You may have thrived in the corporate and business world with your strong inclination to reach results without clear guidance, overachieve targets even when targets where not clearly defined, solve problems and read between the lines of any challenge at hand.
I certainly heavily relied throughout my career on these skills to the point that it became a second nature. Some of you may here read this as a great asset. It surely helped me get things done but here’s the flaw.
There is genuine wisdom in saying that if your only tool is a hammer, you tend to see everything as a nail.
Well, it works also so that if all you can do is see nails, life will get you hammer.
I had no idea that by being this successful problem solver, fast thinker and go-getter, I was actually missing out on what in the depth of my heart was the most important to me: living creatively.
Being a problem solver, a fast thinker, a go-getter, may have served me well in my professional life but it was laying on my personal need to control life: life was a problem to solve and a threat to mitigate with its constant changes. I believed that I was not safe in life and so I developed the set of skills which I best felt adequate for my survival.
At the peak of my 2 year sabbatical that I took partly to take care of my new borns and partly to reflect on life, I realized what consequential part of me was running on auto-pilot modalities. The more I unplugged from my normal fast-paced success-driven, getting-things done routine, the more light I was able to shed on those aspects of myself that were literally driving my life and heal them.
The combination of time-off from professional duty and curious exploration of motherhood has brought me tremendous opportunities to reinvent myself and my worldview. Who am I really as a person? Why do I do what I do? Why do certain things trigger me so much and what are the related underlying beliefs about myself, others and life? What gives me total peace of mind? what does it take to be totally free, from conventions, expectations…? What does it mean to live creatively? What really is the space beyond right and wrong where the mystical poet Rumi once invited us to meet him?
Having two years to work first hand on such questions, has been a liberating adventure, a home-coming, a detox, a reboot of my whole system. It has helped me see how small and arrogant I was. It has helped me reset my priorities to live wholeheartedly, with curiosity and on the edge of creativity, constantly reinventing myself.
Through the process of unweaving my personal identity, I discovered the space where I don’t know moves from being a danger to a joyful invitation to enquiry and curiosity of what will come.
Because I have deconstructed those limiting beliefs that blocked me into the worldview that life was a set of nails or needed a hammer, I have created the possibility of a life that is safe for me to explore with naked hands.
From this perspective, living without answers is like walking in wonderland, ready to be surprised and delighted. If I see things twice the same, then I know that it is me that I need to challenge because life is surely constantly changing and so are others, if I allow them to by not holding them in a confined room of possibilities.
This is the beginning of the creative life I have been longing for. It’s a practice of everyday to rewire my mental pathways into this joyful exploration of life. Surely, I fall back into my old traps and surely, I now know the way out.
Here’s an invitation to let go of your own nails and hammers in existence. Where in your life is a deep limiting belief driving your show? What keeps you away from showing up to life with naked hands? What is the sweet-spot under your most revered qualities? Look there, you may be surprised.