Lately when I was in England for another course at the Arthur Findley College we were asked to hold a presentation for 15 minutes. As this is usually no problem for me my dear teacher Bill knowing me pretty well told me he will give me my topic only a little while before, so I was not able to prepare anything or even make up my mind. The practice here should be that we would not talk from our mind and what we know about the topic or what experience we had made with it through our life, but to speak directly from our soul. They call it the inspired talk as we let ourselves inspire from another source. It is not about telling the audience what everybody wants to hear or what would make you look good on stage. Instead it is about something that comes directly from your heart, that touches not only the audience but also yourself. It is when you trust that there will be a higher source guide you and if you only let go of your ego and your mind trying to control, and you give yourself fully into it you will bring out the most powerful voice that will touch everybody in the audience.
My teacher gave me the topic “The many aspects of self”. The talk went well. Not that I was really happy about it but I spoke from my heart and the feedback I got also from my collegues in my group was very good. After the talk the topic still resonated in my mind and heart and pushed me to share some more thoughts with you here.
And while I am sitting here now and write about the topic I get this stubborn attitude again which shows me the resistance I have when I am being asked to talk about myself. About my weeknesses and blind spots. Isn’t it always like this? You have no issues talking about your successes, about the goals you have reached and about things you are proud about yourself. But when it comes to what is not so easy for you, where you struggle in your life, when you have to make yourself vulnerable in front of an audience, we tend to run away. Or shield behind “stories”. Behind things we can tell that do not hurt us.
This time on stage was different. I could not tell a story or hide behind something that would sound nice. I had to be open. So I told the audience what the many aspects of self mean to me. It is about courage. The courage to be who you are fully – and everything you are without cutting yourself of from some of the aspects you are. To allow yourself to explore and live everything you want with no shame or regret or holding back because you think you need to focus or settle or decide for one aspect and go only for this one.
As far as I can think back I was always trying to find myself. When I was younger I was trying to find out whether I was the more extrovertive or introvertive. Whether I liked being around other kids playing outside or strolling in the forest on my own. Later on I enjoyed many different forms of sports. As if I had to try everything. But as soon as I got really really good in it I broke up. Run away or started something else. I even changed schools. I told everybody that I wanted to take special fields that were not available in my old school but to be honest I just needed a new challenge as I was getting bored in my old school. Everything went so smooth there for me and I wanted to explore something new.
The same thing happened when I started working. Every two to three years I changed jobs and often also the city I was living in. I had just finished my first study and changed city for a new job when I already wanted to do something else. I was always on the run searching for the next challenge and trying to find what was the right role and place for me. Many times I also put my relationship in charge for being responsible to give me that feeling of having found my place. Many times not only for people around me but also myself I was feeling restless and unhappy with the situation as soon as I got some kind of stuck. I hated routine and the comfort you feel when everything is settling down. I started two more studies and am really proud today that I really finished all of them. It was always a huge thing for me to be determined enough to really finish the exams although I was already not really interested anymore as I had experienced already it was not what was making me fully happy in the end. But still I tried my best to finish it.
About ten years ago I decided myself against all recommendations from outside to start my own business in consulting and coaching people and social organisations with the aim to make the world a better place. I wanted to enable others to fullfill their dreams and goals to set up an organisation or business on their own to work in a field they loved. It was a tough road I had to go down with many phases where I did not have enough clients who could pay me a decent salary and also moments where I was insecure myself whether I would need to go back into a corporate job to earn the money for my life to make it possible to help others. Luckily I found my way through these years with many helpful experiences and learnings that I can today see as important lectures to be a very good consultant and coach. The biggest learning out of the last ten years is that it always worked out for me best when I was confident with myself. With who I was and what I wanted for myself.
When I started my spiritual path a few years ago I recognized that I am in the same kind of position again. Yearning for a transformation, searching for a role I feel fully myself and offering what feels right to my clients or employers.
The thing is, I always felt thankful and grateful for the jobs and roles I had. I would also say I was always pretty good in what I was doing – until I recognized I wanted to do something else. Then I was stuck inbetween the feeling being responsible for the position I was holding and my personal wish to move on. Everytime I had this yearning I was also very hard on myself becoming unsecure whether the new path will feed me, whether I would be good in what I wanted to be offering and whether I would really attract clients to work with. And also whether it was silly to give up the wonderful job I was having in that moment.
But what the hardest lesson to learn was and still is – is that I do not allow myself to be everything I am. The many aspects of self. I was always and am still struggling with the question who I am and who I want to be. Whenever I want to update my website I give myself a really hard time to try to focus on ONE thing. Or maybe two. I say to myself I have to focus to one thing to make a clear offer. To give a clear appearance so people know why they will come to me or book me. Or as one of my best friends recently said “It does not help that you brake up doing what you do every few years, maybe you should start to settle down”. Or the other friend who said “You will never be a master if you do not make a choice.” I hear my parents in my head who are still worried whether I can make a living because I am always starting over new and in their world not staying with one job for a long time. Or one of my teachers who also said I will not be able to make my business a success if I do not fully focus on one of the fields. But all of these opinions and well meant advises do not resonate with my soul. When I listen to them in my mind I get that feeling of the need to break free. The song from Queen “I want to break free” comes into my mind and I can sense my inner child come out and play. Because that is who I am. Not only a psychologist, therapist and coach. Or a creative strategist for developing new projects. Or a master in organisational development. And team building. Or a communication consultant. Or a network expert. Or a speaker. Or writer. All of that. And still playing.
So the topic for my talk last week was on the point. It made me open up for the question who I want to be again in terms of the many aspects of self.
And I do not want to start to get into the many aspects of myself I want to be in all the different parts of my life – the friend, the lover, the partner, the mother, the carer, the seeker, the servant, the receiver…I could write a book about this topic…for today let’s stick to the professional journey.
So talking about who I want to be, what I want to offer, what field do I want to work in – Who says I cannot have it all? Because I can. (And you can too!) The only reason that makes it exhausting for me is my own believe I should not. That it is too much. But who says it is too exhausting? When I take care of myself everyday and live in a balance, I do not need to rest or go on a holiday. Because I love what I do and I am in my power everyday.
Who says I cannot make a living from it? Because I am. I love that I can explore myself in the different fields I am in. I feel alive and inspired and like dancing through my life. I love going after all the opportunities life is offering me and do not want to cut myself off from the experiences I am able to make. And who says I cannot be the master in more than one things. My life is rich because I can live all these different aspects of myself. Not because I have money on my bank account or drive a fancy car. Because I get to live so many aspects of life.
Life is about exploring. Live is about living. About loving what you do every single day. About being in your own power. About being yourself.
I am so grateful I get to have these opportunities to feel alive and try many new things everyday. I am free to do what I want, to enjoy my life with every heartbeat and love what I do. And most of all to love every single aspect of myself.
So I want to encourage all of you to do the same. Let your inner child come out and play! What do you wanted to do for a long time but held yourself back from? Who do you want to be additionally to who you are right now? When did you have joy the last time without thinking of the consequences?
When was the last time you tried something new?
You came into this life to make the most of of every day! Live it! Enjoy every moment. Explore every aspect of yourself. And most of all: Love yourself for who you are!