Let me ask you a serious question. Are you drinking enough tea? Because January and February require extra tea: I consider it a vital nutrient. If you’re new here, welcome! I’m Katherine North, that’s me in my sweet husband’s office getting my earl grey fix, and this is the Saturday missive, a little love note I send out to the kindred spirits each week. This week we’re asking the question of whether or not you can dare to TRUST YOURSELF.✨
Every now and then, midday, when I am churning my way through my to-do list or between coaching sessions, I’ll feel an enormous wave of sleepiness wash over me. My eyes burn. My lids droop. The urge to lie down is intense– and convincing.
The trouble is, friend, there’s a bed in my office.
(Or you could say, I suppose, that my office is in my bedroom. Semantics.)
So this isn’t just a wave of normal adult midday drowsiness– THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS PROBLEM.
Because we all know what would happen if I were to lie down, mid-day, on a BED for crying out loud, like a slothful sloth of a sloth.
Destruction, obviously, for starters. I would just sleep forever, never do another hard thing, my business would fall into ruin, and my children would have to cart my sleepy self in the handcart from which they would also beg for scraps.
There just aren’t any other possible outcomes.
Except. Well. I’ll tell you a funny thing. A few times in my life, I have simply given in to that intense urge and lay down on the dangerously tempting bed. And after about 20 minutes, every single damn time, something unexpected happens. Instead of falling into a slumber that lasts 100 years, I am– you will be shocked to hear this– absolutely flooded with a new idea. It’s usually so surprising, so delightful, and so goshdarn interesting that I pop up out of bed and dash to my laptop– all of three feet away– and start pounding away on the keyboard. Sometimes they are small delightful ideas, like an amusing anecdote for the next week’s missive. Sometimes they are tectonic possibilities that will shift the entire way I do my work, like the new Patreon community that is bringing me so much joy and momentum right now.
I know that with all this wildly irresponsible lying down in the middle of the day nonsense, you are deeply worried about the fate of my children. I completely understand.
But miraculously, my children are fine. In fact, not only are they not begging for scraps, they will vehemently protest EVERY vegetable I set before them this evening. I can guarantee it.
And so it was that I came to have a radical thought:
What if my urge to lie down wasn’t a sign of laziness–
WHAT IF IT WAS THE FIRST SIGN THAT I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE A WONDERFUL NEW IDEA???? BUT THE IDEA COULD ONLY COME THROUGH IF I SHUT THE HELL UP AND GOT OUT OF THE WAY????
I don’t quite know how to explain how radical and scandalous this new interpretation seems. But I think you’ll understand quite quickly if you turn it on yourself. Imagine if you could truly trust yourself.
Think about that ridiculous, self-indulgent, forbidden, WEAK yearning that comes over you every now and then.
Maybe it’s the urge to escape the office and walk to the park right in the middle of the workday. Maybe it’s a wild hunger for a nap by a river when you’re cleaning up dinner and all your kids are screaming. Maybe it’s a burst of creative painting energy at 9pm, when you’re supposed to be doing yoga and having sex with your beloved. Maybe it’s the utter inability to get up early, no matter how many times you read Mel Robbins’ worthy books.
Or perhaps it’s:
An almost physical longing for an overpriced pair of gorgeous, impractical shoes.
A truthful, utterly ill-advised retort you bite back in a meeting.
A foggy, dreamy sort of mind-state that is no good at all for spreadsheets.
Your monthly anger that boils up, that you ashamedly apologize for, that you dismiss as hormonal PMS.
The desire to go to bed and sleep, even though it’s only 7pm.
The shlocky romance novel you can’t stop reading even though it’s 3 in the morning.
Brace yourself for what I am about to say. Maybe sit down.
What if these things weren’t coming to you because you’re self-indulgent and weak and lazy and undisciplined and embarrassing and unmotivated and princess-y or WHATEVER TERRIBLE MEAN THINGS YOU SAY TO YOURSELF?
(We all have those cruel voices in our minds. The big trick is to tell them to shove it.)
WHAT IF those yearnings were trying to show you the most efficient, elegant way to get where you actually want to go?
Imagine for a minute that they were all invitations to trust yourself.
What if the ridiculous shoes were trying to tell you to step up into your next level of badassery and visibility? (You absolutely deserve to be in that room. Stand tall and own it.)
What if the retort you almost blurted out in the meeting is showing you that you need to either take full ownership of the project or else hand it over to someone else? (Just might save you when the current icky codependent dynamic implodes.)
What if that foggy brain state is trying to point you with its dreamy tendrils to a genius new solution? (Solves problem B and also, oh hi, opens up an entirely new revenue source.)
What if your “irrational PMS rage” is actually a clear signal that the division of labor in your relationship is out of whack and can’t be ignored? (Just might SAVE your marriage.)
What if your 7pm bedtime is a warning of the flu that will shortly be felling every member of your household? (Not you, though; you fortified your immune system with all that sleep and hydration.)
What if that shlocky romance novel is showing you a deep hunger for the excitement, passion, and adventure that you’ve put off too long? (Time to book that long-deferred trip. Little do you know that it will change the entire trajectory of your career and life.)
Having conducted highly scientific research over the last nine– ok just kidding– but having spoken deeply with incredibly ambitious and successful and driven and tender women about their most secret shames and desires, for many years, I have seen again and again that when they trust themselves, things go better for them.
It’s just that simple. When they listen to the vast but quiet cosmos inside themselves, it seems to have an innate wisdom for them.
It has ideas about how to steer through the steep cliffs and sail straight…even when the map washes overboard.
What if you could trust yourself– that you have your own rhythm and flow? That your body and heart have an instinctive understanding of what you need in order to be your most vibrant, generous, productive self?
Most people will never find out. But the women I know who’ve undertaken this experiment have had surprising, WONDERFUL results.
The business owner who stays off social media entirely three days a week but then writes a brilliant pitch in three focused, flowing hours.
The CEO who turns her phone off two days a month and taps into her visionary wisdom instead of getting bogged down in the details.
The mother of five (ahem) who goes off on retreats without spouse OR children, and returns refreshed and full of enthusiasm.
The artist who shuts her door to her beloved people for two hours a day (or two weeks quarterly) and emerges with a cohesive body of work.
If we want to create extraordinary things, we have to be willing to shape our lives in ways that seem extraordinary– even scandalous– to the people around us.
Living like this takes courage. Audacity. A willingness to take up the space that is actually ours. Sometimes extraordinary support.
But most of all, it requires that you take a risk and trust yourself.
So go ahead. Lie down. Close your eyes. Let that new idea come through. Let the new dream swirl up within you. Trust that you will get up again and feed your children; you will, of course you will. But trust the thing that is trying to bud inside you.
Dearheart, you just can’t imagine how much beauty is trying to bloom in your life.