Whatever you’re struggling with right now has entered your life to teach you something. This is the nature of struggle.
There is a lesson in this beautiful mess and there is something to extract that is pure gold. Money cannot buy this insight and love cannot make it go away. You might not be able to imagine it right now, but one day you will look back on the shit show at hand and you will humbly whisper, thank you.
The sick feeling in your stomach, the worry, the stress, the fear – these are all road signs telling you to look beyond what is immediately in front of of you. I know it’s hard but if you can set the pain and worry aside for just a moment and simply observe without getting hooked into the current narrative of your life, you will find clues as to what this current lesson is trying so hard to gift you. Never forget, life is happening for you, not to you.
The clues will start to add up until eventually, something clicks. And get ready my dear because when you feel that click, that is the moment you must invite your courage to step up, take you by the hand and lead the way. Courage is always up for an adventure, you just have to trust that it will show up. It will.
Hand in hand with courage, you will start to make the necessary changes that need to be made. They will probably be hard and it might take some time, but you can bet your ass that those changes will be empowered. And your life will be forever and deliciously changed. The very fact that you were born makes you 100% worthy of living your purpose and sharing your gifts. But in order to get there, you must understand that the purpose of your struggles and your obstacles are not to hurt you.
They are here to teach you.
Here’s a condensed version of what that looked like for me back in 2015.
Luanne and I were living in a tiny house in Tucson, AZ. It had no AC and the summer heat was brutal. We had been working full-time on Clean Food Dirty Girl (CFDG) for over a year and we were struggling. We weren’t making much money, our savings was close to running out and we were working our asses off. We couldn’t afford to hire anyone to help us so Luanne and I were doing the job of at least 5 people. We did the photographs, the recipes, the writing, the Facebook moderation, all the technical backend stuff, the bookkeeping, the emails, the blog posts, the email support – the two of us did it all.
It was a struggle to keep up because there were only so many hours in the day. Plus, there was no guarantee that our business would ever make enough money to support us. We were okay living a frugal life for a couple of years while we put in the time, but we did not want to be broke long-term. I’ve always believed that you can do what you love and make however much money you want. I don’t think for a second that the two are mutually exclusive or that they should be. But at that particular time, we were broke and we needed to pay our bills.
So I took a part-time job at an adult diaper company. I am in no way, shape or form kidding. I processed orders and did customer support for individuals and nursing home facilities that needed cases of adult diapers. I loved the woman I worked for (we’re still friends) but I was miserable. Working on something other than CFDG felt like a knife through my heart. Plus, I wasn’t even bringing in enough money to pay our small amount of rent. What was I doing? It didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel right. It was a struggle. Going to that diaper job felt heavy. It felt sad. It felt like I was being ripped away from CFDG.
Therefore, it was a clue.
My lesson was one that I needed to embrace for a long time and it was a hard and scary one to face.
I was working hard on CFDG but I wasn’t operating at my best. I was spiritually bankrupt. My soul was tired. I had so much more to offer and I knew I was more than capable of running a business that not only helped people but also one that provided a comfortable life. But if that ever had a chance of happening, I knew like I knew like I knew, I had to quit drinking.
I had two options.
I could either stay cozy and comfortable and keep drinking, working for free for CFDG and continue packaging diaper orders, or I could get really uncomfortable for a bit, quit drinking and explore a life beyond my wildest dreams.
Even though drinking was cozy and comfortable, the effects of drinking were not. Even though quitting drinking was the hardest and scariest thing I could imagine doing, the effects were not. So I invited courage in for some tea, I took a deep breath, and I chose the latter.
Almost 4 years and zero alcohol later, Clean Food Dirty Girl employs 10 people, we help thousands of people around the globe eat more plants with our awesome Plant Fueled Meal Plans, we bought a house in Hawaii, and we make plenty of money to be comfortable. To this day I am filled with gratitude for that diaper job, for that tiny, hot as fuck house in Tucson, and for that entire period of my life. It showed up in my life, right on time. The last time I was in Tucson, I thanked that little house.
Struggles aren’t in your life to hurt you, sweet human, they are clues that lead you to your lessons. They are here to teach you. So show up, pay attention, and face the lesson. It’s not going to be easy but I can tell you with certainty that it is so very worth it. And YOU my dear, are undeniably deserving.
Are you struggling right now? What lesson do you think it’s trying to teach you? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Here’s a hint: deep down we usually have a pretty good idea about the lesson, sometimes it’s just really fucking hard to honor it and listen.
Hearty Breakfast Porridge (Instant Pot)
(for when you’re sick of steel cut oats)
Hearty Breakfast Porridge
Makes 3 1/2 cups
Instant Pot Ingredients
- 1/4 cup brown or green lentils (50 g)
- 1/4 cup millet (50 g)
- 1/4 cup black rice (50 g)
- 1/4 cup steel cut oats (45 g)
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instant Pot Directions
Place the lentils, millet, black rice and oats in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well with water. Tap the strainer against the sink to remove as much excess water as possible.
Transfer the mixture to the Instant Pot (IP), along with the (new) water. Lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the sealing position.
Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode and set the timer for 15 minutes. Use the natural release method when the timer goes off.
Remove the lid and fluff the grains with a fork and add the vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then promptly store in your fridge.
Once you have your grains made, heat up however much you want in a saucepan with some non dairy milk. Place in a bowl and top with chopped apple, chopped walnuts and a bit of maple syrup. Add a bit more non dairy milk if you like.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with looking at your struggles in a new light.