I was burned out. The light within was flickering and dim.
The mental and physical exhaustion from the daily grind of pushing, pushing, pushing through the responsibilities of being a business owner, keeping clients, agents and employees happy and raising two boys that were 7 and 11, feeling good about my community work and my role as a wife and everything else on my plate had taken a toll. But more than that I was burned out by the expectations and ideas I had of myself in all of these roles.
I confided in a friend that if it weren’t for my family I would get on a plane and fly away from it all. I didn’t care anymore. At least I thought I didn’t care.
Yet late at night when I fantasized about walking away from it all, I had flashes of the beauty in my life. I had flashes of the love I felt for my coworkers and the exhilaration I had when I was working on a community project. I was suffocating, but it wasn’t from the actual work I was doing.
My suffocation was from my own perception of who I was and how I needed to be when I showed up to do the work I loved.
It took time before I figured this out. It didn’t happen overnight. What did happen overnight was a desire to feel better. I gave myself permission to create time for me. I gave myself space. I contemplated my worthiness. Financially and emotionally this shift contradicted everything I was supposed to do.
because of my age
because of the size of our business
because of the ages of our children
because of college funds
because of my skillset, knowledge and experience,
because of my role.
What was my role? I realized that my role was defining me. Specifically my role at work.
My role as a business owner was sucking all the energy and joy and love and light out of me.
As I longed for something different, I experienced the gift of hearing that what I had created was actually perfect.
I didn’t want something different; I wanted permission to be different in the role I had created for myself.
So I decided to take on the challenge of changing the definition of my role for ME.
First I had to forgive myself for where I had ended up. It wasn’t my intention. Life was just so full and fast. I read all the business success books, attended seminars and conferences but still felt lost in those concepts of ‘success’. Attaining success the way mainstream teaches it isn’t a good fit for me. And that is okay.
Facing My Fears
Realizing that I wasn’t happy anymore made me think I had failed. That scared me and I had to be honest about my fears. My fears looked like this; people will think I’m cuckoo, the business will fail and it will be my fault, we won’t make enough money.
My fears were relevant. The way I had been doing things had created a successful business. So why wouldn’t I be scared that trying something different would result in a crash and burn? Why fix something that isn’t broken? I should just suck it up and be responsible. And then the whisper…”but what if I don’t want to anymore? Will I end up having a breakdown?”
YES. Things were working very well on the outside but I was crumbling on the inside. The outside doesn’t mean anything when the inside hurts.
Being honest about that was the hardest thing I could have done.
Little by little I redefined my role. Physically, emotionally and spiritually I couldn’t keep going at that pace anymore. I wanted to be free.
Today I am a free spirited, car dancing, universe loving business owner. Sometimes I am barefoot with glitter toenail polish. Sometimes I rock business attire, but mostly I don’t. I feel free to discuss politics, religion, race and real estate all in the same phone conversation. I express love. Nothing dramatic changed. Our business looks the same from the outside although we’ve had major internal shifts. I’ve done a lot of inner work in me and for me.
The world isn’t going to fall apart if we admit that we aren’t who we think we are supposed to be.
We can actually be who we want to be; truly, wholly, authentically! We can be who we are meant to be.
That is living in abundance and living FREE!
And that is what I’m presenting on July 9th from 6:15-7:15 at DreamBank on the Capital Square.
There is no charge but space is limited and registration is required.
Join me for the wild ride! Click the image to register.
Chariti Gent and I are also offering:
SOUL PLAY FOR A DAY a Spiritual + Creative Retreat for Women
Thursday, August 13, 2015, 10-5pm [register here] Take time for YOU with creative artwork, dance, spiritual and inner exploration and more role redefining.
You, magnificent Goddess, deserve it.