There are a myriad of ways why you might find yourself with your back against the wall, sliding down onto your arse, wondering what on earth just happened. There are thousands of ways you could be stewing in the tangle of your to-do list, completely paralysed under its weight, wondering how on earth you’re supposed to unglue yourself. The phrase ‘hot mess’ means to be inside the belly of a problem. It’s been well described in the fabulous book Rising Strong by Brene Brown. It’s the messy place in the middle of a story, where you’ve passed the starting line and started strong. You know how you’d like your outcome to be, so now you need to rumble and wrestle with the discomfort of the creative process.
Here are five reasons why you’re a hot mess and what to do about each one. Lean in, and let’s untangle you.
1. You lost sight of your values
This is by far the most common reason women fall apart. Take Beth, a creative woman who is genius at designing works of visual beauty. She’s achingly hilarious and can make anyone laugh out loud and feel completely comfortable to open up and share their quirky dreams with her. She falls apart, in abject misery at how things aren’t working in her business. Her top 5 core values include humour and creativity.
Values are those consistent emotional states you wish to feel on a regular basis in your business. They include states such as love, connection, inspiration, peace, harmony and adventure. Beth has failed to honour her values in months. Her creativity and humour have been sacrificed in the pursuit of serious, logical and pragmatic business planning. She has favoured being a consumer over being a creator. She’s been consuming and complaining way more than creating and having fun.
The consistent denial of your values, the lack of flexing the muscle of each and every value regularly, is so commonly a cause for dissatisfaction, turmoil, chaos and depression. Fulfilling your values leads to genuine feelings of satisfaction and inner peace. Identify your top 5 values to see what turns you on and brings you deep fulfillment.
2. You looked out more than you turned inwards
You bought into the marketing hype that convinced you that someone else knew better than you did about your own deepest truth. You listened to a guru or a coach or a friend, and then another and then another, in the pursuit of your own path. You forgot to keep tuning in to the voice of truth that inhabits you and speaks from your body’s wisdom (located deep in the pelvis and abdomen). You lost sight of the steady ground within you that is constantly being guided by benevolence, is so adored and loved by the divine that it would never forsake you.
3. You denied yourself the creative luxury of falling to pieces
As Pema Chodron said, “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is, things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and they fall apart. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, room for relief, for misery, for joy.”
In other words, you are meant to allow yourself to fall apart from time to time. That small, quiet voice of wisdom that speaks to you sometimes needs a cataclysmic shaking up and an epic fall in order for it to be truly heard. Stillness and quiet are a desire you can only sometimes acquire when you have been roiled about in the noisy monkey mind enough times to want to feel the truth of who you are badly enough. We are everything at once and nothing at the same time.
Besides, the creative process is messy. It loves being irrational and intuitive and non-scientific and feminine. The patriarchal dominant paradigm honours rational, scientific reasoning. There’s a place for this, but there is also a place for cyclic wisdom and the unfinished business of being a work in progress always. Allow yourself the creative luxury of falling apart and letting things be messy. You’ll find the homeostatic mechanism within you will always work towards bringing you back into balance. Trust yourself to toe the line when you need to.
4. You wanted them all to like you
Desiring to be liked is a natural part of being human. But when your decisions are constantly contingent upon what other people might think, it’s a fast track to derailing you from your purpose. It’s why so many people stay miserable, stuck in their quiet desperation and never really living to their full potential. Worrying what other people think and wanting them all to like you is a perfect storm for a quantum collapse. Instead, turn within. What others think of you is none of your business.
There is an interesting native American understanding about the weight of other people’s opinions. There will always, no matter what stage you’re at, be a balance of people with opinions, which are proportionately divided into four camps – 25% will love you, 25% will feel somewhat inclined towards you, 25% will be neutral and 25% will not be impressed. No matter what decision you make, there may always be the naysayer and the fans and those in between. It’s liberating to realise this and to go right ahead and live your greatest life anyway.
“I like messy people. People who don’t fit in a box or stay between the lines, but whose integrity is greater than any rule book and whose loyalty is stronger than blood.”
5. You stopped watching the cycles of nature
If you’ve ever had a lemon tree you’ll see that under the right conditions, the tree will produce an abundance of fruit. It’s often more than what you could ever need and the excess lemons will lie on the ground and rot. They create the perfect fertile ground for more trees.
Everything that grows depends upon the rot, the dark soil, the excess. The modern world is in danger of slipping so far from the cycles of nature that it has stopped connecting to and honouring the natural and seasonal rhythms of pushing out into the world and pulling back in. Knowing when to produce the fruits of labour and when to consolidate and till the soil. Sometimes being in a hot mess is the only way to create the rich, fertile soil of the soul’s deepest purpose.
No matter what type of hot mess you may be, trust that the human heart is designed to hold all the polarities at once. Light and dark, black and white, heavy and light, love and fear. There is no need to reject or repress your feelings even when they’re tangled and complex. Rumi said, “Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.” Allow yourself to be in the feminine cycle of becoming and don’t be so quick to move out of the profound lessons that this curious space can bring.
About our Ausmumpreneur Expert :
Lisa Fitzpatrick is the creator of the popular coaching program Heart Your Life – simple steps to find your life purpose available here.
As the founder of Sacred Women’s Business, a coaching and training business, which serves conscious women in business, Lisa believes that every woman has the right to tap into her unique feminine wisdom to achieve lasting success and leave a legacy. Lisa is a certified coach, writer, yoga teacher, workshop facilitator, speaker, registered physiotherapist and mother. She lives in a subtropical paradise near Byron Bay with her two sons
Free offer: Pick up Part One of Healing the Heart of Your Business – sustainable success for heart-centred women at www.LisaFitzpatrick.com.au