It’s time to stop waiting for permission, dearhearts.
We’re about to tip over the edge of September, and I have that same fluttery feeling in my stomach that I get on a roller coaster riiiiiight as you peer over the edge of the first big crest and question all your decisions. It’s somewhere between glee and nausea.
Summer was a respite, in some ways: PERMISSION GRANTED to lie prone next to water and put an autoresponder on your email and sneak off early every Friday.
But OH GOD SEPTEMBER IS COMING FOR US.
If it’s sheer overwhelm that you’re feeling, I’ve got a 6-step action plan for you that will help you get ahead of September in one afternoon.
But like many of you, what I’m feeling is something a little more ephemeral.
It’s the bigness of what I still intend to accomplish this year, and the smallness of me.
It’s the enormity of the pull of my mind and heart, and the littleness of my puny arms as they try to shape the world to my will.
It’s the busybusybusyfuckshitohgodbusyness of the coming four months, and the dreamer in me who wants to close her eyes and find a deep still place below all of that.
It’s easy to dismiss the dreamer. Who has time for her???
Because the busy, capable, boss aspects of us get SO MUCH DONE. And lord knows there is plenty to be done.
But OH, the dreamer.
The dreamer in us is the one who can feel joy.
She is the one who knows how to taste delight.
She is the one who remembers how to find FREAKING WONDER in the midst of it all.
We need her, friends.
We need her right now more than ever, because she is also the one who refuses to give up on a collective dream of a better world for all of us. Her dream is so strong and so vibrant and so clear that it shall indeed prevail despite the news reports and political asshattery that might cause mere mortals to despair.
We need this fierce, magic, tender, clear-eyed part of ourselves.
And I bet she looks a lot like you did at ten.
So some of our most important work this busy autumn, as we navigate All The Things and Do All The Things and continue to Be A Badass Boss At Work and Remember 84 million Details At Home, is to stop waiting for permission from some mysterious force outside us. It’s OUR JOB to give ourselves PERMISSION.
Permission to wander off and get lost in a shaft of sunlight.
Permission to curl up in a blanket and read the books you bought her.
Permission to say, “No, actually– no,” and walk away from the soulsucking thing.
Permission to say, “Love you, honey, I know you can figure this out,” to the needy humans who believe you are their only access to a snack, or google, or their socks.
Permission to blow a kiss across the room but not get drawn into an icky conversation.
Just imagine it for a minute. Imagine you gave yourself permission to have what you actually need. Whether that’s an office so you can hear yourself think, or a solo retreat, or a monthly massage booked for the next six months, or that class that keeps tickling you, or a laptop that doesn’t freeze up on you and eat your precious work, or a real vacation or a housecleaner or an attorney or a pair of noise-canceling headphones or a suit that makes you take yourself seriously. What could you get done?!?! How powerful would you be?!? How KIND would you be?!?!?
The thing is, you have to give yourself this permission. No one can do it for you.
It can help sometimes to think about what kind of permission you would give to a beloved friend, someone bright and eager and full of promise.
What kind of permission would you give your own daughter or niece? (Because they’re watching, you know.)
We are so generous with everyone else, and so often stingy with our own selves.
Then we wonder why we aren’t living up to our own potential.
It’s a terribly ineffective and painful pattern, but easy to fall into.
Listen. Try a different way. Stop waiting for permission.
Permission to delegate, outsource, and hire people to do things instead of doing it all yourself.
Permission to go for a walk instead of clearing out your inbox.
Permission to block time on your calendar for the big work that is blooming inside and wants to come into the world.
Permission to spend money, time, and wallpaper on making an ACTUAL room of your own for your mind and heart and spirit and dreams and business.
Permission to be happy even if people you love are sad.
Permission to bring store-bought cupcakes instead of baking your own.
Or, permission to spend hours baking the most decadent cupcakes– just because it brings you joy.
Permission to go dancing, to have an orgasm, to wear the red shoes, to pop the champagne.
Permission to stay home, be alone, and sit by a candle until your muse decides to whisper to you again.
Permission to invest a scandalous amount of courage into getting the support, the tools, the headspace, and the bandwidth you ACTUALLY need to be the woman you know you COULD be. (Why yes I AM talking about working privately with me.)
What if you truly stopped waiting for permission from everyone around you? What if you just gave it to yourself?
Really imagine if you gave yourself permission to stop saying, “Well maybe I COULD do that, if only X, Y, Z,”…and decide to make X Y and Z freaking happen.
What would happen if every woman you know did this?
Imagine all those grownup powerful women bringing their dreamer selves along with them in the world.
Isn’t it radical? Isn’t it beautiful???
Because those dreamers in us don’t just dream pretty dreams. They write books, write legislature, come up with new solutions to old problems, become beacons for justice, run for office, do groundbreaking research, and make art and children and communities and soups and movements that can change the world.
So love the dreamer in you.
Love her so hard.
Give her what she actually needs. Stop waiting for permission.
Permission granted, dearheart.
P.S. Remember when we made a documentary!?!?!? We’ll be sharing it with you this autumn, and we’re thrilled (and terrified!). We’d love your support as we open up our intimate lives to the whole world. A quick way to start is by liking our “Beautiful Families Project” on Facebook and following our new channel on Youtube— thank you!