This pattern isn’t new. It goes so far back, I don’t know when it originated. I do a lot. A lot for me. I go and go and go until I mentally break, and land, face-first. Crying or depressed or exhausted or angry or unable to feel any passion about anything.
I rest. Fallow, eerily still. I berate myself for my weakness. I call it self-sabotage. I look at others who are still going (going going), and I lament that I am not as strong as they.
Suddenly, without even realizing it, a wave of fear picks me up, carries me. I tumble with it. The wave is angry, and it speaks without listening. “You will run out of money. You will default on your student loans. You will get fired and be unable to get a job. Suddenly, requests for your services will dry up. There will be no one left. Everyone you know will be angry at you for not doing enough. They will resent you. You don’t deserve rest. You can’t adequately enjoy rest, anyway. You can relax later, after you’ve reached X. Not now. No time for planning. Time is money. Go. Faster. Go.”
After a lifetime of being swept away by the waves, I’ve begun to notice when they’re coming. When I’m riding them. When I’m somersaulting, water burning up my nostrils, unsure which direction is up or if I’ll ever breathe again. I’ve begun to ask whether there’s another option, whether I can fight the wave. I’ve resisted, questioned it. Found out I had some control over whether or not it sweeps me away. Let myself slip. Recovered again. Pulled myself consciously in. Recognized my need to sit fallow for a moment. Gotten scared, and ridden a smaller wave of jumpy panic.
I’ve made some tough decisions, prioritized certain projects. But eventually, I trickle back into my familiar groove of trying to do everything all at once.
Last week, during a coaching class, I brought this forward, volunteered to be coached on my issue. I hadn’t planned on it (usually I’m the one volunteering to be the coach), but it came out in the moment. I was doing too much. Something needed to shift.
As often happens in great coaching sessions, I knew what needed to happen, clearly, as I spoke. I knew I had known it already, too, but that I hadn’t been ready to admit it. I needed to cut back, and that would mean making hard choices about what could stay and what could go. I’d done the patchwork quilt dance of rearranging my schedule time and time again, and this time, just rearranging wasn’t going to do it.
Things became clearer. The main point of clarity? I need to enjoy the moment. My default setting is to struggle through the present to reach the future, which is then replaced by another struggle to another future. This pattern has run its course, and it’s time for me to intentionally change it.
The next thing? It’s time for me to finish my coach training. I’m ready; I can feel it.
To do both of those things, certain other things needed to go. One was Pam’s Power Teaching Challenge. I had signed up and learned a ton from the first class, had spent half a weekend day on the first week’s homework. But it conflicted with some coaching classes I needed to finish, and the thought of teaching a class right now (while thrilling) was overwhelming. Too many logistics. Too little sane Kylie.
And then there was the next thing. I needed to cut back on my blogging. Which is hard for me. I love being here, writing every week, hearing from you. But I decided to cut back the posts to once every other week, and I’m going to stick to that.
And then there was my photo work. My photo work, which I love so dearly! I decided to stop booking sessions until January. (Those of you who are already on the schedule or who have contacted me, this doesn’t include you. We’re still gonna do your session, and have buckets of fun with it. Breathe easy.) This still leaves me a bunch of already-booked sessions to do in the meantime, so it’s not like I’ll be going cold turkey on this.
When I made these decisions, it felt like a gear clicking into place. It was right. Terrifying, but right. Things might go awry. I might somehow fail to graduate from coaching school by December. (Actually, after sending the maiden announcement to the inner circle, I’ve discovered that I’ll graduate in March, not December. Recalculating.) Business might truly dry up (as I had feared). You dear readers might forget the blog. I certainly hope these things won’t happen, but they might.
Still, I’m leaving you with something. It’s as much for me as it is for you. A waiting list. A promise between us that you’ll be the first to know when I’m again scheduling photo sessions and taking on new coaching clients in January.
To be notified when I’m accepting new photo clients, sign up here:
To be notified when I’m accepting new coaching clients, sign up here:
And in the meantime, one last thing. In order to complete my coach training, I’ll be looking for one client who can commit to being coached weekly for twelve sessions. Because you’ll also be helping me to graduate (thank you!), this opportunity is pay-what-you-can.
If you’d like to be in the running for this coaching, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling me why you’re in need of support, what lofty dreams you feel coaching will help you achieve, and what per-session price would be best for you (with the understanding that this is a twelve-session commitment). I’ll select the entrant whose needs fit best with my style of (heartful, supportive) coaching. Entries will be accepted until 11 pm EST this Saturday (that’s July 30th), and everyone will be notified on Monday (August 1st).
Whether or not your entry is selected, if you apply for this coaching spot, you’ll be at the top of my waiting list when I reopen slots for coaching in January. And you’ll receive a 20% off coupon on your first twelve sessions.
. . .
And with that, I take my leave for today. But I want to hear from you on this, too: What patterns are you redirecting in your life? Are you negotiating with yourself to do less?