#MeToo #2of2 

#MeToo #2of2

Empathy Whispers: 

“We Are In This Together”

And Shame Disappears!



Coming in the next 24 -48 hours: a new post! My first long form blog post in over a year!

“Cultivating Authenticity: Returning to the Love, Freedom, Joy & Curiosity of Being Myself.”

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The quest to live your ideals is a fascinating adventure. 

 You begin the journey after much hesitation, rumination and suffering. With bated breath induced by overwhelming fear and self-doubt, you step off the cliff like Indiana Jones, praying a bridge appears and you don’t plunge to your death in the abyss!

I know the feeling all too well.  

After resisting the call to Adventure for months, I finally caved in March 2014. With a deep restlessness increasingly difficult to contain, I embarked on a quest to explore what would happen if I aligned with my ideals (rather than merely professing them) and lived them. I started this blog to share my lessons along the way. And suddenly like clockwork, my hero’s journey began to unfold. As if I had entered a different dimension, the mentors began to show up – Brene Brown, Jonathan Fields, Chris Guillebeau, Scott Dinsmore, Karen Walrond, Pamela Slim, Charlie Gilkey, James Clear, Valorie Burton, Simon Sinek, Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte, Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas… 
I was excited to see these amazing beacons modeling what I had begun to  permit myself to dream was possible for my life. I had a passion for service and deeply desired to to make a positive impact in the world by helping people. I had sacrificed blood, sweat, tears and serious money into intense training in medicine and public health making a positive impact. But I felt like a square peg in a round hole. After leaving medicine, I did some serious self-study and realized my path was somewhat divergent. 

At my most authentic, I speak truth, inspire hope and catalyze empathy. I know that I have the gift of seeing people and circumstances as they are and as they could be, creating and holding space for them to be their truest and highest selves while supporting and encourage them as they journey across that divide between the aspiration and the practice.  

I have always been slightly embarrassed by my multi-passionate eclectic nature. As a kid, I loved everything and was good at many things. I had a natural knack for math and sciences, but I was also a dancer and musician who loved to entertain my peers with spontaneous performances in front of the class. I enjoyed travel, meeting people from different cultures and learning about their countries. I loved storytelling and was a voracious reader. I even knew how to braid hair at 8! I was a jack of many trades. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up – I didn’t  think I had to. And as an adult, even after all the accomplishments and credentials, I still didn’t feel like one thing. 

As I wrote this blog, I gained clarity. I didn’t have to pick one. I was uniquely designed with these many passions for the work I called to do. I was called to be myself, live my values and shine my light to inspire others to live their ideals and shine their own lights. And I ravenously devoured everything I could to equip and train myself for my authentic path. I wanted to be as prepared as possible for those I wanted to serve. Certification in Personal and Executive Coaching in Positive Psychology? Check.  Certification in Daring Way Facilitation? Check. Business Development Courses? Check. Conferences? Check. B-school, Connect with Anyone, Start from Scratch, GLP Immersion, Momentum and many other incredible ecourses and programs. The more I learned, the more action I took, the clearer I became. 

And then came the Dark Night of the Soul… The Thrash… The Void… 

Somewhere along the way,  I lost myself… A piece of me stole away when I wasn’t paying attention. I was distracted by all my to-dos for the mission I felt called to – the business development, the pressure to niche down, learn marketing, sales funnels, find clients, family pressures, self-doubt and overwhelm, social media illusions… The expectations to be an expert, to have it all together so I could be a model for my clients. A well-meaning peer upon hearing my dreams for my work said, “But first Yvonne, your clients have to see you living it.” I took that to mean I couldn’t live my dreams and do the work I felt called to do until I had all my stuff together. I ramped up the work behind the scenes to get my “ish” together so that I would be trusted and taken seriously. Instead, my life  began to rapidly unravel. I found myself drained, uncertain and disoriented on the course I had chosen in the name of nicheing down.  Even worse, a cross-country move, a series of traumatic events and a stunning betrayal massively disrupted my life and shook me to my core.  I stopped writing publicly.

Shame, silence, struggle… 

 How the heck did I get here? I had been down this road before. Back then, I was out of alignment with my values. But this time I wasn’t. I was aligned. I had done the deep work of aligning and living my ideals and strengths. I knew the wholehearted way. I knew how to rise strong, cultivate resilience and live positively. But my life was falling apart. What the heck? I thought choosing to live the aligned life meant that everything would now flow and go honky-dory. Everyone else seemed to be crushing it. I seemed to be the only one struggling to find my way. What was I missing? Maybe there was something was wrong with me. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this. Maybe I should go back to residency or get a desk job with a steady paycheck like well-meaning relatives recommended. Maybe living my ideals is too idealistic. Maybe I should grow up, stop fooling myself and just stop wasting my time. I began to believe my critics who said I was delusional for embarking on this journey…

And then things got interesting…

… To Be Continued 

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Yvonne Whitelaw writes for Yvonnewhitelaw.com where she blogs about her quest to live her ideals and cultivate  her light with her “Live Your Ideals Project”. By sharing her Daily Haikus (#HaikuRx) and her lessons along the way (Mondays and Thursdays), she hopes to serve and inspire a growing tribe of wholehearted Thriving Idealists like you, to “live your ideals, thrive in your callings and positively change the world.”