you want to move forward in life somehow, but you're stuck.
In fact, maybe you’re not stuck – maybe you can’t even settle on a path.
You strive and work and evolve.
You do the spiritual work. You do the actual work.
Maybe you’re an overachiever who is just never quite satisfied with the achievements. You earn an accolade; you’re on to the next.
Maybe you have the house of your dreams, the children, and the ability to stay home and raise them… and at the end of every day, it never feels “right”.
Words like “purpose” and “passion” kind of appeal to you in a vague sense, but you can’t put your finger on any of them. You can see it out of the corner of your eye, sometimes, but when you turn to look, it vanishes.
All of these things are more common than you think,
and it’s totally okay and normal to experience those kinds of feelings.
Your house is just built on a weak foundation.
Step by step by step we build the house – first the foundation, then we frame it out. We fill it in with electricity, plumbing. Add sheetrock, then comes insulation and siding. On top of it we throw paint, vases, carpets. Framed family photographs.
If we think of all these house parts as relationships, friends, degrees, career paths, parenting paths... if we think of building the house as the step by step by step paths we took along the road to where we are today...
it’s clear that if we sit all of this business on top of a weak foundation, it’s bound to feel unsettled.
Sometimes we want to run from this metaphorical house – change jobs, leave relationships, redecorate. Sometimes we shop, drink, project ourselves on to our children. We do all kinds of things to fill the void of unhappiness, boredom, dissatisfaction, anger, and “meh-ness” (I made that up. I think it means “ennui,” basically).
What if you could stroll into Home Depot and buy something to shore it all up? Something impenetrable to fill in the cracks of the foundation, to boost everything into safety and light?
What if you could take one, long, deep and dark dive and come out with a new, crystal clear perspective?
What if you could hear the one singular message that has been holding you back from joy, love, satisfaction, passion, purpose, and peace?
There's vermin in the basement, and before you step onto any path, you have to leave this beast behind. It cannot come on the journey. It cannot show its insidious little face everywhere you turn. You may not even know its face when you see it.
It’s like lice, fleas, roaches, ants, and every other vermin you can think of – it hides in the cracks, eats away at the foundation, and renders you unable to fully wrap your arms around the vast, awe-inspiring life we live.
Your inner critic.
Your inner critic. Your gremlin, self-doubt, negative self-talk, poor self-esteem – whatever you want to call it or have called it is just fine.
It must be called out to the light.
You must know thine enemy.
Your inner critic is the thing that makes you look around at everything and say, “It’s still not enough”.
Your inner critic is the thing within you saying, “You’ve done all this spiritual work and you’re still like this?”
Your inner critic is the voice holding you back from your creativity, your parenting path, your dream relationship.
You can achieve anything you want – of course you can! – and if the inner critic comes with you on the journey of achievement, you’ve build a house made of straw.
How easily a house made of straw can be blown down at the slightest wind of criticism.
There’s no inner work, no degree, no program, coach, or achievement that can permanently and sustainably bring you joy unless your inner critic has been banished first.
My inner critic and your inner critic and her inner critic wear different disguises. We each experience one singularly powerful inner critic message over and over and over until we don’t even recognize it as something outside ourselves. It becomes as another arm, familiar + taken for granted.
Do you need to start over? Move to an ashram? Go on silent retreat, leave your career, take some time off from your relationship, move from the place you live?
Not now, sweetness, not now. No sudden moves.
Now is the time to go to the heart of darkness, armed with a blowtorch and some vinegar, to shake out the fog in the foundation. Now is the time to deeply dive into the belly of the whale with eyes wide open.
And once you know its singularly destructive message meant just for you, with your fingerprints all over it, you can release it, destroy it, thank it, stomp on it – however you choose to deal with it that empowers you and releases you from its grip.
Suddenly the trees grow taller and stronger around your home.
Suddenly the love rushes into your marriage.
Suddenly your awe and wonder return. You stare at the sky and remember – that you, your incredibly valuable, innocent, and perfect self – are a critical part of the very, very, very big picture.
In peace and on purpose,
PS - If this resonates, get on the Inspired Inbox list and stay tuned - coming soon, a special retreat *just* to help us get smoke out the vermin. 2 days of deep dives... right from home.