Do you feel like you're not making progress? You are hitting more home runs than you know. But you may be paying attention to cockeyed information. And I'd hate for you to limit who you are meant to be based on some garbled perceptions instead of the divine design within you.
Every day, I work with coaching clients involved with different stages of career-transition, entrepreneurship, and taking their brightest creative visions into the world. And this much I can tell you. No one is always doing great. I've never met anyone living their authentic expression who feels as though they are constantly getting ahead. But everyone has a moment when life just works. And that's the gold I hunt for--the moments when the truth prevails.
An Inspired Moment is The Universe's Way of Introducing You to Yourself.
It claims you. It authorizes you. An inspired moment teaches who you really are. You've had them.
When I coach someone, I'm not looking for streaks of dragon- breath performance. I'm looking for moments, instances of being inspired.
It's a moment when you knew you were born under a red star and meant to do something outrageous and significant.
It's the moment when you knew you were born to be a mother. It's a moment when you knew everything would be okay, even though you had no clue how you knew. The inspired moments are the times when you connected with your true blueprint, your indispensable genius, and your regenerative love. These were the moments you felt improbably free and complete. These are the moments you felt as solid as a Redwood tree. These inspired moments are real. But if you do not feed them, they cannot feed you.
The Choice to be Unlimited--An Example
The technology behind living an extraordinary life-- is to trust your inspired moments more than you trust in anything else. That's a revolutionary stance in a culture of hesitation. Most of us are subtly or overtly encouraged to worship our limitations more than our inclinations. But you don't have limitations. You have limiting beliefs.
Let me offer you an example. To become a professional speaker, I had to get past my limiting beliefs. I'd had a lot of fear. For years, I'd be panting at the thought of certain kinds of speaking, not in excitement, mind you, but more like your average housecat crammed into a carrier speeding down the highway.
"You see this speck," said my friend Paula, as she pointed to some pock mark in the wooden table. "That's your fear about speaking." I wanted to interrupt her and tell her that no, really, my fear was Godzilla with a toothache, marching through mid-town Manhattan, roaring and crushing skyscrapers into origami. She pointed to the speck again, "that tiny, tiny, nothingness is all it is."
Then, like magic, I suddenly had the image of a canker sore, a tiny white dot in your mouth that feels like a rock concert in a phone booth, intense and overwhelming. I got it. The speck wasn't my identity. It wasn't the full-time me. And it wasn't the truth about what I could have in life. It was a loud and angry dot. It felt like all of me at the time. But it wasn't.
There is another me who speaks. She is clear and natural and connects with the audience, as though she's reaching across the kitchen table passing the biscuits. She is in her element. She is goddamn sunlight.
I flashed on one of those moments. Years ago, I spoke at a high-end women's business networking event. I was on fire. It was unspeakable what happened in that room. I'd tell you I got a standing ovation. But really I think I got an infusion.
Still, I'm embarrassed to share that I'd allowed the angry dot to make my career decisions for years. I sided with the tiny frightened me. I didn't see it as fear. I saw it as my true, albeit, diseased identity, the one I secretly spoon-fed and soothed in the basement, while people mistakenly praised my abilities. Psychological experts have coined the term "The Imposter Syndrome," where high-achieving individuals do not believe in their achievements, and rather feel as though they are scamming the world.
If you've ever felt this way, I've got news for you. Fear has been scamming you. It's the fraud. It's the one in the shiny cheap suit hustling you to believe in its sad portrayal of your possibilities. It's selling discouragement by the truck loads on every street corner in the world.
Only Your Strength is Real--Everything Else is Practice
This is what I want you to know. Only your strength is real.
Everything else is just everything else-- not nearly as relevant as you think. The wisdom teachings of A Course in Miracles teach that "Only the love is real." Everything else is fear. Everything else is what's burning away, passing away, being worked away. Everything else-- is what's in the way of who you really are and what you've come here to experience. It's mist on the mountain, but not the mountain. The love is real. Your excitement is real. The times you got it right, that's what's real.
When you're not inspired, you're not in your right mind. The power is off. You're not plugged into your love. But just because the plug isn't in the socket, doesn't mean the electricity isn't real. You may experience times of disconnection, but disconnection doesn't mean the power isn't on.
Still it's status quo to be suspicious of excitement and dreams. Others see inspiration as just a sugar high of the mind, unsustainable, fluky, and quietly suggest you shouldn't operate heavy equipment- or your life- while under its influence.
Now pessimism, we believe in. We trust our cynicism as though it's made of good sturdy oak. We believe negativity is heedful clarity, instead of moments when we lapsed. We don't see fears and anxieties as flights of imagination. We see them as possibilities.
But what about the possibilities of your dreams taking off? Writing a screenplay that Hollywood buys? Hitting the bestsellers' list, buying the home of your dreams, starting a foundation that serves millions of individuals for decades to come? Why are these seen as detours and idles instead of possibilities? "Take it down a notch," a voice within hisses. Be practical. Be realistic. Be depressed. Be middle of the road. Be sad. Be "smart."
Dave launched his new digital photography business after coming to one of my retreats. He wrote me an email, "This is the best Christmas morning I've had in years. And it's only Nov 18th." Another client said he heard Broadway show tunes playing in his head as he got ready to do a media interview. Another got a brand new job and saw dominoes falling into place, click, click, click, a crescendo, and finally, the reason for every one of her degrees and her misadventures.
These moments of becoming are real for all time.
These are the times, when like Goldilocks, you met your destiny-- you sat upon your throne and it was "just right." It was a moment that made you know that everything--your past, your present, and your future--were just right. Even if the moment passed. It was still true. And it's time to pick up where you left off.
When I say only the strength is real, I don't mean you will never hit challenges or disillusionment. You can open up your yoga studio to rave reviews or leave your medical practice to write and yet still hit bumps in the road, deal with a loved one's illness or scramble to pay bills for a while. It's the nature of life and part and parcel of growing into your full potential. Success doesn't happen all at once. And success doesn't mean you're exempt from the human drama. (I'd have a lot more clients, if it did!)
But do the bills negate the chills?
Do the bumps and scrapes define the journey-- or do your muscles and the breathtaking views?
I believe your inspired moments show you who you are and where you're going. Everything else is practice.
How will you choose to define your identity and navigate your life? Are you a growing powerhouse discovering the power of her/his heart ---who has moments of disconnection? Or are you a "loser" who just "got lucky" for a moment before falling back into a birthright of pain? It's the most significant choice you will ever make. It will influence everything you do. You will probably have to make this choice again and again. And when you do, you make this choice not only for yourself, but for your children and for all of humanity.
I'll tell you to remember what you knew when you were on fire, not when you were tired. Stay faithful to what you knew when you were most alive. Those are your diamonds. Everything else is an angry or fearful dot. A moment of disillusionment is not a moment of clarity.
I don't know about you, but when I leave this planet, I'm taking the diamonds. I'm taking the love. I'm taking the truth. I'm not taking the moments where I didn't hit my note. I'm taking the moments where I did.