I’ve been flying off the radar lately. Actually it’s been longer than lately. In fact, I haven’t even been flying. I’ve been on the ground keeping my head out of the skies.
Here’s what I mean…
Several months back I was working away at my goals, achievements and business. I was building some momentum in my business, travelling around, making an impact and serving a variety of people in a variety of different ways.
I was working hard and it was rewarding to see the fruit for my labour begin to blossom. I was being challenged, no doubt, but I was in a space where I could get a handle on what was being thrown my way.
At the time I didn’t know how well things were going for me. I can only see it now looking back with hindsight.
Then I decided to make some changes for the long-term future of Your Genius, my personal life and the life of my fiancé. As I was coming to my decision about where I wanted to take things, I believed that it was going to work out a certain way and if things went pear-shaped, I’d be capable of dealing with it.
You know where this is going… things went pear-shaped, quickly. Sooo damn quickly.
I won’t harp on about all the shitty details of what happened, but I will summarise. Life kept throwing curve balls. One after another. It got to a point where it was devastating. Things, like deaths (6 in a short few months), separation, moving home, relationship challenges and family conflict and health problems in people too close to home. I had never dealt with that much challenge in such a short amount of time and I was realising very quickly that I had to adapt otherwise the overwhelm was going to get the better of me and wreak havoc on my mental and physical health.
The only thing I could do when it all got too much was to go for intermission. I had no other option at that point. It wasn’t easy. It most certainly never is when you’re beginning to build momentum, however, what use is momentum if you’re heading in the wrong direction? No use!
William Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.
You play all sorts of different roles whilst on stage for others to watch, but there is some point where an intermission will be necessary. At least for a costume change.
I resisted the intermission. I insisted that it was necessary for me to find a way to push through the pain, heart-ache, and despair. The more I resisted the more I struggled. I had people very close to me telling me to pull back and take a break, compose and rebuild, but I just couldn’t. To me, taking a break felt like failing. Dramatic right? Looking back, yeah, but at the time I had something to prove to myself. I wanted to prove that I could handle life. That at 26 years young, after everything I had been through up until that moment, I had everything within me to push through and find solace.
But I couldn’t do it any longer.
So, I hit the brakes, I had to. My health was declining so quickly that it was necessary to take a break. So I parked my life. I stopped doing business, I stopped writing, I stopped being ‘busy’ and started doing things that reminded me there’s a gooey, red blood pump in my chest and a set of lungs that fill with the sound of tree leaves moving to the winds.
I wanted to find purpose, find meaning and life in what I was doing, because at some strange point throughout all of this I had lost those three things. I had done such an incredible job doing it for the people I was serving that I had forgotten to do it for myself and it was no easy task getting these things back.
You can ‘lose yourself’ in the hustle of achievement. It can get to a point where you can no longer progress until you bring yourself back into the picture.
I actually shut down my usual habits. I stopped the incessant need to achieve another level of business success and financial reward. I killed all of that and went right back down to basics.
I turned to my music collection and books. I wanted to soak up whatever I could from the things that I had forgotten I loved. I watched movies, listened to albums from beginning to end (yes, that’s a real thing) and read books and flicked through the art and film books that make up such a large chunk of my library.
I went from doing everything I could to become noticed, to doing everything I could to notice others’ original work. It was such a burden-lifting exercise. It meant that I could stop trying to be a someone to the world and focus on being the only person I actually wanted to be. Me.
There was no way for me to anticipate what life had waiting around the corner for me. What challenges and devastation were waiting in the shadows. The intermission that it all lead to was exactly what I needed in order to reassess where I was heading and find ways to realign myself with where I actually wanted to go… Where I want to go.
Intermission is necessary. I believed otherwise until I was forced into taking mine. You don’t have to wait to be forced off-stage. When the cue for intermission comes, take it. You’ll come back on with renewed energy.
If there’s too many people standing on stage and you begin to forget your lines, then that’s exactly when you need to take an intermission. It’s not easy accepting that reality, but I promise it’s worth it. So I’m learning anyway.
Don’t worry, the show’s not over yet.