What Are You Ready For?

“What are you ready for, Paula?” It was a simple question that was asked of me gently as I was talking with a friend. I had been spinning in a story I was telling myself: I wasn’t yet ready to launch. The question she posed, rooted in curiosity, was one that didn’t even cross my mind. What AM I ready for?

2020 was a year of never ending mixed messages, confabulations and contradictions. As a relatively strong intuitive, I found myself needing to double check my own experience to ensure I was not gaslit by what could only be explained as an ongoing dumpster fire. Am I right, or am I right?

Throughout much of the year, I found myself in the messy murkiness of doubt. Doubt about what I could trust, doubt about how I was spending my time and energy, doubt about what I believed. Most dangerously, I found myself on the edge of self-doubt.

None of this is new. I have struggled with doubt throughout my life. This year, as the seasons changed and nature went to sleep, I got more pensive and dove deeper into myself. The self-made frenzy of the holiday season was in direct conflict of what winter is meant to bring: rejuvenation, respite, retreat.

I recently finished reading Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May. It is exquisite. Several passages took my breath away, including this one: “But it was there, too, that I came to a kind of acceptance of my own limitations and of the future that lay before me. I learned that I was not invincible at this moment in my life, but also it wouldn’t last forever. I learned to rest and to surrender. I learned to dream.”

And so, I start 2021 dreaming, in surrender. I surrender the need to have an agenda, to do everything myself, to have all the answers mapped out (with two back up plans just in case)… to knowing. Knowing leaves no space for curiosity: the profound freedom to not know.

What are you ready for? We all need someone to help us get out of our own way and the right questions have the ability to lead us back to ourselves. They pull us back out of self-doubt, keep the shame gremlins in check, and let us dream about a brighter tomorrow. Breathing room, grounded in confidence.

So, what AM I ready for? I am ready to surrender and accept my human limitations. Let’s be clear: surrender doesn’t mean giving up, it means to stop resisting. So what would it be like to surrender and give myself full permission to not know, not plan? To surrender into love, laughter and living more fully in the moment? Last night, I found out.

For the first time in years, I resisted sleep and stayed up until midnight to celebrate the turning of the year. My friend and I drank champagne, lit gold sparklers and danced, and hardcore laughed our way into 2021. It was like medicine for my weary soul, and a good practice at surrendering my very structured days to Play.

2021 needs to be a year we surrender and stop resisting. My friend, @bodyimagewithbri, threw out the concept of new year resolutions years ago and instead writes herself permission slips. Brilliant, right? What does that look like in practice?

Resolution: I am going to lose X pounds this year.

Permission Slip: I give myself permission to eat without shaming myself.

Resolution: I am going to say “Yes” to every opportunity that comes my way.

Permission Slip: I give myself permission to use good boundaries, and if an opportunity fits well for me, say Yes to it.

Tell me: What are you ready for? Where can you stop resisting, surrender into curiosity and give yourself permission? Where are you Wintering and how can you use that to your advantage? Feeling ready to explore a brave new ending for 2021? Join us at our 2021 Courage Rising Visioning Workshop. Click here for more information.

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2 thoughts on “What Are You Ready For?”

  1. Your reflection on doubt resonates with me. I’ve been pushing past a lot of it until I, too, took a deeper dive. It surprised me to realize that I fear disappointing those who believe in me that I begin to doubt that I can do it. So, I give myself permission to pursue my dreams in small steps. Happy New Year!

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