Recently, I came across an idea that has been blowing my mind, and allowing me to truly relax and take a deep breath for the first time in a while.
It is called “the fertile void” and I will explain more in a moment but here is the jist:
If you don’t know what to do next, stop moving, stop pushing, stop searching for the answer. Wait for it. Wait for the wisdom. You’re not supposed to know yet. It will find you.
It also made me feel a little sheepish, because it is not totally in alignment with what I have been teaching my clients in my life coaching programs. I actually remember someone getting really upset that she didn’t have a vision for herself in one of my workshops. I had the gall to tell her the following:
“You know. I promise. That is just resistance.”
I’m sure that made her feel totally understood. My cheeks are growing hot just thinking about it. Well now, I’m righting a wrong!
Even though I talk a mean game about ending the constant striving and stepping into a place of presence, of flow and of quieting down with oneself, it is not my usual tendency day to day. Like most solopreneurs, I tend to feel the constant “should” of innovation, of change, of impact; bigger, better, faster and it is up to me to strive to figure out how to do this. The end result is that I then wind up creating something, it isn’t out of a place of actual alignment with my deeper desires. I start looking to others to tell me what to think, what to do, how to do it, instead of actually daring to believe that I have the answers within.
I shift from my own wisdom to worshiping the wisdom of others.
When I get into this place of freneticism, it is a sure-fire sign that I am not operating in the season of my business, or my life, or my body that I am actually in. I’m disconnected from myself, from life itself, and from my desires.
Yes, I said, season.
I came across this idea that there are seasons and rhythms in our bodies, our cycles, the energies of the moon that also mirror the seasons of our lives through Kate Northrup (check her out, she’s awesome). I joined a program with her called The Origin Collective, mostly to connect to other entrepreneurial moms, but her trainings about how to achieve new levels of success have everything to do with listening to your feminine wisdom (which men have too, by the way).
When I took a good hard look, I could see there were definite seasons in my business. There were seasons of discontent, of confusion, of feeling unproductive. There were seasons of budding creativity spilling forth. There were seasons of pushing and working my tail off to birth that creativity. There were seasons of reaping the abundance from that creativity. And these seasons have continued over and over again in my life. Sometimes for years, sometimes for months, but the cycle always starts anew.
There were also seasons with my body. There were seasons of creation (conceiving a baby), incubation (like housing a baby), of growing, of becoming full and round (like the moon). There were seasons of birthing and pushing. Everything happened on its own time, and I couldn’t have forced any of it.
If you FORCE and struggle out of a place of fear, you can make things happen, but you are sacrificing the quality of what you are creating. You are only partially aligned, and so what you create may be…..meh.
I am realizing right now that I am in a place called “the fertile void.” It is the season of winter, and even though it seems like there is nothing happening, there is. Winter precedes spring (a time of great creativity). There is so much going on beneath the soil, beneath the surface.
I’m in a place of transition and I’m not positive what I am wanting in my business and what to create next (especially with the upcoming birth of my baby girl in a few months), which is scary, because in other seasons, I had felt so sure, so inspired, so certain. I’m realizing that phase of my life was necessary to get where I am now, and from here anything is possible. But this time is necessary for me to grow and create out of a place of alignment. My job now isn’t to scurry.
My job now is to slow down and pay attention. That is the action I can take.
During the fertile void, when things are confusing and we are feeling out of alignment, it may not be the time to push a project forward, to to throw ourselves in a new situation, to make a huge move or to revamp our lives through action. It is a time to take employ down time, rest and relaxation, self care and plenty of time for white space in our calendars, reflection and exploration. When it is time to make a move, we will know.
Deep in my bones, I feel this is true. The biggest and most important realizations I have about my life are always when I was in a season of the fertile void and when I was working out, on a long drive or on a long walk by myself. When I TRY to have a realization, it never comes or it is half-baked.
Part of the problem is that people hate being int he fertile void so much because we think it means something about us, that it is fore-casting a life of hum-drum mediocrity. We are afraid of it, and the feelings it brings up; falling behind, standing still, losing significance and visibility so we numb with food, with booze, with technology, with distraction. And when we keep moving to distract from these feelings, we never align.
When we numb, we stay in the fertile void longer. We become trapped in a winter of our lives.
And these seasons apply to ALL areas of our lives; relationships, career, our bodies, our dreams for ourselves, our purpose, how to make impact, the building of our family. Every aspect of life has these seasons and because they are cyclical, they always return. And like an upward spiral, each time they arrive, we have more awareness, so we are able to learn something new which is how we grow.
Growth is not linear. It is cyclical, but the cycle trends upward.
There are no mistakes because if we are always learning, we can also become more aligned for the next trip around the sun. But we need to dare to be okay being the winter seasons, where we cannot yet see the fruits of the seeds growing underneath.
So, if you are feeling uninspired, confused, and anxious about your next steps (in any area of your life), here are the best steps to take. This comes straight from Kate Northrup!
1.Make self-care the priority. The more we nourish ourselves our spirits and our bodies, the more access we will have to your inner wisdom and intuition. Again, my realizations tend to happen when working out! Eating cleanly can help our mood to stabilize enough to see things clearly. Sleeping will help improve mood and clarity as well. Yoga, meditation and nature connect us more to our body’s knowing and inner voice.
2. Make sure to have plenty of down time, R&R, and white space. The more we go go go, the more mind clutter you will have and it becomes easy to distract ourselves from our emotions. The more down time we have, the more we can can listen to our emotional life and what it is telling us.
3.Reflect and assess. To the best of your ability, let go of the things/people that feel out of alignment for you, even if you don’t have a clear idea of what you DO want. This creates more white space for the the things you will want.
4. Keep a record of things that light you up, ideas you have, and realizations you are having. Keep it in your bag so it is readily accessible and you can write down easily.
5. Be a sponge. Soak up books, podcasts and workshops that light you up. They are tools for further exploration and there are reasons you are drawn to them.
Rock On & Be Well,