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After What and Why, Does “How” Really Take Care of Itself?

After What and Why, Does “How” Really Take Care of Itself?

Tammy December 6, 2012 11 comments
TammyVitale.com

Guardian Angel by Tammy Vitale

My experience is that all the well-known coaches out there say:  know your what and your why, and the how will take care of itself.

Every single one of them.

Well, my how has never taken care of itself.  I have never been able to figure out how it is that I can follow my passion and have a roof over my head and food to eat.  Because it has always seemed like one or the other, and a struggle.  A real hard struggle.  Which led to beating my Self up because I wasn’t getting the HOW even though I pretty much had the what and the why all sewn up.

What’s up with that? And am I the only one? (No, because if I’m asking this question, I know that others are too).

A couple of things are up with that:

1.  The what and the why have a tendency to change as you grow.

2.  If the how is to take care of itself, it has to be something that transcends the what and the why – a base foundation if you will.

3.  At least that’s what I’m saying here because it works well with my thesis.  This is a working thesis – please feel free to poke holes in it and I will go back to the drawing board and invite you over to brainstorm with me.

Before get back to the how, let me back up and make sure we are on the same definition of the what and the why.

What:  clarity about what it is you are offering, the client you are offering it to, age/marriage status/kid status/job status/hangout favorites/disposable income status/etc (i.e. the demographics) of that client, and the reason they should buy your service/product instead of someone else’s.  Yes – there is a lot of work getting to that.  But we aren’t going to talk about that.  We’re on to the how.  Right after the why.

Why:  when you speak of why you are doing what you’re doing the word “passion” should come up.  Frequently.  And it should have a “hell YES!!”-I’m-doing-this-because-I can’t-not quality to it.  If it doesn’t then you still have some work to do on the what.

Now to the how.

I don’t know that I’ve read this anywhere before because, as I said, everyone in the great out there is suggesting that the how just works out.  Just like that.  No effort.  It just lays itself down in front of you and pants to put that million dollars right into your bank account  and/or deliver the perfect partner to your front door (if you don’t already have one of course).

It’s like each of those coaches is keeping the one final really important ingredient from the mix….just so you don’t catch up with them. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of paranoia.

TammyVitale.com

Sunsets Happen by Tammy Vitale

So, you know what?  I think they have it backwards. (And I haven’t always thought that.)

I think if you know the how,  then the what and the why do indeed lay themselves down in front of you panting to deliver the world to your door.

Here’s what the how  is:  a daily practice that takes you into your core self where you have every thing you need.

I can hear it now:  all those smacked foreheads.  Been there: ” What?  Yet another “practice” to put on my todo list?  When am I supposed to sleep?”

Secret:  If you do a daily practice, time opens up.  How?  Because you more easily see the next step that needs doing and three others you were thinking about simply fall away.  They have no heat, no passion and moving from a daily practice of focus shows that up quicker than “snap.”

So why aren’t all the millionaires out there sharing that with you?  Maybe they don’t know it.  Maybe they do and they’re afraid you’ll think it’s too “woowoo” and so they stick to tried and true business practice whats and whys (all that dry stuff that sends creatives screaming out the door.  Creative broadly defined as anything we’re doing passionately).

I do not believe that you can live your Hell YES!! life without a daily practice that grounds and centers you.

So I’m going to suggest that in addition to, and maybe even before, you figure out what/clarity and why/passion you seek out how/daily practice.

It’s hard to find a practice that works.  It has taken me 4 years and a lot of dead-end paths to find mine.  And of course now that I have it in hand, it seems as if I should have had it all along.

That’s the tricky part:  the hard part of how is persistence.  Those last three items on the 10 Ways to Lead a Hell Yes!! Life.  And I wrote that before I even consciously knew about daily practice!

TammyVitale.com

Grand Tetons by Tammy Vitale

Daily practice hooks you into your subconscious where all magic lives.  It opens you to see and hear and find things that you might have ignored before.  It’s like the Wizard of  Oz folks:  in the end they discovered that what they thought they needed, they had all along.  You already have the Ruby Slippers – but you can’t use them until you can see their power.

This is a really hard concept to convey, and I may not be doing a good job of it.  So I will leave you with what I am now doing that has created enough space in my life to reclaim my ART (not my product production), and my passion (making a safe space for women to step into their own, individual, divinely-sparked power).

  • Five days a week I participate in a community of Collaborative Manifestation.  Seven days a week I participate in Patti Digh’s 137 Days Project (that will be ending soon).  Almost daily, but more sporadically, I work with two friends I found through another community on a private Facebook page where we share ideas, brainstorm and cheer each other on.
  • Every morning in twilight waking up, I breathe a prayer of gratitude for something no matter how small.  Often lots of somethings big and small.  Every night, I snuggle into my comforter and add more gratitude – usually for a warm bed, a full tummy and clarity about my life and where it’s going.
  • I am holding retreats twice a year now because that forces me to “retreat” too and take a breather from regular life  (Next one:  April 6, 7, 8, Westmoreland Park, VA).  You have to get out of the normal, even if it’s a walk in the forest on the next lot, or on a beach or down the street to the big old oak tree.  You have to go somewhere where something will take you out of yourself and make you say “Wow.  Why don’t I do this more often?”
  • And lately since all this has come together, I flow in Joy.  Things that in the past would have thrown me into the deep darks have no effect.  The minute I feel the dip coming I breathe in and go to the place of practice.  This is daily practice.  I am never going to reach perfection (humans aren’t allowed) but I am walking in trust that *everything* works for my highest good as long as I make room to practice so that I can hear my Self speak.  And it does:  loud and clear.

I think this deserves more discussion – I hope you’ll leave your thoughts and let’s see if we can get this whole thing into some kind of self-help practice-able format!

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Comments

11
  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    December 6, 2012
    Tammy

    I agree with you and I think it has to do with ritual – Twyla Tharp writes about this in her book The Creative Habit. There are two things which spring to mind about my “how”, the first is one I do almost every day, and it is the How I Get To The Clay trigger. It’s really, really simple – I come in from the dog walk, make a cup of coffee in a specific mug and I go upstairs and set it on the coaster 🙂 If I deviate from that, I will procrastinate for a ridiculous amount of time before I do any making.

    The other thing, the thing that I think is more “practise” is a specific, long, dog walk. You will like this – it encircles a dragon 😀 the problem is that I haven’t yet got it going every day – it’s 7-8 miles and needs daylight. But when I do it, I am grounded, or aerated, or fired up – or, ha ha, watered by the sky… whatever it is, I’m moved by the walk to where I need to be. I just need to do it every day..

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    December 6, 2012
    Tammy

    I love how you mixed the ‘woowoo’ of joy, gratitude and art with the reality of daily practice to create a real, honest life worth living and looking forward to! Thanks for sharing your awesome! xoxo

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Dianne
    December 6, 2012
    Tammy

    Hi Tammie In a way I feel like a newbie at this. In another way, I know that I have been making my way on this path for many years, kinda piece by piece. I left a 25 year marriage 3 years ago and have spent those 3 years coming back to life. Honestly, coming back to life. I have lived alone for the past year and during that time I have been trying figure out the “what”. I have worked as a social worker for over 25 years and what I know for sure is that I have compassion fatigue. Big time!!! And system fatigue! I have been healing and growing by leaps and bounds but continuing to go to the same awful work environment takes its toll. I definitely know “what” I don’t want.

    I know that I am going to live on a farm and grow plants (grapes) and have chickens and horses, etc. That is all in the works. Until it is totally manifested, I have to do a number of things to keep my sanity. I focus on positivity and gratitude throughout the day. I try to do something for someone daily, even on the days when all I can muster is just a “hello” or “good morning” to a stranger. Most importantly, I meditate every day! I have several themes that I focus on including manifesting my destiny, desire, and when I am losing it – faith. I do my meditation mid-day so that I can re-energize to make it through the rest of the work day. By doing this, I keep my channels open and my mind clear so that I can hear and see the messages, options, and ideas that are out there. The other absolute necessity is to be in nature as often as possible every day. That is where I see the miracles, without exception.

    I wish that I could say that I have it all figured out and that I will be resigning tomorrow. Not! But I will tell you that I am closer than ever before to knowing what I want in my life and what I will not tolerate. I know in my soul that I will get to where I am going and that I will make it work, with enthusiasm and joy. I will live a HELL YES life!!!

    P.S. I am interested in your retreat in April and I enjoy following you on Facebook.

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    December 6, 2012
    Tammy

    Suzanne: Oh! such insight! Practice = ritual. It notified the mind and body of where it is in time and space. Goddess I LOVE this! and yes – how could I not love the idea of a dog walk to a dragon? Such magical power right there in front of you.

    Thank you for adding to the understanding here! (and for sharing the post you
    Lovely you!)

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    December 6, 2012
    Tammy

    Pam: thank YOU for sharing my “awesome” on FB!

    I don’t really think any of it is woowoo. I know some will but I’m discovering that magic is pretty practical. Creating it is all about focus, don’t you agree?!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    December 6, 2012
    Tammy

    Dianne: Diane – thanks for you input. You have underlined daily practice and nature as important parts
    of moving in the right direction – that gives me hope that I am on to something with this daily
    practice “how” thing!

    As a former community-based organizer (working social justice issues) I totally understand the
    burnout thing. It is very hard to keep your head above water with that, and I honor your finding
    your way through it! I believe that the process of day to day helps us shed the things we need to leave behind to make space for the new things to come in – and I love that you have a farm
    to look forward to. How wonderful!

    I hope you will consider the retreat. The last one was fun and inspirational and I know in my
    heart this one will be too. I’m just the space maker. Those who choose to come make the
    actual event. And I love watching that happen! It leaves me high for weeks!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Betsy
    December 7, 2012
    Tammy

    This so hits home for me! So many self help stuff never gets to the “how”. I think it’s because some of us new-ager types like the romance of things “just happening”. Yes, there are times when serendipity occurs and things seem to just fall in place without effort. I can’t help thinking though, that life changes “stick” better when we have been pro-active in seeking what process works for us. “Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

    I’m in the process now I’ve trying to find a daily ritual that works for me. Like you’ve said, it’s not a one size fits all world. What elements do you think should be included in an effective ritual? I’m trying to keep it simple so I don’t feel too overwhelmed to start each morning. *L*

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    December 7, 2012
    Tammy

    Betsy: Simple: light a candle in the morning, name a few things you’re grateful for, 1 thing you’re energizing. Blow it out and go your way. Same thing end of the day: a few things you are grateful for (and remember to include any challenges because they’re there to help you *see* something), a quick review of what new energy came into your day, new people, a new book, a subject that keep appearing again and again. Right now Story is *everywhere* for me!

    Better: write it down in stream of consciousness. Speak it out loud into a circle of people you trust. Daily.

    I’ve come to believe it is the spiral of community energy that makes things really start happening. Because everyone isn’t always on the same page – you can feel the ebb and flow of the group – and somehow this is magic!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    December 7, 2012
    Tammy

    I think you’re really on to something, Tammy. There’s a book called “The answer to how is yes” and the basic idea is that we keep asking how when instead we need to figure out what we can say yes to. You said yes to your practices, and it changed everything for you. I know in my bones that you’re right about the practices. They’re the foundation of forward movement, even though it seems paradoxical. My challenge is to remember that, and keep coming back to the practices. (It’s easy for me to forget and get pulled into other things). Thanks for this!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    Tammy Vitale
    December 7, 2012
    Tammy

    Patty: Thanks for stopping by the blog – I think I’m on to something too, and so convinced that I’m switching my whole life around to make a space for practice and watch everything else that’s happening. I’m a skeptic – but this experience I’m in the
    middle of is making a believer of me. That’s a hard thing to do and yet here it is!

  • Joined:
    2009-10-19 15:07:50
    December 8, 2012
    Tammy

    Great post! I think the meditative practices keep you focused on the right path so you won’t make as many missteps, you know? Keeps you clear and calm–plus gives you that quiet, reflective time for wonderful ideas to flow or pop in. How exciting!! You go, girl!! 🙂

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