I ended last year with a pulse right on my calling. It was an experience that brought me to shivers; my entire body shaking, eyes tearing up, palms and armpits sweating, lips smiling from one ear to another, but at the same time, trembling gently like two bright red autumn leaves on a maple tree.
It was as incredible as an orgasm. No joke, but it was even more surreal and humbling to have experienced that state of being in front of, and together with, a group of strong business women at a strip club. Seriously, could it have been any cooler and more authentic than that?!
No, my calling is not to become a stripper (that would be fun though!). But my calling does involve stripping, not my outer layers of clothing - which would be easy - but the layers of my psyche to reveal my true self. More exposed than if I were physically naked, I lay myself open to the wonderful possibilities of human connections and openness.
I’ll reveal my actual calling in another blog post, but for now I want to share with you what holds me back from living my calling, why its holding me back and how I am working on resolving those limits:
The journey so far
You see, in the last ten years I’ve been a business woman, an entrepreneur and a responsible employee establishing, promoting and growing businesses. I ran my own televised World Strongest Man competitions in Lithuania and London; Bitch Online, a magazine for strong ambitious women; and launched various projects including a range of sleep wellbeing products.
Like a dolphin I would dive right into each new adventure in partnership with others, always with plenty of passion and energy, no hesitation, a good amount of focus and knowledge, and no fear whatsoever. I loved every single challenge I mastered.
It was pretty simple and easy for me. Some of the businesses were awesome, empowering, fun and fulfilling to run, while others brought me financial struggles, emotional pain, broke relationships and burnt bridges.
If Oprah was standing in my shoes now, she would say: “After all of these ups and downs lasting the entire decade of my life, what I know for sure is, that every single successful or failed venture took me on an incredible journey led by curiosity, fed by learning different subjects, rewarded me with plenty of lessons, and took me further into deep self discovery”. The latter is simply priceless to me. Without all the trials and tribulations, I wouldn’t be on a path I am now. Amen to our queen Oprah for writing the famous book “What I know for sure” as after reading it I always start my reflections on situations using that exact phrase. It’s insightful every time and it’s pretty healing.
Finding my true ‘calling’
This time my calling is not just ‘another project Sandra wants to start’ - as I sort of have that reputation.
My true calling manifested within me two and a half years ago on my long solo trip to Bali. I tried every trick there is to suppress it - but, it’s somewhat very special to me.
However, unfamiliar to my usual adventurous, “no-fear” character, I’m hesitating to materialise my purpose. I feel scared of the judgement and perceptions of others, I think I might fail to deliver it with the impact it deserves, and I wonder if people will resonate with it’s message.
I’m judging myself and sabotaging my own potential here.
Silly? Maybe not.
Getting past my own self
What helped release me from my self-sabotage and judgment was openly chatting about it with a few of my closest and trusted friends and also ‘by accident’ coming across and listening to an episode where Lewis Howes interviews Gabrielle Bernstein about ‘The Judgment Detox’ on his podcast. Timely! It answered quite a few of my doubts and I highly recommend that you listen to it on iTunes or buy Gabrielle’s new book which guides us on how to healthily navigate the modern world in which we spend so much time observing and judging what others are doing online or off.
The most inspiring thing I found about the people that I follow online are their choices, courage and ease to be their most authentic selves. I am drawn to those individuals on Instagram who are firmly following their own paths, in all their glory, who do what they love wholeheartedly, openly expressing what they believe and don’t give a s*** about what others think of them.
Some of my favourite super authentic people on Instagram are Krysta_tantricyogi, FeatherEagleSky, Kristina Kuzmic, Rupi Kaur, superlativelyjl, Melissa Hemsley, TheNatureKind and MySuburbanFarm. I love them and so many more that inspire me to be my true self, even if some of their stuff arouses strange feelings in me sometimes. When triggered, I simply ask myself “What exactly triggers me?”, Would I like to be as free, open, daring and cool about my chosen path?”.
Self sabotage can be an ugly thing, not easy to spot or release, but it’s definitely a valuable exercise to explore in yourself and scrap self doubt. Make a decision to be courageous, confident and go for it. Get out of your own way and let the good stuff happen. There is nothing to lose, only opportunities to gain - valuable lessons at least!
The signs are staring at me through my computer screen as I read the sincere messages women sent to me after my calling manifested in front of their eyes at my strip club event. They help me to trust myself, that I am on the right path, ready to do the right thing in my most individual and authentic way.
What this journey of exposing my self-sabotage and enabling my self-discovery is teaching me is these two things:
1. I’m depriving myself from being the best version of me and not allowing others to experience the goodness I have to share with them.
2. I’m amazed to have arrived at a point where I finally understand what authors of books and online blogs dedicated to entrepreneurs mean by saying “The more we are scared of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it”. This particular phrase is by Steven Pressfield and it-oh-so-rings my bells.
My next steps
All I need to do now is to simply trust myself in my calling and start tapping into it, even if it means starting with tiny steps forward. My steps will be a few Instagram posts and another blog post where I will share my calling with you.
I hope this will resonate with a few of you. I would be so happy for us to support each other in our journeys, so share your views on this subject in the comments under this post or drop me a personal line sharing what tiny or big step will you take to tap into your calling?