“Freedom comes when you learn to let go, creation comes when you learn to say no.” ~ Madonna Ciccone
I was halfway across the moonlit pool on a predawn morning in July of 2015 when the knowing landed fully intact, with a nuclear aftershock: In order for me to do what is calling to my heart, I have to sell my business.
I folded my legs beneath me and propelled up and through the surface of the water like a bobbing top. I ran my hand across my face and cleared the water from my eyes.
“No, that can’t be.”
I leaned against the pool’s edge and searched the glinting ripples.
“How can that be right? That can’t be right. I mean, it’s my business. I built it from scratch with blood, sweat, tears, and 18-hour days. It’s been my rocket out of darkness. My livelihood. My magic carpet to freedom and abundance. And what about my people? My team? No, that can’t be right.”
Even though I was clinging to denial, the awful truth of what I must do had pushed through my subconscious to daylight and had taken its first breath.
Deciding to Sell My Business
It certainly did not happen overnight, nor was it a simple task. But the charge had a mind and energy all its own and drove the process from within itself. My creative passions were to be pulled from simmer on the back burner to forward on high heat. I was to write my book, coach, teach, speak, and have a small part in transforming the world.
But creativity takes courage and it needs oxygen.
I knew I could not sustain the pace of owning and managing White Oak Realty Group and do the other work that was calling to my heart. No matter how creative the math, I was not going to be able to manifest more than 24 hours in a day, nor the mental space and quiet required to birth a new business, a book, topnotch coaching methodologies, workshops, and retreats.
Over the course of the next 2.5 years, I prepared for and completed the sale of my beloved real estate firm. It was equal parts scary, sad, and disorienting, as well as joyful, exhilarating, and grounding. It was absolutely the right decision, and I could not be more pleased nor more proud of how the entire process unfolded, as well as how the new owners have infused their love and creativity into the company.
From here, at this distance, I can look back at my fear and resistance to doing the thing I knew I must do with a certain wisdom, compassion, and empathy (not unlike how a grandmother looks at her daughter trying to console her crying, newborn baby).
I’m still a little bit amazed I mustered up the courage to say No to a major part of my life, and Yes to another.
But that is precisely what creativity and freedom demand from us. Courage. Boundaries. Paying heed to our inner voices. Creativity takes courage and it needs oxygen.
Create the Life You Crave
When we take a moment to let our thoughts catch up with us, often surprising us in moments of open consciousness (like when we are driving, showering, cooking, and yes, swimming), the anchors of our future expansion become visible to us. The constraints present us with choices that we may elect to interpret either as crosses to blindly bear or as divine intervention.
We know, though, don’t we, that when we ignore messages emanating from grace and from within our powerful truths that the cost is living a life we spend running from. Numbing. Avoiding. Denying.
We know that creativity takes courage and it needs oxygen.
These crossroads come at inopportune times throughout our lives and careers. We don’t graduate from these moments and choices. They just swoop in and extend a hand, offering to us a new way of walking and being in the world.
I extend a gentle and loving invitation to you to explore and answer these questions:
1) What do you know that you can no longer deny?
2) Do you have something calling to you that requires you relinquish something/someone else?
3) If you could create the thing…the life…you crave, what would it look like, and what is necessary for you to do in order to achieve it?
4) What tastes like freedom?
Let’s love our true selves enough to peel away the film of other’s expectations. It is the price of admission if we are to take flight toward our creative callings and unbounded, joyful lives.