Warning: I have no idea where this post is going. I’ll try to connect the dots at some point, but I’m feeling the urge to just write, so I’m leaning in.
Almost two years ago, I returned home from Engage!11 with this little nugget stuck in my head: you’ve got to get rid of the old to make way for the new. It’s a nugget that has resonated with me hundreds of times since then. Last night, I lay in bed and for the first time in over two years, I felt blessed. Not just grateful, BLESSED.
I believe in gratitude. I believe gratitude changes things. I make it a mission to constantly say thank you to people and to God. But for so many days over the past two years, that practice of gratitude has felt like such a discipline. James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” But last night, the tactic of looking at trials as GOOD THINGS for the past two years didn’t feel like quite as much of a discipline. As I laid in bed, recounting the day, I SAW good things, not trials. The day was not without it’s frustrations, for sure, but it felt different.
Added to my gratitude list: the feeling that comes with blessing.
In my consulting process, one of the techniques I use to get to know my clients is the Myers Briggs personality type testing. I’m an INTP, which basically means four things: 1) I get my energy from quiet down time, 2) I make decisions on gut instinct, 3) I’m analytical, and 4) I think in circles, not straight lines. The “T” stands for “Thinking”, which is the analytical part. One of my Posse friends told I should get t-shirts made that say, “Shoot the feel.” Summary: I am just NOT emotional. Feelings, to me, contain no logic. I can analyze myself away from almost any emotion.
Yes, I’ve gone to therapy about this. I’m a work in process, folks.
Anyway, my point is, last night, that blessed feeling was really lovely. For a long time, that feeling had been stifled by pounds of fear. Ugly fear.
And here is the revelation in all of this: if I had to credit just ONE action for helping get me to this feeling, it would be this: LETTING GO. De-hoarding. Doing the things I think I cannot do. Finding the fear, facing the fear, and doing it anyway. Focusing on less. First things first.
Last week at AH Inspired, Jess Lively mentioned a story from the book, The Art of Possibility. The story was that someone asked Michelangelo how he got the idea for the statue of David. He replied that he didn’t come up with the idea for David: David was already there, existing within the rock. He just stripped off the layers of rock to expose the beauty underneath.
I talk a lot about building a brand: but branding isn’t really something you build. A good brand process is going to strip you down, get down to your heart. It’s going to get down to your “first things”. It’s going to provide focus. It’s going to hurt–you’ve been stifled under the burden of accumulation. You’ve been drowning, and that first breath of fresh air is going to be sweet, but hard. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be a blessing.
All you need more of is less.
Challenge: what can you eliminate today? Find one thing, and let it go. Something on your to-do list, a client who burdens your heart, an order you thought you needed (but you really don’t), someone who is tearing you down, a chore or task that really isn’t as important as your family, your heart, your friends.
Love you guys. Have a great day!