Why I'm Not Setting Goals or Picking Words for 2010

(This post is the lame post that I didn’t publish a few days ago. But, now I’m thinking maybe it really wasn’t lame. Either way, following the assignments of my amazing commenters, here you go. If you like it, good. If not, I warned you.)

Here’s the process taught by Pax Programs to find your four words of feminine power:

(go here for a word list to use in this exercise)

It’s 2010 and so now we have to do our “setting goals” or “picking our 3 words for the year” post.


Setting goals and picking three theme words for the year may work for some people. It’s really common in the coaching & blogging & business worlds. If theme words and goals work for you, party on.

But thinking my way into what my year should be about — that does not work for me.

The power, the magic, the serendipity of my life is more complicated and amazing than anything my tiny little brain could think up. And anything I would think my way into would be smaller than what will naturally unfold, if I trust myself and take massive action as inspired along the way.

But I don’t proceed themeless. Without any words or mission or principles to direct my life.

The opposite, in fact.

I’ve recently become aware of the four words that describe who I am.

These words are not just my themes for my year. These four words are the themes for my entire life.

Why clients pay me money. How I help & lead my tribe. Where all my success and enjoyment comes from. What friends get from me.

The reason I am on this earth.

You see, last year, when I was studying why men are awesome & was on a journey to embrace my own femininity, I discovered a series of seminars from PAX Communications. The last such seminar I went to, nicknamed the “Queen Workshop,” explored, among other things, where the power of a woman comes from.

To understand, first we need to look at the opposite, masculine power. Masculine power comes from doing, single focus, applying force, making things happen.

(And, there is nothing wrong with that. Masculine power is awesome and one of the reasons men are so yummy. But while women can get results from masculine power, it drains us of energy & is not what makes us magical.)

Feminine power comes from who a woman is being in the moment.

Feminine power is what a woman brings with her when she simply walks into a room.

Each woman brings with her qualities that only she possesses in a particular unique combination. That’s what makes her magical. Inspirational. Fascinating. Irresistible.

I don’t mean this in some magical fairy law of attraction kind of way. And I don’t mean that women are not doing work or that action isn’t required (obviously). Or that we can’t focus, or that some women get results from their masculine power instead of feminine power.

What I mean is that when I finally became aware of how I change people when I walk into a room, I finally understood why clients pay me for what seems effortless. Why some marketing campaigns work for me and others don’t. Why people comment on certain blog posts but not others. Why some people want to be my friend, and others don’t resonate with me. Why I can get tired after 20 minutes of doing one thing — but can work for 6 hours straight on another project yet finish feeling energized.

And, more importantly, what I am called to bring to everyone in my corner of the world.

And you know what the somewhat weird thing is? Many of you have independently used these particular words (or various derivations thereof) to describe me — when you say what you get from reading my blog posts, or from a coaching session with me. So this is not just a mambsy-pambsy seminar thing … my four qualities have been confirmed by independent sources (aka, you guys).

So now after that huge amount of wind up, here you go …

ElizabethPW’s Qualities (or, the themes for EPW’s life):

1. Love

The world “love” in the English language is such a ridiculous oversimplification.

Here I don’t mean just romantic love, or the “I love you’s” that family & friends say to each other. Or even loving yourself (the greatest love of all? oh, gaud, let’s not go there.).

I mean really seeing another person. Their soul. Who they really are. Not their “potential” — what makes them amazing, right now, in this moment.

Allison Nazarian, Sarah Robinson, and I have developed a friendship via twitter (and now, skype/email/texting/facebook/in real life) that has gotten some attention. So many women have contacted us to say that they wished they had a friendship like this. That we are example of what friendship between women can be.

That’s amazing. And terribly sad.

I remember what it was like before 2009. When I really didn’t talk to anyone (and I mean really talk). When no one knew that my marriage was falling apart or how my business was screwed up. When I had no one to confess my insanity to on a daily basis.

It seems like a different life.

My great hope is for all of us to have friendship and love like that.

To all to feel that we are truly seen. Cared about. Heard. Appreciated. Supported unconditionally. Never alone.

If everyone felt that … I don’t know what amazingness would be possible. Would people really need to compete over resources? Hurt each other? Fight wars? Would the problems of the earth all become solvable if each person felt truly cared for?

2. Ecstasy

Here’s where it really gets yummy.

Ecstasy is the joy of being in the present moment.

It is fully experiencing the deliciousness of the world and everyone we encounter, as it naturally unfolds in front of us.

In New York City last week, Allison Nazarian and I were randomly wandering around downtown looking for falafel (I had never eaten it. Oh, and I had no idea what it was made of except that it’s vegetarian.). We saw a few falafel places as we walked around but were just not feeling them.

Until we saw Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant, a little hole in the wall place in the village. And, for some reason, we knew that was our place.

Not only was their food absolutely amazing (and I am totally in love with falafel), it’s listed as of the 1000 Places to See Before You Die & is apparently one of the best falafel places in the city. And we found it by simply following the flow.

Life organically happens in an amazing way that is more than you could ever think or plan your way into.

When we let go, follow the flow, engage with people, embrace ecstasy as it happens … that is when live becomes full of excitement. Fun. Joy.

That is when we are successful.

That is when we are rich.


3. Courage

When I talk about living your truth, doing crazy sh*t so other people are inspired to do their crazy sh*t, getting okay with being uncomfortable every day, what I’m really taking about is courage.

Courage is taking action when you have fear. When you are uncomfortable.

In my Senior year of college we had a professor for our Environmental Chemistry class who was totally incompetent. And mean. And a real crazy person. I’m serious here … she was a travesty of the profession and should have been immediately fired.

But she wasn’t because the school did not want to get sued.

So instead of sitting around complaining to my classmates, I wrote a manifesto to the editor of the paper signed by every student in the class (that’s what we did before blogs!), met twice with the Dean of Academics (who looked very nervous to see me), and got the necessary paperwork filed to bring her up before a committee of her peers to review her violation of the competency provisions of her contract.

From that hearing, every student’s grades in her class was raised two letter grades (I went from a C+ to an A-). And, she was fired.

One of the reasons I was put on this earth is to speak the things that everyone thinks and no one says.

People speak to me their unspeakable things. I can almost hear what the collective consciousness of a crowd is thinking & not saying when I walk into a room.

And unlike everyone else, for some bizarre reason I’m the one who raises her hand to ask the question. Writes the blog post. Sends out the tweet. Schedules the meeting. Makes the call.

And yes, every time I do this, it still makes me ill. I still can’t eat, have digestive problems, my face breaks out, can’t sleep for days, want to run from the room and hide the bathroom.

The only difference between me and most people, is that for some reason, I speak the truth anyway.

(And most of the time I wish this wasn’t true, that I could be a normal person, damnit. But I’m getting over that.)

4. Enlightenment

Now here I am not talking about Zen or whatever. Cause I don’t do Yoga or go to India or teach feng shui or do any woo woo stuff.

I’m talking about the magical moment when the complex sudden becomes simple.

Back in my sophomore year of college, I studied 14 hours in 1 1/2 days to memorize all the mechanisms for the alkene exam (Organic Chemistry). It was so forced. Painful. I spent the entire time in the chalk room of the Olin library writing and rewriting the mechanisms, over and over, until they were drilled into my brain.

But sometime during that marathon I had my moment. From then on I did not have to memorize mechanisms. I could intuit them. I had figured out the general principles of how molecules enjoyed hanging out with each other, and could just b.s. my way into getting a 94% on the exams. (Side note: from that day on I was bored with Chemistry. Hence why I did not get my PhD.)

When we learn anything – internet marketing, organic chemistry, time management, cooking, guitar, twitter, quantum mechanics, the inner workings of a new friend, why a marriage failed – in the beginning it seems infinitely complex. Without a system or pattern. Hard, tedious, illogical.

And then, after hours, months, or years of studying & practice, there is a precise moment when it clicks.

Where the illusion of complexity falls away and the pattern emerges from the chaos.

And yes, even after that moment, there is work, study, practice involved.

But after that moment you are fundamentally altered.

You can never go back, because from that moment, in some small way, you are a different person. Your outlook and understanding of the universe has changed.

And that moment of enlightenment is one of the most sexy things that human beings experience.

So I invite you to think about not just what you are doing to do this year, but also who you are going to be.

Wait a minute. That’s not it.

I don’t mean who you are going to be, but who you are, already, in this moment.

And instead of worrying about what you should do or make happen this year, embrace who you are … and take massive inspired action from that place.

Because the magic, the serendipity, the power all comes from who you already are.

amendment 1/7/2011:

I’ve realized that my first noble quality, my first word, my most important priority is Ecstasy. But my ideal woman did not approve of Ecstasy as my #1 – Ecstasy was a selfish and self-indulgent thing to put as my most highest purpose in life.

But as I am no longer being dictated to by her, I am embracing Ecstasy as the truth of who I am.

So my new order is: Ecstasy, Love, Courage and Enlightenment

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