If you are resonating with this quote, and the title ‘Going a Way of Your Own’ you are likely thinking about or in the process of carving a new path and grappling with all the trepidation, uncertainty and anxiousness that change brings.
Leaving you with the question, what does a new path mean, really? And feel like.
Or more pointedly, when you have your feet in two worlds – your old identity and new one, what should you expect and what can you do?
I’ve heard countless stories, never mind examining my own experiences, the times of overwhelm, scattered, loss and conflict when you know for sure you don’t want to or can’t do the same ‘ol same ‘ol, yet not sure what the next step is. When quietly you know you are making internal shifts, but folks who know you for some time do not acknowledge any change in you at all.
Often exploring a new path means side-stepping or breaking away from the norms, rules and expectations of your tribe. Or, at least perceived notions of the expectations placed upon you. Sometimes it is our own demands placed on ourselves. Maybe a change in values. Maybe a life transition where you are approaching something new. You don’t even really know why you are drawn to this work, passion, experience or place … except that it feels right, familiar, to head in this direction.
To be clear, this is not about being driven to distraction. Not acts of self-abandon taking you off your path, or the insidious self-sabotage repetition from your alter-ego. The worried voice that chimes in questioning your decisions, “this is not my path,” keeping you frustrated and stuck.
As Rumi wrote, “letting the beauty of what you love be what you do,” he so elegantly pointed to living with intent, on ‘purpose,’ to recover your soul, find your correct life, live a personal adventure … it takes a strong sense of belief, knowing your why plus a purse filled with resilience tools.
Part of having one foot on your old path while heading to the new means integrating your old identity, while accepting new ways of being. Having continuity will stop you from feeling completely disjointed. Continuity can come from the simple process of shining a light on the skills and ways of being that exemplify – you.
The parts of you that are so natural and easy, they’re often taken for granted. You, as a tremendous organizer, the warm advice giving soul that your besties know to call, mom to all … the humorous who can share a quote or witty phrase, write a FB post that gets everyone talking, the independent maven or the creative who can decipher a business system in minutes flat.
Accepting new ways of being provides space to re-establish yourself within old and important relationships – instead of feeling the sadness and angst that comes from feeling ‘different must be wrong.’
“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” – Howard Thurman
Life from the vantage point of ‘I’m stuck, lost or overwhelmed’ makes it hard to broaden and build from. Taking right small steps can generate for you, a big response. Creative exploration allows for right small steps and big rewards. I’ll share a great prompt to start the momentum.
Read it over and let it infuse you without needing to come up with an answer. Then write out the question, putting pen to paper and free-style write. When you think you are done, write for another few minutes. Use this same prompt to write on various days.
The idea is to uncover ideas, stuck-points and feelings that are lying underneath. Hidden below those quick on the lips statements that you always think and always say. Stimulate your mentalization muscle! Gift yourself the space on paper to dive deep, explore, with interest and compassion.
Ok, here is the Prompt:
What qualities, if you experienced them more often, would assist you in experiencing more personal power? “
Here are some other ways to explore this question:
Which qualities are resonating with your vision of a new path?
What resilient qualities can you feed on when change becomes challenging?
What is ‘the beauty’ in the quote (let the beauty of what you love be what you do) for you?
Using Howard Thurman’s words, where he describes being guided by the force within you versus pulled along by someone else’s strings – riff on how that relates to the new path you are entering?