As I was filling up a sippy cup for my 2-year-old… I had a thought. I am probably using sippy cup for both my kids for longer than they need them. The little guy is perfectly happy using “big boy cup”, letting his drink drip all over his shirt and get on with it.
It’s me – the parent who doesn’t want to mop the floor, add one more shirt to the laundry, or get “judgmental looks” from others – who is making sure that it’s better to be “safe” and “clean.”
We, modern human being, maybe valuing “hygiene” too much.
And it’s not just for our physical environment.
Trying to keep everything “neat”, “manageable” and “under control” has taken a toll on our sense of adventure, of exploration, of chasing after what we really want because we are afraid that we may lose control of the circumstances, the contributing factors or the outcome. (Somehow, those words have gained some positive connotations and even got elevated to the status of “virtue”… what if they are just neutral?)
We are tempted to follow the “tried-and-true” blueprints, stuffing ourselves into the “proven systems” box and stifle our individuality and creativity because we are afraid to get messy, afraid to look like we don’t “have our shit together”, afraid to “fail” in front of friends and family (who never take you having your own business seriously…)
We would rather be “safe”, stay “clean and organized” – even if things don’t work out quite well, at least we get to keep our pants on. At least we get to prove what we think we need to prove.
Sometimes, keeping our pants or shoes or even dignity on is overrated.
When I was visiting my family in Hong Kong one summer some 20 years ago, I got caught in a territorial downpour that rendered any umbrella useless. I could hold onto some wimpy umbrella or even try to wrap my head in plastic bag as a failed attempt to stay “put together”… but I decided not to. I put the sad little umbrella away, took off my shoes (! – yes, in ultra-urban Hong Kong) and walked home in the pouring rain.
That experience was liberating, exhilarating. It was a beautiful surprising union with nature in the concrete jungle. It was me saying “screw looking decent” and diving into a cleansing experience.
(The look on my mom’s face when I walked in the door… is another story!)
Where in your business are you holding onto some wimpy umbrella? What storm are you afraid to face? What if you can face the storm not with a negative connotation that it’s “bad” but with a sense of awe that it’s “cleansing”? What if the hiccups and challenges in your business that you encounter when you stick your neck out is an opportunity to help you clean out old beliefs and stories that are hindering your growth?
If you stay on the “safe” and “hygienic” side of things, you may be denying yourself the “storms” that will sweep you up to the next level.
Speaking of my mom (and my grandma, for that matter… they are both neat-freaks) – that was the trailhead of my “hygienic relationships” and “emotional censorship.”
I was talking to my “spiritual” coach recently and I expressed a frustration that I don’t seem to have some “traumatic” childhood experience that I can “work with” to “undo my blocks.” I almost wish that there is something there because that way, I can do those “canned-journaling” exercises with success – have something to show and get some breakthroughs without having to dig too deep.
But my coach said – maybe I am falling into the “comparison trap” of having “something bad happened to me” so there is something to “show for”… hmmm… She asked me to look at “what’s NOT there.”
HOLY CRAP. What was NOT THERE?
Missing were emotions. Missing were intense bonds and relationships. Missing were feelings. Missing were MESS – the GRIT of life.
I did not have the opportunity to go through INTENSE anything. To see the GRIT, to experience the bumps. Everything was neat, sterilized, step-by-step.
Overhearing conversation about other people’s “mess” – the tone was always judgmental. Seeding the idea that I need to stay “straight and narrow” to get my parents’ approval.
And so I did – for most of my life. So ingrained was that idea that I have no idea that it’s there!
Until now. Until I have decided to put forth Business SoulworkTM. The power of this message, the magnitude of what it means, is forcing ME to get out of hiding the veil and making me face the fact that I was afraid to get messy.
Time to let go of Hygienic Relationships and Emotional Censorship
My vision and purpose lies in a Heart & Guts business – it’s about the SOUL – and Emotion is the language of the soul. To succeed, I have to face my very own hygienic relationships and emotional censorship.
I gotta work on myself, so I can fully tap into the language of my soul and fully live my message. (Who wants to listen to a hypocrite?) – Business Soulwork in action.
Muster up the courage to DIG, to EXCAVATE, to DETONATE. Willing to GET MESSY, to blow things up, to take off the clean facade and see what is really behind the predictable.
It is less so about the external expression of emotions or how you handle your “real-world” relationships (you don’t have to go about your day angry or weep in front of people; or dumping your BFF) but more about YOUR RELATIONSHIP with YOU and how you do YOU in your business.
How VULNERABLE are you willing to be, so you can be truly creative and express yourself in your business?
How MESSY are you willing to get so you can break out of the box and do your biz, your way (hey, you are the boss!)
How much are you willing to BLOW UP and DESTROY, so you can see through the preconceptions, stories, limiting beliefs and other crap that are giving you some “very plausible, even logical” excuses to not move toward your HEART’S vision?
Remember, emotions are the language of the SOUL. When your soul speaks, you listen. Don’t shy away, don’t sterilize. Embrace it, don’t suppress it – let it run its course. Yes, it hurts, but it’s like that cleansing storm – you will see much CLEARER when you are through.