She was really upset. I could hear the anxiety underneath the anger in her voice. "I'm so sick of this situation! How many times do I need to ask him to step up and help with the kids? He's 50% of what made them too!"
This was a familiar place. Julie*(not her real name) had come to me for mentoring to help her expand her business from seeing clients 1:1 to offering group programs. She was so excited about it and had fabulous ideas for what she wanted to create.
What stopped her every time she started to make progress in her business was the workload she had at home. She and her partner both worked full-time yet most of the household duties of cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and kid responsibilities fell on her shoulders. She would ask for help, but when the help came it often didn't stick, or she would have to instruct him on how to do things so many times, she reported it took less time just to do it herself.
What Julie didn't see yet was why this pattern persisted.
I asked her if she felt this same sense of responsibility when it came to her clients. She paused for a moment and slowly nodded her head. She admitted that it felt like her work had gotten heavy, in spite of the excitement to expand her business. When we explored why her work felt heavy, she realized it was when she was letting sessions go long or when clients weren't doing their own work between sessions and she felt like it was still up to her to get them to their goals.
As we explored this dynamic that was showing up in many areas of her life, I asked her what her relationship to boundaries was. She replied, "Boundaries! What are those?" with a dismissive laugh.
I wasn't buying it.
I asked her to tune into her body and see what she noticed. She said she felt a heavy pressure in her chest and a sinking sensation in her belly. She said it felt like giving up. I asked her what she was giving up. A tear rolled down her cheek and she replied, "Me. What I want and what I know I need to do."
In that moment, Julie got honest with herself. While maxing herself out at work and at home being the "responsible one" fed the part that had learned she got rewarded for being responsible and getting shit done, she was starving the part who never learned to say no so she could tend to herself. And while that had gotten her to where she was now in her life, it wasn't going to get her to the next level of what she wanted to create.
We talked about what this pattern was costing her. Things like: having the energy to sustainably grow her business; feeling rushed and not present at work; seeing her kids as burdens to be taken care of instead of little love nuggets; experiencing her husband as an overgrown child instead of a capable life partner; and perhaps the most painful - not believing she was worthy of putting herself first and setting boundaries to protect her own well-being.
And guess what one of the her group programs was going to focus on? Setting healthy boundaries.
You can't make this shit up!!
And that's why creating is SO DARN TRICKY AND BRILLIANT at the same time!!
Tricky because she couldn't see this pattern at play, yet it was the very thing holding her back (this is the blind spot). Brilliant because when you're creating something that matters to you, baked into that creation is the requirement that MORE of you shows up (the transformation).
Not MORE in the sense of "be all you can be, optimize your life, push it!", rather more in the sense of - who you need to become to manifest it requires the MORE of you that has been shackled to old beliefs and patterns that keeps that energy seemingly inaccessible.
In short, creating what matters to you requires you to unlearn things about yourself that you've assumed were true. That's good 'ol transformation at work.
So back to Julie. She had a breakthrough in this session. And no it wasn't cinnamon rolls (without icing) and puppy breath happily ever after with magical boundaries asserting themselves. But she knew EXACTY where to focus her energy, and we designed small ways for her to start to play with setting boundaries. Low stakes so she could build confidence before going to the stickier places.
She tended to this area of her life. Over and over again. Just like growing a garden, a friendship and a life. Without the tending to, a breakthrough remains a cool insight but doesn't translate into anything new.
Tending to is an integral part of your creative cycle. It's what makes the dream manifest. It's what helps your nervous system stay on board as you take steps into new territory. It's what helps you be present to celebrate the wins and embody the challenging times. It's what helps you to build trust in yourself.
What do you need to tend to?
What feels elusive or predicable? Sticky? Tender and new?
It doesn't matter where you are on that journey - perhaps you need a quiet space to hear the calling, maybe you know what it is and it scares you or you feel stuck, perhaps you've taken significant steps and are finding yourself in unfamiliar territory and apprehensive that you'll "slip back" into the old. While following your calling is an intimate journey only you can take, you don't have to do it alone. I'm happy to support you in following what's calling to you and creating into the Unknown.