Today marks the one-year anniversary of me becoming a certified life coach and launching my business. I don’t make this statement with a tone of celebration but one of reflection as I look back on the many anniversaries and milestones that have passed me recently. I’ve come to the realization that I am not good at celebrating. I mean, I literally feel like a mother who has missed her kid’s first birthday because I either forget to acknowledge it, or I’m just too busy to enjoy it. The one-year anniversary of my nonprofit, my radio show, my 36th birthday, awards, and a long list of things that deserved for me to pause have passed me by because I have struggled to celebrate.
When you live life by a checklist, it will reduce your level of thinking into performance instead of purpose. This is what I know about myself- I am a performer who is striving daily to live on purpose. Whew… I said it. Being a performance driven person means that I often struggle with celebrations because accomplishments are viewed as things that I am “supposed” to do and nothing exceptional. See, when you shift from this type of modus operandi to being purpose driven, it turns your world upside down.
Purpose requires what looks like failure and losses in the world’s eyes for the gain of someone else and a greater cause. Purpose does not feel good, and you cannot put purpose on a to do list. I can see it now, To Do List: client follow up calls- check, update website- check, live on purpose- check!
There is no better example of this than my 2018 vision board. It is literally the busiest vision board that I have ever created. I figured that since 2017’s vision board fully manifested that in 2018 I had to go big. I mean, I have such a crazy list of things on there that I was tired just looking at it. I am literally exhausted when I see it hanging in my office. One thing always sticks out to me about my vision board. Smack dab in the center is bold letters is the word “DWELL.” Somewhere, amidst the to-do lists and performance driven dreams, I desired to dwell. Purpose requires us to shift from driving to dwelling. I literally get chills whenever I hear the word dwell because it calls out to me. Purpose is a calling to live above our own mind and once we have done all we think we can do, accomplish, and achieve, what always remains is that we are called to dwell.
I have been trying to understand why it has been so hard for me to pause over the last year to stop and celebrate. 2017 and 2018 thus far have been full of epic changes and monumental shifts that deserve celebration. I now understand why it was so hard for me to pause and plan a party, create a celebratory anniversary post, make major announcements and just simply rejoice. It is because doing so would require me to dwell. Celebrating means to dwell in the moment and allow all of God’s glory to shine on you, right where you are, right in that moment. It means putting down your agenda to pick up peace. It means to be still when the world requires you to be busy. It also means putting the giver of all things first and rededicating the work to go beyond performance into purpose. Even in writing this, the performer in me breaks so that purpose can flow, and I give myself permission to simply, dwell.
My prayer for you is that you allow the shift of purpose to guide you on when to work, when to rest, when to celebrate and when to be still and dwell and that you have the strength to obey. Allow it to be a healing balm to the places where work has made you weary and deadlines have left you depleted. Rest in the place called dwell so that God can refill you and give you the strength to go on. Dwell until your rest is complete and your answer comes. Dwell until the rivers of peace flow and joy becomes your portion. Dwell until you have no choice but to celebrate and dance. My heart is open to the driven, successful and ambitious who yearn for more and checking off the next thing on the list is not enough. In all your pursuits, lean in to your place of purpose, and dwell.
Melissa D. White is the Creator and Certified Sales & Marketing Coach of The Activation Hour, LLC. As an International Speaker, Radio Personality, and Certified Life Coach. Her mission is to activate voices and amplify stories to help others been seen and heard at work and in the world.