The End of an Era (and a New Dream) PART 2
"If you looked at this with freedom, what is calling to you? What steals your breath? Awakens your heart? Brings tears to your eyes? What is calling to you?"
I'd been having pin-prick thoughts, inklings, for a few months. I had always shrugged them off, thinking I was crazy for even thinking of pursuing something different.
I had always thought changing my direction meant abandoning my calling and betraying the One who called me.
But my Biz Besties, friends, and mentors reminded me that God was with me now and that he'd always be. That if I fell off course, I could always come back. And that maybe, just maybe, he was leading me in even this.
"So? What's calling to you?"
I let myself open my heart to a new dream.
Even after voicing it to my most trusted circle, I couldn't put a name to it. I called it my "New Direction" for several months as I continued to press in, absorb inspiration, faithfully finish my last projects, and let God heal me from wounds I didn't know I had (like the lies that I'm not worthy or that I never finish what I start). I prayed a lot. Started journaling again for the first time in years. Drew up a big idea word web on a piece of foam board and tacked it up on the wall.
A bunch of daffodils sprouted in my front yard despite me never planting any. Since God often speaks to me through symbolism and my senses, I knew it couldn't be a coincidence. I Googled the symbolism behind them and found that daffodils stand for "new beginnings."
Okay, God. I see you.
So I kept leaning in. Stopped taking on new film projects. Kept substitute teaching to pay the bills. Stopped squashing big dreams before they even got a chance to breathe. Kept faith even when it was hard. Stopped letting fear rule me (that was harder). Kept actively waiting for God to illuminate the way.
I refused to stay paralyzed, even during months when I was "benched" emotionally (growing is hard work, ya'll). I kept plugging away with hope, and when my hope sometimes faltered, I would come back to my friends and mentors to ask for more prayer. They filled me up when I was empty and let me lean on them.
Thinking about it now, this process has been like LABOR! (Which is super ironic considering I've known for years that don't want to be a bio mom, and have recently decided I DO want to foster and adopt teens! I am SO excited for that, by the way!!)
Remember my word for 2017, FREEDOM? That's my personal word. I've been leaning into that as well as leaning into my professional (business) word/phrase for 2017, DREAM WITH GOD.
Together, those words make a heck of a team.
Shifting my business perspective from a limited one to a supernaturally-influenced one requires a lot of growth and stretching from me. No wonder it feels like labor sometimes.
Today, I think I've finally landed on some clarity.
My new heart dream:
A workshop (and one-day conference) for the faith-led and forever-changed businesswoman who is eager to share her heart and vision to change lives.
I don't know all the details yet, and I know that the doubts I'm experiencing are direct retaliation from a very angry form of resistance (NOT TODAY, SATAN!), but here's what I know right now.
Today (Sunday, April 9, 2017) I made a plan to rest and read magazines and books I haven't had time for in the past few months. I started with the latest issue of Belong Magazine. When I got to the last few pages, I landed on an article about The Yellow Conference.
I've been having inklings of starting an in-person, intimate workshop for a while, but my heart has been a little shaky as this is a newborn dream and I've felt more than a little unqualified.
But as I read that article and saw the joy-laden photographs paired with it, something within me leaped for joy and tears immediately sprang to my eyes, as if God had said, "THAT."
"Is this it, Lord?" I felt my heart say. "Is this the thing you're leading me to? Could it be? How?"
I felt God nudge me gently. "It will be more than you can dream of."
When I think about it free of worry or doubt, it seems so natural.
I love teaching and sharing what I know. I've always had a knack for breaking down hard-to-understand concepts into manageable, bite-sized pieces in a language that others understand. The times when I've taught as a workshop guest, I walk away with high energy and a joyful spirit (unlike how I feel after a film-editing marathon) ready for more. As a kid, I used to pace up and down the sidewalk, "reading" a book (I was really inventing it as I walked) to an invisible audience, and when I was in the sixth grade I remember dreaming of becoming a motivational speaker. I love to write, love to talk, love to share, love to teach, love to help others lean into their giftings and shine bright... and love people most of all. I want to build a platform for the success of others, see people COME ALIVE and fully step into their callings, and see lives CHANGED by God's marvelous plans to use business owners greatly.
One day, I hope this New Dream will become a conference or a multi-day retreat with many gifted speakers helping us step more fully into our callings. But until then, I am planning to start with small, short-n-sweet, intimate local gatherings that I hope will blossom over time. Will the short, local workshops be centered around video? I'm not sure yet. It will depend on what you need. Video is my thing, but it's not my only thing. I'm keeping my hands open in FREEDOM.
Most of all, I believe that if this is what God has for me, that it will come to fruition. I just have to start with one step.
For now, that's sharing the story after so many months of laboring.
I'll bet that part has been the hardest because it holds the most breakthrough. And I'm so unbelievably excited to see what comes next.
I love you all. If you remember, keep me in your thoughts and prayers. If you have questions or workshop suggestions, get at me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by leaving a comment below.
May God's goodness shine upon you, and may freedom fill your heart,