Last weekend, I participated in a weekend women’s retreat.
This wasn’t your basic 9-5 workshop or even a weekend at a spa. Instead, six women gathered at friend’s house, eager to dive into deep topics about personal passions, invigorating our spirituality and applying what we’ve learned about ourselves to our daily lives. We skied, we hiked, we ate incredible food. We had long talks – both structured and unstructured – and marveled at what we had learned about life.
It was 4 days of therapy for the soul.
One of the session topics that dug deep for me was living your soul’s purpose. In preparation for this session we had to ask five people from varied backgrounds and whose opinions would matter, to name the things you are good at or attributes they observe about you.
My answers started coming in last Thursday. I read them, thanked the person for their feedback, and filed them in preparation for the Sunday session.
To begin the talk, our leader had each of us explain how the attributes we received about ourselves made us feel. One by one, the other women in the group explained how the feedback empowered them, made them feel happy, confirmed the things they love about themselves.
When it was my turn, I was unprepared for how I would respond.
The only words that I could squeeze out in between tears were, “Really? They think that about me?”
I’m one of those people who has had to learn how to take compliments with grace. Saying “thank you” when someone says something nice. It doesn’t come naturally.
Well, at 45 years old, I’m still working on it.
The people who responded to my request for feedback said things like resilient, trusted, level-headed, kind, loyal, positive, bad-ass, discerning and courageous.
Getting to work on Gennev every day fills my soul. I think I’ve found my soul’s purpose. But what if you don’t believe that you deserve it? The luxury of doing something you love; something that fills your soul? Or that you have the talents and tools to pull it off? Or even have the right to do so?
Women’s Empowerment Coach, Writer, Speaker and Leader, Tara Mullarkey says, “I believe that if we all live our soul’s purpose, we would all be a lot happier, less stressed, less diseased, and more peaceful.”
If I was living my soul’s purpose, why wasn’t I more peaceful?
My self-confidence to pull off this thing called Gennev hasn’t kept up with my will to do so.
I’m not going anywhere, and Gennev is here to stay! But I learned in those four days that our soul’s purpose doesn’t just involve listening to what our heart is telling us or dreaming about what we would do if money were no object; it must be matched with the confidence and the comfort that you’ve got what it takes to pull it off.
As women in midlife, we doubt ourselves in all sorts of ways. Believe me, you just heard about the major dose of self-doubt I struggle with all the time.
We so easily allow those doubts to hold us back; to resist what we really want to do. One of my favorite books is the War of Art written by Stephen Pressfield. In an interview with Oprah he states, “Resistance is a form of self-sabotage”.
No more sabotaging me. Midlife is a time for creativity. For bringing all that awesome wisdom we’ve accumulated over the years. And for living our soul’s purpose.
Bye for now…