Are you busy, but bored?

Dear Torie,

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I love my life. I have everything I always wanted but I feel like something is missing. Sure, more money would be nice or a cleaner house, but I know deep down that’s not the problem. The things I used to enjoy just aren’t doing it for me anymore. I’m busy, but kinda bored. I feel like there’s a voice inside me that wants to come out and say something, but I don’t know what. Everything is fine, but I feel dissatisfied. Can you help?

This is one of my FAVORITE things to coach Moms on. This feeling of being busy, but bored. Happy, but dissatisfied. Your dream of becoming a Mom has been fulfilled and your life has stabilized, but there are more dreams waiting to be born. Our culture supports Moms having a creative outlet IF it ties in with a job or family life. Love to cook? great.  Enjoy interior decorating, beautiful. But if a Mom feels compelled to write a novel that takes time away from the family and doesn’t produce income, it’s hard for her. Want to spend time in your ceramics studio? Sure, just bring the kids with you. Love horses? Better make money doing it.

We think “following our passion” will feel good but the first step to it, is feeling discomfort of NOT following our passion. When we aren’t being who we are meant to be and doing what we love, we get an uncomfortable feeling that grows bigger and yuckier, the more we ignore it. It’s this discomfort that motivates us to take action. If you know this feeling of general dissatisfaction, without being able to put your finger on what is bugging you, it may be your soul trying to get your attention.

There is an idea that wants to be born. A piece of art, a book, a new career, a new invention, some kind of creative expression, and inspiration is asking YOU to bring it forward into the world. When we allow this inner voice to speak and get the idea out into the world, it alleviates the tension. The problem is when “this voice” tries to speak, fear gets in the way:

Fear of embarrassment. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of upsetting the status quo. Fear of taking time away from your children. Fear of financial loss. Fear of financial gain. Fear of what people will think. You name it, we fear it. So we block ourselves from even KNOWING what this voice is trying to say. Here’s a typical coaching conversation:

Me: What is that little voice telling you it wants?

Client: I have no idea.

Me: Well if you did know, what might it be saying.

Client: It would say it’s time to open a gallery with other artists and sell and cross promote each others work and create an online village where people share and build community with other artists.

I have never met a client who truly did not know what the voice was saying. If you’ve got something inside of you that wants to come out, and you are tired of feeling bored & dissatisfied, try this.

  1. When is inspiration is most likely to strike? Do you get your best ideas in the shower? while exercising? middle of the night? Keep a pad & paper handy during those activities and write down every weird idea (keep it private).
  2. Notice who you feel jealous of? Who do you envy and admire? Why? Write it down.
  3. Pretend like you are going to take action on one of those wacky ideas you wrote down and listen to what the fear has to say. Create an image in your mind of what this fear looks like: A turtle who says, “it’s safer to hide” a mean girl who says “Who do you think you are, loser” or Debbie Downer from SNL “Bad things will happen if you do that.” Solidify this mental image in your mind. Picture it sitting in the car with you, then imagine moving it out of the drivers seat and into the back.
  4. Write down every fearful, scary, nasty thought your fear has to say. Say to it, “Thank you for trying to keep me safe, your opinion is noted.” Tell it you won’t take any action, it is safe and all is well. Then you will have access to your logical brain. Read through your list and question these fearful thoughts, even though they feel true, are they? “Is it true that EVERYONE will hate me if I do this?” “What exactly does it mean to fail anyway?” “Do I really have control over other people’s opinions?”Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert

Don’t start with taking action. Start with removing the fear-based blocks you have to receiving the ideas, wisdom, creativity, and voice you have inside that wants to come out. I just finished a WONDERFUL book about creative living by Elizabeth Gilbert called BIG MAGIC. If you know what it feels like to be inspired to create, or if you’ve got a nagging voice that won’t leave you alone, you will love this book. The discomfort will continue until you stop hiding and distracting yourself, and get on the path you are meant to live. It’s time to get rid of the fear and remember it’s not about money or success, failure or humiliation, it’s just about allowing the ideas out, that inspiration has asked you to deliver.