My experience with aha moments has always been drastically life-changing. I would wait for God to give me a sign and then I'd act on it. That's actually how I ended up creating and launching Severson Sisters.
This one day in 2009 I came home from work, sat on my living room floor with my hound dog and surrounded the two of us with magazines and notebooks. I was on a hunt for my life purpose.
I've always been someone who journals. I went through old journals looking for clues/patterns/answers. I looked through magazines for inspiration, and I would tear out things that inspired me.
Finally, I asked God what I was supposed to do with my life and I waited for an aha moment. Answers didn't come in all at once. It was a really slow process. At that time in my life I was more patient with the answers because I had a full-time job.
This one day, I was just hanging out in my home and I heard God loud and clear. I heard, "self-esteem, sisterhoods and empowerment." And then it was like he took a tarp off a statue and hung a spot light on it. And no matter where I looked or where I went I couldn't get that statue out of my sight.
I didn't mind it though because I knew it was my north star to my purpose in life. How to get to it on the other hand had no real direction. I just took off as fast as I could.
It took me another 18 months fully and finally to act on this particular aha moment. I did though finally in January 2011 when I launched Severson Sisters. My pace intensified month after month for years.
By the summer of 2013, I was burnt out. I still had the passion to move forward with my life purpose. I just lost the energy and clarity to do it. And without either one of those two elements in my life I was in a constant state of lack. And as a result so was Severson Sisters.
Nothing was enough for me or it for months on end. I was constantly overdrawn at the bank. I was constantly tired. And, I was constantly having full-out screaming sessions with God.
My screaming sessions went like this most of the time: "God, if I am supposed to move this non-profit organization forward for the greater good of girls, why am I struggling so much?"
And then I'd usually follow it up with this: "Just tell me what to do."
Without clarity I couldn't hear anything. Most of those sessions were like a starring contest with God. I wasn't going to move until he said something I could act on to get me out of the vicious cycle of lack I was in.
For the record, starring contests with God never work out.
My childhood home became my sanctuary for two months in 2013 while I figured out how to move on from my burnout. While sitting on the back porch of my childhood home last summer, I realized I needed another aha moment.
I've done enough work on myself to know that the word need means lack. It made sense. I lacked answers because I lacked clarity. I needed answers. I needed clarity.
I knew the only way I was going to receive another aha moment was to be still and clear the clutter out of my head. I fought it for a long time actually because I had repressed a ton of stuff.
This part of my burnout recovery felt like fire. I sat there and allowed emotional flavors to unfold and come out. There was crying. There was screaming. I'm sure there were neighbors concerned something crazy was happening at the Severson household. I didn't care. I just kept going. I knew I had to let all this stuff out to get to the other side.
What really helped me get through this phase was to capture thoughts in my journal as each emotional flavor popped up. I questioned everything. An emotion led to a question and that brought up a brand new flavor.
It looked like this:
Resentment: I am resentful of how much of my life is taken up by my job. What would my life look like without resentment? Light. Why do I feel I have to work so hard? To raise money.
Suffocation: I can't take deep breathes because I can't pay my bills. What would happen if I got a part-time job to pay my bills? I wouldn't be able to do as much for Severson Sisters or for the girls.
Guilty: I feel guilty that I can't pay my own bills doing what I feel I'm supposed to do with my life. At what point will it be okay to take care of myself? I'm passed that point. I am committed to taking care of myself. Is there anything wrong with taking care of myself? No. Am I ready to stop feeling guilty? Yes!
Exhaustion: I'm so tired and anxiety ridden. What would happen if I were rested and at peace? I'd be balanced and healthy.
Balanced and Healthy: I'm out of balance and unhealthy because I'm working too hard and emotionally drained. I'm willing to change my cycle of lack. What would happen if my cycle of lack changed? I'd be happy.
Happy: I love my job and it does bring me great joy. I'm missing personal happiness though and that's what I'm craving. What does personal happiness look like? Love. Fun. Light. Ease. Grace. Feminine.
By the time I got to happy, my aha moment had arrived. I felt light. I had stopped crying. I was ready to drastically change my life again.
And when the last of my tears dried up, I stood up and changed myself all over again.