I took the summer off from my business, not because I could afford to, but because I HAD to. I had been pushing in a direction that didn't feel organic and wasn't in flow. Nothing felt natural or easy. I could tell that I wasn't being me.
Ever since I quit my job as an airline pilot, I've dreaded being asked the question, "So, what do you do?" Being a pilot was an easy, one word answer that normally surprised people. What I do now - not so much. Top that off with my fear of being different, and I pretty much was embodying this quote from Marie Forleo -
“Human beings have an ability to get others to judge us for what we judge ourselves for. If you’re at all insecure about what you do……. it’s as if you have this big blinking sign above your head that says - Ask me about my business so you can judge me for how weird it is.”
I had hoped I would emerge from my summer of introspection with a clear title and direction, something that felt like it "fit." I wanted some clarity around what I was already offering. Instead, as often happens when we allow ourselves the time and space to get quiet, an entirely new idea presented itself. A Fear of Flying course, integrating my 26 years of experience as a pilot and my training as a Mindfulness instructor, Reiki Master, and essential oils practitioner.
Five years ago when I started my business, I didn't tell anyone at my airline job about it. I didn't want to be seen as too woo-woo or out there. I wasn't comfortable describing energy work and the unseen, "felt-sense" intuitive work I was doing, and therefore I didn't think I would be taken seriously.
On the flip side, when I was staffing a mindfulness retreat or attending a drum circle, I didn't talk about flying. It was as if I was leading two separate lives.
I originally thought the Fear of Flying course would be the culmination of all I do and my way of finally showing up as "authentically me" in the world, but the exact opposite began to happen. Because I used to live in two separate worlds, I sought advice from friends in the business world, and friends in my spiritual world. The advice I received felt conflicting to me. One set definitely resonated, the other set felt like I was still hiding something, unwilling to be myself because what I wanted to share was "non-sciency" or not ordinary enough for the business world. I found myself wanting to fit into both places and be everyone's cup of tea.
I thought back to what a coach said to me last year, when I was renting space in a health and dental center to give Reiki sessions. I told her I felt like I had to market differently in that space because it was more mainstream, and it wasn't the same as I would market to say, a yoga center. Her words still ring in my ear. "Why don't you just be you no matter where you are?"
After a few days of soul searching about this course and feeling like I had to cram myself back into a box to appeal to everyone, I've decided I'm not going to do it. I'm still going through with the Fear of Flying course, but I'm not going to try to appeal to everyone, or cater exclusively to the business crowd. I'm not going to curate my website to be more "normal," or try to fit in. I finally feel comfortable talking about things I was never willing to talk about before, it would be a shame to stop myself before I really got started.
I've had to fight my addiction to personal growth with this decision, because the little voice in my head says - "clearly this is showing you where you still have work to do. If you're uncomfortable in a business setting, then maybe you should just work on that until you are comfortable." Although there is truth in that voice, it doesn't feel fun. Or expansive. Or the direction I want my business to go and grow. If someone doesn't want to hire me when I show them my authentic self, I need to learn to be ok with that too. I don't have to be everyone's cup of tea, especially if they prefer coffee.
All of this internal turmoil has brought me closer to addressing my soul's calling, and my passion for "non-ordinary reality." It's the stuff that most of us don't talk about or experience on a daily basis. The things we can feel but not see. That little knowing voice inside that tries to speak to us, if we can just get still enough to listen.
That's who I am and what I do, and I'm not willing to hide it any longer (now, if only I could figure out how to condense that into a soundbite.) In the meantime, if that kind of stuff appeals to you, let's get to know each other better. I'll make the tea.