I’ve been a yoga teacher for more than 2 decades and a facilitator and Life Coach for years. I have spent a great deal of time and money investing in trainings all over the world with some of the most renowned teachers and leaders in personal development and leadership. Perhaps the greatest peice of wisdom that I ever recieved through all of my studies is the simple phrase “Do the thing and you will have the power.” This is a well known quote by Ralph Waldo Emmerson that has been borrowed by many great teachers. I heard it over and over again and was left with the questions- What thing? What power? After all, it can’t really be that simple…can it? My teacher Baron Baptiste often says “your insight doesn’t change you, action does.” Intellectually I understood this to mean that I have to actually DO something if I wanted to change anything in my life but often found myself avoiding doing the “things” that were uncomfortable or that I was uncertain of. Eventually I started to take action in the dark corners of my life by apologizing, cleaning up messes and taking some risks both personally and in my businesses. All of which led me to greater levels of peace and the experience of more freedom. I am discovering however that ‘doing the thing’ is not a one time deal. It’s more of a way of life. In order for me to continue to grow and contribute in ways that matter I must expand the boundaries of the things I do and the more uncomfortable it is, the greater the pay off in the end.
For years I have had people say “Pam, you should write a book! You have an amazing story!” to which I answered “my story isn’t that special…besides I am more of an ‘in person’ kind of person.” I was never shy about sharing my experiences with surviving domestic abuse and raising a child who became a heroin addict. In fact, I was happy to share anything about my experiences that could help others. During the recent Covid pandemic I had some time to think about my reluctance to writing a book and realized that I was just skillfully avoiding the next level of vulnerability. Yes there are ever deepening levels of vulnerability. We don’t just arrive (sorry). Sharing my story…all of it…including my responsibility in it…in print, for the whole world to see and possibly criticize was terrifying. My family would see it. Everyone would know about shameful things that I have done. Ugh. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to such torture? I justified playing small and avoiding by saying that I was too busy, that my story wasn’t special, that no one would read it anyway and a whole slew of other rationalizations. The problem is that there is a cost to avoiding the hard things. I say that I am a stand for empowering people out of shame and into living their best lives but I wa unwilling to put my own life fully on display. Hipocrisy at its finest. The real cost was that I aim to help as many people on the planet as I can in this lifetime and by not writing a book I significantly limit the number of people that I can impact. Well shit.
So I took a leap and wrote the book.
Here’s what I learned. When I finally did the thing, I accessed a power that I had never known. Revisiting my past with new eyes, owning my story, taking full responsibilty for my choices , and doing it all in a way that could help others was an experience like no other. I made peace with my past. I forgave myself and others. I released shame and guilt. I got excited about the possiblity of leading others to do the same. I started taking bigger leaps in leadership, made bold requests that I would never have made before and am looking forward to the next quantum leap in my life. It is true that you can have your reasons or you can have growth but you can’t have both. I am so grateful that I chose to step into the discomfort of growth.
If there is a project that you are resisting or avoiding, a dream you’ve had in the back of your mind or a bit of inspiration that you haven’t had time for, know that on the other side of ‘doing the thing’ there is the power to expand, the power to create, the power to become. What’s holding you back? Perhaps it’s time to conquer that thing once and for all. I for one plan to keep doing the thing and stepping into my power as the artist, author and creator of my life. If you need help taking the next step anywhere in your life, reach out to someone who is doing the thing…they may be able to show you the way.
My new book “Through the Cracks” will be released soon. Stay tuned for my upcoming book launch and for your chance to get a sneak peek!