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How to Get Clear On What You Want

April 14, 2021

How to Get Clear On What You Want

Hello and welcome to episode one of the Phoenix Rising podcast! If you are watching this, hello and welcome to my blank wall. You may see Bear who is my fur child in this video. If you are listening well then thank you for listening!

So, this is episode number one. This is a brand-new year, it's 2021, this felt very right to start a podcast again. I had one back 2018, it was called the ABS Life podcast that I completely removed all together just because so much has changed over the last two years, but I definitely have been getting the pull to do this again. Since this is episode number one, it's a new year, what better thing to talk about than getting clear on what you want and figuring out your intentions. So, if you're listening to this, I'm assuming that you are probably trying to figure that out in your own life.

Real quick though I kind of want to explain to you why this is called Phoenix Rising and what you can expect to get in a lot of the other episodes which kind of segways me into getting clear on what you want and setting your intention.

So, getting clear on what you want and setting your intention. There's a whole thing we're going to talk about with that. Phoenix Rising, if you know anything about the mythological bird and the symbolism behind it; it is a cyclical symbol basically of death, rebirth, and transformation. This is a process that years as a personal trainer I watched people go through mentally and physically, and then working as an executive coach, helping entrepreneurs and CEOs just really play big in their industry; I see the same kind of pattern. In your personal life, it is a constant cycle of life that you're always evolving, you're outgrowing patterns, relationships, jobs, habits, things like that, which would then be the death of that reality. Rebirth is an entire transformation process. That is why this is called Phoenix Rising, because in everything that I've done in my career in general, it's always been about this and I love it!

In getting clear on my intentions and my goals for 2021, I love being deep with people's lives and talking about what lights them up, helping them work through struggles and patterns, helping them with their health, fitness, mindset, and programming. I love having these conversations. I am not a small talker at all. Anytime there's small talking involved; it absolutely drains me.

So, with that I wanted to figure out a way that I could have these conversations that I have with a few people in my close inner circle, but with a much larger group of people but so that it felt personal and that it felt like, "You know we're just best friends having a conversation." So that is what this podcast is all about. It's going to be a little all over the place in the episodes. Somethings, like today will be about mindset, goal setting, and intentions; and other episodes will be about holistic nutrition and functional fitness. Other episodes will be about leadership, performance and entrepreneurship.

Sometimes, you know, friends call me their "hippy-dippy friend" because I'm very much into spirituality, energies, vibrations and all that. Sometimes we're just going to talk about stuff like that, because I mean all these things are part of what we're going through in life.

So, 2021, setting intentions, getting clear, really just focusing on what it is that you do want; because let's be honest, 2020 was a shit show. It felt like, no matter how clear you were, no matter what you tried to do, it just felt like everything was tumbling down. I know last year a lot of people experienced "tower moments". Basically, where the rug gets pulled out from underneath you, some huge life transition, Phoenix Rising. People getting divorces, people losing their jobs, starting new jobs, new businesses, people moving, people totally lost, having emotional and mental breakdowns or breakthroughs. So, I know that was a lot of it. This feels like a very new, fresh start for a lot of people and the biggest struggle that I find that people are having, and I have this struggle too, it is getting clear on what the heck it is that you do want. 

A lot of the things that keep people and the conversations I've been having of not being able to get clear on what it is that you want or what direction you're headed is a few things.

A lot of people have had to work through very deep emotional trauma, they've had to work through a lot of previous pains that now are coming to the surface of realizing that they have dictated your entire life. An example of that would be you have this deep emotional pain of a previous partner who cheated on you and now you're trying to move forward and one of the things you want is this super, loving healthy relationship. Except you haven't felt and healed that pain, so now it's very hard for you to get clear on what you want in the person you're looking for, because a lot of it you're projecting that into.

It's the same thing with people trying to get clear with their career or business goals. They have these expectations of doing things they feel like they should do what is expected of them, or what would make their parents, family, or friends proud. When you have that kind of going on in the back of your mind, I always think of it as if you have a virus going on in your computer where you don't actually see it but it's just kind of running in the background and it's slowly downing your computer process, it's kind of the same exact thing when it comes to your mindset. When you're trying to set goals, but you have all this pre-conditioned programming and trauma in there it's not going to work as well.

One of the ways you can work through that, not the easiest, but really the only ways through it is, just pen and paper. Just like anything else in life if you just look on it head-on. This takes a lot of time and self-reflection with yourself and being very honest about stuff. If you are realizing that the life that you're living isn't necessarily a life that feels like you but you're realizing has been built around previous conditions and programs, the only way you can stop that from running in the back of your mind is to look at it head-on, feel every bit of emotion that is trying to be felt through it, and then you can move on.

So, again using an example: Your parents always wanted you to be an athlete, you're supposed to be this stellar athlete, and you've dedicated your whole life to it because it's expected of you. You stress yourself out, you push yourself really really hard and you find where the true part of you is coming up and who you really are and what you really want is trying to come through. There's that voice. It starts out as a nudge, it's kind of quiet, you pay attention, and you shove it back down, and you do things to kind of numb that with overeating, drinking, self-sabotage, addictive behaviors, filling all of your time with other people and other things so that it's never quite enough for you to see it. These are all forms of numbing what's trying to help you.

But you're supposed to be this stellar athlete, because it's what's expected of you, it's who one of your parents were, it's all these things, but deep-down you're a super sensitive, creative artist who loves inspiring people through some form of art. That is what's happening with a lot of people. The way you work through that is not what a lot of people teach, where you’re just totally like, "I'm totally done being an athlete. I'm just going to go be an artist and live my dream!" It doesn't actually fix it. All it does is change what's going on in your external reality, but really the thing that is creating your reality is happening on the inside. Your mindset, programming, and emotional programming.

The way through that is you sit down with pen and paper, by yourself. You look at these things head-on. The athlete is just an example, it can be anything. I've had to work through my own pains of things I was doing in my life of things I was doing simply for love and acceptance through a family member, or for some deep relationship trauma that I totally never let myself heal and realizing like, "Oh my gosh I've been trying to be this person for so long, because this I can control, that situation I couldn't control and this is how I'm manipulating it instead of just feeling and healing."

So, when you sit with yourself, you're going through this process, and you're looking at this head-on, there's this really easy cliche saying, but it's so true. "The only way to heal something is to truly allow yourself to feel it." 

There's a practice, and this is a whole process that I won't really get into on this first episode, but there's this practice that I have, not just fitness and nutrition clients but really so much when I'm coaching people and when I'm working with leaders and working with entrepreneurs, and women who are really trying to harness who they are and figure it out and show that to the world. There's a process that is not fun because it's surrender, but it is also very powerful. So, there's a progression you can do and one of the things is if you learn to sit in silence. If you think of meditation, meditation is supposed to help calm the mind and the worrying, and it does do that. A lot of times people say it's harder for them to do a ten-minute meditation than it is for them to do a ten minute workout, because it requires sitting still, accepting, and being totally present.

So, you sit with yourself in silence, and the practice is actually very simple; the execution is what challenges people. You focus on just your breaths. We always make sure we're breathing from our diaphragms. Our diaphragm is where we give full inhales and full exhales. If we're breathing from our chest that's stress breath. It's like when you're stressed. You first have to become present, focusing on your breath. When you sit there, you can progress through time, or you can do scenarios; allowing them to come up. Your only job is to focus on the breath. The inhale and the exhale. Allow whatever comes up to be there, the surrender. A lot of times when we get distracted, and we can't get clear on what we want it's usually because we have so much in the back of our minds that's distracting us. So, you sit in silence, you breath, you focus on that breath. You might have something super random come up like, "Oh, I was thinking I haven't talked to my dad for three years." "I was thinking my best friend and I got in a fight." "Oh, I was thinking about the harsh words that I said the other day that I haven't really accepted or taken responsibility for." It's funny when you get quiet, and all these things come up.

When you do this, the very beginning of this practice that I teach people is, I'm not asking you to fix it, I'm not asking you to do anything with it other than learning to surrender and accept what it is, because the first process to healing is accepting what has happened, what has not happened, and what is currently happening. This is the process and the way you can do this is sitting in silence and allowing whatever needs to come up, come up. This is what I teach people.

As you do this more consistently, the easier it will become to really hear what's going on, and really get clear with what's going on. A lot of people won't do this part of the work and instead just like, pen, paper, goals, here we go. "I want six figures." "I want to marry the love of my life." "I want financial freedom." "I want a house, two-bedroom, three bath and it's on two acres." All these things, and it's just, "Wait a minute do you though? Do you really want that or is there something deeper than you think that's accumulating all these things is going to produce to produce some outcome, when in reality what you're looking for is deeper than that?" Is it something your parents have? It’s programming you to say that's the life you should have? Now you're totally lost because you get all these things and in having them all you still feel the same emptiness and void.

Sit in silence, let things come up. Really feel. Are you happy? If you're not, accept it, you don't have to change anything. Are you satisfied with your work? Try to not to get wrapped up in the emotional drama of whatever comes up in your mind and in your soul, just stay present. Just breathe. If it comes up, "No, I'm not happy with work." Do not go down the rabbit trail of the drama of work, why you hate it, you deserve more money, all of that. Just let it come up and all you do is inhale and exhale. Ask yourself am I happy in my relationship? If yes, great, let it be, move onto the next topic. Go through everything you can think of in your life.

Once you get through all of that, take out a pen and paper and what you can do is you can make two columns just on the top. And one of them you can make is "Keep" and the other "Let Go". The keep column can be things that make you happy, things that you want to keep. It can be relationship, certain friendships, it can be a hobby, it can be habits and patterns and pastimes. Make that list and everything that you want to let go of on the other side. Except I want you to make it from the perspective of not so much of like, "I'm going to let go of that desk." I want you think of it more of letting go of ideas and beliefs and thought patterns that no longer serve you. You know what these are because you're probably already aware of the things that are coming up intuitively that maybe it's time for you to outgrow, it's time for you to move on. Maybe the friends that you've had for the last ten years aren't the friends for you for the next ten years, because maybe it's time for you to grow and evolve and holding onto those means holding onto a different version of yourself that no longer exists. Think of it in that way. What will happen is when you write out everything about letting go, you might have a really long list, you might not, either way it's fine. What you realize is when you do let that go, you're going to have so much space to set clear intentions on what it is that you actually do want in your life.

Getting clear and setting your intentions. A lot of people tend to focus on being a nice person, being loving, doing what's right, and being a good person, whatever you think you're supposed to be. I want you to put that on your "Let Go" list. I want you to let go of any idea you have of what's right, wrong, good, bad. Whether you're 30, 40, 50, 60, I don't care. Whatever you think that version of you is supposed to look like, I just want you to let that go. Okay so you're 45, you're not married, you don't have kids, you're doing "all the right things". Except you feel empty, lost, and a huge void. Think of it along those lines.

A great quote I heard one time is, "You can do everything right and not only have everything go wrong, but also have a life that looks nothing like you." So, you might as well trash all of that and instead start with a blank sheet of paper of figuring out, "What do I want at this point in my life?" Who the f cares of what you should be? What do you actually want? I am giving you the freedom and the permission to do that. All of these are hypothetical by the way. None of these are real. If this happens to be a real scenario that I describe, then maybe you were meant to hear this.

Maybe you're 45, you’re married with kids, you've been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years and you’re kind of over being a stay-at-home mom and you actually really want to get back to your dreams and your careers. If that's your scenario, accept that, let go of whatever anyone else will think of you, let go of any expectations from your family, husband, your friends, co-workers, whoever. Let go of all of that. Sit with yourself. This is huge. Sit down with yourself first, once you do decide what it is that you want, don’t go out there and talk to the entire world about it. Fun reminder: When you do that and you constantly are talking about things, it's normally because you're looking for external validation, that you're making the right decisions, or maybe you want validation because you're making the wrong decisions.

When you go out there and talk about your plans, and what you want to do, you actually open yourself up for everybody else's opinion. That normally creates a lot of doubt and insecurity. When you have this a-ha moment or this lightbulb that goes off of what you actually want, keep it to yourself and let it marinate. That's what I always say. When a new idea comes up it's like steak, just let it marinate for a bit. See how that feels, let it sit with you for a little bit. How does it feel in your body? How does it feel in your mind? Are you excited? Are you inspired? What's going on with? Think of it that way. Have fun with it. Have fun with what you want to do. That brings me to my next point.

The next thing you can do. Let's say you are having a total tower moment. I keep referring to tower, because in spirituality, in tarot, the tower is a picture where there's this tower that a princess would be standing out of or there's this lighthouse type thing and the whole thing is burning to the ground. Phoenix rising. You've got to burn before you rise from the ashes. So, if you're having this whole tower moment of shit hits the fan, everything is just burning to the ground, and you're having those days or time in your life where you're like "Nothing can surprise me right now."

That is actually the most amazing place to be, because it means you have a blank slate. It means that literally are outgrowing a previous reality that you have been living. So, the life you were living no longer works for where you're headed. Accept it. Accept the suck in all of it and be excited for the new and the growth. If you're not having a total tower moment in all of your life and instead, you're just yearning to get that nudge, that "Maybe I want something different, maybe it's time for change." This works regardless.

You're going to take out some paper, your fancy journal, which is going to be the best book you're going to read because it contains you and everything about you. All the questions and answers that you want. What holds you back, all your problems, everybody goes to positive thinking books. It's like somebody else who wrote a book cannot tell you the answers to your problems. They do not live in your body. They do not live in your mind. They do not have your traumas and your emotional connections and your wiring and everything. You know who can solve all your problems? Yourself.

Get a bunch of notebooks, get used to journaling and reflecting. If this is your first time, open up to page number one. Alright, you're going to have a couple different pieces of paper, and each one at the top of each one, you're going to think of the main areas of your life that are most important to you or maybe there's just one area of your life that you're trying to change. You're going to think of the areas of your life that you'd like improvement, you'd like change, you'd like answers, you're trying to do goal setting, you're trying to get clear on what it is that you want. At the top of that page, you're going to write that out.

If you're struggling with what you want to write on these, I call these your nonnegotiables. So, make sure that you're not locked-in and closed off to what you want, to where you keep it from actually coming into your life. For an example of that: Let's say you're looking for love, you're writing out this list, you're looking for love, and you're saying he's got to be 5'10", brown hair, blue eyes, weighs 185, super Christian, has a family with one sister, one brother, drives this, makes this much money. If you're writing all of that out it means that you might be projecting something. Either from a past relationship or from someone in your family that you're trying to create a loving connection with that you didn't get in your childhood. That's not really how life works. If you've had a block and you haven't really been getting what you want, that's probably what the problem is. You were so focused on the how, what it looks like, and the only way that it can come in that you are missing out on focusing on really the feeling and the overall theme of what it should be.

I actually did this recently on mine for the New Year. I did Friendships, Career, Partner, Health & Fitness. Those are my top four categories in life that are important to me. I'll share some of my career stuff with you, but you'll notice in this that it's not specific on the role, it's specific on what I want to feel and who I am and what I'm doing. Career:

  1. Something I am super passionate about, I absolutely love it, and it allows me to help people.
  2. Feels like something that I was born to do, and I get to use my natural talents, because I want to use things that come natural to me.
  3. An abundance of money. I always have plenty of money and financial freedom in this career.
  4. I get to have a lot of creative freedom in my expression in this career, but I also get to hold a leadership position.
  5. I get to work with great people on new projects all the time, so I never get bored.

Those are my main things because what I'm focusing on is not necessarily, "I must be CEO of this." "I must be an entrepreneur of this." "I must work in town doing this thing." I'm focusing on what it is that I want to feel while I'm doing it. I call these your nonnegotiables. They work in every area of your life, because it's the things that you absolutely what in this and that you're not accepting anything else. For me, I won't accept anything less than something that I am very passionate about and that I love doing. Because I am a passionate person and the work that I do is important to me to connect me to it. Maybe it's a value of number, maybe it's a certain amount of number, maybe it's nothing like that, and maybe it's more the type of work that you're doing, maybe it's something in writing, art, or film. Those are the first things you can do.

I was actually talking to someone recently about this in the dating world, because she had a very long list of her expectations of what she was looking for in a romantic partner and she was really scared that she wasn't ever going to find that. Part of what I was trying to encourage her was, narrow it down to just your top five nonnegotiables that you accept. You want someone that's genuine and authentic, you want somebody who truly loves and supports you, somebody who has their own life, is a very passionate, deep person. Get around that qualities. Rather than having a list of 30-something different things, get clear on how this person that you want in your life makes you feel and focus on all the awesome things that you guys do together, and the trips that you'll take. Shift that energy because ultimately everything in life is energy and intention. That's just the way it works with animals, people, and the things that you want. When you give more attention and energy to something it can either push it away and make it harder or it brings it in closer.

If you're giving all of your attention to worry, you tend focus on the things that made you worry, you then create more and more things in your mind to worry about, and that's not the way that works. However, at the exact same time you can shift all of your attention to what you do want almost too much to an extreme where you're obsessed about it. The obsession is a little bit of a form of worry. In that obsession, it's almost like you push it further away. You can't attain it because you're trying so hard. This is where the surrender practice comes in so handy, because it allows you to stay present, stay in your energy, focus on an inhale, an exhale. Having these intentions, without putting all of your attention in one direction, forwards or backwards. You just stay centered grounded.

I hope that this was super helpful in helping you get some intentions and get clear. The best thing that you can do if you don't already have some mindfulness practice, is get in the habit of doing this. Whether it's in the morning or at night. I do both, in the morning I tend to journal for a bit and then I sit with myself in silence for a little bit, and I do the exact same thing at night. I do this because it starts my day, and it ends my day and it helps clear my mind. If you don't have some sort of mindfulness practice where you open up your mind to the opportunity to bring up thoughts, to telling you things, whether you believe in God, or intuition, or source, or guides. Whatever your spiritual beliefs are, it doesn't really matter, but you have to open up the space to hear those things. When we feel lost, have no direction, are trying to get clear on things, or searching for answers; They're usually always there. It's just that we've filled them with so much noise that it keeps us from being able to hear them.

Start with a mindfulness practice, even if it's just journaling, sitting in silence, and surrendering for a little bit. When you get comfortable with that, start to really dig deep and ask yourself the questions of, "What do you want?" When you get that, and figure it out that that's something you want to do with your life, it usually feels a certain way in your body. Kind of like when you walk in a room and something or somebody feels a little off, that's a guide. Use it as a GPS. Same way with the things you're searching for in life.

I'm a feeler. I'm an empath, so I feel everything. I'm super sensitive. For example: If I have a career or business idea, I let it marinate. Then usually I'll sit with myself in silence and I bring that idea into my mind and kind of play out that scenario of where it will go. I focus on how it feels in my body. For me the key indicators are, does my breathing change? Do I get a little tight in my chest? Does my body language change? If so, that's usually the indicator for this doesn't really feel good or feel right. I might bring something else that excites me, and I seem a little taller, I'm lifting my head, my breath is different. Pay attention. Your body gives you its own indicators, it just requires so much awareness to yourself and taking the time to do that. Mindset and self-awareness will come up in all of the other episodes too. Whether we're talking about goal setting, nutrition, fitness, or spirituality it will come up in future episodes.

Welcome to the first episode. This is a new year and I hope yours is off to a great start! If not that's okay and hopefully these tools will help you move in that direction. Until then, I'll see you in the other episodes!

Ashley Drummonds

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