On the heels of our work together, she quit her job, put everything she owned in storage, and headed off to travel the world for seven months.
She set out to create some intentional space to reflect on what she came to refer to as the “oh shit questions” that arose during our inner exploration together.
“A query that’s so insightful that I’ve never even thought to ask it before, or it’s a question that has hit on a subject that is so important that it scares me or seems like too much work and I’ve been avoiding it.”
You know that feeling in your gut of some deep, tough — and yes, sometimes downright terrifying — question that keeps tugging at your attention just below the surface while you do everything you can to ignore it.
And you probably can avoid those big soul-level-calling, knock-the-wind-out-of-you questions for awhile (I know I did for years).
In fact, if you’re forceful enough about it, you can potentially avoid and rationalize your way around the “big questions” about how you want to live your life for your entire life.
But one of those big questions is, what’s the cost of ignoring those soul tugs day after day, month after month, year after year?
I love what my wise client had to say about this so much I wanted to share a fuller passage from her post:
“If the prospect of OSQs is anxiety-producing, you’re not alone. Growth and change can be beautiful, but it can also be hard. I’ll share with you some of the wisdom that my coach Melissa Maher shared after posing a mind-bending OSQ to me: don’t even try to answer this question right now.
Write it on a post-it note, and put it somewhere that you’ll see it every day. Read the question out loud each morning and set an intention to notice what you are experiencing in your life that relates to that question. Don’t force it, our brains do powerful work even when we’re not paying specific attention. When the answer emerges, you will know.
As a high-achieving, type-A person, I was skeptical. But I trusted my coach and the process and realized that I couldn’t schedule when I would have the answers. And when they did emerge, it was something entirely new to me. The answers were fully formed, and I was very clear and confident and excited about what I needed to do.“
It is scary to sit with the straight-to-your-core questions about what you really want for your life.
Our minds really do want to schedule the answers and plot the future out in a neat and tidy plan.
And that Type A conditioning will try to convince us we can plan and control our way forward in linear A-Z fashion.
The deepest wisdom arises from stillness, not from doing; from being, not from thinking.
We tend to light upon the truest-to-us next steps on our path not when we force ourselves to “figure it out,” but rather when we allow the clarity to bubble up effortlessly from within.
When we give those seedlings the time and space they need to take root and blossom.
So, what if you don’t actually have to keep moving forward on the path you thought you “should” be taking just because it’s the one you’re currently on?
What if you’re allowed to change course when it feels right to you?
What if you’re allowed to give yourself permission to pause and create space to rest and reflect and integrate as you go?
What if the more in the habit you get of pulling over — resting — getting still — tuning in — periodically on your journey, the more clarity and confidence and excitement about your best next step will naturally emerge?
What if the perfect-for-you next step is already ready to emerge, it’s just been hard to hear it over all the should’s and have to’s and mental (and perfectionistic) chatter drowning it out?
So what are the “oh shit questions” tugging at you beneath the surface these days?
What if just on the other side of tapping into your courage to explore those deep-in-your-core questions is all the freedom, purpose, and joy you’ve been looking for (and then some)?
And even if you don’t have the space for a 7-month life sabbatical, how might you be able to create even the *tiniest* bit more space in your day today to give your inner wisdom the chance to reveal itself a little more fully?
Lean in. You’re strong enough to handle whatever discoveries are ready to reveal themselves to you.
Lots of Love,