What If You Can Do Hard Things?

In one of my favorite books, Untamed, Glennon Doyle writes, “We can do hard things”.

That line sticks with me every time I’m afraid that something is too difficult for me to handle or that I’m not capable enough to manage my life if I take a leap into the unknown. I’m the first to admit that I’ve let fear rule me for a very long time. Fear of failure, fear of scarcity, fear of ending up completely alone … you name it, I’ve felt it. I could continue blaming this problem on my upbringing, but the truth is that I’m an adult and it’s time for me to handle my shit.

So I did a thing recently. I’ve felt trapped and hopeless for many years, but did not know how to get myself unstuck. I was so deeply disconnected from the truth of who I am that I felt entirely lost. The pandemic lockdowns shifted my life in a way that may have never happened otherwise. I finally had the time and space to work through my shit, to breathe, and to address the issues that weren’t going away. I realized that my mind was working overtime trying to protect me because I wasn’t comfortable in my body and I was totally separated from my intuition and really, my own spirit.

I’ve known for a long time that my job is not serving me, that in fact it keeps me small, comfortable and miserable. Before COVID hit, I’d planned to do something drastic this fall. I wanted to quit, go to India and advance my yoga training, then travel and teach in other countries. I knew people doing that and they loved it – and it combined two of my joys, yoga and travel. It seemed perfect.

Of course we all know how that turned out. I went back to work when they called me, even though I knew in my bones it wasn’t sustainable. I thought of it as temporary, a means to an end. Still, something had to change.

Come end of October, I quit my job. I moved out of my apartment. I bought a camper van, though I have very little knowledge of or experience with them. I began allowing myself to receive support from my network in ways that not long ago I would’ve rejected, feeling that I shouldn’t burden anyone, even if they want to help. I decided that for the time being, since pandemic restrictions hamper the freedom to do exactly what I want, I’ll pivot and try something else. I will visit friends and do work stays domestically while taking some online teacher trainings.

This feels hard because it’s totally out of my comfort zone. Every day is about strategy. Where can I safely park overnight? What clothes/toiletries/other crap do I need to dig out from my plethora of storage bins to prepare for this evening and tomorrow morning, so I don’t have to venture outside in the cold to retrieve something? Where the hell am I going to pee? And in this new era, where will I work on my laptop and charge my electronics? It’s not like I can just hang out in the library or a coffee shop anymore, or join a gym where I can shower whenever I want. This is definitely not an ideal time to van life. Don’t even get me started on all the things I need to learn about how to manage the van itself, especially dealing with the solar system and the additions and improvements I’d like to make.

And yet, I’m doing it. It feels tough and unfamiliar, but I will figure it out. I have people who want to support and help me. I can do this, and it will get easier, and I don’t have to be afraid of my own life. It’s going to change regardless of what I do, so why not move it in a purposeful direction? I can do hard things. I can learn and grow and evolve – in fact, I must, or there’s no point.

What feels hard in your life right now, and what if you pivoted to think of it as an opportunity to grow? What if it’s not happening TO you, but happening FOR you? When we begin to reframe our perspective in a positive way, we shift everything. We learn to ground down within ourselves, develop a strong sense of who we are, and maintain that through anything that may happen externally.

The goal is to develop a strong and centered sense of self, to the point where nothing can shake you. You can then release any need for control over that which is out of your hands anyway, and begin to receive the magic that comes with flowing through your life, taking everything as it comes.

You can do hard things. I know you can. I believe in you, and I love you. You got this.

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