Maybe it’s because Spring is upon us. But all of a sudden, everywhere I look, I see examples of people needing and wanting to reset their lives.
And getting unstuck is our Studio theme for March which no doubt helps me be more receptive than usual to reinvention and rebirth efforts.
For instance, the Tampa Bay Times recently featured a First Person story by Fawn Germer, a self-help guru and professional motivational speaker. Fawn had the answers for “moving beyond your insecurities and taking charge of your potential” for others but when she entered a period of “darkness that had wrapped itself” around her, she had to find her route out of it. Her “Forrest Gump” solution was to walk Pinellas County’s gulf coastline (including the barrier islands only accessible by boat), a distance of 60 miles according to her own GPS apps. As she walked day after day,
her future direction revealed itself because all she “could do was take the next step. And the next.” She was full of gratitude for the physical demands the environment forced on her to help her refocus to become “interested in what was in front” of her rather “than what was behind” her. The walk both inspired her and gave her “real inner work” time to reject “feeling like a victim” and take charge of her life.
Inspiration and practical how-tos for resetting your life surround us both online and off. Just last week, Lyn Boyer shared several resources on the ALIVE process in this blog to help readers Acknowledge the past, Learn from the Past, Investigate options, Visualize your new life and Execute your plan. The Studio exists because we three founders met and talked when we were exploring (Investigating) options for achieving greater harmony of effort, impact, and income producing activities. Together we realized that we could help other women (and men) use the power of the internet and computer technologies to enrich their lives and work in satisfying new ways. We still believe that our primary market—solo entrepreneurs like we had been; freelance and contract workers who have to finance their own professional learning; and lifelong learners not yet fully aware of all the internet could give them—would benefit from experimenting with new technologies and processes in a safe place aka the Studio.
Also last week, I was reminded of the wonderful work being done by Encore Tampa Bay to “assist adults of age 50+ to explore options and select a path to an Encore career – meaningful paid or volunteer service, career change and/or entrepreneurship.” Bevan Rogel, the founder and leader of Encore Tampa Bay, had to find her own purpose before she could help others find theirs. Other Encore initiatives are underway around the country.
Even women such as Maria Shriver and Oprah Winfrey blessed with enormous advantages and talents—for Maria since birth; for Oprah as she labored to succeed brilliantly in cinema and TV—they, too, have struggled to find their way. After resolving impasses, they have revealed some of their missteps, heartaches, and corrections. They have also opened forums for women to share their stories of personal challenge and victory to inspire others. Oprah counsels: “When you don’t know what to do, my best advice is to do nothing until clarity comes. Getting still, being able to hear your own voice and not the voices of the world, quickens clarity. Once you decide what you want, you make a commitment to that decision.”
What is my point? First, all of us will struggle with direction-setting in 75-90 years of living. (I can count three major sticky places and resulting shifts in direction in my life so far.) Second, it is critical to assess periodically where you are and where you’re going and how that makes you feel. If you aren’t happy or long for something more in life, then do something about it. Life is not a dress rehearsal.
If you’re stuck, find a beach as I often do, to surround yourself with the freeing sights and sounds of nature. Maybe take a long walk or sit on a rock to start your “real inner work”. Use the ALIVE model or similar processes to learn more about yourself and what you need to live more fully. Give yourself enough time to sift and sort where you wish to go. Knowing that you are not alone can be reassuring. In fact, talking with others often facilitates discovery. And some of these conversations can happen easily via the internet in informal and supported exchanges one-to-one and in groups. Commitment will follow decision. YOU can do this. . . .