What can one small change do?

Imagine two different Moms. Both devoted to their kids. After years of intense time and attention poured into creating a great family, they both start to feel a little unsettled. Things they used to enjoy don’t seem as fulfilling. They have a longing for something new, different but they aren’t sure what. One Mom, I’ll call her Eileen, ignores this longing. She has the life she always wanted and doesn’t understand why she isn’t happy. Eileen tries to be grateful for what she has and keeps busy with social obligations. This longing doesn’t go away. She thinks about trying life coaching but she’s embarrassed and feels funny spending money on herself. In order to keep this restlessness under wraps, she suppresses other parts of her personality as well. She figures if she can just keep her kids happy, and do what she’s supposed to do, that’s enough. She starts gaining weight and worries about finances and the future. As the kids grow into teenagers, Eileen constantly criticizes herself for not being able to lose weight. This self criticism and embarrassment drown out the restless feeling. The thought of her kids going off to college gives her anxiety attacks. Without them, her life will be small and she’ll be left alone with her self-critical, anxious mind, not even realizing that it was her, ignoring her inner longing, that created her current unhappy state.

Now let’s take a look at the other Mom, I’ll call Elena. Elena pays attention to this longing inside her. She doesn’t know what to do but she feels an urge to start playing the piano, something she loved to do as a child but stopped. Playing the piano every day gives her the mental space to hear her inner voice more clearly. One day while watching her kids play at the park, a story took hold of her. This story, that seemed to download itself from the clouds into her mind, followed her home. She didn’t know what to do with it. She loved reading books but she wasn’t a writer. Ignoring this story caused the longing inside to get worse. One day, she was so sick of feeling yucky, she committed one hour a week to life coaching sessions. Working with a coach helped her trust the message her inner longing was trying to send her and move past the fear and doubt that it caused. She felt so free, she started running every day, giving herself more time to for this story to take shape. Eventually, the pain of not writing grew stronger than the fear of writing. Elena joined an online writing group and started getting up at 5:30am every morning to write her story. She continued to face her fears of having it published, having people read it, having people reject it. Elena got so good at facing fears, she felt invincible. Her kids watched this journey of Mom following her inner voice, overcoming obstacles and they learned to do the same. When her teens went off to college, they knew their Mom would be fine without them. They were proud and supportive of her, just as she was proud of herself and excited to have even more time to devote to this exciting life she had created.

Little things, over time, have a big effect. Learning to trust your inner guidance, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, cutting out soda, signing up for an art class, listening to Happier or other uplifting podcasts, hiring a life coach are small changes that can have a long lasting effect. As the new year approaches, think about one little change you can COMMIT to. Little changes grow into habits from which bigger changes can emerge. If you try to overhaul your whole life at once, it’s difficult to sustain.

When you get quiet, what do you feel yourself longing for?  It doesn’t have to make sense right away. Some of my clients have mentioned things like “I want to wear a business suit and heals” “I want more time in nature”  “I want to make money”  “I can’t stop watching HGTV”. These are all important things to listen to!

Don’t just go through the motions. CREATE the life your inner guidance is telling you is right for YOU!

Want more clarity on listening to your inner guidance and defining what’s next for you in 2017?  Come to my vision board party on Jan. 16th!

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