Over the holiday break, my husband and I dedicated some time to cleaning out the garage. Not only did we have boxes still left to go through from our move and subsequent remodel four years ago, but my mom had finally rid her garage of all my childhood things. You know, boxes of old love notes, every soccer uniform I ever wore, trophies, stuffed animals, a pink Barbie car.
So we started decluttering the cement sanctuary, aka the garage. We were reminded of years past -- the ups, the downs and who we were then. The really big deals that, looking back, were nothing but a change in the times. It makes you wonder how we’ll look back at this period of our lives when we’re 70, 80, 90 years old.
In one of the boxes I found a journal that I started in 2003, right after I graduated from college. It wasn’t a typical journal -- more of a goal setting and tracking workbook. On the right side of the page, I put my goals for the year. The list was usually 15 to 20 things -- everything from “saving more money” to “feeling sexy” or “running a half marathon.” The practical things I wanted to accomplish and how I wanted to feel.
Then, on the left side of the page, I would write what I ended up doing throughout the year. I’d write my goals in January and then I’d update the left-hand side of the page every three or four months with what I had accomplished and what I had left to create, experience or feel.
It was simple. It was effective. I did this goal setting and tracking exercise for six years. Why did I stop? It likely had to do with a move that buried my journal in one of the aforementioned boxes -- and it’s no coincidence that that same year I met my husband and we set off on a 18-month whirlwind romance that ended in an epic wedding. I was deeply in love and the focus on me… shifted to we.
So, from 2009 to 2016, the focus was family and work. Have babies. Get promoted. Full stop. And so that’s what I did.
But what I didn’t realize during this seven-year stretch is my connection to who I was and what I wanted was starting to fade. The comfort of our every day was actually a weak spot where my dreams, ambitions and life goals sat dormant. I mean, why stir the pot when it's good as is?
The reason is that eventually, whether you like it or not, you’ll get to the point where you can start to see the bottom of the pot. You’ll sense that there’s something else, missing in your bowl of life soup, and that you must have it. It becomes a craving you can’t deny to figure out what it is – what else is there?!
You see, when we’re comfortable, we stop seeking. We stop asking what it is we want to deeply experience. We stop exploring who we are and what is imprinted on our “soul’s checklist” -- not a checklist we create, but one that comes with us the moment we enter this world.
And so it’s no wonder that when I look back at that journal, at the goals, desires and dreams I had wanted to experience then but never did, that I’m going after them now without even being aware that I wished for them eight years ago. It’s no coincidence; it’s my soul’s fate to answer the call within. Why my soul has to experience these things, I am not sure, but I’ve given up needing to know the answers to the why and instead am following the because this is what is and what is, is exactly what needs to be.
Some of the things scribbled in my journal:
- Starting my own company (listed in 2009) => launched in September 2017
- Meditation (listed 2006-2009) => started meditating daily in October 2017
- Spirituality (listed 2003-2009) => hired a coach and deeply explored myself in February 2017
- More reading (listed 2006) => started reading every day in March 2017
It took me 8 years to return to what my soul craved. And who knows what doors these activities that I’ve been craving will open.
It’s so rare that we feel the depths of life that when we do it’s super uncomfortable. The feelings are deep, make us feel alive, vulnerable and out of control. So we stop, we retreat to comfort and what’s known.
So, what’s on your list? Are you subconsciously feeling pulled toward things you pushed aside years ago? Write them down. Get curious. Learn something about that story deep within that wants to be told.
Imagine if your life goal was to become yourself. That’s it. Not a life of luxury and comfort, but one of internal peace and aliveness. To explore the blueprint of our soul that whispers to us, that nudges us, that reminds us that we are here to awaken the joy within us so we can awaken the joy in others.
How would it feel when you’re 80 years old, looking back at your life, to really know who you are? To share stories with your grandchildren about the life you led, the things you experienced, the lessons you know to be true, and the miracles that life brought to your path. Imagine the satisfaction, reverence, the pure joy of a life well lived. That is worth getting uncomfortable for.
We are here to support you on your journey. To help you deeply know yourself, to help you become who it is you’re meant to be in your life as is, and as you want it to be. Visit our shop to see the intro packages we offer or write me, I’ll share how we can help: Lizzie@collectivegain.com.