You can’t change the world unless you find your people. This is a story of shared transformation, and I invite you to come along. Through a contact at Impact Hub Minneapolis-St. Paul, I met wholistic consultant Julie Delene of Move as One this spring. Within minutes, we both knew we had work to do, together.
We’ve teamed up to create this blog series, The Soulful Sidebiz. I’m following my call to help people find my voice, and Julie’s providing me tools for creating systemic change. Our hope is to inspire you on your own journey of transformation, whatever it may be. Here’s to aligning passions with goals!
“I’d love to hang the pictures in my home office,” I responded with a sigh, “but I’ve been avoiding the task for months. I want to be surrounded by art. Instead, the room has frames stashed on the floor and clutter in every corner.” Even as I spoke these words, I perceived the slightest question on Julie’s face. I could tell this wasn’t what she’d thought I’d say, and–quite frankly–it wasn’t what I’d have predicted, either.
I Visualize a Goal
I was in the middle of a leadership consultation, you see, and I’d just answered a question from a board game. Created by Julie, the game helps players gain clarity. Called 5 Mindful Moves, it prompts players to have conversations around enhancing their work, life, and relationships. In my case, the plan is to build a side business that “does good” in the world and generates income. (Deep down, I fear this isn’t possible. Help me, Julie!)
Today’s game had begun in the same way it always does: I named the objective I wanted to explore. This time I’d told Julie I wanted to think through a decision I was mulling at my full-time job. I’d already completed my first two moves and had just pulled a card from a stack of prompts about visualizing my goals.
I Allow My Inner Voice to Speak (And You Should, Too)
All of a sudden, I came up with a response that had nothing, whatsoever, to do with my full-time job. Instead I began talking about hanging pictures in my home office. But even though my response surprised me, I didn’t push it away. For an over-functioner like me, this was a tiny victory. Moments of allowing can teach us so much, if we can resist the urge to bury them.
In this case, I was finally allowing myself to listen to an inner voice I’d been ignoring for months. I’d wanted to hang pictures in my office for nearly half a year. And yet. Over and over again, I’d come up with reasons not to. Raise your hand if any of these sound familiar:
- Hanging pictures is frivolous. I have more practical things to do, like laundry.
- Putting holes in the wall will mar the room for future residents. (Never mind the fact that we have no plans to sell the house.)
- I don’t have the proper nails. What exactly are the proper nails, anyway?
- Hanging pictures requires making decisions. Which pictures should go where, and what if I change my mind later?
- I’m tired. The Gilmore Girls are calling my name.
I Take Action and Hang The Freaking Pictures
What Julie helped me realize is that decorating the office wasn’t just a fanciful whim. Having a well-designed office is critical to productivity, and–for an artist like me–inspiration. Don’t just take my word for it. As Entrepreneur magazine puts it, “Ensure that your office reflects you and that it contains a favorite object or photo that will give you the break you need when you pause in your work . . . Your office should be a connection to yourself, your spirit and your productivity.”
I Surround Myself With Art
My office is no longer a reminder of things I intend to do. Instead it gives me energy by surrounding me with art.
- A pencil drawing by my grandfather, who was an architect.
- A block print by a friend to commemorate his wedding. (The couple distributed handmade gifts to guests during the ceremony, encouraging us not to be shy about accepting them.)
- A picture frame I transformed myself, using letters I bought during this amazing trip to one of my fave local thrift stores.
- Items picked up at art festivals, independent bookstores, and fabric remnant bins.
Your Turn. Go Out and Pretty Up Your Space.
If you’ve been hesitating to prettify a space of your own, I hereby give you permission to go for it. After hanging my pictures, I immediately starting using the space. Indeed, as I type this post, I’m looking at my wall, which still makes me smile every time glance up. If you have a project in mind, let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear!