At the end of 2016, I spent a week planning out 2017. I planned for the number of clients I could more feasibly work with, the events I wanted to run, and the partnerships I wanted to build further that year.
Six days into 2017, my live-in partner and I broke up. I suddenly found myself homeless and grieving the future I had so meticulously laid out. I’ve written about the journey here and here in the last year, because it inspired a lot of change.
I was grateful for my coaching work, because it meant I had to lean hard into my own process. I had to use my Internal Compass to answer the question: what the hell do I do now?
One part of my Internal Compass is TRUST. When I’m feeling unsure, I lean into TRUST. First, I had to get really clear about how trust feels in my body. Trust feels heavy and settling. It brings my stomach back down. My shoulders loosen, and I remember to take deep breaths. Then I ask myself: What would TRUST have me do here?
As adrienne maree brown says: move at the speed of TRUST.
Translation: TRUST is slow.
Last week, I introduced Mark Manson’s concept, Thinking Brain vs. Observing Brain, to a client. Basically your thinking brain is like a pack of wild horses, racing thoughts. Your observing brain steps back from the race to pay attention to your body.
Here’s an example: Your partner says Hey babe, I want steak for dinner tonight. What do you think?
Thinking Brain (makes up stories and emotions to go with the moment) :
Observing Brain (just notices) :
It’s easier for many of us to respond in Thinking Brain, because Observing Brain is slow. It takes longer to know what she notices.
In our fast moving world, we’ve been trained to respond to Thinking Brain. It’s a radical act to tune into Observing Brain. Observing Brain is the part that is in tune, putting language to the data that our body is sending to our brain (hence the term body data!).
This slowing down helps us get back to self-trust.
So when a girlfriend in Minnesota generously offered me a place to stay for a week or two, I asked if I could think on it. I called her back a week later. Is your offer still good? I’d like to come. And when she said YES, I felt my body ease again. My stomach stopped clenching and I got a little tingle of excitement. I know what trust feels like in my body when I slow down and observe the signals.
I didn’t have a three page Goal plan, and if I had, Minnesota would not have been a part of it. I just knew that TRUST was telling me my next right step was to come here. With trust still in my body, what arose next was moving to Minnesota, keeping speaking gigs and travel, buying a car, taking two cross country road trips, and building community here in the Twin Cities.
As I practiced trust more and more and made decisions from my Observing Brain rather than my Thinking Brain, I could lean into my life as it unfolded.
If you’ve been feeling stuck, fearful or off track about 2018, come back to trust. Your body is sending you data. You just need to begin translating what your Observing Brain is telling you. Schedule your complimentary 30 minute Discovery call to unveil part of your Internal Compass and get clear on your “right next step”.
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