It's been about 9 years ago, that I started dreaming about wooden tiny houses. About a year later, I was the proud owner of a construction container, that I turned into a cozy little tiny house experiment. Now, all those years later, I finally arrived at my next step of living small.
The foundation, the base of a house is incredibly relevant. Every detail, every height must fit, so that the house then stands on it stably.
We think we need the big money or fame or follower or impact to validate us. We want to get out of that uncomfortable situation of not being sure if we're actually able to make it. If we can stick around long enough to figure out what works and what doesn't. Long enough to figure out what we're really good at, where we shine (both inside and out), and how we can best be of service to others.
I have a big confession to make…
About 7 years ago I have set out my journey to radically follow my heart. And some time along that way, I got extremely sidetracked by my fear of not being a productive member of society / my clan, which in turn – in my head – is tied to earning money. I have figured out that I like helping people, so all the things I have been doing the last almost 4 years have been – on the surface – geared towards that.
In the beginning, I even “allowed” myself to have the time and space to find my connection to my inner voice. For 3 months or so, and I constantly talked about how important it is, to listen to and follow that inner voice. And it is – to me – the most important thing. But I haven’t radically truly communicated that to the universe through my actions. I did do a lot of self-discovery and unfolding of my inner voice, also after these initial 3 months, but I hadn’t noticed that I had put myself in a cage to do so.
What is your main driving force for doing something? And have you checked over time if it’s still the same?
Are you “all in” with your current project? can you feel, that you reached the point of no return? That the only way out of it is through? And you’re ready to do whatever it take? Do it, or die?
If you don’t have something like that in your life – and that can also be your personal journey of self-discovery -, you can skip this article and come back when you do. Because then, you will easily find excuses as soon as it gets a little tough, and won’t have the strength to look at your fears.
Slow is a very relative term. In the past, traveling by train was considered fast, compared to traveling with horses or on foot even. Now, it’s considered slow, compared to airplanes, that have become such a common mode of transport nowadays.
A lot of people would have thought me crazy or stupid for taking the train to ride from Minneapolis in the center of the United States, all the way to Portland, Oregon on the westcoast. The whole ride took about 38 hours – not counting the different amounts of delay – and almost 3000 kilometers. That sounds like a lot. And it is! But then, time is also relative.
Community is such a big part of our DNA… It’s the feeling we all long for in one way or another. It is about being truly seen, being accepted, being loved. It’s about belonging to something bigger than ourselves, living our gift to others, and seing our purpose in the world unfold.
At the end of March this year, I spent one week in the North of Sweden in the middle of nowhere together with nine other people. The only thing that we knew about each other were, that we were all interested in native lifeways and learning about Sami culture and crafts.
When a person I talk to is unhappy with a situation that happened to them, I love to tell a certain Zen story about a man and his son, showing that nothing is ever only as it appears in the beginning. That apparent blessings could later be seen as curses and vice versa.
About three weeks ago, something happened, that now I have my own real life story somehow similar to it! You can skip right to my experience if you know the Zen story….
It might include some creative freedom.
One day, out of the blue, a man gets visited by a rich relative, who gifts him with a horse. So when he rode into the village, everyone said, what a blessing it is that he got that horse, because it can help with work on his farm and so many other things. But the man just said: We’ll see.
There once was a little girl. She kept to herself and didn’t make friends easily. She felt awkward and like she didn’t really belong, because she was so different. But she was hopeful, so she had set out to find a group of other people who also felt like they didn’t belong, and formed a bond. This bond was providing her with a lot of feelings of belonging and happiness, and she felt understood. Maybe for the first time in her life.
But one day, out of the blue, they were gone. And instead there were people, looking the same, but acting very differently. Confused, she tried to find what she had done wrong, but couldn’t make sense of the situation. She searched high and low for a way to get back that feeling of belonging. Looking for other people, and at the same time too scared to experience the same thing again.
This is when she built a wall to ward off her feelings, because they had become unbearable. And to feel a resemblance of what it felt like to belong to a group, and feel “something”, she turned to the TV. She found a lot of shows and movies that invoked that feeling. But even though these feelings were created on the surface, there was no real connection.
Years went by without much change. The memory of that pain had faded into the subconsious and was magnified when looking at it from the conscious. And the solution with the second hand emotions seemed to be working just fine. So for years and years, she didn’t see any reason to change.
Until she did.
Questioning her own level of capacity, she started an investigation. Like a dog with a bone she slowly carved away all the layers of protection that she had built. Seeking in different areas like diet, fitness, mindset and more. With every step getting more focus on inner processes, while gradually also changing her outside environment and habits.
She stumbled upon courses and seminars, wanting to change something on the outside, and ended up with more and more experiences of feeling alive again. Finally having role models of expressing their emotions, and showing her that what she had been doing for such a long time was not a normal state of being. That it was more akin to being a walking dead.
Intrigued by what she saw being possible, she set the intention of wanting to really connect with her own emotions and feelings. But it was still a long way. Being there for such a long time, the wall that she had built had grown bigger and thicker, keeping more and more emotions out. And with that, the fear had grown stronger. Fear of being even more overwhelmed, because she could just see the huge wall, but not what lay behind it.
Slowly chiseling away on that wall, repeating her intention to want to connect and feel her own emotions and feelings, she had found a way! With every step she took, she collected all the courage that she could muster, and dragged along the fear like an anchor. And after some time, that anchor became a friend, so that now she can walk alongside the fear, holding her hand.
And her feelings? They are slowly but surely coming back to her, the more she’s working on dissolving that wall that she built. And the more she experiences feeling her feelings and being able to handle feeling them, the more she builds trust in her own psyche to only give her as much as she can handle. Slowly training her to handle more and more of her emotions, and building stronger connection to her inner voice, feelings and gifts.
Even though this is only one of many stories of how we can learn to feel again, it is a strong testament to the power of will, and our ability to change situations that seem unchangable.
And after asking myself those questions for many years, I finally got clearer answers a few weeks ago, when I realized, that I was trying to put myself into predefined boxes, that didn’t really fit.
I felt like a puppet on a string, until I had realized that I needed to let go of those ideas and definitions and openly look at what I do. That process of realization and anger (described in Puppet on a string), and now letting go and opening up, were the most important steps in my process of figuring out who I am.
I could tell you that I’m on my path to building my business that allows me to live my purpose and serve in the best way that I can. And since I’m building a business, I need to know who I am, what I stand for and what my services and products are.
But that’s just a story that I held on to for the last almost two years. I was grabbing onto that story so tightly, that I didn’t even realize what was actually happening to me.
I dove into different free and paid material about building your business, marketing, online marketing, how to grow your instagram, how to do facebook ads correctly, how to build up an online training, and the list goes on and on.
The Scanner’s curse and gift
Since I identify with being a Scanner or Multipotentialite, I jumped on any opportunity I could find to learn more. I wanted to understand everything. And with every offer, every webinar, they were targeting to a specific group of people.
One was for coaches, one was for trainers, one for influencers, others were for — I don’t even remember all the “role definitions” I stumbled upon. And I could see part of me in any of those descriptions.
So subconsciously – being a good student and all – I tried to bend and stretch and change myself so that I might fit into one of those categories. Because I thought I needed to know “who I am”, in order to know what next steps to take, so that I could fit into those meticulously prepared courses. To be who “those people” wanted me to be to fit their offer.
But wait a second…
There was always that feeling of something being off. It didn’t feel right to call myself a coach. And it also didn’t feel right to call myself all the other definitons. And the more I noticed it and looked at it in more detail, the more I realized two aspects of it: