Segments from my keynote “Positive Choices to Success”

What happens when the going gets tough? When the pressure is on and there is no clear answer or choice?  In recent years, I found myself navigating through some dramatic life changes…I moved, started a new job, and started a second (my corporate training business), and started school…again (Master’s degree).  And I am still navigating.  There were many times when I felt that I was up against the clock, down to the wire, and still found no resolution.

I would feel panic rising through my body, like fire spiraling up a stairwell, commanding my attention. Underneath, old voices whispered:  “You don’t deserve what you want.  Take what you can—you are lucky to have this much.”  “If only …” As I neared my internal deadlines, the voices got louder and drowned out my trusted knowing.

Along the way, a friend told me a story…Imagine that you are waiting for a bus, specifically the #4.  You are sitting at the bus stop, and along comes the #4, and it whizzes by without stopping! You have a choice in that moment. You can get up and chase it at top speed, with no real chance of catching it but exhausting yourself in the process (and maybe getting hit by another vehicle as you race down the street).  Or, you can accept that you were not supposed to be on that bus and you can sit and wait.”

Trust.

I took my friend’s story to heart and started to try to engage fully in the process, and, when I hit a snag, to wait.  To trust that other key players might need more time, that the perfect time is not yet, that the Universe really does work on our behalf.

It is not easy for me.  I am a driver by nature, with an engine that makes things happen and is motivated by a challenge. So being in resistance is a place I know only too well. Waiting is hard.

Live.

I also learned that while you are waiting at that bus stop, you don’t stop living. No—you bask in the sun, talk to the folks on the street, listen to your iPod…do whatever gives you pleasure. Waiting isn’t pausing life. Worrying is pausing life. Waiting is being fully present in your life.

Allow.

Finally, when I let go of the reins, the Universe was free to step into the How. Things began to flow. Starts and stops did not alarm me because process is not a straight line. Process is the way a flower grows—a bit this way, then a bit that way, giving the overall appearance of up, but never a straight shot.

As I let go of judgment about each event, each part of the process, and stayed connected to my own inner knowing (“the right #4 is on its way …”) the drama faded.   Soon I was just living life.  Instead of the rising panic, I feel more rooted in the earth, moving with the rhythm of my breath, flowing.  No crises, no crown of martyrdom, no blaming others and events out there. When the going gets tough … Trust.  Live. Allow. It’s good for the heart.  And the soul.

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