Bear Down and Just Roar

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Truth Byte #16: You are not a quitter.

I know it’s tempting. It’s tempting to end the day with numbness and Netflix. It’s tempting to eat that extra slice of cake. It’s tempting to check your social media page in the passenger seat of a parent’s car. It’s tempting to disengage with the people who need you and keep asking more of you.

And sometimes it’s ok to do those things.

And sometimes it’s not.

Full disclosure: I have been wanting to quit.  I am tired of chasing people.  I am tired of inviting people.  I am tired of holding the golden key while everybody stands around the door to their lives, wondering why they can’t get in.  I am tired of seeing people as they really are and not being ethically willing to celebrate their masks.  I am sick and I am tired of all the complaining and all the not doing anything about it.  And I almost quit.

I had a session with one of my “regulars” this afternoon.  She is someone who has done her inner work, and moved through the big blocks, but comes in for a tune-up once in a while.  It was an incredible session, with insights and ahas.

At the end of the session, she saw that I was sad, and asked me about it.  The warning bells started going off: is this transference? counter-transference? am I over-sharing? am I allowed to honestly answer her question?

And then I remembered the wise words of my teacher, Chuck Spezzano.  He said that the whole point of this healing work is “friends helping friends”.  So for 2.5 minutes after our counselling session had ended, I let her be a friend to me.  It’s not traditional.  Actually, it’s frowned upon in our profession to self-disclose.  We are taught that the therapist has to be completely attentive and available to the client, and deal with her own issues some other time.  This time is strictly for the client, and every minute you talk about yourself is a minute you take away from the client.  And unless the therapist has a really important reason to share (aka: the metaphor or story will directly help the client in their own journey), she should not talk about herself.

But just for today, I threw all that away and let this other human see me as human.

And I told her I have been wanting to quit.

And in 43 seconds, she convinced me not to. How did she do it? She let me see her eyes well up with tears and said “You better not, we need you.”

Quitting would be easy.  It would mean I would never have to publicly celebrate that I am one of those people who loves her job, and deal with the shards of envy that may come with that proclamation.  It would mean I get to complain about how I almost made it, and tell “what if” stories into my golden years.  It would mean that I could stay stuck exactly where I am (which is pretty happy most of the time) and not worry about hiring (and therefore managing!) more people to help me grow.  It would mean that the best years of my life are behind me, and I would have nothing to lose because I did all the cool stuff already.

But quitting would also be hard.  It would be hard because I know that the goals I have are just one or two steps away, and how could I stop so close to the top of this mountain?  It would be hard because I would always wonder about what I could achieve, and not really know if I have what it takes.  It would be hard because I would know that I am quitting, and I am not a quitter.

How do I know I am not a quitter?  Because I have birthed children.  When I felt like the Devil was reaching inside my body and splitting me in half, suddenly there was the Sacred Presence, bringing a baby into the world.  And then, when I thought “Whew, never want to do that again”, I actually did. Fast forward three years.  Once again, a pain worse than anything I had ever known (amnesia for childbirth is amazingly strong) racked me from the inside out, and once again, Heaven reached down and helped me deliver a baby.

And the point of this story is not that I didn’t quit.  In childbirth, even when you want to quit, you can’t.  The baby is coming whether you are ready or not, whether you think you can do it or not, whether you want that baby or not.  Why I tell this story today is that while I didn’t quit, I did need to surrender.  I needed to let myself connect to the millions of women before me that had brought a baby onto this planet.  I needed to trust my body in a way that was primal and instinctual.  Most importantly, I needed to let Grace do it’s job, and bring me something spectacular.  I had to surrender.  I had to stop fighting, stop planning, stop fearing, and just surrender.  And then I had to bear down and just roar.  And then I had a baby.  Twice.

Maybe you have felt like quitting these days.  Maybe it’s getting to that hard part during your labour of love, whether it is launching your business, committing to a new relationship, transforming your body, or cleaning up your past.  Quitting can be easy, or quitting can be hard.  Or quitting can be off the table all together, and your mantra can be surrender.  Followed by a hair-raising roar.  Something beautiful is about to be born.

Ready to surrender? Join us in Calgary or Vancouver for a transformational workshop designed for self-aware leaders.