How to find answers you are looking for, and why it is so important to create space for your thoughts and ideas

EPISODE 11

I am a strong believer that the answers you are looking for are already within you. And in order to uncover them, you need to create space and then to listen carefully so you don’t miss them when they come.

In this episode, I am sharing three different stories where I was able to find the answer I was looking for. They all happened at different times and circumstances, but they all had something in common – something that I now try to intentionally apply in my life whenever I feel lost or stuck.

If this is something you are interested in, or if you are at the crossroads right now and you need to make a decision or find an answer, then I am inviting you to join me for this episode!

I am a strong believer that all the answers that you need at any point in time are already within you and all you need to do is to listen to yourself, connect with yourself and to really hear those answers. It wasn’t always like that. In fact, it took me several years to come up with this realization and I used to try to find answers outside and I’m going to talk about this in this episode.

But now, I have seen several proofs in my own life that when you feel lost, when you don’t know what to do, you need to make a decision or you have a question, the best thing you can do is to really just throw that question out there and then continue living your life trusting that the answer will come to you.

Trusting that the answer is there and you just need to uncover it and you will uncover it at the exact right time. In order to do this, you really need to carefully and intentionally listen to yourself. And yes, you continue living your life like that question is not there. You try not to focus on that question, you try not to pursue that answer, but you are very careful and you really filter that outside noise, you try to cut out that noise so that when the answer does come, you notice it – you hear it.

The problem is, though, it’s not that easy to cut out that external noise and it’s not easy to create that space. And today I would like to share with you three different stories. They spread out across three different years really. They all played out in different shapes and different forms, but the idea was always the same. So I hope that today’s episode will give you some insights.

If you are right now at a crossroads, if you need to make a decision and you don’t know what to do, then hopefully you’ll find some helpful information in today’s episode.

Story #1: Trying to find the answers

So story number one, let’s go back to the fall of 2016. I just moved in with my parents, I just got divorced and I basically just had turned apart all the life that I had been building for the previous ten years. I moved out of the city where I had spent the previous ten years. I sold my condo and, as I said, I moved in with my parents which was a very big change by itself. I was lost. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Everything that I had been building until that point was not valid anymore and I really needed to figure out what I want to do next.

The thing is, I felt like any opportunity that I would want to explore would be open for me, but I didn’t even know what to explore. I didn’t know where I wanted to live. Whether I wanted to stay with my parents in my native city where I was born, or I wanted to go back to the city where I spent the previous ten years, or I wanted to move to another country. I didn’t even know where I wanted to work – I had a job, but I was also considering quitting that job and becoming a professional photographer because I found that I was really passionate about newborn and family photography at that time, so that was something I was really thinking about.

There were so many unknowns and it was really unsettling for both me and for my parents. Even living under the same roof with them after living apart for more than ten years was not easy by itself, but they could see that something was going on with me. They could see that I wasn’t myself in a way and they kept asking me pretty weekly,

“What do you want to do? You need to make a decision. You need to decide what you want to do with your life because everybody’s suffering. You’re suffering, your daughter is suffering, we are suffering. You need to make a decision.”

But I couldn’t. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do.

Should I run away to find the answers?

It was October of 2016 and my future boss lived in Los Angeles at that time. He offered me a transfer for my job from Ukraine to Los Angeles and at first, I said no, I didn’t want to move to the United States and that just wasn’t something that I was planning to consider at that time. So I said no to him and I just kept thinking, I kept forcing myself to make a decision. I decided to go on a three-week adventurous trip to Peru because I thought that if I go out there, if I just run away, the answer will come to me and I will uncover the answers.

It was a cool trip! We did a lot of fun stuff and it was a group of really interesting, cool people. We went to the desert, we climbed the mountains, we slept in the jungles, I swam in the Amazon River with piranhas. It was fun. But the thing is, I got back home and I still had no idea what to do so that idea to escape and run away and find answers didn’t play out well.

Then I decided to change the way I approach this.

I decided to just let it go. I told myself that the answer will come. I trust that one day the answer just comes to me and until that time I’m just going to enjoy living my life today without worrying or thinking about the future too much because this is what I’d been doing for the previous ten years. I’d been planning my future and I decided to just shift this approach completely.

It was tough. It was hard because again I could see that pressure, I could feel the pressure from my family. They needed me to make a decision. They wanted me to either move out and rent an apartment or just move to another city or to another country.

They wanted me to do something.

But I decided to stay strong and to just protect my boundaries and to let myself just be and trust that when the time is right, when the time comes, the answer will come to me and I will hear that answer.

And it did happen.

I gave myself time and space

It was, I think March of 2017 and I woke up one morning, it was just the usual morning, but something was different. I woke up and there was this very clear realization in my mind. I want to move to the United States. I want to change my life, I am ready! I want to pack everything and go together with my daughter.

The moment I realized that I have made this decision, it was like all this weight that I’d been carrying on my shoulders was no longer there. I felt so light, I felt so excited, I felt so inspired. There was this perfect clarity in my head. I know what I want to do!

And I did it, and I never regretted it for a minute. Yes, I had no idea what I was getting into. I had been to the United States a few times before, I had even been to Los Angeles back in 2008 and I didn’t even like it back then. But I’d never lived abroad and it was scary, it was challenging but I was so excited about it. I was so willing to make it work.

So the moment I made this decision, the moment this decision evolved inside me, I never looked back. I just looked forward and all I did was just think and prepare and make sure it works out. I did everything to really make sure we moved and we settled and everything went smoothly. It was perfect, it was great.

I felt like I really gave myself time to let this decision grow naturally and organically inside me.

And yes, it was really hard to protect that space, but I’m so grateful that I was able to do it. Yes it took several months, it took probably six months but it was definitely worth it. So this is story number one.

Story #2: What do I want to do?

Story number twofast forward to the end of 2020. Middle of Covid, everybody’s working remotely, everybody’s working from home and I don’t know about you, but I think it’s true for everybody – that whole situation that year made many of us reconsider our priorities and just start looking at things differently, start looking at our lives differently.

At the end of 2020, I realized that I was ready for something bigger than my job. I wanted to start my own business, I wanted to start my own project. Something that I would be truly passionate about but I didn’t know what it was going to be.

I remember thinking to myself… October, November, December of 2020…

What is this? What is this thing that I want to do?

I looked around and tried to find inspiration somewhere, tried to find some ideas but nothing would click with me. I remember we were planning to go on vacation after being stuck in the house for nine months. We were really ready to spend some time away from home as a family so we wanted to book a vacation between Christmas and New Year’s – we were planning to go to Arizona. I had agreed on this time off with my job already, it was all sorted out and the cases were easing in October, so we thought that was going to happen.

But then if you remember November and December cases began to skyrocket again across the whole country so we got really scared and we decided to cancel our plans and just to stay home. But, my time off work has already been approved so I didn’t go back to work and I basically just stayed home between Christmas and New Year’s and we decided to really take it easy. Almost like a staycation. We just did some things around the house, we went to the park, we spent some time as a family, did some things here and there but nothing too crazy.

Which for our family was pretty unusual. We joke with my husband that we are very busy people and we just don’t even know what it’s like to be sitting on the couch and watching tv for more than two hours straight. When it happens we get very antsy and we want to start doing something. So taking that time off work and not really feeling it with some busy family vacation was something that we’d never done before and it felt really interesting, really unusual. But also really freeing in a way. I was really able to blank my mind and just let go of many things that were bothering me at that time and I wasn’t really thinking about that idea that I had that I wanted to start my own business. I wasn’t pushing anything, I was just enjoying that time of slowing down, that magical time around Christmas and New Year.

I had a tattoo appointment on January 3rd of 2021 which was on my wrist – a little mermaid for my daughter. So I came to that appointment and because it was on my wrist and I was supposed to lay down on my back and it took probably two and a half hours for the tattoo artist to finish it, so I couldn’t really play with my phone. It wasn’t really convenient and my right arm was occupied, so all I could do was just lay on that table and stare at the ceiling and listen to some music and the noise the tattoo machine was making. So I was thinking, I was kind of almost meditating or taking a nap.

Create space for your thoughts and ideas

And this is when the idea of Breverie came to me out of nowhere! I was just laying there and it just came to me like a strike of lightning! I was like…

“Yes, I want to create something for women that will help them achieve their dreams, their biggest goals, and will help them live better lives!”

I had this image just popping up in front of my eyes of the future mobile app that I would create and I was like, “Wow okay!” It was not the first idea that I had in the previous several months but it was the first idea that I was absolutely confident I would pursue.

It’s like for those of you who are married they say the way you pick your wedding dress – you know that’s the one when you put it on and you don’t want to take it off. So that was it – the moment that idea came to my mind I knew exactly that that was it.

I am pretty confident that two things allowed for that to happen. That time during my tattoo appointment where I was really just enjoying the silence in my mind and was not focusing on anything in particular, but also those previous two or three weeks that I allowed myself to slow down and that prepared me for that channel coming from the universe, or whatever we want to call it.

So I was ready to receive that idea. And it came to me. I think it all happened because I created that space. It wasn’t intentional at that point, but it happened and it worked!

Story #3: Be fully present in the moment

Story number 3 – the most recent one and the quickest one. I think it was probably May of last year – I had launched my app recently and I was just exploring and analyzing how things were working. I was looking at the feedback that the app users were providing and I was coming to a realization that I want to do something more than just an app. I want to create more knowledge around it because the app is just a tool and unless you know how to use the tool it won’t really help you.

I was beginning to realize that getting the tool or giving the tool in people’s hands is easy, but really transforming your lifestyle, this is where the tricky thing lies and so this is what’s more difficult really. I was thinking about how to approach it and what to do with it and I didn’t exactly know where I was going with it but it was just a thought up in the air that I was trying to process for myself.

I remember I went for a run, I know I keep telling this on the podcast but I love going for my morning runs, it really helps me free up my mind and to clear it up and to really get clarity about many things. I do listen to podcasts sometimes. Sometimes I listen to the guided runs. It doesn’t really matter what I listen to, somehow there is just some magic when I’m out there on the trail just running. It’s just clear and my mind is clear, I always get a lot of insights when I go for my runs.

So, that time, that morning in May, one idea just hit me and it was such a great idea. At least this is what I thought at that time. I came home after that run and I just stormed in our bedroom and my husband was still sleeping and I screamed, “I’m Genius!” and it was so funny and I was so proud of myself for coming up with that idea.

I just couldn’t stop talking about it.

He was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa – hold on, what are you talking about?” He was still half asleep and he had no idea what was going on. I almost scared him. But I felt so excited about this idea that again, it looks like it came out of nowhere. But I believe that the reason it happened is because when you’re running you don’t really focus on anything, you let your mind kind of fly in the direction where it wants to fly and you just let it all go.

You don’t force anything, you’re just fully present in the moment and this is what creates that connection, the channel between those thoughts and those ideas. This is when you’re really able to discover them, listen to them, hear them.

Trust the process

And these are all three different stories and what’s interesting, the duration of each story is completely different. So the first one was six months long, it took me six months to have that decision grow in me. The second one was probably a few weeks and the third one was maybe 30 minutes.

But they all have something in common.

I think what’s really important here is that in all these three stories, whether intentionally or unintentionally, I was slowing down mentally. Not necessarily physically because when you run, you’re not really slowing down physically. But my mind was slowing down, whether I was trying to do it intentionally or it was just happening, because it was some accident some Covid spike or whatever, but this is what helped really create that space.

Create that space for ideas to come, for those answers to be brought to the surface.

What else is important is that you are waiting for them, you are not forcing them.

You don’t live your life constantly looking around for them, but you’re ready for them. So when they do come to the surface you notice them, you grasp them right away. You’re ready for them.

I think what really works is when you’re lost, when you want to make a decision but you don’t know what decision to make or you just have a question and you don’t know the answer – to throw it out there and let it go and trust the process, trust the universe, if you will, that the answer or decision will come. I know it is much easier said than done, but at the end of the day it will come to you and it will come to you at the exact right time when you’re ready for it.

But your job here is to be ready for it.

Your job is to be present, be curious, be careful, and listen so that when that answer does happen, when that voice inside you does say something to you, you hear it. You don’t miss it.

I hope this is helpful, I hope this is insightful. It is definitely insightful for me and it is definitely something that I have to remind myself of all the time because I tend to rush things, I tend to always stay busy. I don’t feel comfortable if I’m not busy. So something that I really intentionally try to do is to slow down.

It comes back to such simple things as just booking some time on my work calendar – 30 minutes a day or an hour a week – just to sit in silence. Without the phone, without watching tv, just sit and just think. Or just lie down or go for a walk. But not have any specific purpose for this time.

Just let your mind go in the direction where it wants to go and see where it takes you.

Related episodes

Episode 6 – What it ReALLY means to be living YOUR life
Episode 3 – Being present, or living mindfully
Episode 2 – Five key ingredients you need in order to start living your life to the fullest
Episode 1 – What is the life ripple effect, and how it can help you achieve your goals

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