“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” ~ Denis Waitley
Once upon a time, I thought the purpose of life, my life, was to self-realize. I called myself a truth teller and committed myself to being a spiritual truth seeker. I dedicated my business to being a vehicle where I would learn all my lessons and find the truth of who I am.
Give up the Pursuit of Happiness and Allow Joy into Your Life
I jumped on The Darjeeling Limited and got a first class ticket to Nirvana.
I was on the fast track. Call me a personal development-spiritual-self-help junkie.
I wanted to find “The Way” that I read about in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Something didn’t feel right about “normal” life. Something felt missing. I wasn’t buying into the traditional 9-5 life because I knew something else was out there. I knew there was a different way to live.
So I became an entrepreneur, coaching and putting on women’s empowerment events. I had a successful, internationally renowned brand. I worked my butt off, spinning multiple plates in the air all at once, making things happen.
I was convinced that women would change the world and that I was the one to gather all these women together in collaboration. First, we would self-realize, then we would group-realize and then the entire world would be one happy tribe.
World peace. The end.
Something wasn’t adding up. Something was still off.
What was I really doing?
Was I doing something new and cutting edge, or was I simply reinventing an old paradigm, slapping a new mask on it?
I was, again, chasing the American Dream of success and pursuing happiness. I thought because I taught “authenticity” that I was self-realizing. The truth was, I wanted to prove myself capable of achieving greatness and changing the world.
It was all ego based. It was coming from my deep core wound that I was not worthy, I was not enough and I needed to do something about it. And that’s when I saw it: the self is ego. So what was I trying to “realize?” Another mask? Another layer of pretense and BS?
My whole world crumbled. The relationship, he left me. Home kicked out. Car totaled. Phone dropped in the river. Bank account, empty. My purpose, destroyed. It felt like groundhog’s day, no progress.
What was the point of it all? What was I doing with my life? Had I actually achieved anything? And what did I really want? What was most important to me?
I had bought into the life that I had been seeking to get out of from the beginning. I was playing the same game, but with a mask of “spiritual self-realization.”
For over a year, I struggled in this state of confusion, pain, and grief. I held onto my identity for dear life because I was afraid of seeing what was underneath it.
Finally, after another break-up and in a state of exhaustion, I did what I didn’t want to do, but had no choice but to do. It was already happening and so I chose the path of least resistance: I let it all go.
I gave up the dream. I gave up my purpose. I gave up the notion that I would change the world.
The ultimate fear. (Gasp.)
Who would I be without the accolades? Who would I be if I was not doing anything?
I would simply be … me.
At the bottom of the barrel, I got to see me for me.
I am enough.
I came face to face with myself. There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to go. I had to feel. All. Of. It.
And it hurt. So I cried. I was swimming in a sea of tears, and no matter how much time passed, I could not see the shoreline.
I continued to strip myself naked down to the core. Exhausted, I only wanted to sleep, but I kept going. I fought the numbness. I fought the sleep. I fought the resistance.
It was a battle against myself. Me, my soul, versus myself, my ego.
To allow the deepest pain gives us access to the greatest joy.
The money continued to flow without all the mindless business. The relationships deepened into intimacy without all of the distractions and pretenses. With all else stripped away, I got to look at what I was brought here to do, instead of what I thought I should do.
I allowed myself to be guided. I started to lead my life from a place of truth.
My soul whispered to me to take women to Sedona. So I did.
It whispered again to write my book. So I did.
It whispered again to take another group of women to Peru. So I am.
These are the things that bring me the most joy. They fill me up because they come from an abundant source of wisdom and energy.
This is what it looks like to run a business from the feminine soul. There is no one to save, nothing to conquer. The answer lies in the path of least resistance. Trust. Go with the flow and follow the inspiration that lies in your heart.
Your soul is always whispering. Are you listening?