,Before we jump into today’s post, I want to make sure you know: The Create Work You Love Program (CWYL) is opening up soon! This is our program for women who want guidance and support in creating meaningful, fulfilling work that allows you to feel energized instead of exhausted and supports you financially. Get the details and learn more here.
In our recent survey, someone asked; “How can I get more satisfaction out of my current work?”
The answer lies in beginning to notice your energetic breadcrumbs.
In our CWYL Program, we talk a lot about following your “energetic breadcrumbs” as a way to create greater joy, meaning and fulfillment in your life.
What are energetic breadcrumbs?
Your energetic breadcrumbs are the little nudges, impulses or experiences that excite you or bring you energy.
If you reflect back at the end of each day or week, begin to notice what brought you energy or lit you up.
Were there any specific situations, people or projects at work that stimulated you more than others?
In the beginning, these situations can be subtle. The key is to keep following your breadcrumbs to discover what lights you up. One small breadcrumb leads to another, leads to another.
This is about noticing what you naturally enjoy and then being intentional with your career and life. If you’re engaged by a certain project at work, how can you engineer your career to do more of that type of project? If you enjoy working on a certain team, what is it specifically about that team that energizes you and how can you intentionally work with more people like that?
Your breadcrumbs may also arrive as an impulse or a little nudge to do something that interests you.
If you keep following them, your energetic breadcrumbs will lead you back to your unique gifts and your deepest longings.
Your breadcrumbs lead you back to yourself and to fulfilling your greatest potential. Ultimately, they lead you back to your soul.
It’s important to slow down and get still because of how the soul intrinsically communicates.
The soul doesn’t speak in words with the exception of what I call soul-based poetry. Your soul speaks in longings, feelings, callings, symbolism, dreams, synchronicity and intuition.
Your soul is always here, talking to you.
In our jam-packed, “busy” as a badge of honor world, it’s not easy to schedule downtime—and yet it’s important to make space in our lives to listen to our impulses.
Here’s why: the Soul speaks to us in a whisper during the little slivers of silence we create in our minds. The Ego, in contrast, screams at us in a very loud voice . . . constantly.
For many people, the voice of the soul isn’t even something you hear. It’s something you feel, or sense or intuit. Each person’s experience with recognizing the voice of your soul is unique.
Listen to the whispers of your soul.
These little soul whispers often arrive as random impulses. The impulse to call someone or email a person you haven’t spoken to in years. You may have a desire to take a class or read a book about something totally arbitrary. Or you get really excited talking to someone about a new idea. Often, it’s non-strategic, non-linear and not rational. It doesn’t jive with who you think you are or what you think you’re doing in your life.
Follow the impulses, don’t judge them.
Don’t worry about whether or not this inner guidance makes sense, simply follow the impulses. Even if there’s no logical reason for you to take that class, especially if there’s no logical reason, if you’re curious about something and it brings you energy, do it.
Remember: Your ego (inner critic) will try to talk you out of it.
One important clue that you’re hearing the voice of your soul is that your ego will probably judge and label it as “weird,” “stupid,” “insignificant,” “irrational,” or “impossible.”
Take me as an example; when I first started following my energetic breadcrumbs, I was a successful private equity investor who found herself sitting in a ballroom full of strangers about to be hypnotized and taken to a past life . . . it doesn’t get more weird than that, ladies and gentlemen.
In the beginning, it rarely makes sense. If it did seem sensible, you’d already be doing it.
Steve Jobs described how your path will unfold perfectly in this Stanford commencement speech, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
At its essence, this is about being more loyal to you, to your higher self. As you trust your energetic breadcrumbs and take action based on that inner guidance, you’ll be surprised where it leads you.
You must follow the impulse without a guarantee where it’s leading you. This is hard and scary to do.
At its heart, this process is about trusting the mystery, trusting in your own divinity.
The key is to commit and take action without having the knowledge or certainty that things will work out. I can promise you from direct experience, and from having supported thousands of women in this process, that it always works.
If you truly listen to and follow your energetic breadcrumbs, it will lead you to greater happiness without fail.
It might take longer than you’d like. It might look slightly different than you would have predicted.
But you will arrive at a more joyful and authentic destination.
Begin listening to the whispers of your soul and your energetic breadcrumbs – here’s how:
Make an effort to create some completely unscheduled time in the coming weeks, and then follow whatever impulses you have. It could be an impulse to call someone, text someone, move something from here to there, lie on the grass. Maybe you have an impulse to make yourself a cup of tea, then this thought arrives, “Oh, I’d like to cozy up and read a book.” Suddenly, the cover of a particular book flashes through your mind. That means you have an impulse to read that book. So you do.
Children are brilliant at following impulses—use them as your role models. Little people aren’t assessing whether or not they’re being “productive” or using their time wisely. They just are.
If you’re anything like me, it’s really really hard to schedule unscheduled time. When I first began this practice, I even wanted to plan my downtime! I’d schedule going to the gym, getting a massage, or going for a walk.
The first time I actually allowed myself to do nothing except follow my desires in the moment, I felt extreme anxiety. I was scared that no impulses would arrive or I would do it “wrong.”
This experiment also made me realize how deeply my beliefs were ingrained that I’m not valuable unless I’m doing something, anything. I set a timer to make it feel safe and put some boundaries around this uncomfortable experience. You can start off small, with just ten or fifteen minutes.
3 Action Steps for this week:
1) Timer – Follow Your Impulses
Set a timer for ten minutes, and follow your impulses. It’s that simple. Remember – simple is not the same as easy, so don’t be fooled. This is a powerful practice.
2) Energy Audit
Throughout the day, start to notice what gives you energy. Simply observe yourself and notice when you’re the most engaged or energized.
Each night before bed, journal on the following questions:
Hmmm, what were my energetic breadcrumbs today? Hmmm, what are my energetic breadcrumbs telling me about the types of situations, people and experiences that light me up? How can I engineer my day and my life to have more of that?!
Your energetic breadcrumbs will guide you forward to a life of greater fulfillment. All you need to do is pay attention, trust and follow those impulses. (easier said than done, believe me!) Your fears and resistance will show up. That’s part of the process. Don’t give up. Your soul is longing for you to listen, the world needs your gifts and your greatest potential, especially now.
Perhaps your soul guided you here today to read these words because it wants you to really listen.
Welcome to the journey my friend. I’m so glad you’re here.
May you follow your energetic breadcrumbs and the whispers of your soul to a life of greater meaning, joy and fulfillment,
P.S. If you’d like support and guidance in following your soul’s longings rather than your ego, join our next CWYL Program!
Photo Credit: Ann