Self-Fullness On The Path To Passion

What Is Your Calling?

Or rather, what is calling you deep within.

We are slowly coming into a period of our collective evolution where something deep within more of us is being stirred.

It is silently (and for some – NOT so silently) starting to say:

“It’s not about what others want from or for me. It’s about ME and what I want for myself.”

And no, that is not Selfish.

That is Self-full.

An act of self-responsibility.

But what exactly are the key differences between selfish and self-full?

They CAN both look the same.

But without a trained eye on it, we won’t fully be able to understand the nuances to discern and make good judgements about the differences. For ourselves, or for others.

So in today’s episode of The Re-Education of Passion I am going to break down the distinctions between Selfish and Self-full.

This is so that we can all get a better handle on how to move our calling forward, WITHOUT the dirty guilty feeling many have.

You may know the one I’m talking about, right?

The one where we want something MORE, deep within. But get caught up in feeling like it’s either selfish or irresponsible to go out there and get it…. so we stop ourselves from ever doing it or having it.

To get to the bottom of those reasons, I will be exploring this from all angles. So let’s jump right in, shall we??

Let’s First Start With Selfishness

Selfishness is the act of lacking consideration for others. It is a zero sum game. One where the result is a clear advantage for self at a loss for the other.

It is about one person winning and another person losing.

It is the primal place we go to when we are functioning from fear of limitations and restrictions.

In a ‘winner versus loser’ state our focus on success becomes a ‘winning at all cost’ mentality.

So how does this take us away from our calling exactly?

Our calling comes from the heart. It is a space that exists when we silence all the noise.

Functioning from fear and lack and wanting and needing to win is a very loud space.

We can drown inside of it, so we have to work very hard to keep our heads just barely out of the water.

When we behave selfishly (which we all do from time to time) we never truly get what we want because, we can’t identify exactly what it is (hint: it’s never what we think we want), and therefore we can’t ever meet our own needs in a wholesome way.

That’s why the behaviour of selfishness continues. It’s an endless loop.

Every win we think we get comes attached with a further loss.

This is the paradox of behaviour when there is an imbalance in the emotional system. And we all have them.

Selfishness vs Self-fullness

Self-fullness is quantifiably different. 

In Dr. Sheila Forman’s book: ‘The Art of Loving and Caring For Your ‘Self’, she defines Self-fullness as:

“the art of taking care of one’s own needs, desires, and dreams in a healthy, productive and constructive way without guilt – AND, also without infringing upon the rights of another person.”

I want to place particular attention to ‘taking care of one’s own needs, desires and dreams.’

Many of us have not been raised in conditions that allowed us to properly take care of our own needs, desires and dreams.

I had a client who was raised in more of an abusive home relationship whereby, she was not allowed to have needs, or desires or dreams. She was in a situation where her father controlled all functions of her reality. If she had negative reactions to his stern, militant behaviour (such as crying, or speaking out for herself, etc.) she would get further punished by either being physically hit or having the love of the family removed.

She learned overtime to ignore her needs, because it never served her in her early environment (which also becomes our training and our wiring).

The unconscious rules that were created in the moments of her early training were:

“Nobody cares about me or my needs, and if I try to communicate my needs, desires or dreams – something bad will happen.”

The truth about our inner self is that it does not like to be ignored.

If we ignore it for too long, they will rebel – eventually.

Her bodies system learned overtime, unconsciously, that the only way to get needs met was to emotionally manipulate situations. Resulting in highly selfish behaviours.

Something that was passed down from her family who masterfully played guilt trip cards, and also, something that was reaffirmed through her negative situations in childhood.

When we are not able to take care of our own needs, our bodies must find ways to outsource them.

So we become reliant on situations or people to make us feel whole.

When we turn to situations it can look like, high prominent roles in society, endless titles beside our names, or BIG humanitarian missions, etc. that all help us to feel like we matter. We then turn those external things into our identities and our feelings of self worth – which is where it starts to get dangerous. Because so much of the internal self is built on the external image, to keep it going means that selfish behaviours will be employed.

When we turn to people it can look like, co-dependent relationships where the only way we feel validated is by the other persons love or admiration. That turns into behaviours that model addiction where we keep taking hits until the other has nothing left to give. Again, a selfish model.

Whenever we rely on an external outsourcing of needs, desires and dreams – selfishness is the behaviour that serves that model the best. Even if it sits below our current awareness of our self.

Either way – it must be known that we all have tendencies where this is true. Micro or macro, these are the untold stories of our very human condition.


It is Self-full to Self-reflect and Self-communicate

The work of Self-fullness is to identify what your body is trying to ask you and create a good cadence of communication to provide for it without feeling guilt or depending on what you need to come from outside of you.

Because at the end of it all, you want to be seen by you.

You will not listen to, acknowledge or put any mental/emotional spend or behavioural action towards your calling in a healthy way, if don’t first focus on becoming Self-full.

Self-fullness once again is the ability and the ACTION of taking care of, and meeting your own needs, desires and dreams in constructive ways without feeling guilt or infringing on another person’s rights.

This creates a positive sum game.

Meaning, that the total of gains and losses amounts to GREATER than zero when all of its individual units are factored in. The positives and negatives in our life journey.

Yet, this can only occur when a person is mindful of taking care of themselves with the mindset and heartset of it being a contribution to taking care of the whole.

It is an intentional (and responsible) application to the deeds that we do and the way we condition our relationships with our self and with each other.

As we learn to look at models that supports the ‘self’ AND the ‘whole’, like this one, it becomes our responsibility to see how our emotions and actions impact others.

BUT (and this is a but), we will not be able to do that for another, if we can’t first do it for ourselves.

Managing Unconscious Expectations On The Self-full Journey

You will make decisions. Others will have reactions to those decisions.

This is cause and effect and says nothing about anything – other than, you can 100% always expect it to happen.

We are diverse and packed with varying insights based on our unique exposures and experiences.

Becoming Self-full is not a journey of doing what is good for you, meeting your needs, desires and dreams, and magically everyone, everywhere will agree with them, and make it easy for you to do all the things you want to.

Let me be VERY clear about that.

It is important to remember that we are all a part of and functioning inside of a system. A personal system, a social system, an environmental system, an economic system, etc.

And in that we are a part of other people’s systems. Another person’s system is the way they perceive, think, behave and interact with their environment and with others.

Systems like and feel good when everyone behaves according to what the system has learned and understands.

When people start to behave differently or do things against the system, the system doesn’t like it.

And people, being a system themselves, don’t either.

For example, when I first decided I would leave my position in my career and go after my own calling, I had some supporters, but there were way more people that were not fans of my decision.

Yes I had worked hard to get to where I was. Yes, I invested a ton. And yes, I made it to where I wanted to make it to at some point in my history.

Many were confused and wondered why I would do all of that just to burn it down and move in an entirely different direction.

What I did confused them. And even created a trigger within some people because it was challenging their own constructs of life and professional do’s and don’ts.

When you become self-full, sometimes the way you help others is to do exactly that.

Break down their constructs so that it seeds another way something can be done that may not be their way, right now, but opens an opportunity for them, for later.

We all evolve.

Growth is an essential part of the journey.

But we grow at different times, different speeds and down different paths. And that’s all okay – as long as we are growing.

The selfish model of communication is more like a child’s approach to arguments. It is defensive, avoidant of other’s views, and thinks it’s the one who’s right.

The self-full model is to treat with compassion, for yourself and for others. Seeing through the illusion that right and wrong are attachments based on where we are in our own journeys.

I have spent some time addressing this because the number one reason many do not go after their dreams or fulfill on their calling is because they are afraid it will inconvenience someone else.

Sometimes those fears are valid and need to be worked through. Others – it is an untrue story that keeps us back and prevents us from living a life of integrity to ourselves and alignment to our dreams.

One where we continue to outsource our needs, desires and dreams to a list of other things that we place before ourselves.

That model is the first step to living an unfulfilled, ill-expressed life that never ends well.

We are each responsible for our needs, desires and dreams. If you do not feel you have the resources, I want to invite you to consider opportunities that can help re-train your mindset and heartset so that you can start radically owning your next steps.

The Self-full model is one where we all can learn how to radically take care of our needs, our desires and our dreams. Without guilt or neglecting the needs of others as a trade-off to living our best life.

It is okay to want more and have it.

It is okay to look after yourself without guilt.

What is not okay is to do it at the cost of someone else through neglect or active avoidance.

Passion is a matter of the heart. And when we ignore a healthy self-full practice we take our heart out of our matter.

Like I say to all of my clients:

“You deserve your Passion, your Passion deserves you, and the world deserves to benefit from it.”

Because I believe with my entire being, removing the blocks on your path to Passion is the best way I can serve you AND the people that will one day benefit from your Passion expressed in the world.

If you are looking for ways to start building a self-full practice, here are some helpful Self-full habits we can all use:

1) Invest in a therapist, coach or mentor

This is not because there is something wrong with you, or you need anything fixed. That is the absolute most unhelpful way we think about sourcing support. I have a somatic therapist, a coach and many mentors. And I have them because they are like my personal self-full army. I get to be in a space that’s all about me and moving deeper into the layers of who I am with people that are more expert than I am to guide me through my thinking, emotions and blocks that I can’t see. What’s particularly useful is the more grow in my self-full practice and understanding of my layers and dimensions, the more value I am to the people I support. If I stop learning, my value stops increasing. This is the same way I look at it from a family and friend perspective as well. Yes I am enough, AND, I know I have potential for more.

2) Block off space in your calendar every day, every 3 days or every week just to spend time with you (and it doesn’t have to be a big to do or take a ton of time either).

For example I am slowly getting better and better at building a 10 minute morning routine that I adore. Followed by 2-30 minutes of body movement before I start my day.

Here is my practice. I invite you to take any that would work for you!

  • I start with 2 minutes of silence (to ground my head and heart).
  • Then I do 2 minutes of breathwork (box breathing usually, but sometimes aggressive wim hof styles). This helps me move energy and oxygen through my system in conscious ways.
  • I follow that with 2 minutes of gratitude (finding things about the previous day that was different than the day before to be thankful for and I journal about it. I like to make them as specific as possible to ensure they really mean something to me)
  • Then I move into 2 minutes of visualizing my end game (what is my big vision that I am moving into the world…what does it look like, how does it feel, what do I hear.. I get all my senses involved)
  • Afterwards I take 2 minutes to intentionally plan my day (how does today set me up to move the needle on my end game?) What needs to get done that I am excited about getting done because I can see how it gets me closer to my vision?
  • Then I take 2 minutes to move my body (this normally gets me into a rhythm that I can stretch out to 30 mins if I want to)

3) Find a community that matches your vibe or what you want more of in your life.

More and more communities are forming that have different types of cultures and offer different types of value. For example I launched our Passion Lab earlier in January, which are for people who are looking for more ways to join the Passion conversation and get into more alignment with themselves through the work they do. We have people just new to the journey, right up to people actively building out their value in the world aligned to what they love doing. If this sounds like a space that matches what you are looking for, I invite you to reach out and I can share more details to see how we can support you.

When you are able to be with yourself in these important ways, space opens up for your self to have a conversation with you. You are not you. Not in the way you think you are. There are several parts of you that require your energy, your time, your listening and your actions of support. When you don’t make time or space to interact with them, they will ring some serious alarm bells until you are forced to.

Remember breakthroughs can look very similar to breakdowns – the difference is, one you choose, and the other is chosen for you when you don’t choose.

Until we speak again (next month), I’m wishing you all a SELF-FULL love month!!

Now over to you!

Would love to know your self-full practices! Or, if this is new to you, let me know one thing you can start incorporating today.

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