I recently had an amazing creative coaching call with a woman. There were so many “Aha moments” that I knew I had to share them with you.
After going through one of two meditations during the call, the first image that this woman had seen was a bird flying over a rainbow. She said was not entirely sure where that image was coming from. By the end of the call we both understood the meaning behind that vision.
This lovely woman had recently been feeling quite burnt out by work overwhelm. When she had tried to control each metaphorical fire that had come up she was often left more and more depleted. This was an ongoing situation lasting over 18 months.
Then something magical happened. She made an epic decision. She had had enough. She was done living inside of this situation. She decided to accept it as it was. Perhaps it was never going to get any better. Maybe it was always going to need an endless amount of problem solving. Maybe she was always going to be tied to this situation. Fine. She was ready to accept that this situation had a life force outside of her and it was not up to her to try to control it anymore. She would be there in person but not in spirit.
She decided that instead of trying to control the outcome of this situation, she was going to start increasing her own personal joy. She got a puppy.
Her love of her new puppy took over all the other feelings in her world. She knew that her dog was only a puppy for a short time and she did not want to miss out on that precious timeframe by worrying about her work. The value of her relationship with her puppy became more important than the trauma of all things that weren’t working for her. While still allowing her business to move forward, she divested her emotional interest in its shortcomings and instead began to invest her emotions in her new puppy and having fun with it while it was still young.
And, guess what happened?
All of her work-related problems began to take care of themselves. One by one, everything started working out. After a horrible 18 months of non-stop devastation with her work, she was now facing an oasis of peace.
So let’s unpack this a bit.
She decided that she was going to accept the situation the way it was instead of fighting to control it.
I often hear the word accept and think that it denotes giving in. But I don’t believe it is. When you accept something you are declaring that your emotional boundaries have been drawn. There is now an official border on what you will allow to affect you energetically.
The concept of boundaries applies to all relationships we have. Not just partners but also jobs, conversations, interactions with people during your day. Essentially it is a decision about your own energy space and how much you will allow it to be affected by your external circumstances.
Rarely do we decide on boundaries before we embark on a new experience or relationship. But doing so in advance of the experience really declares your ownership about your own energy and can set you up for feelings of empowerment vs. depletion, especially when everything begins to go south.
She may not have created boundaries at the beginning of her new work relationship, but she definitely was declaring them now. She was no longer going to allow for anything to affect her negatively.
She decided to relinquish her control over the situation.
Control is another fully loaded word. In this case I would rather use the term emotional engagement.
When we are trying to control the outcome of a situation we are emotionally engaged in that experience. We have a direct investment in how the result will make us feel. When that feeling is not met we want to further control it until that feeling is met. We can’t depend on the situation to give us the feels we are looking for because it can be an endless carrot that we are forever chasing. And each time the feelings we desire are not met, we sink deeper into disappointment.
What was so wonderful about this woman is that she realized she had erroneously been looking to this situation to bring her joy and relief. And once she understood that this was not going to happen, she took her emotional engagement out of the situation and put it elsewhere. In this case, a new puppy! And we all know the definition of puppy is Pure Joy!
It is no accident that once she freed herself from the emotional entanglement, things started working. It is easy to feel the need to wrangle something to the ground with the desire to control it. I think we have been lead to believe that if a situation needs to be solved, it needs to be done so as a hands on process. We are not taught that by disengaging emotionally, declaring your energetic boundaries with the situation, and deciding to focus on your own joy is a profound way to truly affect a situation.
So what was the meaning of the vision she had after our initial mediation together? The rainbow had come after her storm had finally passed. She was the bird spreading her wings and finally flying free.
You may be wondering at this point what we discussed on the call. Her next steps. She was finally in a position to be starting over. We cleared stagnant energy from her prior experiences and began playing in the field of her imagination. That was fun!
Just in case you are in a situation where you feel tied to a condition that is not working and you are looking for some emotional relief, I have included a link (below) to one of my meditations. This one is about grounding your energy and removing what is not working in your life. Taking even a few minutes to ground and center can greatly help shift your energy closer to joy. Enjoy.
Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She provides creative coaching to remove old energy and gain clarity. You can learn more about working with her here: http://artwithintention.com/one-one/ She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.
Also published on Medium.