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One True Voice [Day 18 – 28 Days to GYST]

This is Day 18 of 28 Days to Getting Your Sh*t Together.  Yesterday, Pace Smith inspired us to change the (our) world AND to really connect with others who can help us do that in a meaningful way. I knew you’d love her. :-) Today, my amazingly talented (she’s the designer of choice for many of the rockstars who’ve already posted here) and deeply insightful friend, Reese Spykerman shares her thoughts on the One True Voice you should be listening to. It’s awesome. :-)

By: Reese Spykerman | @reese

Geneen Roth is one of the few authors I pay any heed to anymore.

Among her many topics is diet culture, about how we listen to the authority of others, versus our own bodies, when it comes to choosing how and what to eat. In her book Breaking Free from Emotional Eating (Dear men in the house, please bear with me for 2 paragraphs), she writes:

“We eat what the current authority tells us to eat, when we are told to eat it. And because the current authority is usurped monthly by a more current authority, what and when we feed ourselves also changes – and often.”

Getting our shit together is no different.

Bookstores and marketing departments make gazillions in releasing titles and information that tell us what to do to be more productive, more romantic, more organized, less stressed, more hyped, leaner, bolder, blonder, more rich, more happy, more everything, less some things.

In recent years, there’s the addition of a new veneer of individualism or “authenticity” thrown in just to take our egos for a new ride.

And we believe them. We believe in the wisdom of someone’s face on a book more than we believe in ourselves, even when we think we’re being rebels in what we do.

We figure that anyone gifted (or is it really connected?) enough to get a book published must know something more than we know.

Or we think that nomadic woman who built her six-figure business in a year must know a thing or two that we don’t, and we are lesser beings accordingly.

Maybe she does. Maybe she doesn’t. But in choosing, consistently, to listen more to the mantras of others than we do to the song inside of ourselves, we live a life of denial.

Our true heart is left rejected. We’ll walk around with uncertainty, until some book or product seems to pave the way and hold the secrets, and then, for a flint of a moment, we strut a bit because we think we know now what to do.

We think the path is clear.the path is clear

Then the path fails, or perhaps it succeeds for a short while, but before long we’re empty again and craving the advice of someone else to tell us something else about how the hell to make our lives something better.

The cycle never ends. There will, I promise, always be a trove of books, programs and gurus at the ready to sell you what they know.

The problem isn’t with the selling or the commercialization or the marketing.

The problem is we give all that more credence than we’re ever willing to dare to give ourselves.

And we are left thirsty and small, stuck in a Gravatron ride of advice, success (or failure), dejection, advice, success/failure, dejection, uncertainty, advice, and onward.

After years of this, it’s frightening to imagine looking within for the enlightenment we seek. So much conditioning leads to chronic self-doubt.

We stand frozen, facing a battle between our egos, which think we should continue as planned, and our souls, which never feel heard.

So what do you to stop this mess? Self-admonishment and drastic measures are rarely the answer. You could stop all at once or you could be kind to yourself and a bit patient and begin extracting yourself from the commercialized relationships that are their own special brand of Xanax.

You let one go, you see how that feels.

Maybe you question one internally. “Does this person really know what’s best for me?”

Maybe you start defining your own rules and order for scheduling in your life.

And then you begin to question the next thing you stumble across that promises magical secrets.

What about your own wild, passionate magical secrets?

Do they not deserve to be heard?

Will you not allow them a voice, just for you? A moment on the stage, a chance with the mic?

There’s so much discomfort surrounding this prospect. We’ll avoid immediate discomfort at all costs, even if our long-term mental health and sanity are at stake.

To choose your own voice’s wisdom when it comes to doing your Big Thing or living your life or communicating with your partner or getting your shit together, it’s a courageous act.

It’s you being brave.

There is no overnight change, at least not in my experience. No earth-shattering ah ha, no American-Idol-winning moment. While there will always be a need and desire for the wisdom and help of others, there is the realization that enough is enough, and the path before you is incredibly foggy, but it is YOURS.

Your path. Your way. Your wisdom.

You will fall and you will get lost. Unlike the usual list of promises and benefits, I’m not going to sell you bullshit on this one. The paths of others will converge with yours and often they will try to pull your path in their direction.

And if you follow that – if you believe their paths are more worthy than your own, you find yourself five years from now wondering where you went, how you got here, and why you feel so stripped inside.

The way out isn’t found through me, or through Sarah, or through the bloggers and marketers you admire.

The way out is you. I don’t know what that path looks like, and neither, probably, do you.

That’s the rub.

But that is also where you find peace, where you dance not with jaded bitterness of all you know now and your journey thus far, but with joy over the uncertainty.

When you get your shit together in this way, it’s not a grounded thing. It’s not a finite, directed path.

But in the uncertainty of listening to our own musings and thoughts, we begin to feel whole again.

We find hardships are lighter. Creativity comes with more ease. There’s a softening to everything until the seasons of our goals and milestones blend together kindly.

We see that what may be a greater path than making a grand impact on thousands of people is making a life-changing impact on a few we love dearly. Our egos quiet, and we make things out of love and passion, regardless of their end scale.

And it becomes enough. More than enough. It becomes a life where “having it all together” really means trusting, above all else, in ourselves.

****************************************************************************************

How does this post make you feel? Uncertain? Inspired? Skeptical? Do you have faith in your ability to trust yourself above all others? If not, what tiny step can you take to start?

****************************************************************************************

Photo credit goes to: Nina Matthews on Flickr.

reese spykermanReese Spykerman is a designer who goes to the antique store and farmers market and library to get inspiration for her work. In 2011, getting her shit together looks something like a return to work just for herself. You can connect with her on Twitter at @reese.

>> Over 500 people are so committed to getting their sh*t together in February that they are getting a DAILY email from me. And new people are STILL joining!!It’s not toolate to join them for a kick-ass month!
http://ow.ly/3SszM<<

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  • http://www.etchd.com/ Bernadette Jiwa

    Hi Reese,

    Great post!
    Most of us are guilty of wanting to follow instead of leading. It feels safer to trod well-­‐worn paths than to  go exploring in a wilderness.  So we end up rushing to be average and safe. Our creativity sapped we look to see what the other guy is doing for
    inspiration. That doesn’t make us inspired. That renders us a cheap imitation.

    Looking forward to seeing what 2011 holds for you as you navigate it without a map.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Bernie. Once I made the decision to navigate without aa map, I felt relief. I feel it now as I reiterate it in writing.

      Doesn’t mean it’s not scary. THe safer path allures. But I don’t want to be that cheap imitation :)

    • Anonymous

      Oooooo I love the image of “a cheap imitation”. That is SO not what I want to be!

      • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

        Why imitate when there’s no competition for just being you?

        • Anonymous

          I think many many people believe they, just as they are, are not enough or worthy. So they chase after a fictional version of themselves that sounds and looks better – but that isn’t real. Oh and now you have me thinking about that great part in the velveteen rabbit where the horse talks about What Is Real……

          • http://www.etchd.com/ Bernadette Jiwa

            That’s it exactly Sarah!

  • http://www.etchd.com/ Bernadette Jiwa

    Hi Reese,

    Great post!
    Most of us are guilty of wanting to follow instead of leading. It feels safer to trod well-­‐worn paths than to  go exploring in a wilderness.  So we end up rushing to be average and safe. Our creativity sapped we look to see what the other guy is doing for
    inspiration. That doesn’t make us inspired. That renders us a cheap imitation.

    Looking forward to seeing what 2011 holds for you as you navigate it without a map.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Bernie. Once I made the decision to navigate without aa map, I felt relief. I feel it now as I reiterate it in writing.

      Doesn’t mean it’s not scary. THe safer path allures. But I don’t want to be that cheap imitation :)

    • Anonymous

      Oooooo I love the image of “a cheap imitation”. That is SO not what I want to be!

      • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

        Why imitate when there’s no competition for just being you?

        • Anonymous

          I think many many people believe they, just as they are, are not enough or worthy. So they chase after a fictional version of themselves that sounds and looks better – but that isn’t real. Oh and now you have me thinking about that great part in the velveteen rabbit where the horse talks about What Is Real……

          • http://www.etchd.com/ Bernadette Jiwa

            That’s it exactly Sarah!

  • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

    Wonderful post, Reese…I was waiting for one like this during this month. :) There are always some great comments and things going on once this type of post goes up.

    However, as someone who has anxiety issues, posts like this scare the shit out of me. I don’t want to completely rely on other people, and I know that I cant, but as Sarah puts it, burning the ships and having a viking funeral is something I can’t wrap my head around. I admire people that can do it to a level of admiration they probably cannot understand…I’m just not sure its for me.

    But that’s ok…because not everyone can be the boss. For every executive officer, you have untold amounts of other people doing work that does satisfy them, even if they’re not 100% on their own path.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Mark,
      i absolutely understand that anxiety. Often times, the fear of the action we’ll take is worse than the action itself. We would rather be uncomfortable but certain because uncertainty is more uncomfortable than that.

      You don’t have to do this overnight, Mark. Sarah burned her ships, but for others (including me) it’s a slower process. Just a series of steps, over many months/more than a year, that brought me closer to believing in my own vision. You can practice something small each day. Perhaps reading fewer blogs/sites. Or starting a journal for you to work out what it is you want. Small things like that, yeah?

      And if it’s not for you, that’s OK, too. Only you can decide that :)

      Good luck,a nd thank you so much for taking the time to comment

      • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

        Small steps are definitely how it works…I try to do something every day, for sure. Everyone has a different path, that’s the fun part. Some paths like mine meander a bit more, and some go straight through. Its just hard to watch so many people go straight through when you meander.

        I definitely have a bit more of my anxiety and depression issues than I used to, but I have learned a lot about myself along the way, found some stuff that is for me and is not. I definitely love and thrive in the business environment, I just haven’t figured out yet if I’m the boss.

      • Anonymous

        You know me Mark. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Which ISN”T the best course for most people. :-) And I agree with the Reese – staying comfortable in the known, all be it less than ideal, is often WAY better than risking something different that might not work out. And, for me, if I stand there peering over the edge of the cliff long enough, My nerves will get the best of me and I will walk away. Hesitating doesn’t make it less scary. In fact, it makes it worse. Choose one small thing and execute it. I KNOW what is waiting for you on the other side. :-)

        • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

          I would like nothing more than to fail at something, for at least that means I tried. But I definitely understand not trying, and what goes into that.

          Im sure there’s good on the other side, but this side is pretty damn nice right now too. :)

          • Anonymous

            I know it is. but if it were all it could be, you wouldn’t be hankering so hard for something more. :-)

          • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

            This is why I love what you do with your blog, Sarah – There are so many universal things out there that mean different things to different people, and you manage to bring them all together and put them on a plate like a summer picnic, you know, the one with the dividers in it.

            Even when you see the point of a post as something unintended, it still works…and in some cases, actually leads you to the point the way it was intended, fulfilling the whole post to begin with. :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

            Hi, Mark,

            If I might add my $.02?

            I think the most important thing is to really, really listen to your heart. What is it trying to say? Everyone of us deeply wants to impact our world. Every one of us. There are no exceptions. The problem is that we too often allow the noise, demands, and expectations of “society” crowd out the song we so desperately want to sing. The anxiety we feel at our root is “What if I sing and the world hates the song, or worse yet, ignores it?”

            The conclusion I’ve recently come to is that, yes, it would be very painful to experience our world’s hatred or it’s ignoring us, but singing the song is why we are here. It’s what’s at our root as human beings. It’s in the singing that we experience the joy, pleasure, and adventure of living life to it’s fullest. Audience appreciation is only the icing on the cake. Nice to have, sure, but not absolutely necessary.

            If, on the other hand, we allow our fears to choke out the song, then we will end up suffering the worst kind of hell on earth — regret.

            You’ve got a song, Mark. It sounds like you truly want to sing it. Go for it. I’d love to hear it — even in small bits and pieces — I’d really like to hear it. :-)

          • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

            Agreed, sir. We are here to do what we are here to do, and its our job to make sure we get it done. I’m definitely not scared to do my job, and I’ve been all over the map of being listened to and ignored and so on. You’re right, it runs the range of emotions from top to bottom.

            To be honest, I’m not 100% sure where all the anxiety is coming from. It seems to me like its often a part of how my mind works, kind of like the angel/devil on my shoulder making me think a little more than usual.

    • http://www.beatrizalemar.com Beatriz Alemar

      Mark,

      You’re right – not everyone can be the boss. BUT, you can be the boss of your life and your path. Just because you’re working with others doesn’t mean that you aren’t in control of your ship.

      If you don’t want to burn your ship, don’t. But, don’t do it because YOU want to, not because you’re scared or because society tells you it’s silly. But, because it fits into your vision.

      Now, if you do – that’s a different story. You don’t have to go for all or nothing – something I struggle to come to terms with as well. Even if it seems far off, a small step can take you in the direction YOU want to go regardless of anxiety or depression. You have plenty of supporters – we’ll be here if you stumble. Help pick you back up and send you on your way. But you have to choose to follow your path.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      hey again, Mark. What Beatriz said. She summed it up really well.

      • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

        Indeed she did. Thanks to you both, as well as David. :)

  • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

    Wonderful post, Reese…I was waiting for one like this during this month. :) There are always some great comments and things going on once this type of post goes up.

    However, as someone who has anxiety issues, posts like this scare the shit out of me. I don’t want to completely rely on other people, and I know that I cant, but as Sarah puts it, burning the ships and having a viking funeral is something I can’t wrap my head around. I admire people that can do it to a level of admiration they probably cannot understand…I’m just not sure its for me.

    But that’s ok…because not everyone can be the boss. For every executive officer, you have untold amounts of other people doing work that does satisfy them, even if they’re not 100% on their own path.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Mark,
      i absolutely understand that anxiety. Often times, the fear of the action we’ll take is worse than the action itself. We would rather be uncomfortable but certain because uncertainty is more uncomfortable than that.

      You don’t have to do this overnight, Mark. Sarah burned her ships, but for others (including me) it’s a slower process. Just a series of steps, over many months/more than a year, that brought me closer to believing in my own vision. You can practice something small each day. Perhaps reading fewer blogs/sites. Or starting a journal for you to work out what it is you want. Small things like that, yeah?

      And if it’s not for you, that’s OK, too. Only you can decide that :)

      Good luck,a nd thank you so much for taking the time to comment

      • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

        Small steps are definitely how it works…I try to do something every day, for sure. Everyone has a different path, that’s the fun part. Some paths like mine meander a bit more, and some go straight through. Its just hard to watch so many people go straight through when you meander.

        I definitely have a bit more of my anxiety and depression issues than I used to, but I have learned a lot about myself along the way, found some stuff that is for me and is not. I definitely love and thrive in the business environment, I just haven’t figured out yet if I’m the boss.

      • Anonymous

        You know me Mark. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Which ISN”T the best course for most people. :-) And I agree with the Reese – staying comfortable in the known, all be it less than ideal, is often WAY better than risking something different that might not work out. And, for me, if I stand there peering over the edge of the cliff long enough, My nerves will get the best of me and I will walk away. Hesitating doesn’t make it less scary. In fact, it makes it worse. Choose one small thing and execute it. I KNOW what is waiting for you on the other side. :-)

        • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

          I would like nothing more than to fail at something, for at least that means I tried. But I definitely understand not trying, and what goes into that.

          Im sure there’s good on the other side, but this side is pretty damn nice right now too. :)

          • Anonymous

            I know it is. but if it were all it could be, you wouldn’t be hankering so hard for something more. :-)

          • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

            This is why I love what you do with your blog, Sarah – There are so many universal things out there that mean different things to different people, and you manage to bring them all together and put them on a plate like a summer picnic, you know, the one with the dividers in it.

            Even when you see the point of a post as something unintended, it still works…and in some cases, actually leads you to the point the way it was intended, fulfilling the whole post to begin with. :)

          • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

            Hi, Mark,

            If I might add my $.02?

            I think the most important thing is to really, really listen to your heart. What is it trying to say? Everyone of us deeply wants to impact our world. Every one of us. There are no exceptions. The problem is that we too often allow the noise, demands, and expectations of “society” crowd out the song we so desperately want to sing. The anxiety we feel at our root is “What if I sing and the world hates the song, or worse yet, ignores it?”

            The conclusion I’ve recently come to is that, yes, it would be very painful to experience our world’s hatred or it’s ignoring us, but singing the song is why we are here. It’s what’s at our root as human beings. It’s in the singing that we experience the joy, pleasure, and adventure of living life to it’s fullest. Audience appreciation is only the icing on the cake. Nice to have, sure, but not absolutely necessary.

            If, on the other hand, we allow our fears to choke out the song, then we will end up suffering the worst kind of hell on earth — regret.

            You’ve got a song, Mark. It sounds like you truly want to sing it. Go for it. I’d love to hear it — even in small bits and pieces — I’d really like to hear it. :-)

          • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

            Agreed, sir. We are here to do what we are here to do, and its our job to make sure we get it done. I’m definitely not scared to do my job, and I’ve been all over the map of being listened to and ignored and so on. You’re right, it runs the range of emotions from top to bottom.

            To be honest, I’m not 100% sure where all the anxiety is coming from. It seems to me like its often a part of how my mind works, kind of like the angel/devil on my shoulder making me think a little more than usual.

    • http://www.beatrizalemar.com Beatriz Alemar

      Mark,

      You’re right – not everyone can be the boss. BUT, you can be the boss of your life and your path. Just because you’re working with others doesn’t mean that you aren’t in control of your ship.

      If you don’t want to burn your ship, don’t. But, don’t do it because YOU want to, not because you’re scared or because society tells you it’s silly. But, because it fits into your vision.

      Now, if you do – that’s a different story. You don’t have to go for all or nothing – something I struggle to come to terms with as well. Even if it seems far off, a small step can take you in the direction YOU want to go regardless of anxiety or depression. You have plenty of supporters – we’ll be here if you stumble. Help pick you back up and send you on your way. But you have to choose to follow your path.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      hey again, Mark. What Beatriz said. She summed it up really well.

      • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

        Indeed she did. Thanks to you both, as well as David. :)

  • http://nathalielussier.com Nathalie Lussier

    Oh Reese, what a sigh-relief-causing post! I couldn’t agree more, we’re all searching and searching out there when the true good stuff is in here. *points to heart*

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning, educating yourself, etc. I can definitely relate to the diet thing since there are a lot of raw food gurus who seem to change their tune every few years about what’s good… but there are also some commonalities to glean from all of these that we can test out for ourselves. :)

    • Anonymous

      Hey Natalie, so splendid to see you here! I smiled at *points to heart* :)

      I think testing is good. Then one draws their own conclusions. It’s more the acceptance without critical thought and testing that numbs people. It’s so easy to sway back and forth between one method to the next without stopping to ask “what do I really think? does this really fit for me?”

      • http://nathalielussier.com Nathalie Lussier

        You’re so right about the swaying back and forth. Did that for awhile, not so helpful ya know? ;) Thanks for this!

    • Anonymous

      could someone draw a picture of “points to heart”?! I’ve been the one running from guru to guru thinking that surely one of them had the magic pill. It was only when I realized that there wasn’t one, there was just me, that things in my life and my business finally fell into place.

      I LOVE seeing you here. :-)

      • http://nathalielussier.com Nathalie Lussier

        Ooh so wise and helpful, and it’s true it’s just you and your business… you have the answers inside. :)

  • http://nathalielussier.com Nathalie Lussier

    Oh Reese, what a sigh-relief-causing post! I couldn’t agree more, we’re all searching and searching out there when the true good stuff is in here. *points to heart*

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning, educating yourself, etc. I can definitely relate to the diet thing since there are a lot of raw food gurus who seem to change their tune every few years about what’s good… but there are also some commonalities to glean from all of these that we can test out for ourselves. :)

    • Anonymous

      Hey Natalie, so splendid to see you here! I smiled at *points to heart* :)

      I think testing is good. Then one draws their own conclusions. It’s more the acceptance without critical thought and testing that numbs people. It’s so easy to sway back and forth between one method to the next without stopping to ask “what do I really think? does this really fit for me?”

      • http://nathalielussier.com Nathalie Lussier

        You’re so right about the swaying back and forth. Did that for awhile, not so helpful ya know? ;) Thanks for this!

    • Anonymous

      could someone draw a picture of “points to heart”?! I’ve been the one running from guru to guru thinking that surely one of them had the magic pill. It was only when I realized that there wasn’t one, there was just me, that things in my life and my business finally fell into place.

      I LOVE seeing you here. :-)

      • http://nathalielussier.com Nathalie Lussier

        Ooh so wise and helpful, and it’s true it’s just you and your business… you have the answers inside. :)

  • http://www.myirishtravels.com Brenda

    Well, well, well…I have been following the 28 days, not always in a timely fashion, but I am still here and this post whacked me right upside my head. All my life I feel as if I have been doing what others want or tell me to do. ENOUGH! I’ve been unemployed/self-employed for almost 2 years now. I will be a “99er” in a few weeks. My neighbor is looking for jobs for me. I don’t want a JOB. I want to be an internet marketer and help local businesses. Nobody gets it because I’m not making enough right now to support my son and myself.

    I am printing out this post and I will read it every night and every morning until I have dug the tunnel through all the crap to “me’ and discovered, on my own, how I can be “me”.

    Thank you Reese!

    • Anonymous

      Oh, Brenda, it’s even harder when your basic level of needs isn’t fully being met. (See the blog heartofbusiness.com by Mark Silver–today he has a great post with a needs hierarchy on it). How can we aspire to our highest level, and leave space for that voice to be heard, when the bills pile up, etc? So you, you are still rising above all that, which is much much more t han so many do, and you deserve a world of kudos for that. Keep your dreams in front of you.

    • Anonymous

      Several years ago, one of my mentors, Andrea Lee, introduced me to the concept of a “day job”. That’s the thing you do to pay the bills until your Real Job has enough traction. for me, calling it a “day job” puts it in it’s proper perspective. It sounds temporary and less than meaningful because, well, it is. It only exists to take the pressure off. It isn’t ‘you”. It’s just a thing. I know a TON of people who are successful online business owners who built it while working a “day job”. May or may not be a fit for you – but thought of it as I read your comment. :-)

    • http://eventstrategysolutions.com Daphne Bousquet, CMP

      Suzanne Evans calls that “Day Job” a short term business loan. I love that. Make sure you can survive while you build your business. You can do it, Brenda!

  • http://www.myirishtravels.com Brenda

    Well, well, well…I have been following the 28 days, not always in a timely fashion, but I am still here and this post whacked me right upside my head. All my life I feel as if I have been doing what others want or tell me to do. ENOUGH! I’ve been unemployed/self-employed for almost 2 years now. I will be a “99er” in a few weeks. My neighbor is looking for jobs for me. I don’t want a JOB. I want to be an internet marketer and help local businesses. Nobody gets it because I’m not making enough right now to support my son and myself.

    I am printing out this post and I will read it every night and every morning until I have dug the tunnel through all the crap to “me’ and discovered, on my own, how I can be “me”.

    Thank you Reese!

    • Anonymous

      Oh, Brenda, it’s even harder when your basic level of needs isn’t fully being met. (See the blog heartofbusiness.com by Mark Silver–today he has a great post with a needs hierarchy on it). How can we aspire to our highest level, and leave space for that voice to be heard, when the bills pile up, etc? So you, you are still rising above all that, which is much much more t han so many do, and you deserve a world of kudos for that. Keep your dreams in front of you.

    • Anonymous

      Several years ago, one of my mentors, Andrea Lee, introduced me to the concept of a “day job”. That’s the thing you do to pay the bills until your Real Job has enough traction. for me, calling it a “day job” puts it in it’s proper perspective. It sounds temporary and less than meaningful because, well, it is. It only exists to take the pressure off. It isn’t ‘you”. It’s just a thing. I know a TON of people who are successful online business owners who built it while working a “day job”. May or may not be a fit for you – but thought of it as I read your comment. :-)

    • http://eventstrategysolutions.com Daphne Bousquet, CMP

      Suzanne Evans calls that “Day Job” a short term business loan. I love that. Make sure you can survive while you build your business. You can do it, Brenda!

  • http://twitter.com/jdavidtrotter David Trotter

    Reese – great insights! From my perspective, each one of those books is the path that worked best for that particular author. When something works for us, it seems like we take on one of two perspectives (or a combination of both):

    1. We sincerely want to help others by sharing what we’ve learned (and what works for us).
    2. We think everyone else should take the same path, because it’s the ‘only’ way to succeed (more implicit than explicit).

    Finding my path is a combination of Divine guidance, the input of my community (family/friends), learning from those who have walked the road before me, and the vision/hopes/dreams that are bubbling up within me.

    • Anonymous

      hi david! thanks so much for sharing your perspective here. have a lovely weekend :)

    • Anonymous

      Yes David – you have FOR SURE learned how to listen to your “one true voice”. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/jdavidtrotter David Trotter

    Reese – great insights! From my perspective, each one of those books is the path that worked best for that particular author. When something works for us, it seems like we take on one of two perspectives (or a combination of both):

    1. We sincerely want to help others by sharing what we’ve learned (and what works for us).
    2. We think everyone else should take the same path, because it’s the ‘only’ way to succeed (more implicit than explicit).

    Finding my path is a combination of Divine guidance, the input of my community (family/friends), learning from those who have walked the road before me, and the vision/hopes/dreams that are bubbling up within me.

    • Anonymous

      hi david! thanks so much for sharing your perspective here. have a lovely weekend :)

    • Anonymous

      Yes David – you have FOR SURE learned how to listen to your “one true voice”. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/siontee Sion Gh

    THANK YOU REESE! I completely agree with everything you said.I’m actually very glad& grateful to read something that resonates so much with me.BlessU!

    • Anonymous

      thanks for the comment & blessings, Sion!

    • Anonymous

      Reese is pretty awesome at writing stuff that resonates. One of the 1 million reasons I her. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/siontee Sion Gh

    THANK YOU REESE! I completely agree with everything you said.I’m actually very glad& grateful to read something that resonates so much with me.BlessU!

    • Anonymous

      thanks for the comment & blessings, Sion!

    • Anonymous

      Reese is pretty awesome at writing stuff that resonates. One of the 1 million reasons I her. :-)

  • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

    Holy Sh*t…

    First I left my MAP at home, and now you tell me also to leave my COMPASS at home.. and start discover the Wild Passionate Secrets of being ME..

    Yuup, your article inspired me to get in touch with my crazy bones again. Those bones that really kick me over the edge and make me do all those uncomfortable things. Now how can it be that the most uncomfortable thing is to be comfortable with yourself?..

    Listen – build a relationship – build trust – care and value myself.. And be authentic..

    Well Sarah’s 28 Days here is for sure putting fire to the magic.. I guess it like Anthony Robbins preach that when you learned to Walk on Fire that is when you discover the untapped power within yourself.

    Your article here was equivalent to Anthony Robbins ‘FireWalk’..

    (Ohh by the way Sarah – your email said this was Day #14 – was this a trick to see if I’m still paying attention ;)

    Cheers.. Are

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Hey Crazy Bones. Let’s walk on fire the next time we meet. :-)

      • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

        Sounds like a plan John. Really digging SlideShare’s newest addition – ZipCast. So have to digg even more into this tool.

        Wanted to participate in one of the events in NY this year, and now I see Blog World will be having two sessions. One in NY and one in Vegas. The NY event looks to be good timing for me.

        I think you will be at SobCon.. Though Chicago Pizza sounds tempting, this might come to fast for me. But I see what I can work out.

        Cheers.. Are

    • Anonymous

      well fark. I got int a hurry this morning and then the mini turk decided to draw all over himself with markers…..and well…that’s the best I got. :-) Glad you opened it anyway AND that 28 Days is giving so much great stuff. Reese is pretty amazing, isn’t she?!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      hey Are. I think you’re the first person to compare me to Tony Robbins. Heeheehee. Glad your crazy bones are gonna peek out and go dancing. You WILL take them dancing, right?

      • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

        Sounds like a great plan.. was on mine and my wife’s Sh*t list for this year.. Dance More..

        Cheers.. Are

  • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

    Holy Sh*t…

    First I left my MAP at home, and now you tell me also to leave my COMPASS at home.. and start discover the Wild Passionate Secrets of being ME..

    Yuup, your article inspired me to get in touch with my crazy bones again. Those bones that really kick me over the edge and make me do all those uncomfortable things. Now how can it be that the most uncomfortable thing is to be comfortable with yourself?..

    Listen – build a relationship – build trust – care and value myself.. And be authentic..

    Well Sarah’s 28 Days here is for sure putting fire to the magic.. I guess it like Anthony Robbins preach that when you learned to Walk on Fire that is when you discover the untapped power within yourself.

    Your article her was equivalent to Anthony Robbins ‘FireWalk’..

    Cheers.. Are

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Hey Crazy Bones. Let’s walk on fire the next time we meet. :-)

      • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

        Sounds like a plan John. Really digging SlideShare’s newest addition – ZipCast. So have to digg even more into this tool.

        Wanted to participate in one of the events in NY this year, and now I see Blog World will be having two sessions. One in NY and one in Vegas. The NY event looks to be good timing for me.

        I think you will be at SobCon.. Though Chicago Pizza sounds tempting, this might come to fast for me. But I see what I can work out.

        Cheers.. Are

    • Anonymous

      well fark. I got int a hurry this morning and then the mini turk decided to draw all over himself with markers…..and well…that’s the best I got. :-) Glad you opened it anyway AND that 28 Days is giving so much great stuff. Reese is pretty amazing, isn’t she?!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      hey Are. I think you’re the first person to compare me to Tony Robbins. Heeheehee. Glad your crazy bones are gonna peek out and go dancing. You WILL take them dancing, right?

      • http://aremorch.com Are Morch

        Sounds like a great plan.. was on mine and my wife’s Sh*t list for this year.. Dance More..

        Cheers.. Are

  • http://www.rhetthatfield.com Rhett Hatfield

    Well said and it needed to be said.

    After 40+ years of everything personal growth related and after following many, many “paths to enlightenment and fulfillment” I completely agree!!

    “The way out is in”

    We are our own guru and of course life itself is our guru, no book, website or kindle required …. !!

    Some of the most refreshing news I’ve heard in a LONG time …. Great to hear it expressed so clearly, thanks!!

    • Anonymous

      Totally agree Rhett. Nothing wrong with learning skills and strategies from others, but in the end, our greatest asset resides inside. Happy friday!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Thanks, Rhett. You’re right–life teaches us what we let it. Seems simple to say. Harder to accept :)

  • http://www.rhetthatfield.com Rhett Hatfield

    Well said and it needed to be said.

    After 40+ years of everything personal growth related and after following many, many “paths to enlightenment and fulfillment” I completely agree!!

    “The way out is in”

    We are our own guru and of course life itself is our guru, no book, website or kindle required …. !!

    Some of the most refreshing news I’ve heard in a LONG time …. Great to hear it expressed so clearly, thanks!!

    • Anonymous

      Totally agree Rhett. Nothing wrong with learning skills and strategies from others, but in the end, our greatest asset resides inside. Happy friday!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Thanks, Rhett. You’re right–life teaches us what we let it. Seems simple to say. Harder to accept :)

  • http://jewelsbranch.com/blog Christie

    Hi Reese! – I’ve found lately that in order to be able to actually hear myself I need to stop the constant input from the outside. Stop watching every webinar, reading every tweet, stop jumping on every call that is offered.

    I need quiet time so the real me can say what she needs to say. I know when I’m stifling my creative self because I ache. I can’t breathe and I keep thinking what is wrong? what is wrong? It always comes back to not allowing myself the freedom to just be me.

    • Anonymous

      You are so right. We cannot flourish if all the space around us crammed to the rafters. We need empty, quiet space so there is room for new. great thoughts!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Christie, I was so happy to see your comment here before I went to bed last night because you and I have sort of talked/danced around these issues before. L:ike you, I find when I create enough space, there is room for magic. And my own instincts have the time and floor to tell me what I really want, and what is best for me.

    • Kristin

      Great reminder, Christie, that we need time and space for ourselves. How can we be us if the whole room is stuffed with other ideas?

  • http://jewelsbranch.com/blog Christie

    Hi Reese! – I’ve found lately that in order to be able to actually hear myself I need to stop the constant input from the outside. Stop watching every webinar, reading every tweet, stop jumping on every call that is offered.

    I need quiet time so the real me can say what she needs to say. I know when I’m stifling my creative self because I ache. I can’t breathe and I keep thinking what is wrong? what is wrong? It always comes back to not allowing myself the freedom to just be me.

    • Anonymous

      You are so right. We cannot flourish if all the space around us crammed to the rafters. We need empty, quiet space so there is room for new. great thoughts!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Christie, I was so happy to see your comment here before I went to bed last night because you and I have sort of talked/danced around these issues before. L:ike you, I find when I create enough space, there is room for magic. And my own instincts have the time and floor to tell me what I really want, and what is best for me.

    • Kristin

      Great reminder, Christie, that we need time and space for ourselves. How can we be us if the whole room is stuffed with other ideas?

  • http://www.shiftfwd.com Naomi Niles

    Oh my, I heart this times two. And is there something in the air because it seems like I’ve heard similar sentiments from a lot of other people lately. Or maybe it’s just been my experience. :)

    I’m so very glad you pointed this out, Reese. Thank you. (I’d send you a big hug for this, but that’s kind of not possible).

    It’s funny, because I started out doing everything myself. When we started our biz, I didn’t know about gurus, so we just found ways to make things work ourselves. Resourceful became my middle name. Later, I started thinking I was doing everything wrong and getting insecure. I sought advice, read a lot of people’s blogs, and bought products. But none of that really helped me much in the end.

    I blamed those people for awhile for setting me back although it wasn’t very fair to do so. They were only trying to help.

    But, in the end, I always circled back to me applying what I already learned and trying stuff on my own. Funny how that is.

    • Anonymous

      Love having you and your wisdom pop in for a visit Naomi. :-)

    • http://www.etchd.com/ Bernadette Jiwa

      Hi Naomi,

      I’ve been sensing that too lately. I think people are coming to realise although they might need a nudge sometimes the books and the gurus don’t have the answer. There’s a sense that if we are all reading the same stuff then we all end up writing the same “killer headlines”.
      It’s so refreshing to be who you really are!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Naomi! We were here talking a year ago. TIme has flown. I will give myself a hug and pretend it’s you, yeah?

      Your story resonates. We work our thing, get some inklings of success, then look around to ‘tweak’ and improve. And you know, nothing wrong with that, and as you said, this isn’t about blaming people for setting us back, either. Not their fault.

      It’s just coming to that place where you say “you know, when I took this risk on my own without knowing shit, and it worked out, maybe there’s something there. Maybe I DID know something.” :)

  • http://www.shiftfwd.com Naomi Niles

    Oh my, I heart this times two. And is there something in the air because it seems like I’ve heard similar sentiments from a lot of other people lately. Or maybe it’s just been my experience. :)

    I’m so very glad you pointed this out, Reese. Thank you. (I’d send you a big hug for this, but that’s kind of not possible).

    It’s funny, because I started out doing everything myself. When we started our biz, I didn’t know about gurus, so we just found ways to make things work ourselves. Resourceful became my middle name. Later, I started thinking I was doing everything wrong and getting insecure. I sought advice, read a lot of people’s blogs, and bought products. But none of that really helped me much in the end.

    I blamed those people for awhile for setting me back although it wasn’t very fair to do so. They were only trying to help.

    But, in the end, I always circled back to me applying what I already learned and trying stuff on my own. Funny how that is.

    • Anonymous

      Love having you and your wisdom pop in for a visit Naomi. :-)

    • http://www.etchd.com/ Bernadette Jiwa

      Hi Naomi,

      I’ve been sensing that too lately. I think people are coming to realise although they might need a nudge sometimes the books and the gurus don’t have the answer. There’s a sense that if we are all reading the same stuff then we all end up writing the same “killer headlines”.
      It’s so refreshing to be who you really are!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Naomi! We were here talking a year ago. TIme has flown. I will give myself a hug and pretend it’s you, yeah?

      Your story resonates. We work our thing, get some inklings of success, then look around to ‘tweak’ and improve. And you know, nothing wrong with that, and as you said, this isn’t about blaming people for setting us back, either. Not their fault.

      It’s just coming to that place where you say “you know, when I took this risk on my own without knowing shit, and it worked out, maybe there’s something there. Maybe I DID know something.” :)

  • Sharon E. Greene

    Thanks, Reese, for a thought- and action-provoking post. Just what I needed this morning to motivate me to make some calls that I’d been avoiding. Your response to Mark Sherrick earlier today (“Often times, the fear of the action we’ll take is worse than the action itself.”) really hit me between the eyes. So, thanks to you and to all of the other inspiring folks who are helping us get our sh*t together this month. I now have two appointments lined up for the first week in March to introduce my proposal writing business to professional colleagues and have emailed my former employer to give her the heads-up in case she talks with them before I do. I feel SO MUCH BETTER!

    Your reminder to look inside really resonated with me today because I KNOW that I know, deep down, what I need to do to move forward. I just fear doing it because it’s uncomfortable. Maybe they won’t remember my name; maybe they won’t take my call; maybe I’m past my sell-by-date and I don’t know it (maybe I should go into the garden and eat worms… :). In any case, I DO feel lighter and brighter about my future, whatever it may hold. Thanks again, Reese, for inspiring me to action.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Sharon,
      You’re very welcome!
      You touch a bit on something that’s going to happen: there will always be dropped phone calls and ignored messages and people letting us down. I think that’s why it becomes increasingly important to give more leverage and strength to our selves within. The stronger that becomes, the more that sort of stuff bounces off us, you know?

      lots of love,
      reese

  • Sharon E. Greene

    Thanks, Reese, for a thought- and action-provoking post. Just what I needed this morning to motivate me to make some calls that I’d been avoiding. Your response to Mark Sherrick earlier today (“Often times, the fear of the action we’ll take is worse than the action itself.”) really hit me between the eyes. So, thanks to you and to all of the other inspiring folks who are helping us get our sh*t together this month. I now have two appointments lined up for the first week in March to introduce my proposal writing business to professional colleagues and have emailed my former employer to give her the heads-up in case she talks with them before I do. I feel SO MUCH BETTER!

    Your reminder to look inside really resonated with me today because I KNOW that I know, deep down, what I need to do to move forward. I just fear doing it because it’s uncomfortable. Maybe they won’t remember my name; maybe they won’t take my call; maybe I’m past my sell-by-date and I don’t know it (maybe I should go into the garden and eat worms… :). In any case, I DO feel lighter and brighter about my future, whatever it may hold. Thanks again, Reese, for inspiring me to action.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Sharon,
      You’re very welcome!
      You touch a bit on something that’s going to happen: there will always be dropped phone calls and ignored messages and people letting us down. I think that’s why it becomes increasingly important to give more leverage and strength to our selves within. The stronger that becomes, the more that sort of stuff bounces off us, you know?

      lots of love,
      reese

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

    Hi, Reese,

    I can’t even begin to tell you how deeply your post has touched me. As I read this I felt everything in me resonate with your comments.

    As I’ve been working on getting my sh*t together, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about just exactly what I’m trying to do. I love entrepreneurs. I love people who want to work for themselves. I love anyone who wants more freedom in their lives and are willing to try anything to make that happen. What I don’t love is the commercialization of those dreams. Those dreams are precious and need to be honored, not exploited. In my experience, way too many gurus do just that…exploit. I hate that with a furious passion.

    So what I want to build is a place not of “expertise” but of encouragement. I want to build a place where the dreamers are encouraged to take *their* next step. A place where they can be supported; where they can hear the cheers of the crowd and find the courage to take the step they are so afraid to take. A place where they are acknowledged, supported and challenged to sing the song that is in their hearts and where they are “given permission” to impact their world. Because isn’t that what we all really need?

    I’m still kind of “road-mapping” this in my head, but it’s really starting to come together for me. The tone of my site will be much more around the attitude of experimentation than around guidance or advice. A place where people can freely share their journey not necessarily their destination.

    Reese, you’ve given me great, great encouragement with your post, and quite frankly you’ve succeeded in blowing away some of the fog I’ve been feeling lately. I’m getting more and more excited as I get closer to my blog launch date. (Hope that didn’t sound too commercial ;-)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi David. You don’t sound too commercial :) You sound like a passionate person who has similar values as me: to be nice and helpful to people. That makes you a gem, and I’m so glad some of the fog has blown away for you. I hope you continue to feel lighter going forward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pancost David Pancost

    Hi, Reese,

    I can’t even begin to tell you how deeply your post has touched me. As I read this I felt everything in me resonate with your comments.

    As I’ve been working on getting my sh*t together, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about just exactly what I’m trying to do. I love entrepreneurs. I love people who want to work for themselves. I love anyone who wants more freedom in their lives and are willing to try anything to make that happen. What I don’t love is the commercialization of those dreams. Those dreams are precious and need to be honored, not exploited. In my experience, way too many gurus do just that…exploit. I hate that with a furious passion.

    So what I want to build is a place not of “expertise” but of encouragement. I want to build a place where the dreamers are encouraged to take *their* next step. A place where they can be supported; where they can hear the cheers of the crowd and find the courage to take the step they are so afraid to take. A place where they are acknowledged, supported and challenged to sing the song that is in their hearts and where they are “given permission” to impact their world. Because isn’t that what we all really need?

    I’m still kind of “road-mapping” this in my head, but it’s really starting to come together for me. The tone of my site will be much more around the attitude of experimentation than around guidance or advice. A place where people can freely share their journey not necessarily their destination.

    Reese, you’ve given me great, great encouragement with your post, and quite frankly you’ve succeeded in blowing away some of the fog I’ve been feeling lately. I’m getting more and more excited as I get closer to my blog launch date. (Hope that didn’t sound too commercial ;-)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi David. You don’t sound too commercial :) You sound like a passionate person who has similar values as me: to be nice and helpful to people. That makes you a gem, and I’m so glad some of the fog has blown away for you. I hope you continue to feel lighter going forward.

  • http://www.storyhousecreative.com Laura Scholes

    Wow, Reese. This is an epic post: In scope. In honesty. In heart.

    As I’ve tried to figure out how to push my nice little offline business into the online space, I’ve gotten WAYYYYYY overwhelmed by all the people who are doing cool things, saying cool things, selling cool things.

    One minute, it’s inspiring. The next minute, I feel like shit because I’m not nearly as cool as this or that person.

    Add to the soup that there are always new people to follow that might have that all-important key to what I’m trying to do. New relationships to be “cultivated.”

    It’s a roller coaster that can give you whiplash and an upset stomach if you’re not careful.

    So what gracious and thoughtful advice you give: push the safety bar up on your car, exit the ride, and find your own way. It may not be perfect, but at least you won’t be going around and around and around in an endless “is this enough?” way any more.

    Thanks tons, Reese.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hey Laura, how aptly you described what many of us go through: the excitement, contrasted almost immediately with the questioning. THe hope of seeing someone else doing a huge launch or making something gigantic, and then immediately feeling we could never be there, but then berating ourselves because we *should* be able to be there. Yes, it’s a merry-go-round.

      (or a roller coaster, like you said! and didn’t I mention a gravatron? We’ve got a circus here, people!)

      Fleetwood Mac gave it to us in a nice song, “You can go your own way.” So go on Ms. Laura. WHen you do that, you make your own carnival ride with a new name and new game.

  • http://www.storyhousecreative.com Laura Scholes

    Wow, Reese. This is an epic post: In scope. In honesty. In heart.

    As I’ve tried to figure out how to push my nice little offline business into the online space, I’ve gotten WAYYYYYY overwhelmed by all the people who are doing cool things, saying cool things, selling cool things.

    One minute, it’s inspiring. The next minute, I feel like shit because I’m not nearly as cool as this or that person.

    Add to the soup that there are always new people to follow that might have that all-important key to what I’m trying to do. New relationships to be “cultivated.”

    It’s a roller coaster that can give you whiplash and an upset stomach if you’re not careful.

    So what gracious and thoughtful advice you give: push the safety bar up on your car, exit the ride, and find your own way. It may not be perfect, but at least you won’t be going around and around and around in an endless “is this enough?” way any more.

    Thanks tons, Reese.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hey Laura, how aptly you described what many of us go through: the excitement, contrasted almost immediately with the questioning. THe hope of seeing someone else doing a huge launch or making something gigantic, and then immediately feeling we could never be there, but then berating ourselves because we *should* be able to be there. Yes, it’s a merry-go-round.

      (or a roller coaster, like you said! and didn’t I mention a gravatron? We’ve got a circus here, people!)

      Fleetwood Mac gave it to us in a nice song, “You can go your own way.” So go on Ms. Laura. WHen you do that, you make your own carnival ride with a new name and new game.

  • http://www.moreyourself.com Gail Blesch

    Oh Reese, I knew there was something so special about you and now I know I was right. You have such an eloquent soul and have perfectly captured the external/internal dance.

    It’s funny, I stumbled into the world of personal coaching long before the world knew of coaching. I tripped upon it after I’d hit my breaking point when the sheer pressure of catering, following, and living up to the expectations of everyone but myself, cracked me open. It was both startling and comforting to feel the strength and truth of that inner voice which was suddenly so much clearer with the pieces of the container I must have been in at my feet. People came to me wanting to know what I knew, for me to coach them, and I admit it felt odd to be paid to tell them I didn’t have a clue what they needed to do. They were the only ones who knew. And so I’d listen as they insisted they didn’t know, but what I have learned is that it takes a LOT of energy to not know, what you know, you know? In fact I believe we are the fog machines obscurring our own paths probably because seeing too far down the road and how many steps it is, scares the heck out of us. So I sit with them at the edge where we all know even in the densest fog, you can see a single step ahead. I hang out with them so they’re not alone and can rest from the exhaustion of being afraid to know. And what happens is, they light up as they let their truth come out and the fog begins to lift. For some, it’s all they required, a champion for the part of them that craves to be heard, while others simply weren’t ready.

    It’s as you say, an act of courage.

    I think it’s because if we dare to listen, it deems we must act, for to not act upon our truth creates an almost unbearable discord within us. I believe much disease comes from this dis-ease, which we pour ridiculous amounts of life-draining energy into trying to put ourselves back to sleep, to entice back the fog, not to mention the numbing aides we reach for and abuse in our attempts to forget. But that’s another post…

    Reese, I’m just so thankful you wrote this piece. It speaks so loudly to the part of me that knows, it is deafening in it’s ‘Amen Sister!’ response to you. You’ve managed to touch on every core message I stand for. On so many levels it’s brought me back to my roots which I admit I’ve sometimes lost sight of as I tried to take what was so intrinsically, intuitively me and fit it into the business model of the day. I’ve found myself exactly as you’ve said, 5 years down the road wondering where I am. I’m suffering form over-consumption at the guru tables. I’ve got a TMI hang-over. So what a relief to hear you speak to all of this. I’m already on the mend. xoxoGail

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      I used to get really excited about feedback quantity: number of comments, number of tweets, how much exposure, blah blah. But now? What really floats my boat is quality. Comments like this one, like yours.

      Thank you for your generosity. That part of you that *knows*–find ways to keep coming back to it. Posts like this or your own words and touchstones as anchors. Keep encouraging it, you know? :)

  • http://www.moreyourself.com Gail Blesch

    Oh Reese, I knew there was something so special about you and now I know I was right. You have such an eloquent soul and have perfectly captured the external/internal dance.

    It’s funny, I stumbled into the world of personal coaching long before the world knew of coaching. I tripped upon it after I’d hit my breaking point when the sheer pressure of catering, following, and living up to the expectations of everyone but myself, cracked me open. It was both startling and comforting to feel the strength and truth of that inner voice which was suddenly so much clearer with the pieces of the container I must have been in at my feet. People came to me wanting to know what I knew, for me to coach them, and I admit it felt odd to be paid to tell them I didn’t have a clue what they needed to do. They were the only ones who knew. And so I’d listen as they insisted they didn’t know, but what I have learned is that it takes a LOT of energy to not know, what you know, you know? In fact I believe we are the fog machines obscurring our own paths probably because seeing too far down the road and how many steps it is, scares the heck out of us. So I sit with them at the edge where we all know even in the densest fog, you can see a single step ahead. I hang out with them so they’re not alone and can rest from the exhaustion of being afraid to know. And what happens is, they light up as they let their truth come out and the fog begins to lift. For some, it’s all they required, a champion for the part of them that craves to be heard, while others simply weren’t ready.

    It’s as you say, an act of courage.

    I think it’s because if we dare to listen, it deems we must act, for to not act upon our truth creates an almost unbearable discord within us. I believe much disease comes from this dis-ease, which we pour ridiculous amounts of life-draining energy into trying to put ourselves back to sleep, to entice back the fog, not to mention the numbing aides we reach for and abuse in our attempts to forget. But that’s another post…

    Reese, I’m just so thankful you wrote this piece. It speaks so loudly to the part of me that knows, it is deafening in it’s ‘Amen Sister!’ response to you. You’ve managed to touch on every core message I stand for. On so many levels it’s brought me back to my roots which I admit I’ve sometimes lost sight of as I tried to take what was so intrinsically, intuitively me and fit it into the business model of the day. I’ve found myself exactly as you’ve said, 5 years down the road wondering where I am. I’m suffering form over-consumption at the guru tables. I’ve got a TMI hang-over. So what a relief to hear you speak to all of this. I’m already on the mend. xoxoGail

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      I used to get really excited about feedback quantity: number of comments, number of tweets, how much exposure, blah blah. But now? What really floats my boat is quality. Comments like this one, like yours.

      Thank you for your generosity. That part of you that *knows*–find ways to keep coming back to it. Posts like this or your own words and touchstones as anchors. Keep encouraging it, you know? :)

  • http://www.heartsabode.blogspot.com Ellen Shapiro

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Reese…I detect a fresh breeze wafting through our self-help nation.
    Become the authority in my own life.–wow! There is no magic bullet or instant “cure” or way to make millions overnight, for most of us–yes! We can finally stop listening to whatever voice or drug is out prozac or xanax of the day..but then I’m going to have THINK for myself, and discover how I actually FEEL..OH NO!!

    Oh, yes! :)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      You’re welcome, Ellen! Hahaha do you think that breeze is lavender scented, so we can all calm the heck down, too? ;)

  • http://www.heartsabode.blogspot.com Ellen Shapiro

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Reese…I detect a fresh breeze wafting through our self-help nation.
    Become the authority in my own life.–wow! There is no magic bullet or instant “cure” or way to make millions overnight, for most of us–yes! We can finally stop listening to whatever voice or drug is out prozac or xanax of the day..but then I’m going to have THINK for myself, and discover how I actually FEEL..OH NO!!

    Oh, yes! :)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      You’re welcome, Ellen! Hahaha do you think that breeze is lavender scented, so we can all calm the heck down, too? ;)

  • Lori

    No wonder I always feel off-balance; not knowing what to do! I can’t just expect it all to come from outside.
    Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      you’re welcome, Lori. Listening to ourselves, albeit scary, is more grounding than the voices outside.

  • Lori

    No wonder I always feel off-balance; not knowing what to do! I can’t just expect it all to come from outside.
    Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      you’re welcome, Lori. Listening to ourselves, albeit scary, is more grounding than the voices outside.

  • http://www.rubyslippersstudio.wordpress.com Callahan McDonough

    Next month I celebrate life on this planet 64 years. Such a cool journey, and there’s always more. Of course I think my generation invented cool :) , the cool, rebels.
    There is much I have been committed to, risked, believed in when no one else did that has been accomplished in my life. The dream of seeing my art shown, purchased, maturing, is now on front burner for me. I believe in the power of art and creativity in my life, it is essential and keeps my mind vibrant . So whats the ‘but’ the but is what I call the monkey talk about the viability of selling art. What I know works and has worked for me in the past is to be in conversation with other creative cultural’ s, as Utne, call us. To be related/in connection so the context of doing the work/art has a place to be relevant . Tells its own story and is a magnet for good. Thanks for your post, liked meeting you via skype at Sarah’s escaping mediocrity- Atlanta style. See you again in September.

    • Sharon E. Greene

      Hi, Callahan,
      I’m also an “Atlanta girl,” now approaching 65! And, yes, we invented cool. I’m now in Jacksonville, FL, where the art scene is developing. Reminds me of Atlanta in the 70s, when we finally got some great ethnic restaurants and grocery stores. Good to connect, via this venue, with someone I would like to meet, at some point.

      • http://www.rubyslippersstudio.wordpress.com Callahan McDonough

        Hey Sharon, that would be great. If you are headed up Atlanta way give me a call/email: 404.593.7370 & callahan.mcdonough@gmail.com
        Are you also an artist?

      • http://www.rubyslippersstudio.wordpress.com Callahan McDonough

        what part of Jacksonville, I used to live Jax beach many moons ago.

        • Sharon E. Greene

          Hi, Callahan,
          Thanks for your info. I hope to be in Atlanta in late May for my mom’s 90th birthday! Would love to connect if possible. I’m a writer by trade (proposal writing for colleges and nonprofits), but also do creative writing, mostly poetry and short stories, although I’ve tried my hand at longer fiction. Have also dabbled in painting, something I’d like to do more of. I’m in the Mandarin area of Jax, off Old St. Augustine Road, with plans to move (sometime soon, I hope!) to St. Simons Island, GA where I’ve got a second home that needs to be my first home…a lifelong dream. Maybe I can pick up my paintbrush then. I’ve been more of a collector, than artist, mostly small landscapes or still lifes that I’ve picked up while traveling. Just went on your website. Your floorcloths and paintings are just fabulous. (I love the “don’t go back to sleep” cloth. Great reminder for all of us here!) Thanks again for responding. I’ll give you a call or email you when I know of my dates for Atlanta.Have a great weekend.

          • http://www.rubyslippersstudio.wordpress.com Callahan McDonough

            great Sharon. almost missed this email b/c didn’t see the ‘feed’. At any rate, I actually grew up in Brunswich/St.Simons :) smalll world. 6 degrees. Please do call and if u email could u send direct to:
            callahan.mcdonough@gmail.com
            Thanks for your comments re: my floor cloths. A rumi quote on the one you mentioned.
            Peace,
            c.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Callahan, yeah, your generation was cool. Just look at how many people bask in Mad Men!

      I loved reading that you’re 64 and ready to show your art. And even more loved reading “I believe in the power of art and creativity in my life” because I’m completely with you there. WIthout it, people like you and me wilt.

  • http://www.e-mc2coach.com Callahan

    Next month I celebrate life on this planet 64 years. Such a cool journey, and there’s always more. Of course I think my generation invented cool :) , the cool, rebels.
    There is much I have been committed to, risked, believed in when no one else did that has been accomplished in my life. The dream of seeing my art shown, purchased, maturing, is now on front burner for me. I believe in the power of art and creativity in my life, it is essential and keeps my mind vibrant . So whats the ‘but’ the but is what I call the monkey talk about the viability of selling art. What I know works and has worked for me in the past is to be in conversation with other creative cultural’ s, as Utne, call us. To be related/in connection so the context of doing the work/art has a place to be relevant . Tells its own story and is a magnet for good. Thanks for your post, liked meeting you via skype at Sarah’s escaping mediocrity- Atlanta style. See you again in September.

    • Sharon E. Greene

      Hi, Callahan,
      I’m also an “Atlanta girl,” now approaching 65! And, yes, we invented cool. I’m now in Jacksonville, FL, where the art scene is developing. Reminds me of Atlanta in the 70s, when we finally got some great ethnic restaurants and grocery stores. Good to connect, via this venue, with someone I would like to meet, at some point.

      • http://www.e-mc2coach.com Callahan

        Hey Sharon, that would be great. If you are headed up Atlanta way give me a call/email: 404.593.7370 & callahan.mcdonough@gmail.com
        Are you also an artist?

      • http://www.e-mc2coach.com Callahan

        what part of Jacksonville, I used to live Jax beach many moons ago.

        • Sharon E. Greene

          Hi, Callahan,
          Thanks for your info. I hope to be in Atlanta in late May for my mom’s 90th birthday! Would love to connect if possible. I’m a writer by trade (proposal writing for colleges and nonprofits), but also do creative writing, mostly poetry and short stories, although I’ve tried my hand at longer fiction. Have also dabbled in painting, something I’d like to do more of. I’m in the Mandarin area of Jax, off Old St. Augustine Road, with plans to move (sometime soon, I hope!) to St. Simons Island, GA where I’ve got a second home that needs to be my first home…a lifelong dream. Maybe I can pick up my paintbrush then. I’ve been more of a collector, than artist, mostly small landscapes or still lifes that I’ve picked up while traveling. Just went on your website. Your floorcloths and paintings are just fabulous. (I love the “don’t go back to sleep” cloth. Great reminder for all of us here!) Thanks again for responding. I’ll give you a call or email you when I know of my dates for Atlanta.Have a great weekend.

          • http://www.e-mc2coach.com Callahan

            great Sharon. almost missed this email b/c didn’t see the ‘feed’. At any rate, I actually grew up in Brunswich/St.Simons :) smalll world. 6 degrees. Please do call and if u email could u send direct to:
            callahan.mcdonough@gmail.com
            Thanks for your comments re: my floor cloths. A rumi quote on the one you mentioned.
            Peace,
            c.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Callahan, yeah, your generation was cool. Just look at how many people bask in Mad Men!

      I loved reading that you’re 64 and ready to show your art. And even more loved reading “I believe in the power of art and creativity in my life” because I’m completely with you there. WIthout it, people like you and me wilt.

  • http://www.beatrizalemar.com Beatriz Alemar

    Reese,

    First off, where have you been hiding and why are we not friends yet? ;) And second, THANK YOU!

    I think we all get caught up in the hype. We get so excited to start down our path and draw inspiration from others but fail to realize when we let that inspiration turn from something empowering to something sinister. Modelling from others and discovering what works for you and your path isn’t bad. But you always have to keep your path in mind – if not, don’t be surprised if you find yourself off of it and following in the footsteps of someone else.

    Too much inspiration can turn to comparison which leads to losing your self-worth and confidence – a battle I’m sure all of us are familiar with in some regard. At the end of the day, the one person that can inspire you to greatness is yourself and your commitment to your path.

    When I feel lost (which is surprisingly a LOT), I read over my goals and remind myself – THIS is what makes you happy. This is something no one else can do. Your happiness – your purpose – is worth fighting for. This where you find your greatness. This is your inspiration. This is what makes you take a step. And everyone else, well, everyone else is there to support you.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Beatriz, you have such a beautiful, smiling face. It’s got a ton of hope and possibility in it.

      Reading over your goals, or what’s important to you–that’s smart. It helps create patterns in your brain to fight those times of critical comparison.

      Comparison can be good. I mean, I use art comparison all the time to help influence my work. But not when it starts to make me question myself too much. In fact, here’s a silly story you might relate to: today I decided to change my twitter background. My last one was too formal, and I’m really growing tired of formal an dstrategy and what I *should* do, so I found this picture of a weirdo porcupine and popped it up there with simple verbiage.

      And then, I saw other beautiful, commercialized things. I started to question. I’m not as shiny as XYZ. This will lose me business. Blah blah.

      That’s no good. That porcupine, he wanted to be heard. So I kept him around.

      Next time you’re feeling some doubt, remember the porcupine. Or your own woodland friend ;)

  • http://www.beatrizalemar.com Beatriz Alemar

    Reese,

    First off, where have you been hiding and why are we not friends yet? ;) And second, THANK YOU!

    I think we all get caught up in the hype. We get so excited to start down our path and draw inspiration from others but fail to realize when we let that inspiration turn from something empowering to something sinister. Modelling from others and discovering what works for you and your path isn’t bad. But you always have to keep your path in mind – if not, don’t be surprised if you find yourself off of it and following in the footsteps of someone else.

    Too much inspiration can turn to comparison which leads to losing your self-worth and confidence – a battle I’m sure all of us are familiar with in some regard. At the end of the day, the one person that can inspire you to greatness is yourself and your commitment to your path.

    When I feel lost (which is surprisingly a LOT), I read over my goals and remind myself – THIS is what makes you happy. This is something no one else can do. Your happiness – your purpose – is worth fighting for. This where you find your greatness. This is your inspiration. This is what makes you take a step. And everyone else, well, everyone else is there to support you.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Beatriz, you have such a beautiful, smiling face. It’s got a ton of hope and possibility in it.

      Reading over your goals, or what’s important to you–that’s smart. It helps create patterns in your brain to fight those times of critical comparison.

      Comparison can be good. I mean, I use art comparison all the time to help influence my work. But not when it starts to make me question myself too much. In fact, here’s a silly story you might relate to: today I decided to change my twitter background. My last one was too formal, and I’m really growing tired of formal an dstrategy and what I *should* do, so I found this picture of a weirdo porcupine and popped it up there with simple verbiage.

      And then, I saw other beautiful, commercialized things. I started to question. I’m not as shiny as XYZ. This will lose me business. Blah blah.

      That’s no good. That porcupine, he wanted to be heard. So I kept him around.

      Next time you’re feeling some doubt, remember the porcupine. Or your own woodland friend ;)

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    Bravo! This was a brave post, because you had to be brave to experience what led you to be able to write it. I raise my fist up high in the air in salute! :)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      You know. That’s a really glorious looking fist. *bumps it*. Michael, thank you. I’m grateful you’re in my life.

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    Bravo! This was a brave post, because you had to be brave to experience what led you to be able to write it. I raise my fist up high in the air in salute! :)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      You know. That’s a really glorious looking fist. *bumps it*. Michael, thank you. I’m grateful you’re in my life.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      You know. That’s a really glorious looking fist. *bumps it*. Michael, thank you. I’m grateful you’re in my life.

  • http://www.DanaReeves.com Dana Reeves

    Reese,
    I read your post first thing this morning, and then I buried it in the back of my mind and ran away from it through the rest of my day because it was so raw, so honest, so not-bullshit. And it’s what I have been most afraid to hear. I know the way out is ME. I know the only person who can get me unstuck is ME. My “wall” has been my complete and utter lack of trust in myself. Mostly because I’ve always done what *others* told me I’m supposed to do. And because I’ve had some pretty spectacular failures – mostly at my own hand.

    You’re the third person this week from whom I’ve received this very message; granted, with differing words, but the same point: stop trying to “find” myself and start creating the life I want with what I already have inside me.

    And yes, I’m writing this thru a blur of years because it’s so damn scary to commit to doing that. But that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

    Thanks for holding up the mirror.

    xoxo,
    Dana

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Ms. Dana, you and me are like soul sisters. (Actually I feel that way about a lot of Sarah’s people!). It was you, and kindred spirits like you, that I meant to touch with this writing, and I’m so glad I did.

      When it feels raw for you and it’s a hard thing to read, you know (whether we’re talking about my stuff or other people’s) that it may well be worth reading and digesting. Because that’s the part of you that feels unheard, so it rubs up against something that makes it feel, for a moment, like maybe it can step out, and you will give it a moment to have its say.

      love love love,
      reese

    • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

      three different people give you the same message…wow. The World is trying to tell you something, dear.

      You know its there, you have said so…time to bring it out. If I can, so can you!

  • http://www.DanaReeves.com Dana Reeves

    Reese,
    I read your post first thing this morning, and then I buried it in the back of my mind and ran away from it through the rest of my day because it was so raw, so honest, so not-bullshit. And it’s what I have been most afraid to hear. I know the way out is ME. I know the only person who can get me unstuck is ME. My “wall” has been my complete and utter lack of trust in myself. Mostly because I’ve always done what *others* told me I’m supposed to do. And because I’ve had some pretty spectacular failures – mostly at my own hand.

    You’re the third person this week from whom I’ve received this very message; granted, with differing words, but the same point: stop trying to “find” myself and start creating the life I want with what I already have inside me.

    And yes, I’m writing this thru a blur of years because it’s so damn scary to commit to doing that. But that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

    Thanks for holding up the mirror.

    xoxo,
    Dana

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Ms. Dana, you and me are like soul sisters. (Actually I feel that way about a lot of Sarah’s people!). It was you, and kindred spirits like you, that I meant to touch with this writing, and I’m so glad I did.

      When it feels raw for you and it’s a hard thing to read, you know (whether we’re talking about my stuff or other people’s) that it may well be worth reading and digesting. Because that’s the part of you that feels unheard, so it rubs up against something that makes it feel, for a moment, like maybe it can step out, and you will give it a moment to have its say.

      love love love,
      reese

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Ms. Dana, you and me are like soul sisters. (Actually I feel that way about a lot of Sarah’s people!). It was you, and kindred spirits like you, that I meant to touch with this writing, and I’m so glad I did.

      When it feels raw for you and it’s a hard thing to read, you know (whether we’re talking about my stuff or other people’s) that it may well be worth reading and digesting. Because that’s the part of you that feels unheard, so it rubs up against something that makes it feel, for a moment, like maybe it can step out, and you will give it a moment to have its say.

      love love love,
      reese

    • http://twitter.com/marksherrick Mark Sherrick

      three different people give you the same message…wow. The World is trying to tell you something, dear.

      You know its there, you have said so…time to bring it out. If I can, so can you!

  • http://twitter.com/delwilliams Delores Williams

    Reese,
    A most excellent article. When I first joined Twitter I tended to be among a certain group, and I noticed 1) many of them were fake 2)lying about their “wealth” and 3)Unhappy. They were just great at sales and perhaps marketing.

    I went back and forth about what I should do, and over time it came out. It came out from being honest with myself and a mentor and allowing myself the right to “miss it.” When I started doing what I really felt in my heart to do, doors opened and a weight fell off.

    I think some people run after gurus because they have learned to abdicate their life to someone else so they can always have someone else to blame. Sad way to live and totally unnecessary.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Del Williams, you stopping by made my morning. It’s almost as good as pancakes and bacon!
      Yes, once Sarah and I talked about how one can find themselves associated with or caught up in a certain group of people without really even knowing how they got there. And then, the process of extracting yourself from that is a bit delicate, no? LOL

      To me, you’ve always been such a kind soul on twitter. And seriously, no bullshit. I adore that about you. Keep it lady. YOu are, most definitely, walking your own path, and it shows.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Del Williams, you stopping by made my morning. It’s almost as good as pancakes and bacon!
      Yes, once Sarah and I talked about how one can find themselves associated with or caught up in a certain group of people without really even knowing how they got there. And then, the process of extracting yourself from that is a bit delicate, no? LOL

      To me, you’ve always been such a kind soul on twitter. And seriously, no bullshit. I adore that about you. Keep it lady. YOu are, most definitely, walking your own path, and it shows.

  • http://twitter.com/delwilliams Delores Williams

    Reese,
    A most excellent article. When I first joined Twitter I tended to be among a certain group, and I noticed 1) many of them were fake 2)lying about their “wealth” and 3)Unhappy. They were just great at sales and perhaps marketing.

    I went back and forth about what I should do, and over time it came out. It came out from being honest with myself and a mentor and allowing myself the right to “miss it.” When I started doing what I really felt in my heart to do, doors opened and a weight fell off.

    I think some people run after gurus because they have learned to abdicate their life to someone else so they can always have someone else to blame. Sad way to live and totally unnecessary.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Del Williams, you stopping by made my morning. It’s almost as good as pancakes and bacon!
      Yes, once Sarah and I talked about how one can find themselves associated with or caught up in a certain group of people without really even knowing how they got there. And then, the process of extracting yourself from that is a bit delicate, no? LOL

      To me, you’ve always been such a kind soul on twitter. And seriously, no bullshit. I adore that about you. Keep it lady. YOu are, most definitely, walking your own path, and it shows.

  • Pamela4520

    I’ll reiterate what I posted at FaceBook…you nailed it! Just don’t give away the keys…”be” yourself. Just be. It’s really more than enough. When we start integrating what others “think,” we lose sight of our own imprint and inner beauty. My sh*t will never be together in terms of external measures… lack organization, I am a loose cannon and a bit of a bohemian rebel, but geez…I sure don’t need to give up, give in, and disbelieve in the person I am.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Thanks, Pamela. I love that you’re a self-described bohemian rebel ;)

  • Pamela4520

    I’ll reiterate what I posted at FaceBook…you nailed it! Just don’t give away the keys…”be” yourself. Just be. It’s really more than enough. When we start integrating what others “think,” we lose sight of our own imprint and inner beauty. My sh*t will never be together in terms of external measures… lack organization, I am a loose cannon and a bit of a bohemian rebel, but geez…I sure don’t need to give up, give in, and disbelieve in the person I am.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Thanks, Pamela. I love that you’re a self-described bohemian rebel ;)

  • Peter

    Reese,

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing. “The way out is you.” Wow. As I read this I kept saying to myself “yeah, I know exactly what she means.” Somehow we either forget or never recognize our own perfection. We let the world define us and what ought to be, all because we’ve doubted that we could possible be already complete, be cosmically self contained. I’ve read so many books, walked down so many different paths, only to find that the answer isn’t on a bookshelf; the answer was within me. Real peace and contentment resides within us when we come to truly love, honor, appreciate, and respect who it is that we already are, and who we’ve always been. That has been my greatest moment…that’s when I really came alive and started becoming all that I was created to become, trusting in the flow and my birthright to be part of it. From this vantage point, all things are peacefully possible.

    Thank you for sharing the gift that is you!

    Peter

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Peter, thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment.

      I wonder sometimes…maybe we needed the books, etc, in their own way, to help us see they weren’t the answer. One after another and suddenly you have so many that you see they aren’t the way.

      When I’m feeling doubt myself, I will come back to this comment of yours to help remind me of the path. :) thank you!

  • Peter

    Reese,

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing. “The way out is you.” Wow. As I read this I kept saying to myself “yeah, I know exactly what she means.” Somehow we either forget or never recognize our own perfection. We let the world define us and what ought to be, all because we’ve doubted that we could possible be already complete, be cosmically self contained. I’ve read so many books, walked down so many different paths, only to find that the answer isn’t on a bookshelf; the answer was within me. Real peace and contentment resides within us when we come to truly love, honor, appreciate, and respect who it is that we already are, and who we’ve always been. That has been my greatest moment…that’s when I really came alive and started becoming all that I was created to become, trusting in the flow and my birthright to be part of it. From this vantage point, all things are peacefully possible.

    Thank you for sharing the gift that is you!

    Peter

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Peter, thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment.

      I wonder sometimes…maybe we needed the books, etc, in their own way, to help us see they weren’t the answer. One after another and suddenly you have so many that you see they aren’t the way.

      When I’m feeling doubt myself, I will come back to this comment of yours to help remind me of the path. :) thank you!

  • http://www.sundaynightsuccess.com Jeremie

    I don’t think it has to be an “either/or”. I like to mix up some of my own ideas, while also following the paths forged by others. It is just easier that way, and I think I still arrive at a similar point with less effort.

    I like to read about and listen to what others say and then decide which pieces I will use and which I won’t. I also like to follow some of the wisdom I don’t agree with, or don’t think will work to see what happens. Some of it has been successful, and some of it has crashed and burned, but it has all been helpful.

    It makes me feel really, really tired when I think of trying to be completely unique, and forging a pathway without support or others along for the ride (not saying that is what you are implying Reese, this is just the direction your post sent my thoughts in).

    There are parts of my business and my message that I am not in love with (but still believe in), but by doing them I get to pay my bills and keep my options open to continue developing and building my own message. I have clients with big dreams and have the guts to plunge ahead and risk it all for their vision, and I applaud and support them for that. That path is just not for me, I like to mix my uniqueness and risk with some of the tried and true things I have learned from others.

    The cool part is, as I write this, that this mixing of me and those I follow makes me unique in my own way, which is pretty cool.

    Thanks for the post Reese!

    Jeremie

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hey Jeremie, thanks for chiming in. Sounds like you’ve found a balance that works for you, like a good recipe :)

  • http://www.sundaynightsuccess.com Jeremie

    I don’t think it has to be an “either/or”. I like to mix up some of my own ideas, while also following the paths forged by others. It is just easier that way, and I think I still arrive at a similar point with less effort.

    I like to read about and listen to what others say and then decide which pieces I will use and which I won’t. I also like to follow some of the wisdom I don’t agree with, or don’t think will work to see what happens. Some of it has been successful, and some of it has crashed and burned, but it has all been helpful.

    It makes me feel really, really tired when I think of trying to be completely unique, and forging a pathway without support or others along for the ride (not saying that is what you are implying Reese, this is just the direction your post sent my thoughts in).

    There are parts of my business and my message that I am not in love with (but still believe in), but by doing them I get to pay my bills and keep my options open to continue developing and building my own message. I have clients with big dreams and have the guts to plunge ahead and risk it all for their vision, and I applaud and support them for that. That path is just not for me, I like to mix my uniqueness and risk with some of the tried and true things I have learned from others.

    The cool part is, as I write this, that this mixing of me and those I follow makes me unique in my own way, which is pretty cool.

    Thanks for the post Reese!

    Jeremie

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hey Jeremie, thanks for chiming in. Sounds like you’ve found a balance that works for you, like a good recipe :)

  • http://twitter.com/MarkHeartofBiz Mark Silver

    Hi Reese- Finally catching up after a very full day yesterday. It’s so true what you write. There is a deep yearning in the heart, a painful emptiness that is actually our doorway to fulfillment and peace, as you say. It’s probably the most challenging lesson there is, because it’s so tempting to turn away from the discomfort of the uncertainty, of the emptiness, of the neediness and fill it with the noise and sand of the outside world.

    Instead, that emptiness is us being a vessel for what wants to emerge and be poured through our own heart from the Unseen. I wish for all of us the courage and steadiness to make friends with that neediness, to be comfortable with the discomfort, so that we may shed our skins and be born into the wholeness that is each of us.

    Thank you for expressing it so beautifully. I need these reminders because there is always a deeper emptiness that I turn away from until I remember and stand in it. We all need each other so desperately because we need to help remind us of it. That’s why all spiritual paths I know stress the importance of community.

    Thank you for being part of my umma, my sangha, my community.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Mark, thank you for adding a rich new layer of thinking here. What struck me is your line “there is always a deeper emptiness that I turn away from until I remember and stand in it.”

      At its edge, that’s the loneliest place in the world to be. I’m reminded of St. John of the Cross’s long journey into his dark night of the soul. That is so far from me because I will not will myself to forge there. the discomfort is too much. But maybe through the small steps over time, it comes.

      You’re a blessing Mark. Seeing your name always brings me a deep sense of calm.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkHeartofBiz Mark Silver

    Hi Reese- Finally catching up after a very full day yesterday. It’s so true what you write. There is a deep yearning in the heart, a painful emptiness that is actually our doorway to fulfillment and peace, as you say. It’s probably the most challenging lesson there is, because it’s so tempting to turn away from the discomfort of the uncertainty, of the emptiness, of the neediness and fill it with the noise and sand of the outside world.

    Instead, that emptiness is us being a vessel for what wants to emerge and be poured through our own heart from the Unseen. I wish for all of us the courage and steadiness to make friends with that neediness, to be comfortable with the discomfort, so that we may shed our skins and be born into the wholeness that is each of us.

    Thank you for expressing it so beautifully. I need these reminders because there is always a deeper emptiness that I turn away from until I remember and stand in it. We all need each other so desperately because we need to help remind us of it. That’s why all spiritual paths I know stress the importance of community.

    Thank you for being part of my umma, my sangha, my community.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Mark, thank you for adding a rich new layer of thinking here. What struck me is your line “there is always a deeper emptiness that I turn away from until I remember and stand in it.”

      At its edge, that’s the loneliest place in the world to be. I’m reminded of St. John of the Cross’s long journey into his dark night of the soul. That is so far from me because I will not will myself to forge there. the discomfort is too much. But maybe through the small steps over time, it comes.

      You’re a blessing Mark. Seeing your name always brings me a deep sense of calm.

  • http://predictablesuccess.com/blog Les McKeown

    I love your thought, Reese. And it seems so simple, so ‘right’, yet everything we’re bombarded with forces us in the other direction.

    The distinction between input and output – what we consume and what we create – is such an important one. Too much input drowns our creativity and makes our output either an echo chamber – we repeat essentially our take on what others are saying – or an iterative development of existing thoughts and Menes.

    I have precisely three blogs on my RSS feed, and if I decide to follow another, I drop one off. I feel swamped if I follow more than 80 people on Twitter. I *daren’t* read folks like Seth Godin, because I know I’ll merely (poorly) mimic their output.

    Silence is good. A vacuum is good. Inaction is good. Hesitancy is good. Uncertainty is good. Screensaver mode is good.

    Thanks, Reese.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Dear Les, you have encouraged me to filter even more. You bring up a point I’ve forgotten: if I expose myself to too much other art/influence/thought, I run the risk of, even subconsciously, being a poor imitation. It’s through space some of our best creations are brought to light.

    • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

      Screensaver mode? never heard that – but I really like it! :)

  • http://predictablesuccess.com/blog Les McKeown

    I love your thought, Reese. And it seems so simple, so ‘right’, yet everything we’re bombarded with forces us in the other direction.

    The distinction between input and output – what we consume and what we create – is such an important one. Too much input drowns our creativity and makes our output either an echo chamber – we repeat essentially our take on what others are saying – or an iterative development of existing thoughts and Menes.

    I have precisely three blogs on my RSS feed, and if I decide to follow another, I drop one off. I feel swamped if I follow more than 80 people on Twitter. I *daren’t* read folks like Seth Godin, because I know I’ll merely (poorly) mimic their output.

    Silence is good. A vacuum is good. Inaction is good. Hesitancy is good. Uncertainty is good. Screensaver mode is good.

    Thanks, Reese.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Dear Les, you have encouraged me to filter even more. You bring up a point I’ve forgotten: if I expose myself to too much other art/influence/thought, I run the risk of, even subconsciously, being a poor imitation. It’s through space some of our best creations are brought to light.

    • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

      Screensaver mode? never heard that – but I really like it! :)

  • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

    Fantastic post, Reese. Truly.

    These lines especially spoke to me, “But that is also where you find peace, where you dance not with jaded bitterness of all you know now and your journey thus far, but with joy over the uncertainty. When you get your shit together in this way, it’s not a grounded thing. It’s not a finite, directed path. But in the uncertainty of listening to our own musings and thoughts, we begin to feel whole again.”

    That’s really the key, isn’t it? Learning to trust ourselves so we can be comfortable wherever we are in whatever circumstances.

    Thanks for the eloquent reminder.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Kellie, yes…the ‘reward’ of feeling more grounded, more sure in the long run is an important one to remember. It builds us a spine, a thicker skin, a sureness that can weather better than flitting from value to value could bring. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and the compliment :)

  • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

    Fantastic post, Reese. Truly.

    These lines especially spoke to me, “But that is also where you find peace, where you dance not with jaded bitterness of all you know now and your journey thus far, but with joy over the uncertainty. When you get your shit together in this way, it’s not a grounded thing. It’s not a finite, directed path. But in the uncertainty of listening to our own musings and thoughts, we begin to feel whole again.”

    That’s really the key, isn’t it? Learning to trust ourselves so we can be comfortable wherever we are in whatever circumstances.

    Thanks for the eloquent reminder.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Kellie, yes…the ‘reward’ of feeling more grounded, more sure in the long run is an important one to remember. It builds us a spine, a thicker skin, a sureness that can weather better than flitting from value to value could bring. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and the compliment :)

  • http://www.soulfilledlife.com Heather Gray

    Reese you are an AMAZING writer. And this is such an important point, the voice inside is where it’s at. Too many of us have let the outside world drown out our own guidance. Amen!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      thank you, Heather. Kind of you to comment. :) I’m happy this resonated for you.

  • http://www.soulfilledlife.com Heather Gray

    Reese you are an AMAZING writer. And this is such an important point, the voice inside is where it’s at. Too many of us have let the outside world drown out our own guidance. Amen!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      thank you, Heather. Kind of you to comment. :) I’m happy this resonated for you.

  • Judi

    Reese, You have captured the essence of what so many need to hear. Permission to be and do what is in our hearts. Sometimes knowing what to do does not translate into doing what we know. It takes more than knowledge from the teachers, coaches and gurus, and you have gently helped to point the way.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Thanks Judi. Great line “sometimes knowing what to do does not translate into doing what we know.”

  • Judi

    Reese, You have captured the essence of what so many need to hear. Permission to be and do what is in our hearts. Sometimes knowing what to do does not translate into doing what we know. It takes more than knowledge from the teachers, coaches and gurus, and you have gently helped to point the way.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Thanks Judi. Great line “sometimes knowing what to do does not translate into doing what we know.”

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  • Kristin

    “We see that what may be a greater path than making a grand impact on thousands of people is making a life-changing impact on a few we love dearly. Our egos quiet, and we make things out of love and passion, regardless of their end scale.”

    Amen to that, Reese! I feel very inspired and hopeful after reading your post. It is as if you have lifted a heavy weight of my shoulders. Thank you! In the past few months I have felt as if I have to do something grand and world-changing to be somebody. And the world-changing thing always seemed to be much bigger than me and not even close to my comfort zone / my personality. To compensate the emptiness within and to quiet the doubts I started doing more and more things. I never have a lack of ideas so it’s easy to overbook myself by following all of them at once. Eating all the sweets in the candy store at once – and not enjoying any of them and feeling terribly sick afterward.

    Your post gave me a different perspective. That it is okay not to save the whole world but just do my part in my little area of the world. And I can define how big that area is. No need to start a second Oprah show – that spot is already taken :-)

    Not sure yet what this will mean for my blog project. One thing I take from your post is that I won’t tell others what to do but merely show a few ways that helped me or others before. And my goal might not be to be the #1 place to go for everyone out there with depression, anxiety or PTSD. I’m curious to discover where my way goes.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Kristin,
      you described, really well, what lead to the writing of this piece. The exhaustive overwhelm at this notion of being this huge world changer. I sat for many months on this, thinking “is that what I really want?” and the conclusion I came to was no. Like you, it wasn’t in my comfort zone or personality. to be that person would have been me trying to fit into clothes that very much don’t fit.

      I resisted this conclusion strongly for a while. But when a good friend finally helped me see that’s the conclusion she came to, I felt such relief. Such permission. So I wanted to share it with others, this sense of maybe fostering fewer, but closer, connections.

      For your blog project, I hear you. I don’t know how this all ‘looks’ for me quite yet. For whatever you do, I think it’s fine to express who you are, what you believe…and people have the choice to take what they will. But maybe as you write and craft your content, you think “OK, can this connect with 1 or 2 people on a deeper level?” and use that to inspire the choices you make. Just some ideas for you :)

  • Kristin

    “We see that what may be a greater path than making a grand impact on thousands of people is making a life-changing impact on a few we love dearly. Our egos quiet, and we make things out of love and passion, regardless of their end scale.”

    Amen to that, Reese! I feel very inspired and hopeful after reading your post. It is as if you have lifted a heavy weight of my shoulders. Thank you! In the past few months I have felt as if I have to do something grand and world-changing to be somebody. And the world-changing thing always seemed to be much bigger than me and not even close to my comfort zone / my personality. To compensate the emptiness within and to quiet the doubts I started doing more and more things. I never have a lack of ideas so it’s easy to overbook myself by following all of them at once. Eating all the sweets in the candy store at once – and not enjoying any of them and feeling terribly sick afterward.

    Your post gave me a different perspective. That it is okay not to save the whole world but just do my part in my little area of the world. And I can define how big that area is. No need to start a second Oprah show – that spot is already taken :-)

    Not sure yet what this will mean for my blog project. One thing I take from your post is that I won’t tell others what to do but merely show a few ways that helped me or others before. And my goal might not be to be the #1 place to go for everyone out there with depression, anxiety or PTSD. I’m curious to discover where my way goes.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Kristin,
      you described, really well, what lead to the writing of this piece. The exhaustive overwhelm at this notion of being this huge world changer. I sat for many months on this, thinking “is that what I really want?” and the conclusion I came to was no. Like you, it wasn’t in my comfort zone or personality. to be that person would have been me trying to fit into clothes that very much don’t fit.

      I resisted this conclusion strongly for a while. But when a good friend finally helped me see that’s the conclusion she came to, I felt such relief. Such permission. So I wanted to share it with others, this sense of maybe fostering fewer, but closer, connections.

      For your blog project, I hear you. I don’t know how this all ‘looks’ for me quite yet. For whatever you do, I think it’s fine to express who you are, what you believe…and people have the choice to take what they will. But maybe as you write and craft your content, you think “OK, can this connect with 1 or 2 people on a deeper level?” and use that to inspire the choices you make. Just some ideas for you :)

  • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

    Reese & Sarah,

    I thought you’d appreciate this TED video:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/noreena_hertz_how_to_use_experts_and_when_not_to.html

    Hugs!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Kellie,
      Oh wow–she talks a lot about things I wrote–discomfort with uncertainty, etc. It’s nice to hear another voice on this topic–thanks so much for linking to it :)
      Reese

      • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

        You are most welcome!

  • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

    Reese & Sarah,

    I thought you’d appreciate this TED video:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/noreena_hertz_how_to_use_experts_and_when_not_to.html

    Hugs!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Kellie,
      Oh wow–she talks a lot about things I wrote–discomfort with uncertainty, etc. It’s nice to hear another voice on this topic–thanks so much for linking to it :)
      Reese

      • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

        You are most welcome!

  • http://www.accessabundance.com/ Teresa Romain

    Hey Reese!

    LOVE this…just LOVE this! I was in a workshop this past weekend (that’s why I’m late with my post) that was about Full Self-Expression and it all boiled down to a lot of what you wrote. And I learned three powerful questions for living my life and, I think, practicing what you are describing. Thought I’d share them. In any situation (or for your life), ask myself: 1) How would I live my life/do this thing if I didn’t have anything to prove? 2) How would I live my life/do this thing if I didn’t care what anyone else thinks? and 3) How would I live my life/do this thing if I stopped comparing myself to others?

    And the thing that all of these questions have in common – and the connection to your post is that I have to listen to ME to answer them!!!

    WHEEEEEEEEEE!!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Teresa, I’m happy, as always, to see you here. Your smiling avatar always feels joyful.

      The questions you share here with everyone are great. They definitely gave me points to ponder as I go forward, so thank you for contributing so thoughtfully to the discussion.

  • http://www.accessabundance.com/ Teresa Romain

    Hey Reese!

    LOVE this…just LOVE this! I was in a workshop this past weekend (that’s why I’m late with my post) that was about Full Self-Expression and it all boiled down to a lot of what you wrote. And I learned three powerful questions for living my life and, I think, practicing what you are describing. Thought I’d share them. In any situation (or for your life), ask myself: 1) How would I live my life/do this thing if I didn’t have anything to prove? 2) How would I live my life/do this thing if I didn’t care what anyone else thinks? and 3) How would I live my life/do this thing if I stopped comparing myself to others?

    And the thing that all of these questions have in common – and the connection to your post is that I have to listen to ME to answer them!!!

    WHEEEEEEEEEE!!

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Teresa, I’m happy, as always, to see you here. Your smiling avatar always feels joyful.

      The questions you share here with everyone are great. They definitely gave me points to ponder as I go forward, so thank you for contributing so thoughtfully to the discussion.

  • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

    Reese, my apologies for being late to the party, but this post absolutely blew me out of the water and I needed to sit with it and not be rushed when I commented. The first time I read it, it reminded me of the adage ‘Take what you like and leave the rest.’ That’s generally how I approach the advice/guidance/whatever from authors, gurus, bloggers, marketers, etc. Sometimes I read a book or a post that really resonates with me about 80%, but the other 20% just doesn’t work for me. I just take the stuff that works for me, and toss out the rest.

    I cannot thank you enough for being so articulate and honest with your assessment of this dynamic. The last part of this post is what really just nailed me. It’s like this thought that I’ve had for years now is somehow validated. I don’t need to be some super badass rockstar guru millionaire whateverthehell – I just want to follow what’s in my heart and dance with the joy over the uncertainty as you so eloquently said. I’m on the path today. My path! :)

    I think this is my favorite post I’ve ever read by anyone. Ever. Seriously. Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Brandon,
      With a comment like that, there’s no need to apologize for commenting late!( there’s no need regardless :)

      As I told you on twitter, this is really generous of you. Aside from my Ego, which is still alive and well and eats this stuff up (LOL), there’s another part of me smiling because this was my hope: that even if a couple people get relief, or permission or grounding from the writing, I’ve done something good today.

      It was a friend who really helped give me permission with all of this. I’ve admired her a long time, and when she told me “We’ve decided less scale, more personal impact” and how it changed her day-to-day life, I thought “here’s someone I look up to, and it feels like permission to not go and be an exhausted Mrs. World Changer.”

      Everything changed for me after that. So I’m passing on what she gave to me. Thank you again, Brandon.

  • http://www.brandonsutton.com Brandon Sutton

    Reese, my apologies for being late to the party, but this post absolutely blew me out of the water and I needed to sit with it and not be rushed when I commented. The first time I read it, it reminded me of the adage ‘Take what you like and leave the rest.’ That’s generally how I approach the advice/guidance/whatever from authors, gurus, bloggers, marketers, etc. Sometimes I read a book or a post that really resonates with me about 80%, but the other 20% just doesn’t work for me. I just take the stuff that works for me, and toss out the rest.

    I cannot thank you enough for being so articulate and honest with your assessment of this dynamic. The last part of this post is what really just nailed me. It’s like this thought that I’ve had for years now is somehow validated. I don’t need to be some super badass rockstar guru millionaire whateverthehell – I just want to follow what’s in my heart and dance with the joy over the uncertainty as you so eloquently said. I’m on the path today. My path! :)

    I think this is my favorite post I’ve ever read by anyone. Ever. Seriously. Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Hi Brandon,
      With a comment like that, there’s no need to apologize for commenting late!( there’s no need regardless :)

      As I told you on twitter, this is really generous of you. Aside from my Ego, which is still alive and well and eats this stuff up (LOL), there’s another part of me smiling because this was my hope: that even if a couple people get relief, or permission or grounding from the writing, I’ve done something good today.

      It was a friend who really helped give me permission with all of this. I’ve admired her a long time, and when she told me “We’ve decided less scale, more personal impact” and how it changed her day-to-day life, I thought “here’s someone I look up to, and it feels like permission to not go and be an exhausted Mrs. World Changer.”

      Everything changed for me after that. So I’m passing on what she gave to me. Thank you again, Brandon.

  • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

    Oh Reese – loved reading this!

    “Maybe you start defining your own rules and order for scheduling in your life.” – this hit me as it is the number one thing I need to do…

    and to answer your final question… I DO have faith in myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to. My biggest issue is that I set my mind to 100 things and I need to focus on just a few so that I don’t go into overwhelm and just walk away from them all! working on it!!! :)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Heya Shelly. Thanks for joining in!
      culling our list of 100 things is no easy feat. Despite what I’ve written above, I’m still transitioning to less work, more meaning, and it doesn’t happen overnight. What I’ve found is helpful is to just make small, concerted efforts each day that reflect what I feel is my greater purpose. I don’t make huge, sweeping scheduling changes or gestures, but I’ve said no more and more to smaller requests that aren’t in line with how I want to work (for example). I do it as kindly, but firmly, as possible. There’s some push back to this, and the Universe is still handing me some stuff that’s not a ton of sunshine, but, you know, tiny choices each day. Whatever that is for you :)

  • http://www.randomshelly.com/blog/ Shelly

    Oh Reese – loved reading this!

    “Maybe you start defining your own rules and order for scheduling in your life.” – this hit me as it is the number one thing I need to do…

    and to answer your final question… I DO have faith in myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to. My biggest issue is that I set my mind to 100 things and I need to focus on just a few so that I don’t go into overwhelm and just walk away from them all! working on it!!! :)

    • http://twitter.com/reese reese spykerman

      Heya Shelly. Thanks for joining in!
      culling our list of 100 things is no easy feat. Despite what I’ve written above, I’m still transitioning to less work, more meaning, and it doesn’t happen overnight. What I’ve found is helpful is to just make small, concerted efforts each day that reflect what I feel is my greater purpose. I don’t make huge, sweeping scheduling changes or gestures, but I’ve said no more and more to smaller requests that aren’t in line with how I want to work (for example). I do it as kindly, but firmly, as possible. There’s some push back to this, and the Universe is still handing me some stuff that’s not a ton of sunshine, but, you know, tiny choices each day. Whatever that is for you :)

  • Jenny

    Wow! I love how that resonated. It is so very true. I myself have done the bounce from book, workshop, guru etc hoping that someone would “tell me” the answer. Lolol, what I realised is that I have the answer if I can sit with myself and give that voice space.

    Thank you so much Reese.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jenny!
      thank you for commenting :)

      Other people’s answers are the easy way out. But let me clarify: a dear man told me yesterday we can learn from everyone in our lives–even the mean, nasty people, if we have trained our ears to listen in the right way. We can listen to what we hear about ourselves and how we can grow. Which is different than taking someone else’s advice or experience carte blanche and thinking we can slap it on ourselves and to our lives like a sticker.

      Anyway, I’m rambling here, but wanted to share in case it helps. For me, I’m very much still learning and at an infancy stage of listening to myself. It will be a lifetime of it :)

  • Jenny

    Wow! I love how that resonated. It is so very true. I myself have done the bounce from book, workshop, guru etc hoping that someone would “tell me” the answer. Lolol, what I realised is that I have the answer if I can sit with myself and give that voice space.

    Thank you so much Reese.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jenny!
      thank you for commenting :)

      Other people’s answers are the easy way out. But let me clarify: a dear man told me yesterday we can learn from everyone in our lives–even the mean, nasty people, if we have trained our ears to listen in the right way. We can listen to what we hear about ourselves and how we can grow. Which is different than taking someone else’s advice or experience carte blanche and thinking we can slap it on ourselves and to our lives like a sticker.

      Anyway, I’m rambling here, but wanted to share in case it helps. For me, I’m very much still learning and at an infancy stage of listening to myself. It will be a lifetime of it :)

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