I’ve been on a journey. A journey away from unsettled feelings. A journey towards joy. A journey of filling my life with purpose and intention. It’s a journey I’m learning and not a destination. It requires constant checks and balances. It involves looking inward instead of letting outward experiences define who I am. I am on a journey to happiness. Not the fleeting type of happiness where you get excited in a moment, but the kind of happiness only as a result of inner peace. Of knowing myself to the depths of my soul. This journey requires more than I ever thought I was capable. It’s a journey of gratitude, love, peace, and faith. It’s knowing how I feel in my gut about a situation. It’s a journey of knowing myself better and defining those values.
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When I’m in the public eye it’s easy for me to auto pilot in a performing world. Being that two of my motivators are fear of failure and opportunity for growth - performing became an addiction. I’ve been reading Shauna Neiquist’s book Present Over Perfect where she describes performance as an addiction. Growing up my parents thought I was competing with others. The truth is, I compete with myself. No matter how much success I’ve had, it’s just never enough. I can always try harder. Do more. Perform better. Be more efficient. Be more effective. Inspire more. It’s a never ending battle where I am the component. This is the opposite of joy. This is an empty life to live full of disatisfaction and anxiety. This is a life of never feeling like you are good enough even though you know you are capable.
After seeing corporate success in sales, running sales teams and branches in the competitive world of selling intangible services of technology like software licensing, fiber optic networks, and VoIP I know what it takes to perform. I know how to get a team to perform. I don’t mean this in a bragging way, more as a matter of fact. When I put my focus on helping others build a team they see success. Yes, that journey came with failures but over all when it finally “clicked” I saw that success.
I was once described as a duck. On the outside I look calm, cool and put together. I make organization look simple and have the endurance to swim steadily across a lake. However, on the inside - beneath the water I’m paddling like my life depends on it. I’m paddling with tenacity and a strength that outlasts many of my peers. I’m fighting with every breath to take one more stroke.
For decades now I’ve paddled with all of my might. Since a child I strove to be the best of myself until I couldn’t anymore and I was worn ragged. To say the candle was burning at both ends is an understatement. It was more like a candle menorah blazing like a bonfire. I was losing the most important part of myself - me.
I lost myself during this time. I was spending too much time performing and less time living. I stopped feeling inspired and was in a complete survival mode. It had to stop. I couldn’t continue one more paddle. I couldn’t keep trying to tread through life. I needed to regroup and change. So I did.
That’s the beautiful thing about life. You have the power to make a change. Just as it took years to get into that ragged place, so it would take time to get back to a simpler life. I mentioned at the beginning of the year I mentioned my theme word is simplify. The thing about simplifying is that you have to remove things in your life to make room for your purpose. We are not machines. We cannot do it all.
So I remove things everyday. Sometimes it’s commitments. Sometimes it’s my workload. Knowing when to say no has been the most challenging part. But each day I take one more step towards me. One more step toward what God created me to be. One more step towards my purpose.
In concluding today’s post I encourage you to sit down and ask yourself if you feel peace with your life. Do you welcome challenges instead of fear them? Are you spreading yourself thin or focusing on your actions aligning with your purpose? If you are not, then you can adjust. Just like a car or piano need tune ups so do we.
This post is an example of exactly who I am in the photographs. I walked from my home to grab a treat. I chose a new place to visit with a beautiful atmosphere. I wore a feminine outfit with ballet inspired bows with a cozy jacket. I’m wearing little makeup outside of mascara and carrying a cross body bag made by Coach (c/o) which is my favorite brand for leather goods. I chose to use these photographs because they are honest, simple and full of joy. I’m eating at a cupcakery with my daughter and just enjoying each bite of my sea salt caramel cupcake while she chomps on a cookie dough one. So I conclude with a single question: