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What's really there

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Something real weird has been happening this last week.

When I find myself compulsively grabbing at my smartphone to check all the things, I hear the voice.

It’s gentle. Fairly quiet.

When I find myself wanting to eat out of habit—when I’m not hungry, or already full, or just in the mood to dust a pint (of ice cream), I hear the voice.

Three wee words, it says. Every time.

When I “get distracted” and feel myself losing focus on taking my next right step, I only get a minute or two in...and then the voice.

All it says, is: “It’s not there.”

Kindly, graciously, yet firmly.

“Sweetheart. It’s not there.”

What I really, REALLY want is not there.

What I most want in my life is not to be found in my smartphone. It’s not in any app. What I most want to feel—though my Clever Brain doth protest—is not felt scarfing a pint of my beloved Häagen-Dazs. Who I most want to be does not show up when I’m faffing away my day.

It’s not like this is a news flash.

I started noticing bits of this about four years ago.

It’s just the voice. The “it’s not there” part. And the fact that it’s enough to inspire me to choose differently.

That’s wild to me. Part miracle, part HOLY SHIT celebration.

The simplicity of hearing in my own mind, that lovely reminder.

“It’s not there.”

So where is it?

I’m finding that it’s in the experience of feeling alive.

It’s in feeling like I’m going after things that matter—that truly help people.

It’s in conversations where one of us says, “I hadn’t thought of it that way before” or “no one’s ever asked me that.” It’s focusing on being of service, while staying in my lane. I don’t need to take on anyone else’s feelings or challenges.

It’s in the magic of having a couple hours of uninterrupted time with women I adore, laughing and telling stories.

It’s in sitting outside and feeling the sun warm my skin, while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (instead of at my computer while attempting to keep working).

It’s in setting down the weight of carrying so many fears about what might happen. Where the money will come from. Who will do what. 

It’s in the freedom and ease that I get to splash about creatively. Where I lose track of time and feel pulled by something I don't want to turn down.

It’s in a deep confidence that I’ve not really claimed until recently; a sense that I am here to do what only I can do and be full Amy, full-time, in full color. Downplaying or hedging my desires doesn’t serve anyone. Nor does delaying the pursuit of my dreams.

It’s in a willingness to fail more and more quickly, to try new things and to do stuff for no other reason than it’s fun. I just want to see what happens. And then learn from it. As soon as I realize that it’s not serving the greater purpose, I can drop it and skip forth. Thank you Leo from Buffer for teaching me that.

It’s in the unfolding of life; I started Map Your Progress just over a year ago, not at all sure what I was doing, but just setting off on an adventure that was inspiring to me. Hoping that it would be inspiring to others.

I’ve learned that the best way for me to inspire others is to pursue adventures that inspire me. Where I approach my life and my days in such a way that I inspire myself.

It matters.

There’s a visceral, palpable satisfaction from going after what I most want.

I wrote about it this week. To myself. My answer to the question:

What do I really, REALLY want?

I figure: Can’t hurt to “tell the world” so to speak. I already told the Universe.

I really, really, REALLY want:

To spend time with inspiring people who want to be fully alive.

To work with inspiring women who have something to give.

To serve my tribe as my heroes have served me.

To travel all over and get to live in any city I wish.

To visit the people I love and treat them to amazing shared experiences.

To live in a sanctuary.

To have a creative space just for me.

To use my pain for good.

To have my dog(s) with me.

To keep daring greatly from love.

To teach millions of women how to love themselves more.

To hire fantastic people to contribute in any area of my life that I don’t love doing myself—to focus my time and energy on what I’m best at.

To surround myself with leaders who share my values.

To receive generously.

To enjoy my days and be ever grateful for how many tiny victories there are.

To love myself fully and wholeheartedly.

To have a partner who makes it all that much more fun and meaningful.

To savor it all.

And I’m on my way. Because I decided. Because I’ve committed to myself, that somehow, some way, this is what I want to pursue. This is the latest adventure.

I don’t know how it will go. I don’t know how it will change. I don’t know where it will take me.

I don’t need to know to get after it.

And so much of it I simply can’t know until I do.

That used to bum me out.

Now, it fires me up.

I’m enjoying the process. I choose to make it enjoyable. Because I’m a grown-ass woman who knows herself well enough to do so.

I wouldn’t say this happened by accident. It’s been a long time coming.

My joy now is in helping others find their way, through their own adventures.

So, I’m going to do more of that.

Feels pretty amazing. I feel alive.


And like I’m just getting started.

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