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How to Let Your Life Speak

by bevbarnes on July 18, 2012

When I first began thinking about my purpose in life, I read an article that quoted Parker J. Palmer who said “Let your life speak.”  I loved the idea that sometimes you allow what wants to happen as opposed to forcing yourself to create something that you think should be happening.

I’ve started to use this as a get unstuck strategy and you can too.  Whenever I’m stuck I look around at my life and notice what is unfolding with ease and what I’m pushing and forcing myself to do.

In every single case, my life speaks by unfolding the next thing with ease and where I’m pushing or forcing myself – it is my ego that is speaking, not my life.

Years ago, I had a long term relationship that was a struggle at every step.  My ego held onto that relationship.  I kept telling myself that we were soul mates.  I was forcing life to mold to what my ego told me that it wanted.  The relationship crashed and burned.

When I met my husband, our relationship unfolded with ease.  No agonizing.  No fretting.  Fun.  Natural.  Ease.  Since I wasn’t used to listening to my life speak back then, getting together took about five years longer than it could have.

I’m learning to accept what life brings as opposed to fighting for what I think should happen.

Just over 17 years ago my life told me it was time for me to be self-employed.  I didn’t want to be self-employed.  It wasn’t my dream.  I come from a long line of teachers.  Self-employment equaled risk in my head and so it was not a viable option – even if I knew that my job wasn’t right for me.  At that time, I was re-inventing my job while I was employed, trying to shift my role in my company.  I was struggling to create a program to help employees in my company to deal with change.  It was my passion, but it wasn’t part of my job description.  It was a battle to create this program and while I had some success, it was a fight, I was battling the current, rowing up-stream.

Then I was downsized.

I let go of the oars and the boat turned around.  My life had spoken.  It was telling me to follow ease.  Not easy.  Ease – going with the current, exploring self-employment which was no longer a risk.

And I listened.

I became self-employed as a Coach and Trainer within four months of being downsized.  Everything I’d been struggling to do as an employee, I was contracted to do as a solo free-lancer.  I worked hard, but it wasn’t a battle.

Sometimes when life speaks, you don’t want to hear what it has to say. 

I moved to a small French town fifteen years ago.  It was a huge and difficult transition emotionally and where I really learned to let my life speak.  Every fiber of me wanted to live somewhere else, but everything that I really wanted, even things I didn’t know I wanted before they happened, came to me with ease.

Small community where I know all my child’s friends?  Check.

Thriving child who has a passion for hockey?  Check.

No English book store?  Amazon opens for business online and I can get English books on my doorstep.  Amazon was actually the answer to my personal prayer and I thank Jeff Bezos (and God) almost every day.

No fresh fruit in the winter except apples and oranges?  Mega grocery store opens along with year-round tropical fruits and vegetables.

No Internet café?   Badabing badaboom.

New appreciation for nature and open spaces?  Check.  I snowshoe now.

People who need the service I offer?  Check.  I am asked to teach Northern First Nations communities at the local University.

I could go on and on about the things I wanted that appeared a week or a month after I desired them.

I finally got it, life was speaking to me and wanted me to be where I was.

So I decided to listen.  I developed an online business.  Why?  Because that’s how I could do my life’s work.  I could speak to people all over the world.   My client pool exploded.  I was no longer limited to working with only the people in my location.

I started an online coaching business because I was listening to my life speak – and it felt like ease, not struggle.  I’d never have done it if I lived in a big cosmopolitan city and my life was leading me to entrepreneurship.

To start listening to your life speak, answer these questions:

  • Where are you struggling right now in your life?
    This is where your life is trying to speak to you.
  • What are you forcing and pushing to create that feels exhausting?
    This is where you are not listening to your life speak.
  • What is unfolding with ease in your life?
    Ease is the signal marker for your life.  It is the direction that your life is pointing you in.
  • What message is your life sending you?
    To figure out this message, observe your life like an impartial observer.  Pretend that you are watching someone else’s life.  Even if you don’t like the message, if you notice it and stop resisting it, you’ll get unstuck and start to feel ease again in your life.

To let your life speak

1.  Observe your life.

2.  Notice what keeps showing up.

3.  Observe what feels like ease and what feels like struggle.

4.  Notice and name the message behind the ease.

5.  Stop resisting.  Drop the oars and stop rowing upstream.

6.  Follow life’s guidance.

7.  Trust that life will lead you to your right path even if you don’t know what it is.

I love hearing from you!  Share with me on the blog what message life is giving you and whether you are resisting or embracing the message.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Fedonczak July 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Thank you for this timely message, Bev. My word for 2012 was Easy, but now I’m going to amend it to Ease. That has a much more delicious feel to my essential self. I don’t know if anyone has told you lately, but you’re awesome! Xoxo

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Michelle Jacobs July 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Nice one Terri!

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Terri Fedonczak July 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thanks, MIchelle! I loved the honesty in your comment…nap well!

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Bev Barnes July 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hi Terri. Don’t you love Ease? Remember as soon as you decide on a word for the year you’ll get the opposite so that you learn to cultivate what you want, so hang on! Thanks Terri. Right back atcha!

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Terri Fedonczak July 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I will be on the lookout for unease. As I have two teenagers going to college next month, let the cultivating begin:)

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Michelle Jacobs July 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Hi Bev

Thank you for your post – very encouraging indeed. I am allowing my life to speak but wow, the last few weeks have turned up so many unexpected things! I am all for the adventure…but must say releasing what I wanted or thought would work (new love) because I can see and feel it is not working is so hard. My heart feels sore! Anyhow, I think you must have been through a lot emotionally too, and your “check” items are quite an eye opener and inspiration. I love the idea that life can be happy with where I am…and I am looking forward to finding out where my life wants me to be 🙂 I think I was there a few weeks ago, things were definately, amazingly in flow and in ease…somehow this new relationship went into hard time and struggle and shew, letting it go feels tough too. I think I will go and take a nap now…and see what feels easier when I wake up again. With love and light xoxox Michelle

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Bev Barnes July 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

It was good to hear from you Michelle. Starting to notice when you are struggling and when you are in a state of ease is the first step. Napping and resting is great – because you are listening to your body. I love that you are allowing your life to speak to you and tell you what it wants. It’s a great practice. Yay!

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