Focusing on the Pause

 When the going gets tough, we often want to make the uncomfortable feelings go away, so we quickly try to change course. This month, I'm leaning into the discomfort of this tough time so that I can open myself up to more a powerful upgrade.

Writing this today feels really powerful. I usually write my blog posts on Mondays, when I don't schedule any client meetings and focus on my work, but this Monday, I could not get into the headspace to write. Instead, I went to yoga, took a soothing mid-day bath, and relaxed. And I think it was the first time that in the moment of relaxing, I didn't feel a twinge of guilt. I was listening to what my body needed, and that felt like such a huge transformation from the busy, overwhelmed, anxious, Type-A headspace from which I have historically operated.

And also, I'm writing on this Super-Blue-Blood Moon / Lunar Eclipse day, which feels really serendipitous because... 

My card for February: The Moon

If you've been following along for a while now, then you may know that on my First Business Anniversary last March, I did a Year Ahead spread for my business, and I've been documenting it by sharing a monthly blog post where I look at how to incorporate the message of that card into my business. This is the last month in this spread, before I hit my Second Business Anniversary on March 1 (technically, my bizversary is February 29th, so I'll have to go all out in 2020 for a Leap Year celebration). 

The Moon card in the tarot is all about surrendering to the darkness, embracing the shadow and the sometimes scarier, or more uncomfortable, aspects of the human existence. In getting quiet, in exploring these moments of stillness, in allowing ourselves to feel the fullness of the void, in challenging ourselves to deeply listen, that is when we can hear most clearly what it is we are meant to do next. The idea behind this card is that we need to embrace stillness. The message it gives us is to move through the darkness, guided by our inner light. And in doing so, we can tap even more deeply into our intuition. And ultimately, it's a lesson in trust. 

My word and intention for the year is trust, and I love how the Universe is really working hard to ensure I learn the lesson. I'll be honest, January was a hard month. Things have felt very uncertain, there have been lots of tears, and frankly, I've been feeling scared.

I've been feeling scared that the well has dried up, and I won't find new clients.
I've been feeling scared that I haven't been doing enough, or working hard enough.
I've been feeling scared that I have nothing more to say. 
I've been feeling scared that making money will always feel like a struggle, even though it's not the WHY behind why I do what I do.
I've been feeling scared of not knowing what comes next.

Yet, when I finally hit that rock bottom point about two weeks ago, weeping in my husband's arms, I finally allowed myself to feel the true depths of the pain. And once I did so, it was finally like a veil had lifted. I could see clearly that something I've been so adamant about teaching through my workshops and with my clients, it's a piece of advice I needed to take for myself.

It's a core tenet of the Own Your Why® philosophy—and that's to pause & reflect before reacting.

When we're in business, and something happens unexpectedly, whether good or bad, we have to take that moment to pause, to allow ourselves to check back in with Our Why, and then make a decision and proceed accordingly. Lindsay Mack, in all of her brilliance, likes to call this "wise discernment," and that's precisely it! We must have that moment to pause before we take that next step, before we decide to say yes (or no). 

Living in the pause brings us back to the present moment, and it allows us to examine what's coming up for us. Are we hearing a lot of internal dialogue that says, "You should absolutely do this!" And if those Should flags start to wave, then it's time to ask, "Why should I? What beliefs are tied to that particular should?" And if we can stay in that pause for a moment longer, what is it that we're really feeling when we think about this thing? Is it excitement for this new opportunity that brings us closer to where we ultimately want to be? Or can we already start to see the resentment monster rearing its head? 

All of this is to say, I'm in an interesting place right now with my business. It's been slow for the past few months, but I feel like a lot of really awesome things are beginning to brew. I've been focusing on projects that fill me with joy, and I'm exploring some really cool collaborations with other incredible women and business owners. And then at the end of the month, I'll finally be heading out to Joshua Tree, California to speak at (!!) and participate in a really dreamy mind/body/biz retreat that I've been looking forward to since last summer.

While the past few months have been financially tough, with the lack of funds as the culprit, I am still determined not to make a sharp left turn in my business because of it. I refuse to launch something because I think it can lead to "quick cash" when I can't see how it ultimately fits into the larger picture. This isn't to say that my business won't shift down the line, but I'm not going to make this major pivot in response to a lack of funds. Maybe this is me being really stubborn, but I have to live what I teach.

If I am to Own My Why, then everything I put out into the world needs to come from the inspired place of putting people first and creating and holding space for others. And any future pivot I do decide to make, must start from that place, with that core purpose leading the charge.

Instead of giving into the fear-filled feelings that have been running amok these last few weeks, I've been pausing to find clarity about the correct path forward, and it sounds like I'm in for more questioning, more surrendering, and more releasing in the next month.

I'm on the journey to learning more about trust this year, and it's not always an Instagram-worthy process filled with quick fixes and happy resolutions. My process has been filled with lots of tears, lots of early nights in bed, coupled with insomnia and candlelit, middle-of-the-night journaling sessions. I've sent out SOS calls to friends, leaving my ego at the door along the way.

I'm still very much in the thick of unraveling my next steps, but with each passing day, I am feeling more and more comforted in knowing that I don't yet have to have it all figured out. And while you may have always operated from this space, it's revolutionary for me. I was the kid who had a panic attack the night before kindergarten because I didn't know how to read. The fact that I was going to school so that I could learn, wasn't comforting to me. I was unhinged because I didn't yet know how I would do it. And every year, without fail, the same anxiety would creep up the night before school. Not having a clear picture of the HOW has always been unnerving for me... until now.

I do feel this odd comfort in not knowing what exactly my business will look like in 12 months. I feel certain that each decision I make will be coming from an inspired, heart-centered, honest place, and if that's the case, I know I'll end up exactly where I'm supposed to be.

So my goal for this month is to embrace the stillness—focus on the pause. Bask in the darkness. Remain open to possibilities. Release these limiting beliefs that continue to hold me back. Take another step forward on my journey to unequivocal trust.

What are your thoughts on the messy parts of growth? How has your journey been in regards to building trust and strengthening your intuition for your business? And, how may I best support you over the next month? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to email me directly at hello@maggiegentry.com. 


 

If you're ready to build a marketing plan that feels good and is in alignment with your core values, then I would really love to work with you to help you get there. This is at the heart of the Own Your Why® methodology, and I have a few different ways in which we can work together. Take a look at my services to see which one might be the best fit for you, or join me for an upcoming Own Your Why®: Workshop

And if you aren't yet at the stage where you can make this investment, don't forget about my Virtual Office Hours.
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