Thursday, 21 January 2016

'Beyond the Narrative'

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive"
Coming alive, being present in the moment, being grateful for having experienced those moments, and working towards your dreams, are a few things that come to mind whenever I see that quote by Howard Thurman.
It's 21 days into 2016 and I have finally finished the final step of my blog 'rebrand'. I managed to land on a name I feel represents my ideas, dreams and hopes. The original blog was "The Other Foot 2015" and while that name was true for me last year, I feel that moving forward, "Beyond the Narrative" is more honest.
Initially, I started a blog with the intention of making sense of the things going on in my life. I find that writing my thoughts out help me organize and transition towards some sense of order and control. Later on, I realized that writing was a great way to document events that were significant to me and reflecting on those events would sometimes resonate with another person and create opportunities for connection- something I hope for in the world- building more deep connections through storytelling. 
'Beyond the Narrative' is two things for me. 
First off, it's a space where I can be my whole authentic self. A platform for me to share my reflections, my journey of growth, my struggles with navigating both the limitations and possibilities of my dreams, my appreciation for both the beauty and the blessing that comes from the commitment to being more present, and most importantly a transparent avenue for holding my soul accountable to my mind.
Secondly, it's a sole trader business that is the culmination of the overlap of some very life-affirming interactions I had in 2015. From the gift that was my time with Heather Box and Julian Mocine-Mcqueen, story coaches, mentors and founders of The Million Person Project, to following and being inspired by Arieta Rika living out her dreams through Talanoa to finally realizing that we are at our best when we are standing in our gifts and this was exactly how I wanted to be in this world.

'Beyond the Narrative' as a business is the merger of story coaching, storytelling, and public relations. My intention is to run an ethical business project that provides mentoring and coaching for individuals, to first and foremost, understand their truths, secondly, find comfort with the articulation of these truths, then finally, provide further support for them to strategically share their stories in powerful ways that uphold their public image or brand.
I hope to support others speak their truths and share their stories with the world in the best possible way for them.
Framing my hopes for 'Beyond the Narrative' was a learning process in itself.

When I was talking to my mentor about this idea, she asked me to promise one thing. 'always ask yourself if this project is working for you, and always check if you're having fun doing it.' 

This was exactly what I needed to hear. By nature, I am a very anxious person who does what is needed to stay on top of things. This means long hours, sleepless nights, overly committing and pushing myself to the brink of burnout. So in order to minimize all that, I have committed to some very clear intentions. 

One of them is to see how long I can go without ever experiencing stress in relationship to the project. If I begin to experience anxiety and stress, it should serve as a reminder that I am not honoring the work I'm doing and will eventually turn on it. I have committed to showing up joyfully for my clients and serving them with that spirit. My mentor reminded me, that this is a really important commitment when starting off because it's a sign of integrity to show up, be present and ready to be grounded in my service.

Secondly, I am committed to being OK with having money flow into my experience. I need to be open to creating a financially viable business and not be afraid to think about big goals and working towards them. When my ego tells me it's embarrassing to set financial goals, it's not OK to want money, and it's selfish and wrong to make money from doing this work, I need to recognize that it's my ego trying to protect me from the challenges that come with growth. Our challenges determine our success and I need to figure out which challenges I choose. I am at a point in my life where I want the reward as much as I want the challenge, the result as much as I want the process, and the victory as much as I want the battle.

Finally, I am committed to set my goals where I can achieve them in a way that is completely fulfilling and relaxing. If I don't be careful, this project may lead to burning out, where serving others could yield diminishing returns in my life. I need to constantly remind myself that this project is about enabling others to be whole and full, and I can't show up to support them if I am overstressed and under-resourced. 

I am excited about what lies ahead and I truly believe that this work can impact lives in many ways. It's deep as it is full, and abundant as it is specific. Moving forward, I need to remind myself to be gracious and embrace the many challenges and rewards, processes and results, battles and victories. This work is deep and can be life-affirming, and if anything, I say again- we are our best when we are standing in our gifts, and this is exactly how I want to be in this world.

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