Passion Pact: My Head is Swimming, But in a New Direction

pic Galina Barskaya/

My head is swimming…I have an article due today and I can’t seem to focus on just one idea. I was going to write about the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence (and the importance of helping our kids develop both).  I also just had a session with an image consultant (Thank you to my friend Noreen for giving me her free session! Thank you Margaret Batting for the great tips!). So I also planned to write about that experience.  But the other night, as I was reviewing  my notes and typing, I received an update on Facebook and got a little distracted. I was tagged on photos of me that I had done as part of an inspiring project for women. It was the first time I had seen the photos! They were so amazing I thought, “Is that really me?”.  They were challenging (in a good way) how I saw myself.

photos by The Revelation Project, Monica Rodgers and Robyn Ivy

The project I am a part of is called The Revelation Project. Simply put, it’s about finding the real you and letting that “You” be seen (That project will be the subject of a whole other article!). I became involved in the project as part of a pact I made with myself this year.  Remember the article I wrote on aMomKnowsBest titled ,“What is Your Passion?” ? That’s also part of my pact with myself and what I’m calling “My Year in Transition.”  I will definitely do longer articles on each of these topics mentioned. However, for now I just want to take it all in and reflect on my journey so far…
This year, because of my “Passion Pact,”  I’ve started making a lot of different choices in my life. So of course there are going to be changes in my life. Luckily so far this year they have been good ones.  But any change can be unsettling. Change can challenge the borders we set around ourselves and our lives.  In my case, those are the borders I want to break through so I can be able to step into who I am and want to become. In the process, I hope to also let go of who I “think” I am or at least who I think I “should” be.

Last year I was at a point in my life where I just felt empty. So I decided that this year I would fill up. Last year, in addition to having to deal with some difficult things, I was beating myself up about where I was (or really, where I wasn’t ) in my life. I had been putting myself down for not being where I  thought I “should” be in my life.  You know where that got me? Stuck.  “Shoulds” never seem to lead to any place good.

The Revelation Project, Monica Rodgers and Robyn Ivy

How did I get out of it? In addition to several other things, one simple thing I did was change my labels in my head. Instead of labeling myself as “stuck” I started to see myself as “in transition.” Really that’s what life is, a transition, right?  Even when we can’t see any movement, change is there.  The seed in the soil may not look like it’s growing, but it is. The river may look at times likes its not moving, but it’s always flowing.

Evgeni Dinev / Image: Evgeni Dinev /

I also  changed the questions I had for myself. Initially I kept asking myself “What the heck are you doing with your life?”. Now this might have even been helpful if it was actually a question. But I finally realized that it wasn’t. It was just a judgment.  When I changed my question to, “What do you want your life to be?”  I finally started to feel different.  I didn’t necessarily have the answers but there was a feeling of movement and possibilities rather than a feeling of stuckness.

Also right now, I’m not just asking questions, I’m listening. Instead of jumping into a new plan for my life I’m listening to my heart to see what little things it wants to do, where it wants go and who it wants to be with. I have a feeling that starting small and listening will also eventually help clarify who I want to be and what I want to do on a grander scale.

So right now, I don’t have a “grand plan” for my life and I’m ok with that.  I have some ideas of where I want to go, but I’m not letting these ideas become “borders” again that limit me. Instead of being jugemental I’m being inquisitive. I’m exploring my heart and seeing where it wants to go. I’m listening to that inner voice that I  feel like I’ve ignored for so  long and seeing where it will lead me. So far by listening I’m feeling more alive, and I think that’s a good thing.

Oh and BTW, in order to follow my pact, I’m also working on giving up the guilt/expectation that as a mom I should put myself last. I realized that belief not only does a disservice to me, but also to my daughters. I want to be a role model for them.  I don’t want them to feel that when they become a mom that they have to put themselves last or let their lives be led by guilt.

Well, that’ just a few thoughts floating around my head. So, yes my head is swimming.  But at least I’m swimming somewhere, instead of feeling like I’m just treading water. However, I have to admit, that even when we feel like we’re stuck treading water, we’re still moving.  The current can still takes us somewhere without us even knowing it..sometimes somewhere good sometimes somewhere not so good…but it’s always an adventure.

renjith krishnan/

How about you?  What questions are you carrying around with you? Are they really  questions or just veiled judgments? Are you swimming or treading water in your life right now? Do you think there is a time in our lives for both? Are you listening to your heart or has it become quiet too? As I’m finding out, it’s never too late to listen or to be heard.

Picture 1-Galina Barskaya ;Picture 2& 3- The Revelation Project ,Robyn Ivy and Monica Rodgers; Picture 4 Evgeni Dinev /; Picture 5 renjith krishnan/

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