According to Kevin Hall, author of Aspire, a book I referred to recently, “ollin” is a word that describes me.  Here’s what Hall says: “Pronounced All-in, it is an expression of immense depth that conveys intense and immediate movement.”  He goes on to discuss its derivation, which is to move and act now with all your heart, or to follow your path in life wholeheartedly.

I know several people who would say that I do act with a certain amount of zest or passion when I decide to take something on. Or at least I did until last year, when I detoured into some deep grief. I’m working my way out again, though it’s not easy some days.  The funk I experienced about two weeks ago prompted me to get motivated about something, anything. So I read a book on self talk. Then I recorded myself repeating affirmations, which I listen to each night before I go to bed. I made a new vision board and posted some pictures on doors and mirrors. I bought another book and started reading it: Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles.  I made lists of things I like(d) to do and that I want to do again. .I pulled out some coaching materials from a course I took, and then  I made a deal with a friend to trade some personal coaching time. I made a coffee date to discuss some other partnership.  I engaged in a conversation with a new friend about getting organized.  I did some research on a Call for Proposals I am considering responding to. I cleaned some clutter in my office in order to clean some clutter in mind.  And yes, I do feel better (and a wee bit tired again!).  I don’t know if it’s because the funk passed, because I took (positive) action, or what … because I’m doing so much I can’t pinpoint what is working best.

I am doing all this, and I still can’t say with certainty that I have finally “discovered my purpose” as Hall’s book says I should be able to do, except whatever it is, I do it wholeheartedly.  I did Simon Sinek’s “Why” exercise, and I came up with “to inspire purposeful change so that people will help themselves to help others.” I have done the Canfield Life Purpose Exercise as well. What I’ve come up with there is: To share my knowledge and ideas in an energetic way that challenges yet supports people to help others in a positive way.  That’s kind of wordy, but maybe it says what I am trying to say .. and be.. and do.

I think all of this is what I have been doing in my career, regardless of the title I held or the geography I camped out in.  I’ve always had good enough reasons why I didn’t just go ollin on this path. But I think now is the time for me to break out of the confines of my past  work environments and go for it.  Solowingnow seems appropriate still. Speaking of camping, Kevin and I used to talk about my becoming a speaker or author or consultant, and he being my manager. We dreamed that we’d buy a motorhome, he’d sign up my gigs and chauffeur me around the country so I could do my work, and we’d camp along the way and see some sites while we were at it.  But we always ended up working for someone else, on their priorities.  We always thought we’d have more time, and of course, we found out we didn’t; but I do.  So among my other “intense and immediate” actions, I bought a camper today.

I’ve decided I’m going to keep on this path, and I’m ollin!  This sabbatical has already proven useful, as I’ve resourced myself up with all kinds of books and webinars and meetings.  Now I have the time also to pull together a solid business plan. And make some contacts.

One thing grief does – after it forces you to shut down and rest – is that it helps you sift out the “I don’t wants” so you can not only feel lighter but see things more clearly.  It gives you the time to find your reserve energy and get comfortable with expressing the “I wants” more often.  It’s so easy to give in and settle, to take cover and stay there, to defer to what everyone else (including society at large) thinks is better for you. Grief makes you say out loud that you didn’t do the things you planned – and it reminds you there is still time for YOU if you so choose.  I no longer ask “what’s the worst that can happen?” I already know the answer to that one.