I hear this all the time:
“I don’t know what’s next for me, but I know that it’s not this”.
What a challenging place to be: When you are feeling dissatisfaction and maybe even revulsion for your status quo – and you don’t feel soothed by a road map that gives you hope shows and clearly shows you the way.
This feeling afflicts trail-blazers the most because we are traveling the farthest into the unknown – its harder to copy-paste the well-worn pathways of others into our journey because we are going off trail in search of a new way. Those well worn routes are are more and more suspect as the world changes faster and faster. Rapid adaptation to outside events while tuning into our inner guidance becomes a premium skill in this accelerating environment.
Your future self doesn’t always appear to you in a vision, clear as day, holding instructions in hand that document exactly how to get to the next version of yourself. Your future self tends to emerge from your dreams in bits and pieces, obscured by fog and hamstrung with fears.
To forge a path forward requires special skills: you have to be aware and connected to your emotions and your inner guidance, and be able to trust and leap to the new rock to leap to when it appears.
Those who don’t develop this skill usually feel stuck. They cling to the rock of their status quo for safety and because they don’t know how to build a bridge into the unknown that they trust. The danger is that those seemingly solid rocks move on their own, and the water is rising all the time making then not that safe of a refuge. More importantly, your inner being has plans for you and if you don’t keep up in a conscious way, you will be moved in a more abrupt and awkward way. Your inner being is getting you fired from your job all the time, or headbutting you into the future. You can go the easy or the hard way.
There is a calling inside you, it’s like a homing beacon. It’s often the thing that is making you feel dissatisfied, because your habits and your identity have not caught up to where your spirit and your desires has already moved to. Sometimes it’s saying to you, “Come on! Don’t stand still, and if you do, it’s not going to feel good. A better life is waiting for you but it means you have to let go of some things”.
Your inner being is speaking you from the dream state, but it looks a bit like a breadcrumbs, misplaced clues, emotional alerts and chance conversations. It’s a bit like walking around in the fog with a metal detector looking for anything that excites you, and then stitching those pieces together to build that bridge into the future.
So I wanted to share a process that I use with my clients that help them get their footing in their own paradigm shift. It helps to bridge that gap between an expired status quo and what you are dreaming yourself to be.
I call it Excitement Mapping. It’s very useful to do this whenever you are getting that emotional tingle inside that something needs to change – it’s meant for you to get clear on what those clues are and piece them together into a broader vision and a narrative.
Let’s say that your inner being has already plugged in the coordinates into your spaceship’s navigational system to the new you, now it’s your job to follow the clues and get a cognitive understanding and map of where you are going. It helps you understand it so that you can work with it and articulate it to yourself and others. It makes for a smoother ride.
There are a couple of principals behind this exercise.
1. Your emotions are there to help guide the way. Think of it as your metal detector beeping wildly when you are directly over your future self. It helps you to identify those things in this word that ARE you in the truest sense, and also those things that aren’t you, or are an expired version of you. What you are hunting for here are QUALITATIVE FREQUENCIES.
For example: Let’s say that you are a sales rep. You may go through your day making calls, sending out marketing and it mostly feels mediocre. But there are a few moments in the day that feel exceptional. Closing a deal and making money, feels GREAT! Having an authentic conversation with someone where you learn about their life. BEEP BEEP BEEP! That’s it! Filling out yet another TPS report or getting stuck in office politics WHA WHAAAAA. Feels like moving through mud, you resent and avoid it. Each moment of the day, each interaction, each activity has a feel to it. Some feel like they bring you life and some feel like they take life away from you.
A good thing to do before you start mapping things out is to get quiet and meditate for a few minutes. Scan your body and begin to listen what is happening in your heart, your stomach your throat. You want to listen to sensations happening in your whole body during this exercise, but especially in these areas. I find that my heart and my stomach speak to me a lot.
2. What you focus on expands. Imagine a rock that you toss into a still pond. There’s a tiny splash in the beginning but eventually the wave form that gets generated spreads across the entire pond. You can tune into any frequency until it colors your whole world. Any one frequency can be like a portal that you travel into by focusing on it. This is especially useful when you find a frequency that lights you up! Go for it. If your metal detector detects the tip of a gold mine, keep digging!
I like the word frequency because it’s a musical term. You can understand that a song or even a music chord has multiple notes in them. You might play a chord over and over again and add one note or leave one out. Live is a multi-plex of frequencies and the art is in discerning the qualities of each and learning how to detect them and amplify them or to leave them out of your song.
3. Everything that you don’t like, or everything that gives you an uncomfortable feeling (takes away life) is one setting on a spectrum and you can follow the spectrum to find out where your ideal spot it is. The metaphor that I give is getting into a hot car and turning it on, and someone left the air conditioner all the way in the red zone for heat. You could curse this vent spitting out hot air in a boiling hot car, or you could pay attention to the thermostat and move it toward the blue zone until you find a comfortable setting that feels good for you. You may not want to go from 100% heat to 100% cold, the comfort zone is likely somewhere in the middle. So those things that you don’t like and that you feel dissatisfaction or revulsion towards can be incredibly useful information as they alert you to the frequency spectrum you are experiencing.
Okay.. So here’s the exercise: Take a piece of paper (the bigger the better) and draw a big circle on the page taking up most of the space. For the purposes of this exercise we are going to explore a career or work.
1. What do you LIKE about your work? Write those thing INSIDE THE CIRCLE that light you up about your work (or any subject). Things that nourish you, excite you, give you the warm fuzzies, feel good or feel like they expand you. Around each energy draw a small circle to mark it as a unique quality.
What do you DISLIKE?
Write OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE is for things that you don’t like, don’t feel good, feel outdated, feel like they drain or take vitality away from you.
It’s important to break the structure of something like “your job” into smaller qualitative threads. “Your job” is a big box that you throw everything into. When you say I don’t like my job, you probably mean that there are a number of experiences at your work that feel terrible and outweigh the number of experiences that feel okay or pretty good. “Your job” is more of a title and a summary construct, and you need to get into a higher resolution way of seeing how you spend your time. Break it down.
Each interaction, each activity, each mode that you go into, each perception about your work has a feeling to it. It’s important to break things down to individual qualities or frequencies to detect what you want to keep and expand on and what you are ready to move past. At one time, this job was something that you probably wanted a lot! It might still contain things that speak to you, even if overall it doesn’t feel right anymore. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!
So we may be tired of office politics, a lack of career advancement, those darn TPS Reports and not being heard. Those all feel like a big chronic yuck – write those things outside the big circle on your page and draw a little circle around them to distinguish them as an individual frequency.
On the other hand, we may enjoy the parts of our work that let us help people and hear their stories, we may like to work from home, and learn new things, and also our job gives us a level of income that we enjoy and we like the sense of security. If you are experiencing those things now, you have already energetically achieved them. It’s a lot easier to trust that you might expect those things in the future as well, even if you change careers. You know how the frequency feels in your body, and that makes it 1000 times easier to continue into the future. Write those things inside the big circle and draw a little ring around each one.
There is a leap to make here that it is not the job that is the source of these frequencies for you. It is you that is the source in your ability to tune into them. Many times the false premise that keeps us attached to an job too long is that it is the job that is responsible for those thing. If you can divest somewhat the feeling that your job is the source of your income and re-anchor that inside your own self… we will be much more free to creatively design your path.
Go through the timeline of your day and walk through it, feeling it all out, sensing what you like and what you don’t like. What experiences sap away your life energy every single day? What sustains you, what do you look forward to on a daily basis. It should give you a pleasant body-buzz if it’s going to go inside the circle.
Go through the broader timeline of significant moments with your work. What were the highlights, what were the wins? What felt like low points that you can’t forget?
Fill as much up inside and outside the circle as you can. Just by getting to this point, you will will have a clearer articulation of what is going to be your focus. You will connect that rich emotional information into your mental map of your work and who you are becoming.
For the so-so, middle range things: Some things seem a mix of good and bad. You can write them on the border, or you can try to break them down into smaller frequencies. For instance if your boss is a mediocre experience for you write My boss ( on the border of the circle) then break it down more. Pushy and overbearing (outside the circle) challenges me to succeed and has a lot of skills that she shares. (Inside the circle)
Now go outside your job and ask yourself what things are lighting me up in general about life? What am I ravenously paying attention to, what am I geeking out on? What do I enjoy spending me free time on when I can? These are also energies that you might be bringing into your idea of work.
Next step –
2. Expand on what you like. Look at those things that are inside the circle. It’s nice to see them! Get familiar with them.
If what you have written is a thing or an activity, see if you can identify the feeling associated with it and write it down next to it and circle it. The main goal is to find the emotional and physical ZING associated with what you wrote down.
Anything can be expanded on or zoomed into. For instance you may feel pretty good at the idea of helping other people but it was the look that one particular elderly man gave you when you changed his life that brings a whole new level of feeling to you. Write that down! It’s like a flagpole to aim for and it contains so much juicy information. You might even break that moment down further to write down the reasons why that moment felt so alive for you: perhaps like I felt so valuable, People need me, I made a difference. Sometimes a single moment with enough emotional electricity in it can contain all the information that you need for your future. If you can find an item that brings you to heart-felt tears of joy then you know you have a winner. Look for that physically-registered ZING!
Survey all of the things in your circle and put your finger on each one and feel them. Which few light you up more than any other? When you find those you know where your priority is. Circle them with a sparkly glitter pen if you can, make them pop off the page.
Now ask yourself, How can I expand this energy in my life?
You may immediately see an opportunity to do more of it at work. For example: If you wrote down learning new things, then you might ask your team or your boss if you can sit with other teammates and learn what they are doing? You can ask for new training form the company. You can ask for more mentorship from someone that you thing is a maven.
You can explore learning new things outside of work too. Don’t make work responsible for producing this quality in your life nor allow it to be the only place you experience it. If you really resonate with the concept that I learn new things all the time then you will find infinite theaters to express this side of yourself and work may be one of the biggest ones.
Just identifying this quality will expand it, especially as your conscious mind begins to map it out. You are giving it momentum by feeling it, by looking at it. You have thrown the rock into the pond and the ripple will expand outward. You are already tuning your perception to look for it.
Take some time reconnecting to the memory or the feeling when this quality is happening for you. If you have a powerful memory relive it for a few minutes. This has an affect at building momentum.
Drawing a picture of the energy can engage your child-like playful mind with it and that can be a very powerful way to build some momentum.
Start looking for this energy in your world. Every time you see it, give a little squeak of joy! SAVOR those moments because nothing amplifies an energy like appreciation. Next time you find yourself experiencing one of these inside-the-circle moments put your awareness in high-def recording mode. Notice how the experience feels in your body, notice whats happening around you. These experiences become a powerful memory bank of energies that you can call up in your present awareness any time you want to amplify them.
Those energies that you put inside the circle also make for great cover-letter headlines, or buzzwords in your profile. When you identify what lights you up, put it out there! Use it as bait on your fishing hook to catch the opportunities that match. Tell people about this part of yourself so that they will reflect it back to you.
3. Retune the things that you don’t want.
Take each item that is outside the circle and see if you can imagine the spectrum that it exists on. For example if your don’t-like is overbearing boss the spectrum might be
<-> outright tyrant of a boss
<-> assertive and demanding boss
<-> boss who sets clear goals but gives me a lot of independance
<-> I check in with my boss but I get to set my own priorities and manage my own time
<-> Totally lasseiz-faire boss I practically run myself
<-> incompetent and clueless boss
<-> I don’t have a boss and I’m working in a lateral team and we give feedback to each other as equals
<-> I’m the boss
<-> I’m the CEO
<-> I’m completely independant of a boss and a company I work for myself.
The goal is to see the spectrum and find your sweet spot on that spectrum, through feeling it. Some people still need a boss but they just need a different version of it, and some people’s irritation is that it’s time for them to be on their own and manage their own time. Everyone is different, that’s why its important to be in touch with your emotions and your intuition to find where your inner guidance is leading you on your unique path. When you locate the place on the spectrum that lights you up, then put it in the circle.
This spectrum exercise is good to use with all of the things that dissatisfy you in life. Every felt experience is helping to guide you to the frequencies that most feel like you, but it helps if you do a little algebra to decode it. As Aristotle outlined in his book on ethics, the true virtue is when you find the sweet balance between too much and too little of something. The golden mean.
Now this may be a bit of a cerebral exercise for some. What you do like has already been experienced. It’s easy to reference. It’s in the memory bank.
Things that you have NEVER experienced before require a little work to imagine and to generate. You are following a thin mental concept in hopes that you to a rich felt and experienced dimension.
Let’s make this more concrete:
Lets say that you don’t like that your boss doesn’t listen to you and you feel powerless to influence the direction of your company. The spectrum is about being heard, valued and having a say. If you are lucky, you have past experiences where you felt as if you WERE heard, even if it’s not happening at work. It’s easier to tune into because you have a memory you can rely and you can bring back into your present moment. On the other hand, some people feel chronically unheard and don’t have any memory or reference in their past to what it feels like. In this case you are building up an energy from scratch and its one of the more challenging things to do. You are reaching into the unknown.
There are a few ways to work with this:
* Find people who embody these energies and get near them. Mimic them, pay attention to how they go about their day. Ask them questions, see if they will mentor you a little bit. Most people are flattered when you recognize their brilliance, and many times they will gladly help you when they feel appreciated. Find heros and place them around you. Follow them on twitter, listen to their interviews, read their books. Adopt their beliefs and life patterns where it feels good for you. Resonate with them.
* Ask the universe or spirit for help on this one. Show me the way to …. (Being heard). For a less woowoo approach: simply ask your own subconcious “What would being my own boss look and feel like? “ Walk around a few days with this question on your mind, you are likely to hook new information with it. When you recognize an example out there in the wild that excites you, pounce on it and enjoy that the answers are showing up and you are catching them.
* Journal or meditate on the subject, you would be surprised how many answers will come out of your subconscious, or in an more spiritual paradigm that you might channel from spirit into your waking reality.
When your beliefs are working against you:
An even more challenging situation is when you have a story and identity that is working against you. To use the example from above, Let’s say that you desire to be heard and to have influence, but you have a belief that tells you that you are not worth listening to. This is even harder than starting from scratch sometimes because you have to dismantle a belief that is moving you away from where you want to go. I can and will write a whole article on this in the future, but a good first step is to identify those beliefs that are working against you. They usually feel awful. Write them down and challenge them a bit, see if they are true. When you encounter a limiting belief like this, merely identifying where on the spectrum you would like to relocate can set the ball in motion.
4. Identify what you envy and also considering putting it in the circle. A working definition: Envy is when you see an image of your future self in front of you in the form of another person but you haven’t quite caught up to it yet with your beliefs or you don’t yet believe that it’s you. Something tugs at you and feels uncomfortable. That’s usually the two way pull of recognizing something that you want, but working against it with your belief. If you can tease out what that core frequency is that is pulling at you, put in the circle. It’s probably you calling to yourself.
By now you should have a pretty clear target of whats inside the circle. Just doing this work gets you more cognitively clear on what you are moving toward and what you are becoming. It also serves as a map for areas to expand and explore. When you accept that what you lend your attention to energetically expands you have a navigational tool.
– you tune into and it becomes your world. Imagine that everything that you put in the circle are coordinates in space that you plugged into your spaceships navigation system. The time that you spent feeling these energies turned on the warp drive. It may take time for the drive to get into full speed, but you broke the inertia and you mapped out some activities that move the energies forward.
You don’t even have to change jobs sometimes for life to appear differently. After a few sessions working with my clients, they often find these energies that they identified showing up in their current position, they were just able to clarify and shift the energy within themselves and suddenly their world reflects what they got clear on inside. They may still be in motion of a career shift, but it doesn’t require such a drastic leap. It can also be a graceful and continuous move along the spectrum if that’s what is preferred. Sometimes the people that I work with also get so clear that there is very little that they like about their work that it emboldens them to take a leap. They are no longer willing to have so much of their life energy drained.
If you would like to work with me one-on-one in this process let me know! I pioneered the process and I’ve used it to work with clients for over a decade, helping them tune into a lifestyle and vocation that really speaks to their spirit!
If you would like to work with a group I have an upcoming zoom group will help you.
This process is part of a lager body of work alled Dimension Shifting that is designed to help people navigate life energetically. It can be used for any paradigm transition be in in love, career, community, identity or anything that you are trying to change. It’s a crucial skill in a time when the old structures and institutions that once anchored us have become less stable and dependable, and the old patterns that we have followed in the past don’t lead to the same emotional outcomes that we once could count on them to. In times of great shift, you need new tools to orient yourself and provide a graceful balance.