ready (even if we don’t feel like we are). Debbie’s 7-day challenge came out of nowhere and it was just what I needed. I was stuck in fear, not knowing what to do next. I was afraid to fail, afraid to be disappointed, even afraid to be successful because it would shine a light on me and I’d have to stop playing small. Those are the oh so familiar fears I once again uncovered in my writing.
But then I got angry. Really, really angry. Why? Because I physically felt what it was like to be punched in the gut with my own fist. The understanding that there was no one holding me back from doing what I wanted to do, BUT ME, washed over me. The Universe has been working around the clock since the day I was born to show me the way. I was the only one holding myself back, refusing to see the signs, and when I did, turning back because of fear.
When we’re done with that shit — done with allowing fear to hold us back, we are no longer tied to any box. We become free to be who we were meant to be.
Yes, there is uncertainty, but wouldn’t you rather be uncomfortable and moving forward than uncomfortable in that damned box you’ve allowed yourself to be stuck in for so long? You're already miserable anyway...
Feel the fire in your belly. Be galvanized by your anger like I am.
MAKE A GAME PLAN, TAKE ACTION
There’s nothing like a group challenge to make us take action. Not wanting to disappoint, look bad, or miss a deadline come in handy for many of us.
I’ve come to see (again) the strength of the group that supports, challenges, peer pressures, and inspires us to keep moving forward. It’s one of my favourite things about the live Writing From the Heart groups I used to do. So, from now on, I will have an option on all my new courses for small live group sessions to do just that. Most of us really need that kick in the butt!
Pick the scariest thing you can think of that you REALLY REALLY want. What are the steps you need to take to get there, to make it happen or real? Write the steps down and commit to doing one right thing to get you there. Then the next and the next after that.
Turn all that anger into the commitment to proving to anyone who’s ever tried to hold you back that you are more than the box you were in! You are the limitless infinity of possibility!
For me, one of my actions is to do another challenge — a 30-day challenge to design, build and launch a new course by the end of September 2016. It’s daunting, scarier than heck, and I’m not feeling ready. But fuck it, I AM DOING IT. If I fail I’ll go down in a fiery ball of “at least I tried”. Then, I’ll pick myself up and rise again.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT MY NEXT COURSE IS CALLED?
Oh yes, you guessed it: WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK? It was always going to be anyway. It also happens to be the number one choice for all of you who filled out my survey earlier this year.
I’m ready now to teach about breaking through what holds us back because I can only teach what I have learned. Life’s funny that way...
ARE YOU READY TO TAKE ACTION?
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO GET MY COURSES FOR THE RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES I’VE BEEN OFFERING!
It’s hard to admit, but I need the help of someone who understands what I do, so I’ve begun working with a coach (in Ireland of all places) who “got me” within minutes of getting onto our call. Yay! Scary, but yay!
Her first order of business was to tell me to raise my prices.
My courses are amazing, I know it, students who take them know it. They are life changing, healing, unlocking and unblocking.
If you’ve ever thought you wanted to sign up for Writing From the Heart (FREE), Using Writing Prompts to Tell Your Stories ($69 CDN), or my new email and video course, 20 Questions ($29 CDN), this is your last chance to get them at these prices, or in Canadian currency.
You will always have access to any courses you’ve purchased, including any updates I may do, as a subscribed member.
Don’t be disappointed, act now. And don’t worry, there are lots of new paid courses, free giveaways, free mini-courses and free webinars in the wind...
kathy mercure is a storyhealer and storylistener, whose life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)