You Can’t Cook a Turkey in 10 Minutes Posted in: Happiness “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~Zora Neale Hurston I have been accused of being a Polly Positive kind of person and my approach to 2017 was right in line with what you would expect. At least that’s what it sounded like when I talked about it. And I meant what I said. I did. I also had some legitimately difficult life events going on at the same time. My group counseling practice was busy, but there were some significant challenges I couldn’t figure out how to solve. My personal counseling work felt routine and in need of fresh ideas and theories. It’s safe to say that I was approaching burn-out, but I couldn’t find any training that sounded remotely interesting. My to do list was so over-the-top long that I set down my writing and creating here, because I couldn’t figure out how there could possibly be time for both. My physical health had become an issue and I received some abnormal test results that no one could explain or figure out. The year had endless conversations and tests in store. (I’m fine now and everything is ok.) And the thing that brought me to a full stop…. my partner in life became ill in a very serious way. I was terrified. I had no idea what was about to happen. We didn’t know how long diagnostics, treatment and recovery were going to take. We certainly didn’t expect it to be a full year. It was. (He is also ok now and I am so very grateful.) 2017 was all of that and more. 2017 was a time of profound learning and growing. 2017 was a gift. I know that sounds absurd, but it is the truth. As you can imagine, there were, what felt like, a zillion decisions and choices to be made last year. One of those was finding the time and energy to have two professional projects at the same time. I had two very large dreams. One was to grow a brick and mortar wellness practice and to participate as a counselor in the practice. The other was to have a digital business where I create wellness products and offer life coaching. Similar gigs, but actually quite different in application. Brick and mortar and online barely speak the same language. And both of these dreams are full-time jobs + overtime required. I couldn’t figure out how to keep the two offerings separate so no client was confused. I couldn’t figure out how to find the time to write, video, program AND see people face to face while managing a practice. I figured I had to decide between the two. It was one or the other. No real options. I stopped writing and immediately regretted it. Talk about stuck. Oh my goodness. I was stuck! I would decide to go with the group. Yep, that’s what I should do. A few days later I would long for the chance to try an online offering. Then I would switch in my head to online and realize I loved my group too much to say good-bye. Stuck. Can I get an amen? I did A LOT of different activities and exercises to get unstuck. I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried yoga teacher training to see if a new approach would help. I made pro / con lists. I talked endlessly about it with my friends and family. I asked mentors for advice. I set it all down and let my brain rest while I read several series of fantasy novels. I meditated on it. I processed possible meanings and stories I told myself about each option. If there is a mental or spiritual approach… I probably tried it. One very random ordinary day, while shopping in Costco, talking about something completely unrelated, I had a magical moment. I knew what to do! The difficulty of managing time and tasks was true. It’s still true. It is also true that my heart’s desire is to create both of these offerings in the world. In fact, both of these projects bring me great joy and I’m not willing to let either one go. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that. My approach had been too limiting and, rather than either / or, it was both. I didn’t have to choose, nor did I have to know how to do it. I simply had to begin. I had to be willing to stay engaged with both dreams and within me was the wisdom for the time management, the learning of new programs, the scheduling, the lists. The understanding would come later. My only task was to begin. And with that understanding would come the necessary adjustments and change. That’s to be expected, right? Of course it is! Those adjustments can’t be made until it’s time, though. If I try to solve all of the challenges before I’m there I will forever be stuck here. I dug around in my purse and found an old envelope to scribble all of this down. When I finished I excitedly told my partner what I now understood. I heard myself lamenting how long it took me to figure this out and how much I wished it would have come quicker to me. To which he smiled and said, “Of course it took a long time to figure out. You can’t cook a turkey in 10 minutes.” Some things take time. Stay the course. Expect magic.