You may have noticed I haven’t sent anything out for a while.

Or maybe, like me, you got a bit overwhelmed by all the COVID-19 updates, and one less email was a welcome reprieve.

Either way, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and well, and finding some gifts along with the rest.

In that spirit, I wanted to share what’s helping me right now in case it might support you too.

As COVID-19 began to spread, the world locked down, and people became more isolated and upset, emails piled up in my inbox offering virtual support groups, meditation sessions, pay-what-you-can sales, and more. I felt like I should do something too, but none of my ideas felt right, and all I really wanted to do was support my clients, do what I could for my elderly family members, and—in what time I had left—work on my novel.

I’m deep in the editing process, inspired by an advanced writing class I took, and filled with ideas for changes I want to make. The work is painstakingly slow, but it’s also fun, creative, and deeply satisfying.

I wanted to edit my novel every moment I could, but thought I should be creating an offering like all the other business owners I saw around me. I felt anxious and guilty, as it seemed a little irresponsible, if not selfish, not to.  

Until I decided to follow my own advice.

When a client feels energized and excited to create something, I always encourage them to do it. Nothing calls us by accident, and I’ve seen over and over how, in the words of Rumi, following the strange pull of what we really love never leads us astray. In fact, in my experience, saying yes to what’s calling us is really the only way to unlock joy, purpose, and the greatest gifts we have to offer the world.

I plan on publishing my novel, but I have no idea if I’ll do so traditionally or through self-publishing. I don’t know how it will sell or how many people will read it. I’m wildly uncertain if writing will ever make me much money or if I’ll ever write a bestseller.

What I do know is that writing makes me come alive, allows me to create my vision in the world, and right now, with a few exceptions, is all I want to do.

Joseph Campbell wrote that saying no to the call is a standard part of the hero’s journey. It’s certainly familiar to me. The thing we don’t talk about much when it comes to finding passion and purpose or doing what you love is this:

You have to say yes to the call before you know exactly what it is. Only by saying yes will the calling become clear.

So that’s what’s helping me most right now: Saying yes to my desire, my purpose, what connects me to my deepest self and the beauty of the world around me, and trusting that good will come of it.

My questions for you are:

  • What are you inspired, energized, excited, or longing to do?**
  • What’s calling you, in a hesitant, hard-to-hear whisper or an ear-piercing, undeniable scream?
  • What do you tell yourself you should be doing instead?

**If inspiration, excitement, and energy feel like foreign concepts right now, if you’re feeling checked out or overwhelmed, or if you’re having a hard time focusing, then welcome to being a human during a very difficult time. You’re probably either grieving, or your nervous system is overwhelmed (often manifested as anxiety or depression). Both are natural and common responses to the disruption, uncertainty, and suffering happening in our world right now. If you’re feeling this way, my questions to you are:

  • What would feel good to you to do right now? What nourishes or sustains you? What reconnects you to yourself and your inherent strength?
  • How can you create enough safety for yourself to feel all the wild and messy emotions that are coming up for you (and all of us) right now?
  • How can you slow things down or be more gentle with yourself so as not to overload your system?
  • What do you tell yourself you should be doing instead?

I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below. I’ll read and respond to any you want to share.

And if I can help you during these challenging times, please reach out by filling out this form.

I love helping people find their path through uncertainty, whether they’re wanting—or needing—to make a career change, struggling to adjust to a new reality, or dealing with larger-than-usual amounts of fear, anxiety, and overwhelm. This is a unique time, and we’re all in the process of learning how best to respond, so if you let me know what you want and need, we can work together to design a coaching engagement just for you.

Most of the people I’ve worked with have been at a crossroads: they can’t or don’t want to do what they did before, but they’re not yet sure where to go next or how to get there.

The world is now at a similar crossroads.

My hope is that we’ll collectively find the courage to use this disruption to choose a better path by listening for what’s calling us, clarifying what matters most, and bringing more of ourselves—our joy, creativity, compassion, and loving kindness—to all that we do.

A muddy baby turtle we rescued from a road. He’s inviting you to go slowly, embrace the messiness, and stubbornly bring more of yourself to the world.