This was the day: I was about to step onto the stage for a new class. But instead of feeling excitement as I awoke, my mind was spinning with doubt. Even with all that I’ve learned and the deep confidence that I have in this work, I was nervous. Would I make a fool of myself? Was it too early to launch this thing? Am I ready?
And then, as I made my way to the bathroom in the early morning light, a new worry arrived: How will I teach self-empowerment from this place of fear? I can’t.
And then, as I stepped before the mirror, I laughed.
Somehow, as I’d gotten into my pajamas in the dark last night, I’d put my shirt on backwards AND inside out – and when my eyes focused onto the image in the mirror, I saw it: the sweater’s tag, right beneath my worried face. Grace Woman, it read.
Sweet, I thought – and all at once, every bit of nervousness dissolved.
It was such a little thing – a coincidence, a mistake, really. Yet, it changed my whole day: it reminded me that the voice of guidance is always there, always dropping signs and messages into my world with humor and playfulness and the most exquisite timing.
It reminded me that even though, every single day there is some new worry to push against; this nervousness or some other challenge pressing against the other side of the gate – a symptom, a pettiness, a habit of settling for less than I know I am capable of – even then, I am going to find, when I wake up, some miracle.
I am going to find this guidance which tells me:
- Wake up anyway.
- Wake up earlier
- Argue with the voice that tells you life is a string of hardships designed to trip you up: the voice that says, ‘not yet,’ ‘maybe next week,’ ‘you’re not ready’, ‘not pretty,’ ‘not enough’ to have the life that you want.
- Listen, instead, for the voice of guidance – the voice that whispers, “Go on …”
Ride the bike
Get the autograph
Reach for the hand of the person you love
Put on that new perfume which (even though it makes you feel exposed – as if you were trying too hard) makes you feel beautiful.
Feel for that voice, even though it’s hard to get past (and through and over and beyond) that knotty thing in the center of the belly that tells you you’re not the kind of person who could, who would…
Ignore that knotty thing.
That knotty thing misunderstands. It’s forgotten how the world actually works: this sea of miracles where all you need is vision and clarity and intention and the willingness to show up and meet what comes.
Meet what comes.
Let life flow to you. It’s there, waiting just outside the wall of your fear. It’s there, and so is the voice of guidance, under the knotty thing, whispering…
make the call
start the class
ask the question
buy the ticket
rent the office
accept the offer
hang the shingle
send the manuscript.
Add that new ingredient to the sauce you know by heart
Call the person you admire and invite her to lunch (she just might come)(she just might love you)(you might make something together)(Something amazing)
What’s the worst that could happen?
What’s the best that could happen?
Listen for it. Lean toward it.
The voice of guidance has a different tone, a different timbre from the voice of fear. It always argues for your greatness, your beauty, your more than enough-ness- the voice of guidance loves you.
Follow its lead…
because even though you might …
stutter a little
forget your lines
leave out a chunk of content in your first class
break a heel
skin your knees…
… you will have moved, reached, tried, opened your heart and let yourself live.
I was going to suggest that you leave the dishes in the sink. But I changed my mind. Much better suggestion: do the dishes, but with tenderness – hands in warm water, the slippery soap – lemon Joy – sliding over the sponge; getting each glass to glittering like a jewel. Do the dishes that way – patiently, reverently. As if this moment mattered, too.