I’ll never forget when it happened.
It was just before my 48th birthday in July. We knew we’d soon be saying goodbye to our cat. After a glorious financial uptick, we were getting pounded with unexpected (as well as expected) expenses. Keith was deep in his PTSD therapy. And I had spent the first half of 2018 bopping between hospitals, specialists, and a deep mind-body journey inward.
I was slogging through more of my homework — aloud, as I often do — and Keith responded, “I don’t perceive you as a happy person.”
Ouch. And wow.
How is that possible?
I am SO happy. I idle at blissed out. I see the lesson in everything. I inspire people to find the light within and shine it for others.
Am I not happy?
Of course, had I been high in my enoughness at the moment Keith said that, I’d have focused on the perception he had and what my stream of output might be looking like to Keith after so long immersed in this deeply emotional healing work I’ve been doing.
But instead I had to wonder: Is my life a lie? Am I putting ON “happy” and flinging it off like a bra when I get home?
To be sure, I thought about a time when I very definitely was not happy. It was in those years before I got sober when I did so much damage to myself rather than sit with the pain of low enoughness. I regularly apologize to myself now for all that pain I caused myself. I chose torture over self-love.
But I guess that’s it, really. There are times in life we will torture ourselves because healing ourselves involves looking inward with kindness and empathy. Torturing ourselves is easier because we can do that from a place of disliking what we see in the mirror. That setpoint is somehow safer.
And for the same reason that complaining can bond total strangers, we’d often rather relate with ourselves at a surface level of abusing ourselves with booze or food or negative self-talk or bad habits or relationships that are destructive than to actually have to get to know ourselves for the deeply beautiful, lovable, imperfect souls that we are.
In changing my life starting with the Abraham-Hicks cruise to Alaska in July of 2016, coming home and vibing too high to worry about anything, then doing a spectacular round of Whole30, becoming sober, finding a deeper connection with my clients than I’d ever known before, launching the 100-day challenge program that would change hundreds of lives (and our financial picture) forever, becoming a fitness beast nearing high school weight, weaving more woo-woo into my work daily with an intense trust in my intuitive gifts, and of course every bit of this incredibly deep and humbling journey of mind-body healing that has spanned most of 2018, I’ve been mapping out a playbook of sorts.
As I sit basking in the beauty of the Mediterranean as I’m on yet another Abraham-Hicks cruise blissfully internet free for two weeks, I’m taking lots of time to reflect on what I’ve written down, recorded, and explored as I’ve taken myself through this journey to — and through — my biggest, scariest, most phenomenal upper-limit problems thus far. It is only now that I feel *almost* ready to lead others through the blocks they’ve always wondered how to navigate. Those seemingly simple yet insidious sabotages that seem to show up just as everything is FINALLY going right.
The kind of stuff that can make someone’s inner self feel so completely different from how it may look on the outside.
The sludge that slows momentum just as you’ve said, “Hooray! I’ve MADE it!” The barriers to success that so many creatives carry around… because the tracks we’ve laid for the struggle are deep. Rebuilding from within so that our creative journey can be a life free of struggle is no small task. More than anything else, it takes a sometimes uncomfortable level of self-awareness, a commitment to keep showing up for the work even when it’s confronting or triggering or just plain boring, and a level of self-love most never allow themselves.
Because quite honestly, being on your own side is one of the boldest, most terrifying things you’ll ever do. It’s also addictive, contagious, and beautifully freeing on every level that’s ever held you back… if you’re willing to really go there.
I’ve gone there. There’s no coming back. I’ll forever know how to clear what limits me. I now have the capacity to expand EVERY time I grow beyond my limits, which I know my life is filled infinite chances to do. If all we ever do is reach to the limit of what we believe is possible, we’re nowhere close to living out our potential. And since our work is to heal and change the world with our creative vision, it’s time we get to the work BENEATH the work.
Clearly, it’s not always pretty. My own beloved husband no longer perceived me as a happy person while I was so deeply immersed in this work… work that — while healing — may be painful to watch someone else do. But the truth is that how our lives LOOK is nothing compared to how our lives FEEL. And I wouldn’t trade this healing journey for the world.
Because now I can share it. Introspection, focus, block-busting, achieving, and striving for more doesn’t mean the current state is NOT GOOD. It just may look messy at times. Satisfied, grateful for this, and always ready for what’s next, all the while using our own lessons as art to heal the world… I believe this is what growth as an artist ultimately is all about.
And with that, Expansive Capacity will soon enter beta with a few hand-selected participants to help us tweak the framework for what we’ll officially launch in 2019.
This mind-body mastermind is a deep study in fortifying and maintaining “enoughness” (Bonnie Gillespie) as we bust through the blocks that are collectively “resistance” (Steven Pressfield) and “upper-limit problems” (Gay Hendricks).
We’re using every freakin’ tool that continues to change my life as I evolve my relationship with myself as the most aligned, most inspired, deepest-reaching creative being I have the capacity to be… expanding that capacity as each new limit is met and surpassed. If you’d like to join us in this new venture, the application process starts here.
(Yes, we’ve been told that the application process itself is filled with immensely illuminating tools that provide incredibly powerful insights into the YOU we know you’re capable of letting yourself become.)
Each month, we will work on a particular theme or topic or block. Each month, there will be prompts with instructions for deep work that has the potential to unlock your potential for growth in many areas. Each month, we will host a live interactive meeting for discussion about the work we’re doing and of course to answer any questions you have. And throughout the month, we’ll be jamming in the private course pages at the DOJO to truly uplevel our work together.
As artists, our bodies are amazing instruments. Our creative spirits are filled with communication that’s craving expression. And it’s our beautiful ability to share through our art the very thoughts and feelings that most people cannot articulate that makes the work we’re doing so crucial to the world’s ability to be its best.
We are healers.
Let’s begin with healing ourselves so we can get out of the way of our most expansive selves.
All my love from a cruise ship a zillion miles away from everything,
Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!
Beautiful! I love being witness to all your progress and goodness! Congratulations! Such delightful offerings too! Love you and all that you do always! xoxo
Thank you, sweet Bex. I love you.
This is SO right on time, Bonnie, that I am itching to get going – and wondering :”Where is all the Beta work? November is almost half over!!!!”
And boy, isn’t that the biggest problem/wound/issue I deal with all the time: impatience. Just ask my buddy Jen. I am aware of the issue, but boy do I feel like I have ants in my pants.
I have set a goal for these last weeks of the year, and I am working to achieve it. But those ants are biting me from time to time.
Thanks for being the model we can look to – even if my own issues want to push me to demanding more.
This is amazing. I don’t know if it’s because we’re both Cancers, but we are so in sync. I’m so excited for you and the places this journey will take you and hundreds of thousands of others. xoxo
Me! Too! This is so good and we’re only getting started. Love you! XO Thank you for joining us on the journey inward and beyond!