The Journey Begins and It’s Harder Than I Thought
If you’ve been following me, you know I’ve been on a bit of a quest this summer. I’ve been traveling around the country, actively listening. A “listening tour” as called by my friend Christine Prefontaine.
I’ve been listening to others, though mostly to myself, trying to find myself again. I had the sense I had somehow lost a little bit of myself along the road somewhere. Not in a dramatic way, though the best I can describe it, I was feeling out of phase and it was time to regain that alignment. I dove deep into the white space, into the unknown and undefined and begin to search.
This has not been easy. We are programed around defining “what we do” and take great comfort in the structure and definition that comes from that. Purposefully removing those defined structures has been uncomfortable at best, and I completely underestimated the amount of energy and time it would take to ask and answer my questions.
Deep Work and No Answers
The goal of this quest has been to grow by triangulating my intellect, my abilities, my desires, with what the world needs from me. Part of the challenge has been my intellect has been getting out in front of everything else. I know my mind is powerful, and it takes deep presence to remind it; it’s a servant of my heart. Not the other way around. I wasn’t getting anywhere with it and I was getting frustrated. I consider myself very self-aware and I couldn’t figure out why the answers to my questions were alluding me. I thought I knew what my purpose was, and what I would do if I could do anything. I’ve spent countless hours working on myself, what was that all for if, when I actually needed to answer the damn question, nothing came forth?
Then over the last little while things started to loosen up for me. It started when I posted a question to solicit feedback about what 2-3 themes people saw in my content. Then I had a meeting with my business partner Bo Menkiti and he had some insight that turned the lock a bit more. Then this past week I taught for about 20 hours, during which I said some things that really seem to resonate with me. It was like I was teaching myself, in front of the classroom in some sort of out of body experience. And then I had a meeting with the deeply thoughtful Erik Kelly whose focus is on legacy work, followed by a power coaching session with my coach Steve Hardison.
It started to come together.
I began to realize what I thought I was looking for, I already had. Who I was hoping to become, I already was. The work I wanted to do, I was already doing. The reason I wasn’t getting anywhere, was, there was nowhere to go, and I was too clenched around exactly how it needed to look and by when it would come together to see it.
Now, let me say this, lest you think I’m all zenned out, content, and unambitious all of a sudden. I’m wired for action and wired for results. And so, while this journeyer is learning to be patient, and allow enough space for the miraculous to form, I’m just as eagerly anticipating and excited for how all of this expands going forward.
In terms of what I’m going to do, I’m focused on building a leadership platform. A platform that invests in and supports our business leaders and entrepreneurs that are working every day to make the world a better place through the betterment of their businesses, their lives, and their communities. Over the next several months you’ll see me be more vocal, make more waves, invest in more initiatives, support more people, and collaborate with others who see the same opportunity.
I’m at 600 words so if you’ve read this far, I’m impressed. As a thank you for your attention, I’ll share with you more about my why. My hope is it inspires you to do the deep work to create your documented purpose.
I have been given many gifts and I use those gifts to help evolve all that is. 2018 represents a confluence of events that is accelerating and broadening this. In terms of self: my personal, relational, financial, spiritual, physical, and professional foundations are solid. My mental and emotional state is calm, focused, and inspired. I’m 20 years into purposeful personal and professional development which has left me with a wisdom and humility derived from experience.
In terms of the world, at a macro level, now is a particularly interesting time in history as the world grapples with change occurring as our society evolves. We are now a global network of connected societies which presents additional opportunities and challenges driven by differences in culture, generations, and socioeconomics. The uniqueness of this time, and the exponential pace of change puts enormous stress on businesses and people. Some are getting ahead, and many more are being left behind which has created an environment where fear, apathy, protectionism, isolationism, xenophobia and violence can grow. This is exacerbating the problem because it elevates human suffering and leads to more of those same conditions, an unfortunate byproduct of the human condition unchecked by self-awareness, perspective and introspection and a society lacking in leadership. I am a voice of strength and hope in that storm.
It’s not just about empowering people for me. I love business. I love it because it’s such a great vehicle for personal success and fulfillment and community impact. Successful business is fully self-sustaining that when deployed properly, can solve many of the world’s biggest problems.
My purpose in life is to bring the world together and improve the lives of all its citizens by using my abilities to communicate, empower, and inspire action and impact. I am uniquely good at synthesizing complex information into easy to understand concepts and can articulate those concepts clearly through multiple mediums. I have wide social range and am able to hold conflicting views and opinions at the same time and will find the common thread that connects the dots. I’m both a practical, concrete thinker, and a creator. I value thinking. And action even more. The world makes sense to me and I can pull it apart and see a better configuration. I’m an emotional rock, and much of my power comes from being level-headed and self-aware. I’m a visionary, and a pioneer, and see the world as a friendly place where anything is possible. I’m incredibly optimistic, particularly in the face of uncertainty and believe now is the most wonderful time in history to be alive. And I believe, by and large, people need to stop complaining and quarterbacking from the couch with their mobile device and get going with things. I’m an empath, an influencer, and a teacher. I am love and my mind is a powerful servant of my heart which is king. All parts of me are integrated as one powerful and expansive being and I am whole, complete, and enough. I can’t explain it, and can hardly put words to it, though since I can remember, I knew I was destined to do great things because I have been given many gifts and I use those gifts to help evolve all that is. My quest then is to continue to explore the furthest evolution of myself and use my talents to advance the betterment of all of mankind.
Along this journey I’ve begun to realize how many people are just going through the motions, uninspired, bored, complacent, and yet terrified to change. My message to you is, do want you have to, to unlock that dynamic. Do not accept living an uninspired life. Do the work to figure out a better path. Now is the time for us all to double down on our strengths and make a difference. The world is counting on us to do so.
And finally, a special thank you to Stephanie Liotta-Atkinson, Katie Heaton, Dontae Carroll, Leo Pareja, Ariana Pareja, Tim Springer, Ethan McAfee, Jennifer Weng, Tom Coolidge, Natalia Luis, Stuart Siciliano, Tim Hwang, Amber Cummer, Pam and Rich O’Bryant, Vlad Kats, Mark Silverman, Kevin Kaufmann, Marriah Unruh, Kimberly Horn, Carlos Garcia, Joel Nelson, Christine Prefontaine, Bo Menkiti, Erik Kelly and Steve Hardison who said something specific that has been invaluable at just the right time. And to the many others with whom I’ve shared and listened to this summer, particularly my husband Christian Salinas who has been so patient and willing to listen to my endless engagement around these deep topics. Thank you.