2 days ago I was asked a question:
“Kori, where do you see yourself in 30 years?”
– A valid question, if I do say so myself.
To which I replied:
“I will be running a wellness retreat for women on Shane's and my hobby farm (and Shane will lead men), and perhaps publicly speaking and designing programs, I’m not 100% sure…”
(you should know a small amount of background - 2 months ago, I would have had no idea that designing programs was on my radar, however life seemed to offer me that path, it feels really amazing and I adore doing it!! .... my point: I don't always know whats ahead, I have an idea - but I'm open to life's path)
I got the response:
“You can’t do both, you have to pick one, they are too different from one another.”
To which I then said:
“I don’t want to pick”
….. and I don’t feel like I have to pick
--- do I?
This is the part in the story where the shame storm began and I felt like I was right back there in high-school, sucking at being me.
This question spun me into a place where I suddenly doubted my path, my successes, and my self. I doubted that I was where I should be, and that I had to know where I was going in order to take the next steps. But at the same time, I DO KNOW where I am going, at least in the next few months - and thats enough for me. Or is it? Should I know these questions?
I was triggered.
These questions caused me to feel backed into a corner, and made me feel like I was small and should hide. I'm a reflector, I want to know why things trigger me, and I want to heal and move forward. So I spent almost the entirety of yesterday processing what it was that triggered me. This included: writing this blog, meeting my rock solid girlfriend, Kristi for a soul chat, reaching out to my therapist, journalling, praying, and running the stairs so hard I almost threw-up.
Here's what I figured out:
I have always struggled with taking on too much, wanting to move in too many directions, getting pretty good at a lot of things and never really mastering one.
I had a boss once, his name is Stan, he was my leader for 2.5 years while I worked at INLIV. He was more than a boss to me – he was a role model and a mentor. I looked up to this man, he was an inspiration to me, and I deeply trusted his lead, his friendship and his advise. I still do. I always will. Stan pushed me over the 2.5 years that I worked at INLIV to explore that which I am truly passionate about. You see, at INLIV I was doing 1:1 training; corporate wellness coaching - I helped to develop the original model of the wellness program; leading our corporate wellness office – which was a different set of coaching than the phone corporate coaching – it was more life-coaching coaching, and it was long term coaching – I established a deeply loving relationship with my clients at the Wellness office and I was also running my hobby Bootcamp business. Oh, and I was volunteering at the Women’s Shelter, trying to do my Barre certification, studying Holistic Nutrition (on a very full time basis) and trying to maintain my own weekly therapy and physical training for events like: ½ marathons, racing 10kms, Spartans and leading my bootcampers through a Tough Mudder.
So, yes – what Stan pushed me to do was very valuable.
I have a history of being a wee bit like a mag pie – if it’s shiny, I’ll chase it. I remember one client back in my Jenny Craig days (I was 21) who worked for Merle Norman – she thought I would be great at the makeup industry, I remember going home after that consultation and telling my Mum that I was going to quit Nutrition (which I had just completed in school…. And excelled at) and jump ships to the make up world…… good grief, I’m glad she was there to talk sense into me.
Just because it’s shiny and new does not warrant a chase. A very hard lesson for me.... slow down, Kori.
So herein lays the dilemma: do we set a GOAL and get out there and chase it? Or do we let go of the chase, and surrender to the unconditional flow of life?
I have a secret:
I am a paradox of a life coach - I do not I believe in goals. Not in the western way of creating them, anyway.
I used to. I used to believe in them in a hard core, vision board kind of way. I used to want to be a model and an international speaker… I wanted to be famous. So I made a million vision boards – I did this thing called automatic writing and I would dream about where my life would be….. “by the time I’m 30 I will be living in Monaco and I will be a model and a writer for a column – I decided that $300 000 was a good amount to make – I knew what my house would look like, it was, after all, on my dream board – I even knew I wanted a dog, and I was going to name him Joseph!”….
Pretty much, I wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City – who doesn’t?
These goals were all so surface level, I had no real idea why I was creating them, or what it was that I was chasing. I knew that it was important to have a vision, and I had been told to "dream big" - so I did, and that was the goal I set up. I think I was about 23 or 24 at that time - so I had about 6 years to go from a back backpacking hippie (who was living on sail boats in Airlie beach, spending 100% of the time in swim suits and bare feet with almost 0 pennies to rub together) to being an international model and columnist making $300 000/year and living in a place I had never heard of.
Let me tell you - when automatic writing is used and you dream of a place you didn't even know existed and then look it up on google and its a cool as shit place like MONACO... oh man, that shit fucks your brain up... I thought it was a true sign from GOD himself. Which really made this vision a sticky situation for me.
As you can probably tell, this style of goal setting didn’t work for me. Picking where I want to be, the amount I want to make and slopping it onto a timeline was not a successful model for me.
It did however have me succeed at 2 things:
1. A giant break down – one that had me questioning every choice I had ever made, had me questioning my relationship with the divine, and had me paralyzed in the headlights for oh, the next 6-7 years of my life
2. A new way of going about ‘goals’
Don’t get me wrong – I certainly believe in getting to know who you are and how your soul ticks and honouring the deeper yearnings of your heart – but I do not think it involves figuring out where you will be in 30 years and how much money you will be making. I think it’s about getting to really know that underlying feeling to the goals we set and chasing that. Chasing feelings, not material, societal ideals of what life should look like.
Looking back at some of my original goals in life I can see that there was a real yearning to perform on a big platform and to make a difference. I can see that the desire to speak internationally was about 2 things: 1) making a difference and 2) creating tribe. I can see that being famous and a model were ridiculous ego driven goals, and in letting go of those I was able to make room to explore what really mattered. And Monaco? I don't even know what to say about that, let's just let it go!
After a lot of self-work and self-discovery, I know that I want to feel: creative, intuitive, connected and courageous. I long to belong to tribe, and to make a difference. So that’s what I focus on – when I take a step forward and I find that these feelings and values are not being honored, then I know I have taken a step off course. How these feelings will manifest into a career in 30 years – well, I have no damn idea. I know in 30 years – when I am 61 years old, I hope that Mother Earth is proud of me, I hope that I have made a difference in peoples lives and helped them return to self-love, I hope that Shane and I are still madly in love and that we have some kids, and I hope that I am living in my hobby farm. I hope to be inspiring others to live wonderful, rooted lives. And of course, I hope Im still a part of an ever growing tribe of like-minded people.…… God Willing.
And that is where the surrender comes into play:
I believe there is a plan to this and I do not know how it will manifest in the physical world. I do know, however, that my soul wants to be a part of slowing down, getting back to basics, and organically growing – just like my cultivate wellness BEET. Slow and steady. Trusting. Self-loving. Courageous in the dark and unknown spots in life.
So here is what I have to say about Goal Setting. Look deeper, dive into those goals you have and find the roots. Once you find those roots set up camp for a short while and really, truly get to know what those roots are all about, what nourish's those roots and what suffocates them. Then, do more of the nourishment and cut the cords to the suffocation.
Do more of the FEELING you long for each day, and I can promise you that you do not need to know where your life is going, as long as you are dedicated to cultivating that underlying feeling, and always trusting your gut and living in accordance with your deepest self – then life will unfold in divine and interesting ways.
A year ago I was NOT in a place to know where I would be today. And guess what, I have no idea what April 2016 will look like either. What I do know is this:
I want to feel creative, intuitive, connected and courageous. I want to belong to and create tribe and most importantly I want to leave this earth better than I entered it. So for me, this means: slowing down, focus on daily self-care, saying YES to life’s opportunities (those that align with my values!), and keeping an open heart. I have no idea where life is taking me, and you know what? For the 1st time in my 31 years on this planet while frantically trying to cling onto a PLAN and a GOAL – I am deeply ok with ‘letting go and letting God’ – and that does not mean I have given up...
It means that I am fiercely dedicated to honouring my soul, and trusting the process.