On my flight from Panama City to Miami I was sat next to Fran, a 70-year-old woman from Santa Rosa, California.
With her silvery hair and wrinkled face, Fran looks like the arctypical “wise woman.”
We got into conversation about our mutual trips.
After hearing how I extended my two-week stay in Santa Catalina, into six-weeks, Fran said to me:
How wonderful that you gave yourself permission to take this extended time away.
I appreciated her comment.
Most people have said something along the lines of “you’re so lucky that you could do that.”
Fran got it.
It wasn’t about luck. It was about permission.
Dreams Do Not Happen By Luck
In part, my extended time in Santa Catalina was facilitated by doors opening at the right moment. It seemed that each week a room became available at the Hotel Santa Catalina, where I was staying.
But getting to Panama, and my time there, was not the product of luck.
This was a vision years in the making.
I took a lot of steps to make this happen and I made sacrifices to do it.
Some of the actions are things I’ve discussed a lot in public, like selling my apartment and putting my stuff in storage.
Other aspects of my planning I haven’t discussed as much, and are still in process, such as how I re-conceived the direction of my business.
Some pieces I haven’t discussed at all, like things I walked away from because they were no longer aligned for me.
Then there were the fears. I had to embrace my fears of missing out and falling behind.
Whether it was my progress in trapeze and trampoline, in my business, or in my communities.
Going away, taking time off the grid, means missing out on things. Choosing to do one thing means you choose to give up others.
Every entailed tremendous sacrifice and deep reserves of courage and trust.
Permission: The Biggest Hurdle
The external actions were easy. Even the fears were relatively easy to embrace.
None of those sacrifices and actions, the trust and courage, or the embracing of the fears, would mean anything if I didn’t give myself permission to do it.
That permission had to come from a place deep within. A place beneath the fears.
Permission to go in the first place, and permission to cancel my return flight and stay, came from a place of worthiness. It emerged from a place of self-love and self-compassion.
The trip was the culmination of a slow process of cultivating the belief that I am worth of my own love and attention. That I deserved rest and care as much as anyone I serve.
It came from cultivating a deep belief that I deserved this time to rest. That I deserved this time of “luxuriating in my heart space” as my friend Margaret Nichols so beautifully put it.
And that I still deserve it.
My time in Panama might be over (for now), but the deserving doesn’t end.
Cultivating this belief continues to be a daily practice.
It is a practice of permission, not luck.