I’m on my soapbox! If you’re interested in personal transformation, I talk about the transitions… how we can bring a key innovation process from the business world into our personal growth. If you’d like to jump to the most relevant spot: :42: overview of divergence and convergence 2:14: overview of Kegan’s evolution of the self 5:19: mash-up of the two models 9:20: Intent+Improv: the dance between convergence and divergence 10:49: applied to business strategy 11:45: applied to personal growth
Does this resonate for you? As I work to crystalize my thinking, I’d really love to know what clicks and what might need clarifying. Thanks tribe!
This is a guest post on personal transformation by Jennifer Pomo from Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were going through our phase of radical releasing around the same time, and it was such a joy for me to hear how this process has born fruit in her life over the past year.
“Goodness this full moon is a potent one. Last night I drove home from dinner and dancing with friends. We danced in the living room until midnight, music loud enough to wake the neighbors but lucky to have the closest neighbors a few acres away.
I’ve danced more in the last three months than I’ve danced 30 years. Last night the full moon lit up the Santa Fe winter sky so bright I could have easily made the drive home without my lights on. There I stood in the middle of the street I live on, staring at the full moon staring back at me. I didn’t want the dance to end and so I kept on dancing. I’ve always wanted to dance like no one is watching and truly, no one was watching.
Memories of this time last year came flooding back. Nothing in my life is the same. This time last year I had begun the process of dissolving, of coming completely undone. This time last year I had no idea where I was headed, I only knew I was following a longing, a pull that required total trust on my part.
I had made a commitment to stop the fast track I was on and become still. In June of 2018 I left my marriage, the gated house on five and half acres of pinons and juniper trees, dirt roads and stunning mountain views. I was supposed to be living the quintessential, charming Santa Fe life. It was all smoke and mirrors. I moved into a tiny casita in town which became my cocoon. By the end of October 2018, I had quit my job and let go of everything I had built that I thought meant safety and security.
This time last year I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror, didn’t recognize my life, my clothes, my hair, my thoughts. This time last year I went dark, went deep into the dark night of my soul, cradled by the long winter months. I had a few close friends I saw, but other than that, the life I created and built in the public eye, a community I had grown to know and love had come to an end.
I’ll never forget the day I was walking through the restaurant I helped build looking down at one of my signature dress pieces and thinking “Who even wears this??” I sent a message to my friend right away telling her I felt like an imposter in my life and in my work. She wrote back asking if what I was experiencing was actually my inner shero coming to rescue me, asking me to trust her and to follow her lead. A life I had built in service to others had run its course. The only person I wanted to serve was myself. In choosing to serve me, to commit to serving my longing, my hearts desire, whatever that was, my entire life changed.
I can’t tell you the number of people who have recently come to me saying how happy I look and that I am glowing. I have even been asked if I am in love. Yes, I am in love. I’m in love with my life. I’m in love with myself for the first time in my life. I’m in love with my courage and my commitment to keep traveling the path into the unknown. I’m in love with my willingness to trust.
My happiness has been born from countless tears, from being brought to my knees. My happiness has come from getting honest and holding myself accountable for my actions and how I was living. My happiness has come from refusing to blame anyone or be a victim of my life. My happiness has come from letting go. My happiness has come from ending the chase of trying to dictate what I thought my life should look like and instead letting life have its way with me.
I lost the ability to write for nearly eight months. Yes, I filled volumes of journals but my story had no words to it. This was unnerving for me. I would start a sentence and that was as far as my writing would go. Instead I wanted to be on the mountain and I wanted to dance. I wanted to seek out what other writers had to say and read poetry. I’ve devoured more poetry in the last year than I have my entire life.
It’s only been recently that my words are making their way back to me. I feel vulnerable but I’m no longer afraid to put myself back out into the world. This time last year there was no way I was comfortable enough in my skin to even make an appearance that felt authentic. This is something that happens when we unravel, when we come undone. It requires time alone. It requires going in and remaining present with ourselves until we are damn good and ready to resurface again.
Last night I danced in the middle of my street recalling my favorite movie of all time, Moonstruck. I saw Cher walking dreamily down the street of her Brooklyn neighborhood, kicking a tin can, forever changed and in love. Has this always been a clue from my past? Did I know at the tender age of 17 I was leaving a clue for my future self to remember this moment in time? Me dancing in the street in my long black winter coat, completely changed and in love?
I’m going to go with yes.”
How are you responding to Jen’s story, dear reader? Have you gone through your own dark night of the soul, or do you feel it calling to you? Where does your happiness come from?