The Tension Between Inner and Outer

In the last seven months (Nathan was born at the end of March), nearly everything in my life has changed in some way or other.

Things have unexpectedly have either fallen into place or fallen away. Things I wanted before no longer matter or have come much more sharply into focus. Ways of thinking have completely shifted, and some of the healthy habits that previously eluded me have finally clicked while others now seem unimportant—or I’m content with waiting for the right time to pursue them. The things I read about, think about, dream about, spend my time pursuing—all have changed at least a little.

Overall, I feel that I’ve moved more deeply into myself, who I am, and what I want—I see and understand myself much more clearly than I did before Nathan was born.

But at the same time, I’ve moved more out of myself (my head to be specific) and into my life—I’m more aware and more alive than ever before.

And that tension between the inner and outer is what’s really making me interested right now.

So as I get back into working—slowly, slowly—I’m thinking about how I can help you with your own tension. The tension between knowing…and doing.

I’ve lived in the knowing for so long. The gathering of knowledge, ideas, and truths. There’s immense, immense value here—but it can be taken too far. And indeed, I look back on my life pre-Nathan and realize I felt safe wrapping myself in a cozy shawl of information and plans and dreaming. I made way more space for possibility than for actuality.

But life (and content and business and babies and friendships and love and so much more) requires doing. It demands that you take all that knowledge you collect—about who you are, what you want to do, what you believe in—and you do something with it.

It’s not enough to know the kind of content you want to share. You have to do something to make it real and get it out there.

It’s not enough to know how you want to help people through your business. You have to do something to get your services / products / ideas / knowledge / encouragement out there.

It’s not enough to know your core desired feelings or how you work best or what you want your ideal day to look like or where you want to be in five years or the title of the book you want to write—you have to act on all those things to make them real.

Getting from knowing to doing is hard. It takes action—whether that’s taking a small step or asking for help or putting something on your calendar or giving something up or writing the first sentence or meditating for 30 seconds.

Guys, I’m well aware that I am largely speaking to myself here. I have been wresting with how to do this my whole life, whether consciously or unconsciously, and I certainly haven’t become an expert merely by becoming aware of the problem or desirous of a solution.

But I do have some pretty clear ideas about what it takes to bring more of this combination of knowing and doing into your content (which is what I’ve focused on for so long), your business (something else I was really focused on), and your life (where I’m heavily focusing right now).

And I’ve spoken with enough of you one way or another to know I’m not alone in the desire, the pursuit, and the acceptance of imperfection along the way.

So I want to use this space and my work to pursue the ways you and I—the dreamers, the knowledge gatherers, the planners, the lovers of possibility—can get those ideas sorted out just enough so that we can get them out of our heads and into our lives, whatever that looks like.

So I’m thinking about my work these days as having two parts.

The first is the gathering: Identifying your ideas, dreams, truths, wishes, thoughts, and knowledge, and embracing them as crucial pieces of information to have as you move forward in work and in life. Because these things are really important, and in today’s world, they're easily buried as we take in more and more information about what's true for other people.

The second (and this is where I’ve struggled for so long) is the action-taking: Getting all the information out of your head and into your life. And in the process, getting yourself out of your head and into your life. No easy task at times, but equally as important as understanding those ideas in the first place.

Ok, so down to details. What will my work look like as I think about the tension between knowing and doing?

Ahhhh, it’s hard to say. Those of you who’ve been around for a while know I’m simply not the kind of person that can map out plans a year (or two or five) ahead of time and then methodically bring them to life. It just doesn’t work that way for me.

So instead of sharing some big plan that I know will change over time, I’m going to simply tell you what’s coming next.

The first thing that's coming: I’ll be opening the doors to Explore again—this time, you’ll be able to simply sign up whenever you’re ready to begin. Explore embraces both the inner and the outer, asking you to dig into your thoughts and ideas—and then offering ways you can use what you find. (I had already created it this way before fully realizing this interest in the tension between knowing and doing! I love it when things line up this way.)

As we approach the holidays, you may find that a grounding daily practice is just what you need to keep you going—or you may find that you want wait to truly turn inward until after the hustle and bustle of a busy time of year. Whatever works for you! You’ll see a couple of emails from me about Explore before it opens, to set the scene about what to expect and help you decide if it’s right for you, so keep an eye out.

And the second thing that's coming: I want to begin writing and sharing again here. I’m finalizing some decisions about what that looks like—I’ve been writing furiously (on my phone in two-minute snippets, obviously) over the last seven months, and I want to share these reflections with you as well as encourage you to reflect on what’s happening in your world. Keep an eye out for more details about that as well. (Don't worry, these notes will be much shorter than this one! Ha.)

If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know my work has gone through a ton of shifts. And I expect that to keep happening.

I learn and grow every day, as we all do, and I am always breaking open new ways of understanding the world around me. I like bringing what’s on my mind to the forefront of my work, and I know that many of you have the same problems, desires, ideas, frustrations, and hopes as I do. So expect this to all keep growing and changing as I go! I'm embracing that as a key part of who I am and how I work.

(I'll note here that I'm not able to take on more one-one-on work right now. That makes me sad in some ways—I love working closely with people and digging deep with them—but my days are full with the clients I have, the other work I'm doing, and oh yes, Nathan. If I decide to open up one-on-one work with me again, I'll let you know!)


Nathan is just waking up, so I’ll end here.

But before I do, I want to say thanks for sticking around for this long (!) update on where I’ve been and where I am right now. It feels good to be writing to you again. I’d love to hear where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing as well. I may not be able to write back quickly (or at all—email time is very limited for me and I’m loving that!) but please know I will read every single email and send you lots of love as I do.

So glad to be back,

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