Set the scene = GORGEOUS day in downtown Portland, Oregon. I’m talking sunshine with true blue skies at a perfect 73 degrees.
I walk into Powell Book stores which is an entire BLOCK of new and used books. It’s a destination for the soul. Add it to that travel list! Especially if you, like me, find you need help hiding from all the extroverts sometimes because they don’t get that while you LOOK/SOUND/SMELL like an extrovert, you also need two+ hours of quiet with your friends who just write to you in the form of novels.
Anywho, there I was, taking a deep inhale of this CITY BLOCK full of books. Eeeee!! I get tingly just thinking about it. I made a beeline for the self-help section (Surprise, surprise, right?! How do you think I got into this profession? I started reading this shit for fun 15 years BEFORE I became a coach).
And low + behold, what did I spy with my little eye? The beginning of the self-help row was a wall of yellow and orange colored books. They yelled (I know, books can’t yell. But the colors and caps lock text FELT like relentless arm waving and hollering) about happiness and gratitude and joy and how to find it.
Immediately, I was plunged into a slight panic thinking, “If I skip this part, does that mean that I feel happy? I don’t want to read books on happiness right now… Wait, shouldn’t I know more about the science of happiness? Could I be even happier in my life? Am I happy enough?”
While research shows that consistent practices like gratitude actually DO make us happier, I find our culture to be a bit obsessed with happy.
Everytime I scroll through Instagram, I wonder : Will more pink and beige make me happier? When I look at the exotic travels I’m not experiencing, I wonder: Are they happier than me?
Here’s what I’ve witnessed in myself and my clients. “Am I happy?” is the wrong damn question. Because your brand of “happy” is waaay different than the brand of the girl sitting next to you, sucking down her Unicorn frappuccino from Starbucks (#morethoughtsonthis).
In order to know if we’re happy, we have to understand our own genuine brand of happy.
I once had a job where I was expected told to be the most joyful person. I sang in the hallways and high-fived students and teachers until I was blue in the face, and it was fuuun. However, I found that in order to balance myself out, I needed so much quiet. I read books. I cooked meals and I went on quiet hikes. I didn’t want to talk to people. I had to counterbalance with extreme radio silence.
Danielle LaPorte revolutionized this concept in the Desire Map. She asks, How do you want to feel?
When I began 1:1 work with clients, I was shocked to learn they were like me. They had their personal brand of happiness AND they didn’t want happiness all the time. Both things.
It became clear to me that we don’t operate in joy all the time- nor do we want to.
We all have an internal compass that indicates our personal brand of happiness. I call it your Internal Compass. In my Internal Compass, my north is JOY. But I also had a south I had never spent anytime with. At that time, my south became known as Quiet.
So here’s what we find when we dive in… most us have a North that’s exciting and it feels super high energy. But my clients are usually shocked to find that their South feels totally different. South often looks like one of these:
What this means is that they do things that are guided by their North, but they also intentionally choose to do and be in ways that fulfill their South.
Balance, in the way many of us are used to thinking about it and striving for it, is a myth. We’re living in a time where we have to choose over and over with intention what we are creating. What we are willing to make and what we are not. We live in an intense time of being bombarded by choices, so we need to get clear on how and why we make our choices.
If you want to play with your internal compass AND create goals and a vision that are in alignment, sign up for a complimentary clarity call with me here. This work is deeply personal and powerful.
I’m accepting three new clients into the summer, after which the Internal Compass Program will change to a virtual workshop.
Here’s what one client recently shared about our work together:
“I started out with the Internal Compass a little dazed and confused. I had set myself out on a career path that I then decided to change. I was questioning my decisions and unsure of where to go next. Jess was a steady source of wisdom and insight. I would have gotten out of my fog eventually, but it would have taken a whole lot longer (and been more difficult!). I learned how to make myself happy in each moment, how to decipher if I’m happy or not, and how I should go about making decisions in alignment with my happiness. I feel more confident and secure, AND I got a new job that I’m super excited about!” – Lauren M.
If you have Qs, reply to this email and share with me! I want to hear what’s on your heart about this.
In living in your wondrous North + your trusting South,
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