Bloom Inch by Inch: Be an Antenna
So here’s the story: Ordinarily I'd have followed up my most recent blog post with my usual Inch by Inch letter to my email list, where I offer a tangible bite-sized tip for how to translate those bigger ideas into action – but life got a little crazy, and that letter hasn’t gone out yet. So this week, as I was putting it together, I thought, “Why not open this one up to everyone this time around?”
I hope this extra little push forward is helpful for you as you continue to chew on the idea of ‘being an antenna’ – and if this kind of gentle nudge feels helpful, you can use the form at the end of this post to snag a spot on my email list to make sure you get more like this each month.
Hello, and happy Friday!
As it turns out, more than a few of you could relate to my latest post about the exhausting task of ‘hunting’ for answers and fixes when things feel off. Even for naturally intuitive types, it’s a real undertaking! And the weight of it can be taxing.
I also jumped on Instagram stories last month (for the first time, you guys! and it was fun!) and talked a little bit about some of the disconnects I’ve been experiencing personally. Over the summer I had a few big, meaningful projects that not only kept me feeling energized, but that had really well-defined goals and finish lines – but ever since I wrapped those off, I’ve felt my energy levels fade. And it’s been amazing to notice how that feeling of “uhh, now what?” has crept into other unrelated areas of my life; I’ve felt a little disengaged from some otherwise important areas that use to give me energy and fuel, that now feel like sort of a burden to get back into.
When feelings like this pop up, I think it’s super natural to cling to the questions of, “What’s going on here?” and “How do I fix it?” – but sometimes the hunt for those answers can suck the drive and motivation right out of us.
In that last blog post, we talked about being an antenna vs. being a ‘hunter’, and learning to trust that we’ll be receptive and ready to receive the information we need as it comes. But what does that actually look like?
This week I thought I’d share a real example of how I’ve seen this play out in my own life, with the hope that it might help you start to make that small-but-important mindset shift.
One area where I’ve been feeling a little unplugged and disengaged lately is in my work. It’s raised all sorts of anxiety-inducing questions for me – “Am I in the wrong field? How hard is it to change careers? What would I even do if I moved to a different field?” – and my natural inclination would normally be to follow each of those questions down a long, dark rabbit hole of research, spreadsheets, and detail-overwhelm until I burn out.
But this time, I resisted the urge. This time, I made the active choice to just sit with the question of, “What would it look like to feel engaged in my work?” for a while, and just keep an eye out for what clues might bubble up.
Fast forward a few days, and I was sitting in a meeting with a design agency who my company is considering working with. As I sat around that table chatting about design projects and our aesthetic vision, it took me a minute to notice that energy was suddenly surging through me. I feel the physical hum of excitement, and decided in that moment that my only job was to gently notice it.
I remember thinking: “Whoa! I’m buzzing right now. I wonder why that is.” I then noticed some of the clues and possible answers that zoomed by in my mind: Creativity. Collaboration. Brainstorming. Planning. I noticed them, sat with those ideas briefly, and then moved on. There's a chance some of those words and ideas will continue to pop up as this question of how to find energy and meaning in my work resolves itself, and maybe they won't - but I'm choosing trust that simply observing them as they happen is an important part of the process of finding resolution.
Sometimes I think the hardest part is sitting in a prolonged state of unresolved curiosity and openness, and resisting the urge to chase every lead or possible answer that comes along.
When the questions are big and the answers are likely to be nuanced or complex, it can be really helpful to not rush the process, and to give all those possible answers time to commingle and sort themselves out. It’s all about the patience, and trusting that we’ll be wise enough to recognize when a lead worth following decides to ping us.
This week’s task: get very, very clear about a question you’ve been gripping tightly, or that continues to nag at you.
Focused-but-gentle is the name of the game this week. Once you can focus in on that one question that won't leave you alone, see if you can make the active choice to keep it at the forefront of your consciousness, while resisting the urge to act on it immediately.
You’ll have to decide what “active” means and looks like for you, and how you can help yourself feel decidedly focused on that one question without feeling rushed to answer it. You might choose to say it out loud each morning, or meditate on it each day; maybe you’ll write it down somewhere you know you’ll see it often. Maybe it won’t feel clear and real until you say it out loud to someone else who’s close to you.
Once you’ve made it clear and real, the other piece of this equation is to place trust in yourself. Trust that by identifying the question, you’ve invited answers to come. Trust that your inner-wisdom knows which information is important, and which possibilities are fleeting. Trust that clarity comes with patience. Trust that you’ll find your way, even if it takes time and feels unsettling.
Building self-trust is a lifelong practice - but this is an opportunity to give it a small-but-real try. So identify that one question, and be the antenna that’s ready to receive the information that will guide you to an answer. Flex that patience muscle, give it time, and see what comes to you over time.
And as always, I’d love to hear how this goes for you. Notice any shifts? Is it all super uncomfortable? Let’s chat about it. You can leave a comment below, or chime in on Instagram to let me know how it’s going for you.