One of my passions is introducing phenomenal women to Wayfinding and one another.
Elizabeth Lindsey at TEDxWomen 2012 (View on YouTube Here)
I found Dr. Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey, the first Polynesian explorer and female fellow in the history of the National Geographic Society, through TEDx Women.
At that time, still a clinician and administrator in acute care psychiatry, I witnessed endless streams of lost and hurting souls entering and exiting our hospital doors, seeking direction and connection while living in anxiety, fear, depression and loneliness. Short term hospitalizations were often repeated over and over with little sustaining peace of mind or ability to find happiness, let alone joy.
When Dr. Lindsey said, “We do our best to avoid talking about it when we feel lost,” she was not talking only about those individuals with mental illness. She was talking about most of us…smart, healthy, vital women. Ones who work, care for our families, strive to live our best lives yet, at certain points in life, find ourselves feeling lost, afraid or in the Doldrums*.
We say, “I’m ok”, or “I know how to do this” because feeling lost feels vulnerable…and we think that everyone else knows how to do it and we must have been standing hidden behind some door when that knowledge was handed out.
I don’t know about you, but in my family, no one knew how to escape the doldrums or manage life’s squalls. We just battened down the hatches and held on for dear life. My mother lived in a perpetual state of depression, frustration and anxiety and my dad coped by “just pushing through” whatever caused him pain. His belief was not only limiting and painful, in one situation it nearly killed him. For two days he walked around with a burst appendix because he had convinced himself that the pain he was experiencing was “just the flu” and he didn’t want to appear weak. Most beliefs won’t literally kill us, but they can make us physically ill, keep us stuck, afraid and missing out on our best life.
“If we allow ourselves to feel lost, if we give ourselves permission…there is a raw, unadulterated, gnawing, stomach-churning, heart-pounding power that will push us like intense labor toward a vast horizon.”
Dr. Lindsey’s comment mirrors my learnings from Martha Beck, who taught me we best navigate change, which is often scary and painful, by allowing ourselves to feel that which we are afraid of and then accessing and following our own inner compass. Brené Brown, another teacher of mine, brought all this together with her research about the importance of giving ourselves permission to be vulnerable. It’s your time…give yourself permission. Go toward your vast horizon.
You don’t need someone to “tell you what to do”.
The answers are deep within you. You are looking for guidance and support
in connecting with and mastering your own internal compass that will help you
FIND YOUR WAY to the life you crave