During the first three months of this year, I have felt a mixed bag of emotions. My day to day routine has felt dependable and good but at the same time, I feel stuck. I feel like I just cannot move forward. Have you ever felt that way?
Today, I reflected on why I feel so stuck. I realized that since January, I have had personal and professional situations where I thought I would transition into a new phase, only to have been met with great disappointment.
The personal experience revolved around my elderly mother who lives two hours away from me. As she ages, I feel acutely aware of my future responsibilities in terms of her care. As her only dependable daughter, I am her go-to gal. The two-hour distance makes this quite difficult. So early this year, I put a lot of time and energy in an attempt to relocate her to South Jersey. I worked hard to convince my mother that this was a good idea. This required finding affordable and desirable housing.
I found the perfect place. She instantly fell in love with it. I found a new sense of security knowing she would live so close. We submitted our application and spent days celebrating the upcoming transition. After all, we had not lived in close proximity to each other in 24 years. One week later, the deal fell through. The disappointment hit me like a truck. I had no idea of the burden I felt with the longer distance until I experienced the relief in her potential relocation. In this process, I also discovered that it would be very difficult to find a place for her to live. The grief overwhelmed me.
I spent a couple of weeks readjusting and accepting the reality that she may always be two hours away.
The next high/low experience, a professional one, occurred soon after. My practice was/is thriving. People love the website. They connect to the writings and offerings. The phone rings consistently. I had found myself unable to support all of the incoming business. Time to grow, right?
With one successful therapist on staff, I put the ball in motion to hire more therapists. I had worked hard for this growth and felt ready. Within weeks of this action, my steady staff member had to leave the practice for personal reasons. In addition to this, I have been unable to hire the right therapist for the practice. I went from growing additional staff to no staff at all.
Again, I swung from great excitement to extreme disappointment.
I share these personal experiences as a source for learning. I could easily point to external factors and blame them for my inability to move forward. Yet, if I really want to understand why these situations have not worked in my favor, I need to go deep within. I need to ask myself a difficult question:
Am I Blocking Growth?
At some point in our lives, we need to hold ourselves accountable for the outcome of what happens to us. Whether it’s within relationships, financial debt, career distress, parenting struggles, or other things. Our energy, attitudes and thought processes greatly effect the outcome of our hard work. Unconsciously, we may sabotage our own success. We might say that we want to move forward or grow but inadvertently, we stop that process.
Rather than become a bull, put my head down and charge forward, I’ve decided that I need to slow down, create space, breathe, open my heart and look within.
As part of my work, I need to take responsibility for these outcomes while also accept that I cannot force any situation to happen. I can put my best effort forward. I can be both participant and witness to the unfolding of events. I can detach from the outcome and let go of what I think “should” be happening. I can set new goals and make new decisions based on what arises. I can both influence and live within the flow of my life.
I know that I will resolve my emotional and logistical concerns of my elderly mom. It just may not look like I thought it would. I also know that I will find the resources I need to support the wonderful growth of my business. The timeframe may be different than what I want. I choose to work with this and not against it.
Most importantly, I need to trust that growth is a process. Whether I want to achieve personal or professional goals, when I know I have put my best foot forward with an open mind and open heart, I have done well, despite the outcome. Consider what you need to let go of in order to move with the flow of your life.
My closing mantra for me and for you:
May we maintain openness and flexibility.
May we accept our life outcomes with ease.
May we recognize all of the gifts and opportunities before us.