Have you ever asked yourself the age-old existential question, “Why am I here?” Even when we know deep down what our purpose is in this world, those moments of wonder and self-doubt can still hit hard. Think about a peak experience from your journey... the moment just after receiving an award, being promoted, or finishing a huge project. What do you recall about the first moment you had in private after that success? How did you feel? What did you think? What guided you to that mountain-top moment?
Flip The Script
When we question our purpose, it can be in a moment of desperation, chaos, or adversity. But the blessing in those moments of pain and uncertainty bring us greater clarity once we get grounded again. Why? Because for a brief moment if we feel out of rhythm or off course from our internal compass, something tells us to pay attention and get to work finding that true north once again. While contemplating our purpose is beneficial, there are moments where we must step into action.
When we are called to move, we must flip the script, my friend. Remove the question mark, create a statement of purpose and self-belief to embody a new mantra. Language is symbolic. The tone, pacing, phrasing, and specific words resonate in the mind, body, and soul and guide them as a unified front or disconnected parts of the whole depending on our inner world context in that moment.
Try this exercise to transform the stories you tell yourself and how you receive and believe them...
Say out-loud in a conversational tone, “I am on a path of greatness, here to change the world.”
Now, repeat it with a very monotone and bored tone. “I am on a path of greatness, here to change the world...” What did you notice in the body?
Recite it with all the passion and energy you can muster from the soul. “I am on a path of greatness, here to change the world!!!” What's happening now?
Change the pacing or place emphasis on different syllables.
“I am on a path of greatness, here to change the world.”
“I AM on a path of greatness, here to change the world.”
“I am ON a path of greatness, here to change the world.”
“I am on a PATH of greatness, here to change the world.”
“I am on a path of GREATNESS, here to change the world.”
“I am on a path of greatness, HERE to change the world.”
“I am on a path of greatness, here to CHANGE the world.”
“I am on a path of greatness, here to change the WORLD.”
More and more scientific evidence is demonstrating the importance of connectivity between the mindbody (mind, body, and soul) and the detrimental dysfunction of the disconnectedness of self. Many of our cultural histories are loaded with rituals and practices of storytelling to enhance this connection and trigger wellbeing. As you play around with the way you speak, read, and write, pay attention to the effect of language and symbolic communication on yourself, other people, and the energy or vibe of the space which you occupy.
Flip your script, create your style, own the power of that unique flare, and march to the beat of your own drum.
Rewrite the Rules
Bring that feeling with you into your philosophy of leadership and role as a leader. Remember, in my community 'leader' is not determined by a certain title or role, it is about the essence of how you inspire yourself and others to live their best lives.
Recently, I've been thinking about pay equity for women and the rules, narratives, policies, and stories surrounding 'worth'. I have struggled specifically with how much I charge for my services over the last couple of years as I develop and grow my own business. But I also remember asking for promotions and raises in organizational settings as well, never feeling like what I believed I was worth could be requested or negotiated. In that context, I usually left it up to the individual on the other side of the contract. What a mistake! Even now, too often I find myself cutting my own prices down, and down, and down some more based on the load of self-doubt I carry around always exaggerated by the feedback of others who say, “You’re way too expensive!”
It seems ironic that while I teach others methodical and abstract ways to increase self-esteem and constantly advocate for others not to sell themselves short, self-worth has always been my Achilles heel. Fortunately, with the right tools I can trace my steps back to every moment that I was taught by other people what I'm worth - good or bad. In a contemplative state, I relive the memories and moments of shame - being asked to do my work for nothing or being told I charge way too much. I feel it fully in my body and sometimes turn the volume up to let those feelings overwhelm all of my senses. In this state of being, I can make very clear and precise decisions about what to do next.
Should I keep letting other people determine my worth?
Are these rules around pay and compensation honoring my experience, expertise, and passion?
Where do I feel the emotionally-charged memories hitting my physical body?
Can I let go now?
If yes, what is my new rule and standard for self-care and loyalty to my true worth (yes, fair pay is a form of self-care)?
I breathe, go inward, and listen to the deep rhythm of what I deserve and get back in-step.
I invite you to join me in doing the same. Over and over, repeat this process until no more do you question your purpose nor do you allow others to determine the worth of that meaningful and impactful service you bring to the world.
Build a Sisterhood
Antiquated rules and survival-based mantras have no place in a life of thriving. Easier said than done, but it is quite possible to move out of survival mode and live in joy, pleasure, quietude, and purpose. You have a path. Walk it with firmly grounded steps. You are worth more than you believe. Demand appropriate compensation and respect. Each time we enter a new season of life, we are presented with an opportunity to release what no longer serves us and design a lifestyle that better meets our needs. Please keep growing and stepping-up to new levels of love, prosperity, and wellbeing.
On May 15, I invite you to join me along with my dear friend and co-host, Anne, at our virtual Flower Moon workshop to explore the elements of personal connections (with self and others) that you wish to let go of in your life. A boss, partner, neighbor, friend, certain versions of yourself... the list goes on and on. This event is a gathering for both youth and adults who are curious about spiritual self-development centered in the essence of the Flower Moon asking us to assess relationships in our lives to release those who may be holding us back and to create space in our hearts for new, healthier connections.
This week, slow down, go inward, and get in-tune with your rhythm and beat at an even deeper level. Self-leadership is a lifelong journey requiring us to continue evolving the practice of active listening and the service of fulfilling personal needs. Take a few minutes to hangout with The Chicks (AKA The Dixie Chicks), and journal or meditate on the extent to which you hear, feel, and follow the beat of your drum.