Self-Bribery and Entrepreneurship : The Soul Pizza Blog

This article is fueled by wheat.

This is not so good because I'm kinda gluten intolerant. And by "kinda" I mean "explosively." So actually, it's bad. Just bad.

Confession : Every blog article I've posted so far has started with pizza followed by a bowl of Raisin Bran with almond milk. Yes, including this one. I'm not kidding.

It's like I need to trick myself into sitting down to write. It's hard to just do it. I'll get enthusiastically creative with my avoidance tactics. My excuses and procrastination look so plausible! The laundry must be done now because this place is a pigsty. (It's not.) And the grocery shopping has to happen immediately because we have no food and we will starve (We won't.) unless I put off this writing thing, which I will totally selflessly put off because I'm an adult with Important Things to get done.

Like, more important than pressing forward with my whole life's purpose.

I'm writing about answering my soul calling, making a life I love with my own two hands, creating my own beautiful vision of the world one day at a time, which is the very essence of entrepreneurship. Which is why it's hard to write. Which is why I "need" pizza. Soul pizza. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Entrepreneurship is the highest spiritual calling.

Difficult things are difficult. Some of them are very straightforward, even simple, which I often mischaracterize as "easy." Or worse, the "should-be" kind of easy.

Writing about yoga? Should be easy.
Speaking up for what I believe in? Should be easy.
Arranging my whole life around happiness and fulfillment? Should be easy.

But it's not. Very not.

Despite the should-ing all over myself, I know in my bones that the path I've chosen is less traveled not because it is less beautiful, but because it is challenging and confronting as fuck.

Unknown success is scarier than certain failure.

Marianne Williamson writes in this vein: "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

Recognizing my power, owning it, and learning to wield it with grace is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I know I don't earn bravery points for doing things that don't actually scare me. Plan for the worst? No problem. The other thing? Well... yikes. 

To come into my power, I quit the security of my full-time job. I knew I had to bank on myself, like, literally. Double yikes.

I was so scared I cried for days, overwhelmed with guilt and grief and fear. So many people need a job, and I threw mine away. I'm so selfish. The past three years, down the tubes. I asked for this, so if I fail it's all my fault, and I'll be run up as the most foolish, prideful person to ever walk the earth. And so on.

So sometimes it takes some self-bribery to get going. My suitcase full of cash is a bowlful of bran. I tell myself I've been working hard. (I have been.) I give in to my pizza+cereal craving. I experience an endorphin rush from doing something transgressive, and I channel that pep into starting the work I'd been putting off. That strong (albeit gluten-fueled) start is enough to trigger another wave of pep that lasts until the work is well under way, at which time I can follow the momentum through the end of the project. And then I take a wheat-related nap.

I'm not advocating for weird diet choices (or vices of any kind) to force yourself to do something odious. However, I am making a case for doing what you have to do to get the good wheels turning, whether they represent best-case circumstances or not. This shit is hard to do, and beating yourself up for needing a jumpstart just makes things even harder.

Entrepreneurship is the highest spiritual calling. It is putting your lifestyle on the line for what you believe in.

You've got values? Great. Would you bet your next month's rent on them? I wouldn't dream of it before. And now, I DO. Every. Single. Month.

Three years ago, I'd turn in 40-hour weeks, collect my salary, and legitimately bemoan the lack of time and energy to make lifestyle changes. I had stress-related headaches, I slept terribly, I ate meals at my desk, and I practiced yoga as a stopgap. I was also teaching yoga, as an outlet for what I really believed in, and to connect to a community that I really cared about.

"Make time for yourself," I'd tell my yoga students, and I felt like a hypocrite. Shit, I was a hypocrite.

Now, when I teach yoga, when I speak at trainings and workshops, when I write right here, I am living my message of wellness through self-care, self-acceptance, self-love. I am making a stand for my values, whether my students and readers realize it or not. I am putting my money where my mouth is, which is incidentally also where my pizza is.

My teaching is imbued with firsthand stories from my own life in the mainstream workforce. I speak from experience. I know how to make it work, and I know how it can suck.

I know you don't have to accept money to make your contribution real. You don't have to make it your full-time job. You are not your paycheck. Your values, your choices, your everyday mundane actions — this is what defines a spiritual entrepreneur. Your heart, your time, your sweat make a sacred space for your kind of magic.

15-hour workdays.
Staying up all night to push a project through.
Regularly questioning if you've really got what it takes.
Growing apart from friends — the ones that don't understand your path.
Gear-shifting between five-year executive decisions and filing last week's receipts.
And the weird dinners of... well, you know.

All you entrepreneurs out there, you strong, brilliant half-crazy souls that dare answer that calling, I raise a bowl of Raisin Bran to you. You self-improve and soul-search like it's your job because it is your job. Cheers. May the road ahead be paved with whatever you want to pave it with.

Thank you for reading. Really.