Written by: Dr. Margot McKinnon, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Many of us have a growing feeling that there is a more powerful, more dynamic, and more connected version of ourselves standing just out of reach. No matter how successful and accomplished we are, there is always a new experience, a fascinating project, and a wiser self waiting to come into being. How do we grab onto this future self and become it?
Feelings of disconnect with your current reality, frustration, and restlessness are clear signs that your future self is beckoning you toward growth. So, too, are feelings of being enough but knowing there is more. But what if we are uncertain or vague about how to start building a bridge to our grander self?
Let’s piece together some solid planks for your bridge.
One: I Am Ready Now.
Many years ago, the trajectory of my professional life changed unexpectedly and dramatically. Luckily, I had the good sense at the time to document my ideas, goals, accomplishments, and insights in annual journal books, tracing my growth from birthday to birthday, my personal 'new year’. In looking back over my growth journals collection, I see a remarkable pattern for how I continuously visualized and became grander and grander versions of myself.
When I was given my first journal book for my birthday two decades ago, I was in a fairly difficult time in my life, newly divorced with three primary school children, a stable job as a high school English teacher, which I loved, and a house with a mortgage that seemed insurmountable on my salary. I held my new journal book in my hands and declared to the Universe, “I am ready now to explore who I am, how I ended up in this spot, and where and how I am to move forward.”
I believe, as many do, that there is a magical mysterious Force around us that will guide us in life if we know how to access It. Indeed, I teach people how to access this Force in my Ask the Universe online meetups and in my workshops. The massive results defy logic.
I use the word ‘Universe’ in a non-religious sense, but you might use the word ‘Creator,’ ‘Higher Self,’ ‘Oneness,’ or a religious word for this Force. When I declared my readiness, I know now that I invited the Universe into my life, opening channels beyond my wildest expectations.
Two: Explore the Exquisiteness of Your Life.
I see in my journals that two years after I declared to the Universe that I was ready, I dove into discovering who I really was after divorce. Three little children looked up to me as though I naturally knew how to get us back on course. In truth, I was numb. My mission became ‘Recover the Exquisiteness of Margot.’ I explored passions, hobbies, and sports that I let go in my marriage. I made new friends. I took myself on mini-vacations in my city as though I were a tourist.
Looking back now, I doubt that I would have stepped into my grander self if I had not fully replaced my numbness with passion, fun, and a dose of serendipity.
Three: Ask the Universe Questions.
In year three of my journaling, my school principal asked me to enroll in a Masters’ Degree program so that I had the credentials to become a principal myself. This was when the trajectory of my life changed forever. While most courses and my thesis had to do with school leadership, I took one course for myself – Philosophy of Mind. Our first assignment was to explain the relationship between Body, Mind, and Spirit, my lifelong fascination. I posed the question to the Universe. Quite unexpectedly, I heard an answer that made so much practical sense.
We have 5 dimensions of self, not just 3. We have a Body, Mind, Spirit, Soul, and Oneness dimension. We are born dominant, gifted, in one of the dimensions, and we grow (or not) the others over time. I will save a fuller explanation of The Dominance Theory for my next article. For now, I will say that I discovered that I have a Spirit Dominant personality type with a massive Soul purpose, but feel trapped in a Mind and Body Dominant world.
My professor encouraged me to write a book, describing The Dominance Theory as the freshest about Body, Mind, and Spirit he had heard in 50 years. I published the book The Exquisiteness of Being Human (2006).
To market and sell books and give inspirational well-organized keynotes and workshops, I had to overcome my inherent shyness and grow resiliency skills. I also do not come from a family of entrepreneurs. To step away from a secure salaried job with a benefits package and pension was a daring move. I had no backup in the form of a partner who could pick up the financial pieces if my venture failed. I kept my teaching job. I still loved it even though it was becoming too small for me. It provided the financial security I needed at the time. I knew that I was in a ‘get ready’ stage for my future self.
Four: Grow the Skills You Need.
Being a Spirit Dominant person, I tended to become exhausted by the human experience, retreating from what I perceived as an unnecessarily harsh and abrasive world. In my get-ready stage, I practiced challenging myself out of my comfort zone.
I decided to be responsibly bold rather than adopt the ‘go big or go home’ strategy. Many of us have audacious goals, but do we have the skills to bring them into their fullness? Lottery winners are known to declare bankruptcy within 5 years. Why? Because they do not have the skill to handle that much money.
Incrementally, I invested in and grew the skills I needed to move my vision forward while responsibly ensuring I did not sabotage my children’s future, who were by then aged 14-20 years old. I self-published 500 copies in the initial run of my book. I wanted to test the market. Before I sunk my life’s savings into my vision, I wanted to be sure that my book had legs. At first, colleagues bought a copy to support me, but I soon found out that I sold five if I sold one copy. My book had legs and they were running.
I marketed through trade shows, grew out of my shyness to accept public speaking engagements and interviews in television and print media, and increased my threshold for talking to people all day. Within two months, I sold the 500, more than paid back my investment, and ordered 1500 more.
My grander version formed rapidly. I was ready for another grander version and the new skills it would require. I was ready to leave the security of teaching. I transitioned by moving to the UK and diving into my passion for spirituality through a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford. I needed to develop my scholarly skills so that I could adeptly articulate my subject matter expertise. Although proud of my accomplishments as a teacher, I knew that being Dr. Margot McKinnon would open more doors. My children were, by then, fairly independent, and the time was right. When I completed my degree, I published The Body, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Oneness Dominance Theory: A guide to elevating your 5 dimensions of self (2018).
If you have not had your epiphany yet about your future direction, start building your bridge by visioning what your true exquisite self wants to do moving forward. If you have your idea, identify the skills you need to bring this vision into reality. Set targets for incremental skill-building.
Five: Resist Comparing Yourself to Others.
Looking around, you might get anxious that your life is not progressing as quickly as others around you. Tell those emotions to ‘get lost’ because you do not have time for doubt to creep in and sabotage your efforts. Furthermore, today people can create any image about themselves, whether true and authentic or not. You do not know what is behind the image. Stay true to your unique exquisite identity, grow the skills you need, and stick to your vision.
When working with private clients, I occasionally hear, “I want to be the next Oprah.” When Oprah started as a journalist at 17 years old, she wanted to be the next Barbara Walters. Fifteen years later, she got the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah became big ‘O’ Oprah when she ‘Owned’ her unique identity, used her daily show for skill-building, and became a valuable role model for stepping into our own power. Oprah was not an overnight success. Decades of incremental growth led to her amazing long-term success.
Six: Your Story is Not My Story.
As we strive, grow, have set-backs, and boldly venture forward, we will likely encounter people who want to share their cautionary tale of how their dream did not work out. Listen, glean any nugget that might apply to your situation, and then at the end of the day, remind yourself that their story is not your story. You can expand your world. Be responsibly bold.
Like you, I am ready to expand my life again. When my book first came out in Spring 2018, I was invited to speak across the country, selling my book to interested individuals. But, now organizations are using my 5 Dimensions and The Dominance Theory as a tool to solve complicated issues. For example, youth anti-racism programs, empowering children living in poverty, and circumventing stress and burnout in teachers, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs. I am ready now to grow the skills I need to reach more organizations.
By joining the Brainz writing team, I will share powerfully practical and engaging articles. I will expand my international connections. I am ready now to expand my Ask the Universe online meetups and webinars.
I will stay in my lane of expertise and resist comparing myself to others. I will delight in creating my own story, not replicate someone else’s. At the end of the day, I will continuously elevate my 5 dimensions of self.
Next month’s article, I will share my Body, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Oneness Dominance Theory. This theory will help you see more clearly your behaviors when at your best and when stressed. Becoming more conscious about your behaviors, reining in stress behaviors, and developing more fully your best behaviors will accelerate your business, relationships, finances, and overall wellbeing.
See you next month!
Spark the Spirit Productions: Where results defy logic.
Dr. Margot McKinnon, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Margot McKinnon (PhD) is a leader in how to circumvent burnout, remove barriers that stunt your personal brand of 'magic', and connect the dots to your next grander version waiting in the ether. Owner and Director of Spark the Spirit Productions, where results defy logic, she is fascinated by the largely misunderstood role the Spirit plays in the human struggle and triumph. Dr. Margot is author of The Exquisiteness of Being Human and The Body, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Oneness Dominance Theory: A guide to elevating your 5 dimensions of self. She shares her powerful and practical model in Ask the Universe online meet-ups, webinars, and as a keynote speaker to entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses, and social workers. Her mission: 'Budge the boulder' out of your pathway to greatness.