My new friend and life coach, Paula Gregorowicz of The Paula G Company, nails my philosophy on life on the head in her article, “Do You Have An Appetite For Life?” So many of my clients feel guilty when they take time to focus on themselves and in turn turn away from self-nurturing and care that their bodies so desperately need and crave. Paula and I both know the extreme hardship this kind of lifestyle ultimately results in, which caused us both to do an about-face just in time.
I asked her to guest blog this month on my site and I hope you find her contribution as stimulating and inspiring as I do.
I admit it, when I read the book Eat, Pray, Love I loved it. Last weekend I went to see the movie Eat, Pray, Love, and I loved that too, but in a different way. Frankly I could leave it at that and say I’ve been deeply moved by both these pieces of creative work. Yet there is something far bigger and important going on here with the release of the movie that can’t just be swept under the rug. Two very important lessons that no one is talking about that I want to share with you…
At its core the book and the movie are about giving yourself permission to honor you and live fully without guilt. Take the time and space to get to know yourself deeply and make choices that align with who you really are. While many critics call the scene where Julia Roberts (who plays Elizabeth Gilbert the main character and author of the book) demands “I used to have this appetite for my life and it is just gone. I want to go someplace where I can marvel at something.” as self-indulgent; I ask, when did it become a crime to want to be alive in your one precious life? Much like the character in the movie, most women haven’t given themselves two weeks, heck two days to solely attend to what they really want and who they really want to be in this lifetime beyond just the titles and roles they carry.
Think about it — when was the last time you asked yourself…got quiet…got in touch with your heart, and asked:
* Who do I really want to be in my life?
* What is my definition of success?
* What are some of the things I want to experience in this lifetime?
* Am I really alive in my life or just passing through without much engagement?
If these questions are strangers to you, use the movie, the book, the conversations surrounding it as permission to begin that inner inquiry. You owe it to yourself. Remember – it doesn’t have to look a certain way, but you do need to do the inner work of self-discovery and the outer work of putting it into action in order to have things be different. An appetite won’t just magically appear, change doesn’t just magically happen, though I can tell you that once you commit to the journey, magic does happen.
So why will millions of women (maybe you’re one of them) who watched the movie or read the book never take barely one step toward their own journey?
Because of the second biggest lesson to be learned here.
The movie release drives home one of the biggest impediments to real-life everyday women just like you making powerful choices to honor their authentic self – the harsh judgment of others. I realize this is a movie and critics get paid to kvetch about things but it seems particularly, well, biting and personal.
“Do the Work” they say. “It’s like belonging to a narcissistic subculture of Woo-Woo.”” This is a movie about a self-obsessed woman.” It goes on and on…
And therein lays the big brick wall to truly making a change, to truly getting in touch with what you most want personally and professionally… what will other people think?
Now I’m not saying the movie is perfect, but the nature of a designated time frame to focus on self-discovery is by its very nature self-focused! The REAL work involved with self-discovery wouldn’t exactly translate to the big screen – tell me how many people would like to watch someone return to morning meditation (in its entirety) day in and day out? I know my personal practice would bore the viewer to tears (would cure viewer’s insomnia!) yet it is an integral part of my life.
What makes me sad is that millions of women, maybe you will go home and think – well that was a great escape, but I can’t make a change, people might call me selfish. But I’m here to tell you a secret…one that it took me decades to truly grasp… the real gift from all this harsh criticism is to know that no matter what choices you make – some people are going to agree and like what you do, and some are not. Period end of story. So when you find yourself feeling guilty or worried about taking time or investing in yourself to discover the best choices for your life, career, and business… feel it and then just drop it, take a powerful step forward because no one will truly care if you have a meaningful career/business and personal life but YOU.
You deserve the time and space to get in touch with your deepest longings and it is your birthright to make empowered choices that align with the life YOU most want to create. The rest? The critics? Your co-workers? Your parents, friends and neighbors opinions? It’s all just noise…allow it to be there, but don’t let it stop you from making the choices that will make you say “Wow! I love my life, on the job and off.”
Your Action Step: Find some quiet time within the next 3 days, sit down, and answer the questions above. Let your heart speak and your pen flow. Notice what you discover – whether the answers came easily or not at all and then ask yourself – what is the next step I need to take to start to make this a reality?
If you are ready to take that next step toward discovering what you want to do with your life and make it a living, breathing reality, NOW is the time to act. You might not be able to take a year long trip to Italy, India, and Bali, but you can contact me for a Breakthrough Acceleration Meeting and have a conversation that will change your life for the better….go to http://www.thepaulagcompany.com/application to get started.