Africa and The Maybe

Many of you know I recently had the extreme privilege of joining Martha Beck and twelve fabulous men and women for this year’s African STAR. It was amazing. Life-changing. Transformative. We saw leopards mating, need I say more?

Here’s what I thought would happen before I left:
I’ve been working on revamping my coaching practice and figuring out “what’s next” for me. I’ve met with some really cool experts who have helped me flesh out messaging and ideas, and even though it’s been hard work (Big clue alert! While a business revamp can be a big project, it shouldn’t feel like hard work. I wasn’t feeling the flow with it.) I felt like I was in the home stretch. I figured I would go to Africa, it would all gel and I would come home energized (after a day to recover from jet lag of course!), inspired and ready to LAUNCH my new COACHING PRACTICE. Dun, dun DUN!

The Universe, as played by Africa with a supporting cast of wild animals,  was like, “HA!”

This is what actually happened:
I’m about an hour into the first leg of the flight and I’m talking to Martha about my FUTURE COACHING PRACTICE! (dun, dun, DUN!) And I realize what I was creating was not it at all. Sure, parts of what I created are it. But the whole, nope, too small. Huh. 

So I’m on the plane to Africa and I joke to Martha that I know less now than I did before I left the ground. But, I say confidently, I’m sure it will all come together in Africa!

It didn’t.

I went to Africa searching for inspiration and answers, and I got Maybe.

I didn’t know what I was experiencing could be called “The Maybe” until one of my fellow STARlings sent me this post from Mastin Kipp of Thedailylove.com called “Can You Live In The Maybe?” In it, he says,

Instead of demanding what we want and wanting it now, can we ask The Uni-verse for what we want, and then let go? Can we rest in the peace of the moment knowing we are provided for and that the perfect thing, which is probably better than what we asked for in the first place, will show up?

I am not a fan of The Maybe. I think The Maybe can bite it. Yet here I am. I’ve been here before, but this Maybe feels big. And it’s being stubbornly Maybe-ish about the whole thing.

I seem to be constitutionally incapable of applying my mind to the problem of “what next” and coming up with an answer that inspires me. That’s because it’s not a mind thing. I’m finally learning that all the real things are soul things, and I can’t think my way through them. I have to be and feel my way through. Which is living in The Maybe. To do like Mastin says, to truly learn to let go–as opposed to kinda sorta not really letting go–to be here now and to do whatever feels good in this moment. What feels good in the moment are things like talking to friends, attempting to connect to my body and emotions (I resist this a lot, it’s ok), sitting outside, doing fun things like going to comedy shows, trying stand-up paddling, and taking a running class.

I’m doing this because I have faith. Faith that the Maybe can imagine a hell of a lot bigger and cooler than I can. Faith that now is not the time to gallop forward. Faith that I can relax, give up the reins, and let the universe drive for a while.

I’m going to take a shot at deeply trusting The Maybe.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

30 comments on “Africa and The Maybe
  1. Wow. I totally get this. I have always said “life is a problem I am always trying to solve”. Like, OBSESSIVELY trying to solve! 🙂 I am wishing you luck as you venture into the land of The Maybe, may it be kind to you while you’re there, and then spit you out far better than when you came. 🙂

  2. LOVE this! The Maybe is rawwwwther fun and delightful too as it feels kind of free and wild- maybe I will…its like playing with that “wouldn’t it be cool if …”
    Its that playful dreaming of what sounds fun next and then B O O M…..?what would be Ghetto-fabulous???

    Thanks for taking us along for the ride with you!

  3. I have lived my whole life instinctively in The Maybe and beat myself up for it for not “applying myself”. It’s only recently that I have surrendered to the universe and have become ok with it. I still get anxiety that I’m not “Type A” enough. THanks so much for articulating this so eloquently. It’s confirming that I’m on the right path for me too.

    Have fun in The Maybe!

  4. “I think the Maybe can bite it.” Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard. I am with you on the Maybe…I have quit my job, am moving to Olympia in two weeks, have no idea what I’ll be “doing” but am mostly trusting that the universe will guide me in the right direction. You’re definitely on to something that your next thing maybe bigger or cooler than you can currently imagine…I can’t wait to see how it materializes.

  5. Sarah–I know Alice is queen of Maybe-land.
    Diane–I’m so grateful to have you as a fellow-traveler in the Maybe.
    Mazza–Type A is exhausting. 😉
    Andrea–YAYYAYAYAY! I’m so excited for you! xoxo

  6. What a great reminder that it isn’t always our job to HAVE the answers…truly one of life’s biggest challenges. There is no doubt in my mind that you are meant for some kind of elephant-sized greatness. The wait will prove it. Love you girl!

  7. Wow…Love this post girl and I love that you write just like you talk…it’s so endearing and fun. And the photo captions are true…at least that’s what I believe. hmmmm…living in The Maybe…I too thought I would come back from Africa with some concrete answers about my next “steps” for my life. But I came back with something much more valuable. It’s this feeling of play that you are talking about…it seems to be making living in The Maybe a little easier and a hell of a lot more fun. I still have the occasional voice that says “you should be DOING something more productive”…but then I remember…….you think the honey badger cares? He doesn’t give a shit…so why should I? xoxoxo

  8. I LOVE that I get to come and join in MAYBE-DOM this weekend!! I’m not so good at hanging out there usually but I’m sure it will be fabulous if you are there too!! xo

  9. GIRL, I spent a YEAR in the maybe and only now got to the YEAH! And yknow what? A year down the line I’ll probably be in the maybe again! HA! And so it goes. Circle of life 🙂 “Whatever happens, I don’t mind” – from The War of Art

  10. I love this Bridgette. And, I’m excited for you! I think something big and wonderful is coming, it just might not be what you thought it would be. Or, maybe it will be, just in an easier more flowing way. According to ABE…”Joy FIRST, and than anything else you have time for.” Sounds like you are flowing with the joy. Yay! xo

  11. Thanks for sharing your “Maybe” with us! I’m right there with ya! I understand completely. I love what you said about paying attention to the things that “feel” good and speak to you in the moment. Maybe, it is in the tiny steps towards these “feel good” things that will lead you to your starlight. And perhaps, it’s already here! Self Discovery Rocks in a big way! You go Girl! :o) xoxo, Kim

  12. If there’s one thing I am certain of, it is this: YOU will figure it out and it prob won’t look like anything you imagined. Love you Beebs!

  13. The soul’s calling is what brings our meaning of life into perspective, if that is even possible to put it into perspective!!
    Sinking into faith is life changing, and while for me has been my biggest life challenge. I love the ride….love this post!

  14. Where’s the LOVE button.
    Your sharing has spilled over as a reminder for me…
    ~all the real things are soul things, and I can’t think my way through them
    ~What feels good in the moment…
    ~deeply trusting The Maybe.
    Excited to see where letting go takes you!

  15. Zoinks! You hit the nail on the head for me with this! I have always been a thinker/strategy girl and lately it hasn’t been working for me at all. Now I realize exactly where I am and what I need to do, thanks to your marvelous post. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this Bridgette! Holla!!

  16. Thank you for sharing this special insight, Bridgette – and lovely pics of Africa’s animals! The bush never fails to yield profound experiences, and Londolozi is aomng the most compelling places of all. If I may, I’d love to share this link to one of my favourite leopard pics taken there: http://tinyurl.com/3ua9bu6
    All the best for an enchanting “Maybe” adventure…may it be awesome!

  17. I hadn’t had a chance to read this wonderful, wonderful post until now… and just when I started to feel a little anxious in the maybe. Yes! We can give up the reins and it will be wilder and more wonderful than we ever imagined! xoxo

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  19. I just ran into this this evening (Jan12,2013 ) – and boy did this give me the freedom and permission to just be where I am today and not beat myself up for where I think I “should” be – just relax and enjoy being me in this body at this time, in this place I presently call home. I am going to meet you next June in Londolozi with Martha and African Star & I so look forward to our in person meet up – thanks you for the quote and sharing~

  20. Hi Bridgette, I’m in precisely the same place and going through the exact same thing at the moment, so I’m glad to see this post! I’m figuring out my “angle” at the mo, then will develop my future business accordingly. I’m leaning towards the “helping men or encouraging men to be ok with spirituality….something like that. We need more manly yet spiritual men out there living their bliss! Just have to niche it down a tad whilst follow my passion. You aren’t alone 🙂

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