For many years, I have spoken in my live events about what I call “Oh, shit!” moments. (I am from Essex, and have given myself permission to swear at times!)
These are moments when we suddenly get inspired and see things clearly, often as if we have awoken from some kind of trance. But these moments of clarity are often swiftly followed by our fear of this clarity. Our thinking mind generates fear, dismisses the ideas, shames us, distracts us and tries to send us back to sleep.
One of the life-changing moments I frequently share from my own life is when I was involved in running Alternatives in London. When I had been in the corporate world, my dream was to be immersed in the world of personal and spiritual development. And here I was – hosting events for Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Susan Jeffers, and most of the other luminaries of this world, on the UK’s premier mind, body and spirit platform.
I had truly loved it.
… but after several years I found myself a bit bored, and confused, when I found that I was no longer happy, even though I was still “living the dream”.
In 1997, I went on holiday to Lanzarote and took the Artist Way (a book by Julia Cameron) with me. When I read her description of a “shadow artist”, something triggered in me. A shadow artist she describes as someone who is drawn to a particular creative area but never quite has the courage to fully show up with their own creative talent.
As I read that, it suddenly dawned on me, “That’s me. I don’t want to be the one organising the talks any more; I want to be the one giving the talks.”
It was time to graduate.
… and I immediately said to myself, “Oh, shit!”, I am being called out of hiding to show up with my own voice and my own message! But who am I?… who wants to listen to me?… what have I got to say?…” I am sure you recognise that process.
I was both terrified and excited at the same time.
That “Oh, shit!” moment of clarity heralded a new trajectory in my own life. As a result, I started to write and face my fear and have ramped up my speaking career. In 1998 I got a publishing deal, and in 1999 my first book came out. My speaking career took off to a new level and I stepped back from the day-to-day running of Alternatives, but remained on the board of trustees for another nine years.
As a result of that “Oh, shit!” moment, my life took-off to a whole new level.
… so what “Oh, shit!” moment are you due for? Or have you already had, and have tried to deny?
Here’s how I think of them:
They’re moments when we hit on some core truth and when our soul speaks to us clearly.
Hot on the heels of this clarity, our mind tends to generate resistance and blot it out.
We have a choice – we can pretend we weren’t clear and we were deluding ourselves, or we can have the courage to stay clear and battle our own demons and plough through our fear and resistance to step up to this new level.
My friend, Dr Robert Holden describes these as “near life moments” – when we feel alive, scared, excited and sensing the expansion of ourselves all at the same time. One strand of the evolution of my life has been through a series of “Oh, shit!” moments. I am getting better at welcoming rather than resisting them.
So welcome them. Come alive. Grow. Let your soul guide you.
Go on, have yourself an “Oh, shit!” moment!