You ever feel like you know what to do, but nothing seems to work out the way you think it should?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 2013, it’s that theory only gets you so far.
May seem obvious, but for a girl who gets stuck in her head the way I do, it’s not necessarily so.
I love learning. I love getting to know how things work. How people work. I love listening, observing, understanding dynamics, linking common threads. But after a while, the theory gets ingrained, and I’m still in the same rut, no further ahead, other than to be aware that there’s something else I don’t know how to do.
From the first time I picked up The Road Less Travelled (Scott Peck), somewhere back in my mid-20s, I’ve had an ongoing obsession with self-help books. I read them, underline passages that point to a truth I’m trying to grasp, copy out my favourite quotes to post on the fridge.
Somewhere, in the last 5 years, I’ve started to wonder when all these books will start to do some good. (OK, I know this is the perfectionist in me not looking at the progress – but you know how that feels, don’t you?) These days, the litany of wisdom comes in blog posts & videos & teleseminars – lots of truth hitting home to my brain, and yet I can still find myself stuck in the same corner of an emotional rat’s maze.
I’m a thinker, an idealist. A perfectionist. I get frozen into inaction by fear that the reality won’t match up to the picture in my head. And I’ll be the first to admit, I can be guilty of not walking the talk.
Turns out, reading the books & listening to the webinars is only the 1st step.
Shift requires movement
I need to take action if I actually want to effect a change.
“Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.”
Do you know how many times I heard these words from Marie Forleo while studying at B-School last spring?
Here I was, surrounded by videos & blogs that urged me to “Take action now!” and it still took a few months for the message to fully sink in. But, slowly, through trial and error, it did.
Whether it was related to work, or my health, or my relationships, as soon as I actually did something, my reality indeed started to look different. Sure, some steps were forward, and some went waaaay back – but as long as I kept placing one foot in front of the other, the momentum snowballed.
Sitting here today, I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown from a year ago. This time last year, I was sitting on the knowledge that my teaching would come to an end when the institute I worked at closed. On a personal level, I was feeling colourless from having lost touch with myself out of habit & neglect. Even though I still get stuck now, the rut’s not as deep and I know how to get myself out of it.
This past summer, when I picked up self-improvement books, it was a whole new ballgame. I journalled, I did the exercises (to greater or lesser degree, I’ll admit) and I engaged in the online community support that goes along with the work.
So rather than being dug more deeply into my theoretical hole, my engagement in the process has breathed new life into my relationship with money (Money, A Love Story), my relationship to the Divine (Reveal), and ultimately, my relationship with my self.
Even when it came to business, I had a couple of ideas and jumped on them. Some of them, like the talk series I’d launched in the fall, didn’t do so well financially because my marketing could use some care & feeding. Somehow that’s ok. My point is that I achieved something because I tried something.
And now that I’ve put this experiential “theory” into practice, I’m excited for how I’ll be moving forward into the coming year.
In the spirit of walking the talk, my word for 2014 is Sustainable Expansion.
Because I’ll continue to spout my beliefs in caring for yourself first, I’m re-committing to my own self-care.
The focus of my year will be on my continued growth – as a person, as a practitioner, as a business woman – from a solid foundation. I know from having learned the hard way that if I attempt to reach too far without those roots, my limbs come crashing down pretty quickly.
My husband & family: schedule my workday so that I’m available to be more fully present to our time together.
My health: listen more deeply to the little messages that my body’s sending me – book an osteopathy appointment for that nagging twinge in my sacrum, sign up for another round of yoga classes.
My desires! I’ll be exploring those with the help of the newest book I just got for Christmas (The Desire Map).
The plan for the year also includes setting up a way to give back.
My broadest intention is to expand on my dream to empower women (you!) with the tools and support you need to live life with your own best self forward.
I’ve touched on the idea of a dinner party, on the importance of community.
And that is exactly where I’m compelled to go with this next level. The details are still a bit hazy – and for the first time in my life, it’s ok to say something out loud that’s not perfect yet – but I’m working my way towards creating events to build a community of support and shared experiences, while continuing to hold the space for your individual needs.
For the individual part, I’ve opened up 10 free 30-minute consults for the month of January. If you’ve been thinking of working with me privately, starting that initial conversation is the way to go!
Make sure you’re on the Guest List to stay apprised of where this all goes in the coming weeks and months.
Closing the year with a heart filled with Gratitude for all the trials & tribulations that taught me the lessons, and for the support that has kept me afloat.
I wish you a 2014 filled with Joy, Abundance and Peace.
How are you moving forward into 2014? Take action and tell me in the comments below.
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great post, cathy. and i can relate to much of what you said. here’s to a year of continued momentum and ACTION (definitely one of my goals as well.)
Oh I can say for sure that I have had some of the same experiences! I have dozens of self help books I haven’t ready, even yet. Action sounds so simple, and it IS, if we make it a priority! I love the path you’re on, and I look forward to watching your expansion!
Ha, yes Karen, I chose not to mention the pile of books waiting to be read. 🙂
Simple to take action…not always easy.
I love the idea of Sustainable Expansion! It will provide growth for everyone, nothing better than that.