Two of the reasons I absolutely adore today’s guest blogger are her fierce courage in being vulnerable and authentic, and her ability to share those strengths so openly and gracefully with the world. Alana’s words often resonate with me, even when the experience is beyond my realm of reality. I hope you’ll be as moved as I was as you read on …
This summer I can’t keep up with myself. The inner changes are coming hard and fast. I welcome them but reel after every one, dancing unsteadily as I find my feet. I keep thinking each will be the last for a while, that I’ll be able to settle into a rhythm and define myself, my life, my work, finally, once and for all (or at least for a couple of years).
Then the ground shifts and I’m answering the same questions all over again. Who am I? What do I want? What am I here to do?
I have a deep sense of purpose and a (mostly) unwavering trust that the path will unfold as I walk it, but holy heat wave, it’s a challenge to stand in that trust some days. I try not to stutter when someone asks me what I do. I watch my comparison mind jump into action when I’m around those who look like they have it all figured out. I take a lot of deep breaths and long walks, reminding myself that I really can’t mess this up, this life thing, unless I stop showing up for it completely. There’s no danger of that. I love it too much.
This is the summer before my daughter enters first grade. These days of giggles, sleeping in and loose schedules feel sacred. She’s changing before my eyes, losing teeth and gaining skills. I laugh daily at a new turn of phrase, an attitude that seems more sixteen than almost-six, the way she echoes her father and I but with her own twist. I want to stay present for these moments instead of rushing off to check my email just in case. She’s the one chance I get, the only child that lived, and the fear of regret chases me daily.
While I don’t believe in balance, I do aim for graceful juggling. I’ve been playing little games with myself to unearth where the internal struggle lies. I discovered it’s directly attached to the word should and it’s alleviated – always – by listening to the voice inside. The voice that tells me to drop the thousand pound ball and pick up the one that practically juggles itself. The voice that says rest when you’re tired, eat only when you’re hungry, and play with your daughter, the email can wait. The voice that when heeded, opens doors and makes magic happen.
That voice yelled at me last weekend (I’d been ignoring the whispers) and a floodgate of tears accompanied my listening. The message? This is what you need to feel fully alive. Sometimes these soul cravings are gentle and easy to act on. This one feels like jumping off a cliff into faith, into life. Once again I’m welcoming change and learning a new dance, heart wide open, mind alternately calm and freaking out, trying to pin down outcome, strategy and ROI.
I return to the questions: Who am I? What do I want? What am I here to do? There are certain stories I’m tired of telling. I’m not her anymore. Dreams are shifting and reorganizing my insides. I want this. I don’t want that after all. And if I’m honest with myself, I believe I’m here to show up, in all of the beauty and the mess and the love, and what that looks like doesn’t matter as much as I think it does.
It’s what we’re all here to do. Show up for ourselves and for each other, with our gifts and our own brand of love. And if that means I’m the queen of transformation for the rest of my life and that my answer to “What do you do?” depends on the time of day, so be it. This multi-passionate mama is going to choose want over should and joy over regret every time I’m conscious enough to recognize the decision is mine.
So if you’re looking for me this summer, I’ll be the one tap-dancing past fear, waltzing with courage and shaking my booty to the tune called fully alive.
Alana Sheeren writes and teaches about grief, transformation, love and luminosity. She encourages everyone to listen to their inner wisdom and Shine their unique light into the world. She loves deep conversations, joyful connections, hanging out by the ocean and everyday magic.
Part of the Summer of Authenticity: Fully Alive! series, now available as a free eBook!