July is here in the mountains of Idaho. Hot. Dry. Windy on occasion. Thunderclouds, like reminders of spring, still blow in many afternoons. The 100 year snowpack this winter and a wet spring makes the mountains velvety green, aflush with wildflowers.
June flew by.
The theme for me: STUFF (and lots of good times when I look back at pictures!). Not all that surprising in the line of work I’m in, but this time the physical stuff I was dealing with had little to do with my work. We helped friends move, cleaned out my mom’s basement (see images below), had a clothing swap, was in charge of the community garage sale that raised money for my son’s school.
Being in charge of a HUGE garage sale, and the aftermath of stuff that is left over, meant that we had quite the influx of things into our home (useful things, things we need, things we just plain love). As you can imagine, I’m quite careful about what comes into my home: everything must inspire joy--visceral joy when I touch it--for it to come into my home. Apparently, I have a lot of joy to go around. :)
With the influx into our home, my immediate reaction is, ‘Great, what can we thank and send on its way?’ My second reaction is to find a home for each little thing that has come into our sphere.
With that lens, I’ve been looking around my space for opportunities.
What areas need love? What feels stagnant? What needs a refresh?
My answer came in a rush of intuition. My entry way, inside our front door, the first impression we have of our home. I’ve pulled out the winter hats, gloves and boots to create space, but the space is looking particularly cluttered.
One item I had my eye on at the garage sale that didn’t sell and ended up coming into my home, is a large painting (with photograph like precision) of a breaching whale, with another below whose tail is propelling it along. It is playful and dynamic, big, energetic and still, all at the same time.
It is the yin and yang of soaring energy and quiet contemplation.
With its depiction of water and the beautiful frame and matting in grey and deep blue, it is the perfect representation of the water energy that is so helpful in the journey and career area of any home (front and center, often where the front door is placed, as it is in my home).
I was thrilled and immediately replaced a piece that had been there with this new one. I love it. It inspired for me a whole shift in that physical space that is still in progress. A focal point for a space that can tend towards utility alone.
Here’s the part that I love. This is what keeps me continually coming back to the power Feng Shui has in my home and my life. As I contemplate how to shift my entry to make it more beautiful AND functional, I am also envisaging a big shift in my work life over the summer.
With my son and husband on the school calendar, they are around, available to play, adventure, do projects. It is a sweet time and I have this deep yearning, this desire, to set up my schedule intentionally so that I can be present and connected with my family throughout the summer, so that I have the time and space to do the inner work I need to do to be successful in my outer world.
Being my own boss, I can do that.
Here’s the thing. I love my work. I feel fortunate, called to help my clients live stress-free lives, to create spaces that inspire and energize. It lights me up, draws on all my skill sets. Simple shifts can equal big transformations.
For those of you who run your own businesses, you are well aware of how there is always more to do. I am constantly practicing how to manage my expectations, to let go at the end of the day, even when I haven’t accomplished all that I intended. I have learned to be incredibly productive, something I continually fine tune.
My goal is to have four hours of amazingly focused work each day this summer, and to take the afternoons to garden, hike, work on our yard and house, swim and play in the rivers and lakes, cook dinner, be present and accessible as a mom and a wife.
Here’s the thing, I have yet to make that happen.
June was a busy month, I knew it would be and didn’t fully expect to transition to my new schedule. But here we are in July and I have incredible resistance coming up around whether or not I can really make this dream, my reality and still accomplish all the ambitions I have for my business this summer.
I also have a large amount of resistance coming up in the physical reforming of my entrance (my journey and career area).
Your space will always reflect your life.
To make this painting that resonates so deeply, the focal in my entryway, I have to take down and thank or find homes for a number of smaller pieces: a wooden hook and cubby system my dad made, the few photographs we have up of our wedding. Things I clearly have emotional attachments to.
I am listening to the next steps that continually become clear, but I don’t quite know how I’m going to get from where I am right now to an entrance that is functional AND simple AND beautiful. Just like I don’t know exactly how I am going to get to a work-life that is a focused four hour day AND still make the progress I crave.
I have this inkling that is has do with simplifying. My work goals this summer are simple and clear. My actions are based on those broader goals.
My entrance needs simplifying too. Take down seven smaller framed pieces and replace them with one big one. That feels good. Take the wooden work-horse piece (one of the first pieces my dad ever made as a fine wood worker) and replace it with a beautiful cabinet that has doors to close off the shoes and hats. Time to manifest!
Simplify and clarify in the physical space in order to simplify and clarity in that area of life. It always works.
And yet I’m in the throes of what I coach my clients through: the fear that comes before letting go.
It makes me think about the nearby living room pieces, of how I continue to hold on to our couch, even though it brings me very little joy.
Often it is helpful to clear out a piece that weighs you down, in order to make space for something new to come in. And yet, resistance will rear it’s ugly head: I want a couch in the space and I’m not quite ready to spend big bucks on a new one.
Those thoughts that stem from fear hold us back from knowing, with utter certainty, that exactly what we need will come our way.
"Where we resist change is exactly where we need change the most." --Steve Pavlina
Part of my resistance in my work transition revolves around what I now know to be a limiting belief for me: in order to be successful, I have to work really hard. Here’s the problem with that: both of my parents worked incredibly hard when I was growing up, and never saw the financial payoff that would have made life a bit easier. I want more than just financial success, but that is certainly part of it.
This is a limiting belief I have been working on reprogramming for awhile now; but it has deep roots. I’ve learned a lot about working smarter, not harder. I want my work to be fulfilling, deeply satisfying, energizing... not difficult. Do I work my little rear end off? I sure do. I’ve never put my efforts so fully into my work as I do now. And, I do my utmost to enjoy every moment.
When I paint the picture of four focused hours with afternoons and evenings free, part of me feels like it won’t look like I’m working hard enough. I have guilt that arises around not doing all I need to do for my business to be successful.
Generally our fears boil down to worrying about how others will see us, though in the end, we are our own worst critic.
It’s kind of funny (once I become aware of it) just how much resistance I churn up around allowing myself to BE, to take the down time I need to feel fulfilled in my entire life (which can only serve me in my work life). I have to continually remind myself that I am worthy, deserving, that the feminine side of me that is softer and welcomes flow, needs recognition and space as well.
Right now, I yearn for connection with my loved ones, for time to spend on my space (shifting it intentionally, to create the changes I want in my broader life), for focused productivity that brings me wild success.
The image of the two whales that will soon find a permanent home in the journey and career area of my home, is a perfect representation of the contrast I feel in my own life. I need both the energy and momentum and external display of a breaching whale, and the still, quiet, below the surface movement of the whale below.
It is powerful to intentionally design your space as a representation of what you want in your life.
I encounter resistance just like anyone else. I become aware of how I hold myself back. I learn to trust my intuition, to take the next step, even when I can’t see the entire path. And yet, I can tell I’m on the right path because it feels so good to follow my inner voice, to listen to what my space tells me, to take leaps and trust where I end up is where I need to be.
Here's to creating spaces that support YOUR wildest desires.
P.s. If you are looking for a shift in your space or a shift in your life, but you're not sure where to begin, drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org)! We can find a time for a discovery call to help you see that connection more clearly and find out if the work I do can help YOU make the big transitions you're looking for in your life.