Today marks the fifth anniversary of the laying of the foundation for the movement from the head to the heart in my working life. Well, not exactly this specific day, but right around this time five years ago I felt a growing conflict with the work I was doing.
The Burn Out
This conflict was the result of too many years of working too many hours under too many demands (most of them my own), in which I came to a place of emotional turmoil. What I had previously felt endless amounts of passion and drive for gradually became heavy feeling and oppressive. Successes felt more like relief than accomplishment. Failures seemed more like despair than learning.
I was, you could say, burned out. I had reached the point in the line in which something just had to change. Yet, it was another year and a half before I made the jump, left my corporate sales job, and ventured into the unknown waters of Balanced Is.
In its first iteration Balanced Is was a complete unknown because at the time I had no idea what I was doing, who my target audience was or what service I was providing. I was in the place of figuring out how I would communicate an unknown offering to an unknown market.
At first I had a fair amount of event work that came my way based merely on my reputation and experience in that arena, yet very quickly that too came to feel heavy and oppressive. It then took another two years for me to get clear that I was done with event work as well … and so I ventured further into the unknown.
Why am I sharing this story? Because today I grow increasingly more clear of the absolute beauty and purpose of this struggle. I’ve heard it said that Leonardo Da Vinci stared at a hunk of marble for many months before beginning to carve what became the statue of David. I think that in any endeavor worth committing ourselves too (the endeavors that we are meant to do) that it takes not just patience, but huge amounts of trust to know that we’re on the right path.
How do we know that we’re on the right path? The answer is what I’ve been feeling week after week, month after month, for almost four years now—that the more I work in the capacity of helping businesses, leaders, and professional people shift and strengthen their culture I feel great amounts of joy and excitement.
It’s the feeling that tells me that I’m on the right track, not my analytical head that is measuring outcomes and comparing to others, just simply how it feels. What makes it so hard is that it means we have to stop comparing ourselves, our lives, and our results with others, with the past or with our image of what the future should look like. All we need to do is live according to the direction of our hearts.
Tip of the Week
Take time to consider where you feel heaviness in your life—maybe your job or your business, or perhaps just with an aspect of your work. Consider for a moment: what if the feeling of heaviness was your inner intuition telling you that this area of work or this job or this business or industry is not your path. Be cautious not to confuse heavy with hard. There are many tasks that we need to do that are just hard, like for me doing taxes or scrubbing the tile in the shower. That feeling is different than heavy. Heavy is the feeling that this is not right, that it’s not what we’re meant to do. Discerning the difference and following the feeling is entering the realm of heart-based living.