Looking for Part 2? Click HERE
It’s after 2 in the morning and I’m still wide awake – just read my sister’s blog Og Invents Wheel and Other Wonders, and I’m re-inspired to try harder to share more of my real and raw experiences, too. Here comes a real and raw one now:
If you’ve known me very long, you may have noticed how I’ve sort of fallen off the map since May. (Thankfully, today’s technology allows me to automate much of my business and take a sabbatical when I need one without it being too obvious. One way I did this was by pulling out some of my favorite, archived articles/blog posts and recycling them, or talking about other interesting people and the messages they had to share instead of my own.)
As I’ve said before (like I did in my class, “Lessons Learned Since Writing Jackrabbit Factor,”) our world turned upside down about 5 years ago. Everything that had been going so well (you know, all those reasons I wrote Jackrabbit Factor and Hidden Treasures in the first place) suddenly imploded. Well, not suddenly – it actually all seemed to happen in slow motion – so slow that we hardly noticed what was happening.
Let me back up. After our first big financial breakthrough in 2000, and after having enjoyed our new success for several years, we made some careless investment decisions. When we finally became completely conscious of the problem, we believed that we could “make” those bad decisions into good ones somehow just by “thinking right”.
A hard lesson I learned was that, sure, while it may be true that in every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit, that doesn’t mean the adversity will go away with right thinking. It only promises that something good can be born from it.
It seemed that no matter how much positive thinking I mustered, our situation refused to improve. It felt as though the principles were suspended on my behalf and it didn’t matter how well I lived what I had been teaching, none of it seemed to be working as it had in the past.
So as you can imagine, one of my biggest stresses was figuring out what to do with the business. My husband had long since left his job to help me with it. But now, what about my books? What about our websites and programs? If the principles really didn’t work any more, how could I possibly continue teaching them?
I wondered if it was time to just pull all the books from the bookstores and issue a public apology. But, even as I fought my own demons, I continued to receive mail from readers all over the world who shared their success stories and profound gratitude for my work. Ben Southall attained the World’s Best Job out of 34,000 applicants and credited my book for his success on a national news program. Publishers from other countries were asking for the rights to my book. Business owners were talking about how my programs had helped them multiply their revenues. Mothers shared stories of how they got the money they needed even after all appearances indicated it should have been impossible.
I read their expressions of gratitude and began to feel jealous of my readers’ successes. I began to feel like a pawn – an instrument in God’s hand, helping thousands of people achieve their dreams, but not being allowed to achieve MY dream, which was to just live a simple life enjoying my children and focusing 100% on my own little family.
Each time I seriously thought about quitting, I remembered those people and their stories. Simultaneously, I felt God telling me, “Keep teaching – you don’t make the principles true or false by how well you live them.”
Actually, we had quite a few arguments about that, God and I. But He always won. I’d throw my Felicity tantrum, and get bitter, rebellious and cynical. I’d try to ignore the needs of the business and just DECIDE to live the life I wanted. But then life always had a way of throwing me back into the work.
In my rebellious moments, I derived tremendous pleasure out of cleaning a toilet, or reorganizing a cupboard. After all, that’s what normal people do, right? I just wanted to be normal. I wanted to let go of the pressure I felt to be a shining example of right thinking.
I can’t tell you how many times I logged into Facebook, sorely tempted to update my status with what I was really feeling. I can be really good at sarcasm, but I also know how damaging it can be, so I resisted.
Over time, I began to learn new lessons. Deep, profound, clarifying insight into the same principles I had thought I understood before. My mind opened up and all the pain began to have purpose again. I began to write the Jackrabbit Factor sequel, Portal to Genius, to document what I was learning. We had new breakthroughs, and began to see our finances turning around. We had some of our best months we’d ever had, but still had a pretty deep hole to climb out of.
The final verdict was this: I knew the principles were true. I knew that things around me changed according to my thoughts and emotions. I knew that things went better when I lived with childlike faith, and took the time to “see” the outcome I really desired and answered the question: How would it really feel if…?
It’s just that sometimes I didn’t feel like doing it. I was tired. I was discouraged. I was impatient. I was embarrassed. Thinking right takes effort and intention, and frankly, sometimes it’s just plain easier NOT to do it.
Anyway, I really do need to get some sleep, but all this is leading up to why I had to drop off the map in May, and what’s happened since. It’s actually very exciting. 🙂
So stay tuned… and g’nite! Read the follow-up post here