A belly fraught with butterflies.
What if. What if. What if…?
You know that voice.
All signs that something has triggered you, and from where I stand, what triggers you deserves your attention, your curiosity, a little of your bandwidth.
That’s what happened tome when I mulled over the idea of leaving Facebook.
At first, I was greeted with nothin’ but F R E E D O M in my body.
Next, came the nerves, the apprehension, the flat out fear.
How do we coach ourselves through the big stuff?
Write a letter to yourself in the future as though you’ve already made the decision and reaped the rewards.
I did this, on the plane, coming back from Melbourne, after I decided I would indefinitely leave Crackbook.
And here’s (exactly) how it reads:
Dear Future Me,
I’m so proud of you, you know? You’ve made some mega things happen lately. More importantly though, you’ve eased way, way back, which I know isn’t too easy for you (ironically). That takes courage, Bliss. Well done.
I held my breath a little when you deactivated your Facebook account. Part of me was thinking ‘what the hell is she doing?! - the other part of me wanted to cry sweet tears of freedom.
That one decision has had huge, beautiful consequences. Your creativity and productivity have blossomed. You write more letters. You have more meaningful conversations. You’ve expanded your vocabulary (less time toggling Facebook means more time for exploring this English language which you so adore). You are more excited to write. Truly. You’re writing more for yourself, giving yourself the gift of a creative process that transcends blog posts and book chapters and social media status updates.
You have greater visionary bandwidth, which allows you more clarity and an extended understanding of how and what to delegate, and when.
You spend more time outside, in the ocean, walking around the headland.
Your life is leaner, gentler (than ever).
You’re having mind-bending sex.
You have the room and the time and the energy and the inclination to stop and smell the freaking flowers on occasion.
You launched your book, distraction-free.
Look, I happen to know this is a choice you’ve felt fear around.
You’ve wrangled with the prickle of scarcity.
But in still moments, you peered through those insecurities, through the illusion… and that choice is one of the best that you've made in a long while. It will continue to pay dividends in a way that will nourish and sustain you, for reals.
I’m proud of the way you continue to serve and honour your readers and clients. You're always looking for new and creative ways to reach those that are on the lookout for your message… ways that extend beyond Facebook.
So, thanks a bunch, Future Me.
You give me the courage and the confidence to march forward with my heart leading the way.
You remind me of what’s most important in life, always.
27 year old Tara
First thing’s first: with total gratitude, let it be declared that yes, all of those big little somethings came true. Time and space expanded, I was able to bring more presence to my creativity – including my book launch – and yes, the sex, too. (I know that’s what you were thinking, come on!)
Why, then, have I made the decision to return – albeit very softly – to Facebook?
Well, that’s a very good question, and I’ll keep my response brief as possible.
1. There are a few powerful online communities that I’m a part of - a couple of which I nurture and hold space for, and a small handful of which I would like to lean into for support. One of them being my local kundalini yoga community, another being Ezzie Spencer’s Lunar Abundance Salon. The sisters I wrote with in Bali have an online space together, so do those of us who have worked with Belinda Davidson. I’ve missed these women.
I’ve left all groups that I don’t believe serve me for where I’m at in my journey right now. Trimming the fat is important.
2. My dream is to be a traditionally published author one day. I know that it's not only possible, but highly probable, and I’m acutely aware of what publishing houses look for. I wish there were a more poetic way of saying this, but I’m afraid there’s not: they look for numbers. Specifically, social media numbers. They want to know that a vehicle exists to drive the book that they've just printed.
Does this mean I’m going to be out headhunting new followers and promo-ing the shite out of myself? Absolutely not. It’s business as usual, around here. Organic growth, as usual. Strolling along, welcoming anyone who happens to land here and press ‘Like’, as usual. So that’s that. I want to be published. And I want to improve my chances of that happening.
Dozens of times over I have heard, Oh yay! You’re coming back to Facebook! and while that’s lovely, and appreciated, and very, very sweet, that hasn’t really contributed to my decision at all.
Six months ago, it may well have been a different story.
But with growth and enquiry, comes a realisation that making a commitment as a way to seek out validation and praise is futile. Positive feedback and tribal enthusiasm can’t be the only reason that you offer a yes to a request. It has to feel right and for the right reasons. And for the right reasons, I’m...
3… ready to serve you more than ever.
Four months off Facebook, and I love the shape of my life now. Everything has been prioritised in a way that means something to me. I don’t want to lose that. These four months have been, quite honestly, fucking wonderful.
Facebook and I are going to be kicking it a little differently now that we’re reunited.
I’ll be using the Hootsuite app to post my updates (most of which will be live and in the moment), and I'll do a Facebook sweep only once or twice a week. Meaning, essentially, that I can contribute to Facebook without being on it, and when I am on it, I’m there with purpose.
Check notifications. Respond to communication. In. Out. Boom. No scrolling.
And, to be frank, that’s all I’m going to say on the topic. I left Facebook because I was sick of talking about it, sick of looking at it, sick of reaching for it. Now that I’m back I want to keep the way I interact with it clean and crisp and quiet. Healthy. Helpful. Here for you.
Remember to think with the end in mind. Often, I find that writing these letters to a future version of myself takes the size out of an issue which I perceive to be much bigger than it is.
Also, this isn’t just a useful tool for the tough stuff. On New Year’s Eve, I wrote a letter to 2015 as if I were one year into the future.
Thank you for…
It really blew my mind when you…
I can still barely believe that…
You get the idea.
Coach yourself into making a big decision by channeling yourself on the other side of it.
Your Future Self is out there rocking on with her fine self, and she’s got more than a little strength to offer you. What do you need to reach out and tell her?
For example: Wow, I’m so stoked you forgave such and such.
Or: I’m not sure how you managed to land that job, but lady, bravo!
PS: I’d love to hear from you in the comments… is there anything you to thank or celebrate in your future self?
PPS: If this post resonated, do share using one of the buttons below. You can find my Facebook page right here.
PPPS: You’re allowed to change your mind, too. (I think that should be my new tagline!)