Letting Go of Expectations: What's next?
Acceptance seems to have become the theme of my life lately. It makes sense since a huge realization--a life changing realization really-- is that acceptance is the path to healing.
I have had to accept my need to let go of a lot this past year. Let go of people and relationships. Let go of a city that I loved. And let go of expectations...the hardest one of all.
When you decide to pursue a creative career, or start your own business, it is hard to not have expectations. There is part of me that thinks I should hold on to my expectations because manifestation and vision boarding and all that jazz. But I am learning day in and day out that expectations and future casting are very different than pursuing and envisioning your dreams and goals.
For a long time I thought that the sentiment of detachment was bullshit. I could not understand the concept no matter how much yoga philosophy I studied.
I am attached to my life, to my loved ones, to my dreams and I could not understand why one would deem that bad.
I think for the first time I may actually be starting to understand it.
I am committed to my dreams and my loved ones and that is the difference. Commitment is not attachment. Attachment is expectation. Follow me? No, okay.
If I expect or am attached to an outcome then I am missing out on the fluidity of life. The changes and opportunities that help me grow and bring excitement or emotion of all kinds. These things are going to happen anyway and fighting against it by holding on to my expectations are only going to cause me pain.
This is really hard for me. Co-dependency and attachment are areas in which I have always struggled.
Being a writer with attachment issues can be rough. Especially if you are putting your work out there weekly. So much healing has come from forcing myself to do these posts. The action of writing and releasing, regardless of how I felt about it, how many people read it, liked it, or commented on it, has been huge for me.
Sometimes after I post a piece I’ll go for a walk, or cut myself off from all social media. Just let it live and be whatever it is going to be.
The memoir I self published two years ago was a five year long labor of love. I compiled it, wrote it, built it, compiled it again, lived it, loved it, hated it, admired it, was scared of it, accepted it, and put it out there for the world to see.
When I didn’t end up on Ellen, with a six figure book deal, a TV show option, and a speaking tour around the country, I felt defeated. I thought for sure this book was my key to being able to help people on a large scale as well as financially and creatively kick start my career.
Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
I could not understand how years of vision boarding and manifestation exercises not to mention the amount of work I put into it wouldn't bring me the things I so desperately thought I wanted. It sounds ridiculous but for a short while I was seriously discouraged. Then a YouTube star published a book with my title and I was pissed.
I had to let go. I had to recognize how silly it was for me to be so upset and paralyzed by things not going the way I thought they should immediately.
I accepted my reality and faced the fact that if everything had happened the way I had wanted, I would not have been ready for it.
The letting go part was learning to be fine with it, not give up, not get discouraged, and be grateful that it helped and reached the people who it did. Someday that book/project will find it's wings-- whatever that means.
Did I pray for it to send me more clients, reach as many people as possible, and fingers crossed magically send me a literary agent to help me get my work published? Of course. One--I’m a fucking human being, Two-- I truly truly want to be able to help as many people as possible both through my coaching and my writing, and Three-- I am a person trying to start her career and build her own business.
The response I got from the article was epic, I keep talking about it because it still blows my mind and makes me cry. Sure only a couple of new clients came my way, and sure no one is knocking down my door to publish my books, but the emotion and real actuality of seeing how my story helped hundreds of people all over the world was incredible.
I am holding on to the importance of that as I head into the inevitable downswing of emotions that come with now trying to figure out what’s next.
This weekend-- fueled by big time hormonal period emotions-- I had a mild freak out. While I did my best to release expectations, for months this article, along with my cross country move, gave me an excuse not to have to think about what I needed to do next in order to move forward and grow and make my dreams become reality.
I accept that, because lord knows there was no room for anything else, those two things along with just trying to make it through the day took up all the space and energy I had.
But now they are done. The house is coming together. There are no more comments or emails or texts to respond to about the article. It’s time to move forward and I haven’t quite figured that out just yet.
I am really lucky...like INSANELY lucky, that I have the emotional and financial support right now to get my shit together. I am so grateful for that, you have no idea.
But the guilt of not having a steady paycheck is starting to creep in and I know that if I don’t figure this out soon the inevitability of having to find a job is coming up quick and I do not want that.
I believe in myself and my ability to make things happen. More than that I believe in my ability as a coach and a writer and know that I have so much to offer. So much guidance and love to give people.
Last week I had two sessions with clients and I left both feeling so strongly that this is my calling. I have gone through everything that I have, have studied and reached out and found healers and guides and teachers and followed their advice and did the work and gotten to where I am today, because this is what I am meant to do.
I have so much to give and I want to.
With that said all I can do is once again let go of my expectations. I truly believe that I will eventually be able to make this a successful financially viable career. I also believe my books will be published and maybe even some day I will get to meet Ellen. Call me crazy, but attachment or not, I think the only way to actually get someplace is by seeing it, believing in it, and working towards it.
Letting go in this instance purely means being open to whatever happens, whatever unique amazing opportunities and adventures this crazy life has for me and not getting caught up in the fact that it hasn’t happened yet.
So, while I figure out what this next step is, my focus will go to what I know. To journaling, and working on my other writing projects, and continuing to put myself out there with this blog every week. To working on enjoying my present and getting back to my meditation practice and doing the things I know help me get grounded, connected to my intuition, and make me feel good.
The Refinery29 honeymoon is over and it’s back to reality and while I am understandably nervous about that I am also excited to see where I end up.
All my love and support to those of you who resonate with this. I feel you and I am here for you.