Hey, there women and womxn! We’re sitting in the final Monday before May. I keep saying, “March” instead of May, so I don’t know what that tells you!
I had a beautiful conversation with a connection of mine on Friday and wanted to share it for this week’s post. This is related to the actual work I do now, because my past influenced my current place, which will carry me into the future. The same goes for you. Our stellar, not-great, and neutral life experiences are linked together, but the not-great ones don’t have to “take away” from who we are at our very core. I know, it’s easy to say, but sometimes hard to realize.
Long story short, I was reading a book that was quite triggering for me earlier last week. Honestly, it was amazing how I was affected by it; and that’s even after years of work and healing practices. I won’t go into details here, to save any of you a trigger, but suffice it to say that I went from a semi-mature adult with their shit together, to falling into the past via my body, even reading of other’s experiences. My head felt like it had popped off my shoulders and I was panicky. Gruesome visual, but there you have it.
It rocked me for a few days, honestly. So, you can imagine that I was incredibly grateful to see my mentor and explain what happened and how to go on from here.
The Gift of a Messenger
As we were talking about things, and I was telling her of my book experience, a bald eagle flew down and landed on the beach not far from us. You could see its feathers clearly and it was attempting to eat something unknown; two little crows wanted in, too. It would dip its head down, lift it and look around, sit still for a moment, and go back to work.
When I was talking with her about my triggers and reaction, I noticed the eagle before she did and mentioned it. She said that it’s here to reinforce something, so what is my reaction to this without overthinking. Y’all, she knows me…
I sat empty, just breathing for a moment, and then the wisdom came out: “there’s strength despite vulnerability.” And, basically, strength despite all the shit we go through.
Tears came to the surface and a thankfulness for the messenger; yet they didn’t leave for another good five to ten minutes. Was it distracting, perhaps, but she also honored the messenger and we sat and watched them for a time. When they flew off, my heart felt a little fuller and I felt less fragile because I knew my armor was back in place. The eagle’s own strength and tenacity filled my bucket once again. Hence, I can type here with a head (back) on my shoulders.
Weaving Our Experiences Together
One of the most beautiful lessons I continue to learn from nature is how things are cyclical. It’s not linear out there and it’s more four-dimensional than two or three. What makes this a useful approach to daily living, is it takes some pressure off of fixing the past, perfecting the present, and planning for the future with absolute control in mind. ‘Cause, that isn’t what happens…
I’ve been trying to reframe and shift my linear life into cyclical work. Of course, there’s a day/week/month aspect to our human lives, but there’s also activity and dormancy. Or, if you will, there’s this Life Tapestry that we keep weaving together in every experience. The more we weave new threads into our existence, the stronger it becomes. Yes, there may be tears (vulnerability) or stains (scars from life), but this fabric within ourselves can flex, warm us, and protect us.
Now, I know I’m getting all high-level so let’s bring it back down to the work that we do.
Mapping the Future from the Past and Present
I can guarantee you that the work I’m doing today—after years of learning—is a direct result from my past and present circumstances. What I’ve been through and what I stand for is living itself out in this business, but this wasn’t always the case in the other jobs I did.
Why does this matter to you? Because we don’t want to stay “stuck” in our pasts. Yet, they are very informative about why and how we got here. Today. At this time. In this job or the work we do. And from this information, we can map our future professional journey (which can also be cyclical).
I made the mistake of being “too linear” before this business; my CV/resume had to make sense, climb an invisible ladder, and show how much of a badass I am… Well, yes, my past work experiences built the background that you see today–or wove them together.
Imagine a trail system in a forest or beach reserve. Picture how the trails have a trailhead (or a few) and how they network together, circle back, and reconnect. That is where the gold is, my friends. That is a healthier way of thinking about the work we do, via our strengths and values. Yes, this includes the ups and downs vs. how linear we’ve been on our resume.
I get that some employers want that; they want proof of your brilliance and how hard you worked and what your goals are only. Do it, if that’s what you want.
But if you’d rather realign with your values and priorities (even if they change), let’s do that. We can map out a future of possibility and the potential that suits you and sustains you. You’re in the right place, friends. We’ll do that together, ‘cause I’m still journeying myself.
Remember that your strengths are still there, even when you feel vulnerable. If it comes down to it and you can’t remember what they are, that’s why FSW is here: for you to grow, pivot, and thrive.
That’s it for this week! If you’re looking for more direct updates on the FSW world and want more direct connection, check out the FSW Circle. Want more independent research? Hit up the FSW Quiz, and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact me 1:1 this way. Chat with you soon!