All I can tell you is I waited and waited and waited and I got no Inner Gong.
The sound of that "Gong" is one way I refer to the feeling that I get inside when I know something is right for me. It can be a tingle or a feeling that my heart is bursting, or a simple internal whisper of Yes.
Which is great, except for that I had nothing. Nada. Zip.
Which meant I also wasn't getting an inner "No Way!" This was beginning to look like a bit of a problem. Then I thought, "Well, without a clear yes or a clear no, what shall I do?" I decided to simply let go of the show and wait.
Now if you know me, you'll know I'm a workhorse. I can be pretty tough to keep pace with. I walk fast. I eat fast. Normally I decide fast. I am not the kind of gal who just sits around and waits.
So maybe I should clarify what I mean by "let go and wait."
What happened really was, I tuned in. For once in my life, I slowed down just enough to not rush forward into the void, and began to turn my full attention inward. Not just my partial attention.
Over the last few years I've learned enough about how the mind works to know that you cannot solve problems by getting busier, speeding up, forcing things or taking on more. The only way to know yourself, to know your own mind, and therefore to really hear what you want, what you'd love and what you think would be wonderful -- you must listen.
I have not listened for most of my life. Case in point (FYI, Elese), there's a much better chance I might not have married a heroin addict in college if I had. (Amongst other things which would take me way off topic...)
I mean, I needed to learn how to hear, but most importantly to what. So it has been an ongoing education for me, culminating in this very strange situation with the radio. With a quarter of million listeners behind me, I just simply didn't continue moving forward with something that was successful and growing, based on well, let's be fair, a guess.
I made a guess that if I waited, I would hear something eventually. Then it all went pretty quiet. Didn't expect that. So there I was, watching it end, with nothing new to go on and no direction to go instead. (Here's the blog I wrote at the time) To follow my gut this time round meant allowing myself to release what was working, not for something better, but for something unknown.
I'll admit during the following months it felt like I was being stretched on a rack! It seemed like I was in the unknown without a map and with a GPS system that refused to cooperate. I realized I couldn't make it talk but also, since most of my mistakes happen in the gap between not-knowing and not being comfortable with that, I knew I wasn't willing to try to force it.
Tough one. If you are me.
The longer this went on, the more challenged I was. I would get some notions, follow a few ideas, throw things out there -- but my inner gong still wouldn't play my way.
I had got myself by the "short and curlies," as they say.
For eight months things kind of fell apart and were replaced by one increasingly large question mark. I'd love to say I was comfortable with all of this. The truth is I went up and down a lot. And that is the nature of the mind. Luckily I also knew that and it helped me immensely. I was able to stay in the discomfort zone and even to relax there, and as I did, I started to get finer distinctions for myself about the different tones of the gong. Eventually I began to be moved by something within that I could hear clearly.
There is no real end to this story, but there are some interesting conclusions. Today I have more clarity about my reason for being on this planet than I ever have, and that's pretty amazing to me. (Read my newsletter of today for more on this). Had started this process with that in mind, I am not sure I'd have seen that result. Maybe. But that is certainly not what my clever mind thought I needed at the time.
At the same time I have to admit I feel so much more myself. Even though it
doesn't feel like I'm the one holding the mallet.
During eight months winding along a path of hairpin turns with no horizon in view, something else happened. One day I woke up and wrote down Ten Keys I use to recognize and tune in to my Inner Direction. I hadn't noticed these before.
In the autumn of 2012 I shared these Ten Keys with people in the form of an free ebook, which is still around on iBooks. I loved choosing the photographs for the book. They are amazing! You can check them out on a copy I have available here if you don't have a device with iBooks.
In addition, many people wrote me and shared their stories of following Inner Direction. I have not compiled these in the book -- yet. Why? No reason, really. They are all really great and wonderful. One day I might. Or not.
Isn't it nice to know that nothing has to be wrong -- or even right -- for you to steer in any direction you want? And for no reason at all except you.
Sounds like freedom to me.