The year that I was pregnant, there were a lot of months that I worked, tirelessly, to build programs and forums and classes.
I knew that the time on my hands during those days were the last of a certain kind of freedom only enjoyed by the childless, and I wanted to make the most of that time by growing my business and saving what I earned.
That way, so I thought, once my baby was born, I’d have a nut saved and business built that I could return to, as soon as I felt able.
But, no matter my efforts, my stomach grew, but my business did not.
Today, my daughter is 18 months old. A toddler. Any time that we spend together requires my complete attention. She never stops moving, never stops trying new ways to fall down from a stool or a step or a slide. I’d love to have a business that is up and running, that I just maintain.
Instead, I have a new business that is growing and a career that has arrived to a point that I’ve aspired to since 2009. I work as a teacher for the most excellent, highest quality training that I’ve even encountered or taken. I teach wonderful students and love the direction of my career. It’s what I’ve always wanted.
And yet. And yet: why now?
Why not two years ago, when I had time and space for this in my life, and I didn’t have a tiny, darling attention-vortex toddler to tend to?
This is everything I’ve wanted, but at the wrong time.
I just spent 11 days away from my family for work, which I used to do, pre-baby, to rejuvenate myself. During this trip, I graduated my yoga coach teacher training and began a new training as a teacher. Again, this would have been heaven, earlier in my life. This trip, right now, felt like a lifetime away from my family. During the last half of the trip, my heart ached from the separation.
My throat tightened whenever I heard a toddler laugh or cry. I work with clients who experience the pain of timing, too, but differently.
- There’s the ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, who you split with years ago, and who you now see is your missed shot at love: the right person, the wrong time.
- Then there’s the pain of believing that it’s never going to be our turn to succeed, to find love, to heal: you live a never-ending waiting, hoping for a time that seems to forever elude you.
- And of course, there’s the busy life that keeps you from pursuing the pull you feel on your heart toward your dreams: it’s simply, and seems to always be, not the right time.
Five mantras to demystify the mystery of timing.
It may be that we believe a false prophecy about our lives (“I was never meant to find love”) or that we believe the joys we long for come without a cost or sacrifice. But timing is often much more in our owns hands than we imagine it to be. Take your future into yours.
- What do you fear that you’ve missed out on in your life? (Or, fear that you are going to miss out on.) Whether it’s a fulfilling career, love, family or healing, we can buy into the myth that we “just missed the boat” on something that we long for (see #5). I’ve found that believing that we’ve missed out serves as a self-fullfilling prophecy, rather than a statement of fact. Naming what you fear you’ve missed out on, however painful, is the beginning to reclaiming the possibility that what you want also wants you. There are countless examples of people who started their careers in mid-life (Vera Wang, Sandra Day O’Conner) and found true love in their 80’s. Begin finding and having what you want by naming it.
- Where are you waiting for permission? Whether you await your own permission to go after your dream of building a yoga class or starting your own theater group, or you await the permission of your family by way of their approval and encouragement, where do you wait for permission? When we look to others for permission or withhold permission from ourselves, we attempt to give up our innate sovereignty over our lives and choices.
- Where are you holding yourself back from change? Our identities and our lives are a constantly moving frontier, and according to David Whyte, the only part of us that can keep up is the part of ourselves that can dance. There is usually a part of ourselves that is shy of dancing and holding on the past or the present, believing the lie that it’s safer to stay static. It’s not only more dangerous to remain static, like a tree that won’t bend with the wind, but we only grow increasingly rigid when we resist change; ironically, we are still changing, just in a different direction.
- The greater the dream, the bigger the cost. This is my lesson, in my work life, currently. I wish that I’d witnessed career growth and opportunities two years ago, when I had the time. Wouldn’t that have been so much easier? Instead, I have to learn boundaries, both around my work, and in my commitments and my family commitments in the world. Becoming busier now requires a lot more of me. That’s the cost of my dream. Are you willing to pay the price required of yours?
- You can’t miss your own boat. This quote, from Glennon Doyle Melton, is a new favorite of mine. Whatever stranger or ex that we long for, he or she wasn’t our boat. Whatever is not happening in our lives right now, be it clarity around work or identity, it’s just that our boat hasn’t come into harbor – yet. This continues to prove true in my own life, and I see evidence in others’ lives, too, that timing is complicated and requires the collaboration of many forces outside of our control.
Half of timing is our complete commitment to our cause or dream and showing up 100%, and half of timing is the Great Mystery providing what we need, which may not be what we want.
Notice if you tend to overwork and over plan and look toward the Mystery for its guidance. Or, if you’re waiting for your entire dream to come to you, it’s time to get off of the couch, and live your one and only crazy, beautiful life.
Your boat awaits you.
If you like reading what Laurie has to say, hear more from her, here.
(Originally Published on YOGANONYMOUS)