Live a life your soul craves

I just found a manuscript for a children’s book I wrote over 25 years ago. Isn’t it amazing what you find while moving? I remember typing it out on my typewriter, folding the pages and sending it to a publisher in my area. I had contacted a friend’s sister, who was an illustrator, to find out how to do it correctly. I had no idea what was going to happen next.

It took over six months to hear anything back and I received a “not interested” canned response. That was the end of my writing career, I thought. Within in me is a desire to empower people. To teach them how to live beyond what they’re doing. That desire was buried deep within me for the past 25 years. Raising a family, facing daily challenges, then divorce and learning how to be a brand new me was no easy task. No wonder I never wrote again.

Then four years ago, I took an abrupt left turn and headed in a direction that was so foreign to me that all I could do is trust where I was going. That’s easy to say now because my trust muscle is in fine form. Not so much 5, 10 or 20 years ago. I was in control and didn’t need to trust anyone to help me. That’s called being a control freak. I had it nicely disguised as being “efficient”. My soul knew better. It quietly sat back and let my ego and brain take over all operations. My soul voice, or my HERwithin, is so quiet, just like yours. It takes stillness to hear HER. I was in no position to get still and wait for the voice of HER to start telling me what to do. Your HERwithin can also be felt. Messages from your body like tingles, gut feelings, and tears are all messages from HER. I chose to ignore all of those as well. I didn’t have an owners manual to tell me what a tingle meant or what that gut feeling was telling me.

The day came that I had a conversation with my mum about regret about a month before she passed. That’s not a conversation I want to have with anyone during my final days. Her regret is that she didn’t travel more and she spent too much time on her gardening. I thought her garden was her passion? That’s where she would find her stillness and find her HERwithin. There must have been conversations going on that she was ignoring in order for her to have big regrets. I watched my mum over time develop multiple ailments culminating with ALS. I now know what all her ailments were about and what messages her body was sending her. That was a lesson I took very seriously when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. Talk about a wake up call! I was hearing my body’s messages loud and clear now and I understand when my soul is craving something.

Our soul speaks to us. Pining is a way it speaks to us. If you see a picture, hear a song or smell something and you get a feeling that you want that, that’s HER talking to you. She’s reminding you of the life that your soul craves. Fulfill that craving and allow yourself to do those things or even get close to doing them. Research them, write about them or even talk to others about them. Make it a reality to as close to your life that you can.

Here we are 25 years after my first rejection and I have the technological ability to self publish a book. I have the content, the ability to publish and an audience to promote it to. Up until not long ago, the only thing standing in my way was self-doubt. That evil little itty bitty shitty committee that holds regular meetings to stop my soul from leading me into something different. The chairman of the board is Ego and it’s job is to stop you from going too far in one direction and getting hurt. HER job is to quietly remind you that you have everything you need. So, I created a team of women that I was accountable to because I knew I could talk myself out of anything. I found seven women to help with edits and one to do with graphics and layout. I also reached out to many other women who experienced this journey and asked for advice and referrals for printers, retailers, etc. That was the greatest gift I gave myself. A Team! A Dream Team!

I am within days of uploading my final draft of my book and starting pre-sales. I have no idea what I’m doing each day, but I figure it out and my HERwithin is incredibly happy. The calm that I’m feeling every anxious step I take is HER telling me everything is OK. I’m living a life that my soul craves and that craving is being satisfied by stepping beyond what I know.

This post is brought to you by HER. I was minding my own business changing a light bulb when I suddenly had a message to do a blog. She knows best.

Find HER – 20 Revealing Questions to Discover the Woman Within
will be available on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

When a woman reaches the beautiful intersection of midlife, she may feel like life is unraveling right before her eyes. Days seem to be on autopilot and sleepless nights are filled with questions that seemingly have no answers.

-Is this all there is for me?

-Why am I so emotional?

-Why don’t I trust people?

This book is a collection of twenty similar questions that Janis answers with vulnerability, honesty, and humour. You will learn how reconnecting to your own HERwithin paves a pathway to inner peace and personal fulfillment. You may laugh at some stories and emotionally relate to others as you reflect on your own experiences. The purpose of this book is to shine a light on questions that women are afraid to ask themselves, fearing what they might reveal. Yes, memories or buried emotions might be waiting behind a simple question, but to find your answers, you must ask the questions. Are you ready to Find HER and discover the woman within?

How do I transition through this?

A few years ago I created a program called HERwithin Transition which had successful beta testing with five amazing women. I knew there was a need for women to understand how to properly transition through life events. I had just gone through another one of my own and knew I wasn’t doing myself any good by not processing it properly. A transition is more than having something end and having something begin, but many of us have never been taught how to process times like this. “Get over it”, “Stop stewing on it”, “It’s in the past” are all things we’ve heard and may have said to others as well. I’m here to tell you that “get over it” is only pushing down unprocessed emotions and stagnating your internal energy system. We need to process.

I was blessed to find a little book by William Bridges called Transitioning that changed my life. Within a transition, there are 3 stages – An Ending, The Bridge and The New Beginning. We are transitioning right now. What we know as normal, in many ways, just ended. This pandemic is taking away our normalcy little by little. Things will turn around, but we need to let go and embrace The Ending. This is the point of “DIS”. What was needs to go through a period of disengagement, disillusionment, disassociation and a handful more other steps. It’s the letting go stage. This transition can be going from being at home alone during the day to having 3 other people around constantly. It can be a single person suddenly having to work from home. It can also be a major transition like cancer or the sudden loss of a loved one. It’s all about facing ‘what was’, acknowledging it and saying goodbye.

The next step called The Bridge, is the one many of us jump right over. This is the place of stillness that’s required to find our bearings again. Remember that spinning playground ride? You jump on, spin around until you can’t see straight, then jump off waiting for your head to stop spinning? That’s the same as The Bridge. This is the time for your head to stop spinning, find stillness, grounding, peace and acceptance. Tribes use this transition stage to send their young men away to transition into men. They’re removed from the village and sent into seclusion in order to release the boyhood. In this period of a transition, it’s about connecting with the new you. The one that has shed the old layer of what was and is free from habits, judgments and fear.

The final stage is The New Beginning. This one isn’t as easy as just walking through a door. This is the stage that your inner critic, or Inner Lizard, as Martha Beck calls it, will keep jumping in to try and pull you back to life as they know it. Your inner lizard doesn’t like change and this is it’s time for a final rebuttal before you transition successfully. You’ll start questioning your commitment to this new way. You may try to bring old habits into this new way, but if you’ve done your Bridge homework and successfully let go of what was, you’ll find the transition easier.

Can you see what was, what is and what will be? Are you prepared to let go, find your peace and start a new way of being? It doesn’t happen overnight, but rest assured, it’s worth every ounce of energy you put into your personal transition.

Below is a sequence to check in with yourself during a transition. Ensure that you’re on the right track by asking yourself if you’ve honestly and successfully completed each stage. Remember that the biggest part of any transition is the down time between what was and what will be. You’ve got this!

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