I stopped singing and didn't even notice.
Have you ever been known for something that wasn’t a talent or a performance, but simply an expression of your joy? Do you still have it? Did you set it down for a while? Or did you never go back for it?
I was driving into town yesterday and I noticed I had been happily singing to myself all morning. Just a little joy in my routine bursting from my lips at random moments. My happiness was out loud and I even carried my body with more lightness while I moved about the cottage. I remembered that I used to be a bit famous for singing to myself at work. There was a back hallway at one particular racetrack in Winnipeg, Canada where the acoustics thrilled me and would sing my way down it. The head of security would love to wait for me at the other end until I was finished. My joy gave him joy. You see my joy used to fill stadiums. It was so large and infectious. Other people counted on it to lift the room. I took for granted that it was an ever-present part of me and not something that could ever run out.
But it did.
I didn’t know how to tend my joy. I never knew how to set boundaries around my energy or my undertakings. I assumed because I could fill a room with my joy that I was required to do it. I didn’t consciously choose where I applied it. I didn’t think about where I felt obligated to spend it and whether or not I really, really believed that when I did it was a good use of my natural resources.
It ran out and I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t singing anymore. I didn’t notice for years. I noticed that I was starting to be quite angry and had very little patience. I carried on thinking surely it would just come back. It didn’t that way and I still hadn’t inventoried my joy. When it finally occurred to me to check on my joy, I was distraught. How did I get so sad? Where had my river of joy gone?
I made the decision to give myself Permission to go in search of my peace and happiness again no matter what it might cost me. That was the first decision in a chain of choices that brought me to this wild edge of western Scotland. A series of questioning myself and what I believed to begin a new life incredibly different than the one that looked so shiny outside, but I hadn’t designed in a way to keep my joy. If I hadn’t learned how to give myself Permission to start making choices I would never have got here. I would still not be singing. And I can’t imagine that.
Are you ready to deepen your understanding of Permission? The mini audio course How To Give Yourself Permission gives you all the information you need to start:
What is Permission?
How does it work?
The Change cycle and the role Permission plays.
Why it’s so hard for many women to give it to themselves.
I wrote it to help you get to whatever “here” looks like for you.
Lots of love,