I found myself at one point a few weeks ago with what felt like a war raging inside me. I couldn’t focus on what I wanted, and I just wanted to do my damn work!
COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on our business. In the shock of everything, product sales dried up and we saw that we’d need to put a hold on some of the plans we had around new products and events. Because part of my work is being the financial manager of the business, I’ve been in fire-fighting mode. Lots of energy has been going to “making the numbers work” and I was feeling defeated and helpless. I know that there are many of you who are reading this and feeling the same way. It’s painful and scary.
I couldn’t stop the thoughts about how mad I was at our bank. Why couldn’t they get it together? I couldn’t stop the thoughts about how mad I was at the government’s response to what is going on. Quit talking and start doing, please. I couldn’t stop the thoughts about how mad I was about so many things related to COVID.
I was mad about just wanting to do my damn work! The running of PF is an important part of my work and I’m honored to do it. And the work I really wanted to focus on was the creative work of writing and curriculum development. Alas, my focus and energy just weren’t there.
I found my way through the war that was raging inside me using many of the self-care tools we’ve already shared in previous Daily Anchors. I also had to continue to check in with myself about where I had control or a say, and where I needed to let go and trust.
I reminded myself that there was only so much I could do; speeding up the process with the banks and government certainly wasn’t something I had control over. I could stay in the know about what to do when, be prepared when it was time to take action, take the right action at the right time, and then I had to let go.
Letting go when you feel like you hold much of the fate of a business in your hands is not easy. And, to me, it’s not just a business. It’s something that Charlie and I have built over 13 years. We have poured our hearts into PF. We love our teammates. We love our clients. We love our community. We love the deep, heart-and-soul work that we get the honor of doing every day. I know there are many of you who feel this kind of love for the work you do.
I gave myself permission to be mad and to feel whatever I needed to feel. Then, I took a look at what I could do. It’s not about giving up, or not trying, or not setting your sights on a goal; it’s about knowing when you’ve done what you can. I had already done everything that was in my power related to “finding money” through loans and grants.
I could make the choice to continue to feel stuck and angry and allow myself to spiral. Or, I could make the choice to do the other creative work I wanted so badly to do.
And, you know what? Aside from the work of running the finances of the business, the other creative work is even more important to keep the business running. It’s how we keep the doors open and the lights on. And in a very real way, it’s how I keep the doors of my soul open and the light in my heart on.
I allowed myself the space to rage, to storm, to be angry, to fight (really it was shadowboxing). Then, I had to make the decision: either to allow myself to stay in that place, or to dust myself off, shake it out, say “thank you” and “I hear you” to my ego, and move forward. I chose the latter and I’m better today for doing so. I also know that our business is better for the choice I made.
While everything I have described above is 100% how I was feeling, I also realized (eventually, because let’s be honest… I was all up in my rage and fear for a while) that the fuller picture of our reality is that we still have so much abundance within PF.
We have wonderful clients that are in it with us through COVID and still showing up to do their great work with our support. And, the work that we are helping and supporting them with right now is helping them to support so many other people in the world. What a gift! I love our clients so much and am so grateful that they are keeping at their great work!
We have new opportunities that are showing up because we have ways we can help, given the unique realities of this strange, stay-at-home world of work we are living in. New leads are coming in and they are excited to work with us. I have such gratitude for their faith in us and seeing what we can create together.
Our PF community — some of whom have been with us for 13 years and some we have just met in the last week — is showing up strong and ready to keep at their great work. They have been PHENOMENAL through this time; supporting each other in the most beautiful ways and supporting Charlie and me and all of our PF team.
Fast forward to today… I was guided to a meditation on Insight Timer that I had never listened to before. This meditation by Sarah Blondin, called Our Warring Self vs. Our Infinite Self was a catharsis for me and spoke to my soul. Finding it a few weeks ago would have been amazing and I also trust that I found it today when I needed it, for as I listened to it I realized that I had started to feel that anger bubbling again as I was thinking about my week ahead and what my project load looked like.
We each have a warring self inside of us. Sometimes it is overwhelming and loud. Sometimes it is calmed by our infinite self. I needed the reminder today that being in touch with my infinite self is where I feel at my best and that is how I am choosing to start my week.
I believe that the meditation I mentioned above is one that we could all use, no matter what place we find ourselves in at the moment. I encourage you to find time for yourself today where you can have at least 12 minutes (the length of the meditation) alone to listen to this beautiful gift from Sarah.
These questions below are ones that may help to guide you if you are feeling tumultuous inside:
- Is there a war raging inside you?
- Have you allowed yourself to feel what you need to feel?
- Now what?
- Have you done what you can do?
- What do you need to let go of?
- Is it time to move on to something that moves you forward?
- What can you do to move forward now?
Go do it.