Making Space

Musings about authenticity and the subconscious layers protecting it.

Finding my Spark (you've got the music in you)

authenticity conditioning empowerment goals Jan 19, 2023
A hand holding a lit sparkler

This New Year I’m not making resolutions, intentions, or setting big goals.

Honestly, I'm a little burnt-out of all that.

And Ha Ha Ha ... as I typed that, I just realized why.

I've had the same goals for YEARS and they haven't happened (yet)....and it's discouraging, disheartening, and frankly makes me feel a little apathetic.

Which is why I know this year is all about learning how to surrender to the process, readjust my expectations in a balanced way, and supporting myself to show up authentically.

In other words, I know my soul wants to express its spark and that's where I'll reach my goals.


My ego and mind have a lot of resistance to doing what my soul wants me to do because that means I will have to show up and be brave.

I will have to be seen.

I will have to do things that scare me.

I’ll feel unsafe.

I'll probably make mistakes and look dumb.

It means I'll have to work through my trauma that tells me showing up and being seen is unsafe. That making mistakes is unsafe. That I’m in danger of being exposed, abandoned, and death is imminent.  


Following my soul goes against my conditioning.  


Yesterday I heard a song on the radio I loved when I was 20.

I must have listened to it thousands of times, and one memory stood out for me.

20 years old, driving my boyfriend’s jeep, top down, warm sunny summer day, a windy Chilliwack road, no traffic, pressing replay over and over again. Singing at the top of my lungs. Not a care in the world. Free. Happy.

The memory reminded me of a long-lost feeling. A spark.

Where did it go? When did it go?

I can almost pinpoint it to the day.

3 months before my 30th birthday.

I had decided that when I turned 30, I would stop “screwing around”.  No more spending frivolously. No more waitressing/bartending – no more jobs. A career. A budget. A serious boyfriend. Stop moving apartments. Settle. Because that’s what you do in your 30s, isn’t it? Don’t you have to grow up? 30 felt like the closing of one door and the opening of another.

It happened quickly. I got a loan from a bank and consolidated my debt. I got a “real job”. I met somebody.

It wasn’t long before my life felt just full of things I had to do. I thought “this is just what responsibility feels like”. Doing things you don’t wanna do, because one day it will add up to happiness, and then I don’t know … coasting? Maybe it all got easier and that equaled happiness?

Everyday was a list of things to check off: 5:30am alarm. Workout. Breakfast at my desk. Work. Lunch at my desk. Work. Home. Dinner. TV. Bed (8-9pm because I’m exhausted. Tired; not fulfilled).


It felt like someone had told me if I grind this all out, I’d get what I want, and the reward would be an easy and fun life. I’d finally prove that I’m good enough and I could relax and then be happy.

In reality I was burnt out, depressed, hopeless, and dreading every single day.

I was exhausted.

My weekends were spent lying in bed trying to work through the burn out so I could show up for another week.

It wasn’t fulfilling. It wasn’t light. It wasn’t fun and it didn’t seem like it was ever going to get fun. Even the maintenance of achieving these goals was starting to sound like a grind.

My spark went out.

I’ve had a really hard time getting it back.

That top down, jeep driving to upbeat music feeling.

How did I get it back?

Could I get it back?

What would that look like now, in my mid-forties?

This is what I’ve unknowingly been exploring the last couple of years while I’ve been healing.


I’ve learned if I’m going to follow my soul and not my ego/mind, I need new definitions, new metrics, a letting go, and surrendering. I need understand and let go of my conditioning.

I need to untangle my worthiness from productivity, perfectionism, results, people pleasing, overworking, and create a whole new definition of success.

I need success to mean showing up, having experiences, and focusing on the growth. 

It felt like I had to close one door and open another door.


What does this look like, tactically and practically?

It means exercising to get stronger – not smaller. My goal is to be doing my own grocery shopping well into my 90’s, so I do a lot of mobility. No more running (which, I hated BTW), and just doing exercise that actually makes my body feel good.

It means working because my work uses my particular skills, strengths, and talents in a way that fulfills me. This means aligning to my soul desire and all the discomfort and vulnerability that comes with that.

It means finding that spark in hobbies, work, parenting, relationships EVEN WHEN and EVEN THOUGH I feel not good enough, routinely mess up, am filled with shame, get it wrong, and think I should “be further ahead, more successful, smarter, and just plain better”.

It means just being more me. More me, less conditioning.

Which means letting myself make mistakes. Letting myself be a beginner. Sometimes looking foolish. It means *not taking myself so damn seriously*.

It means letting go of what I thought success was based on: perfectionism, productivity, money, work, RESULTS.

That’s the conditioning that had me leaning my ladder against the wrong wall.

Leaning my ladder against the wrong wall was a perfect recipe for the burn out, depression, hopelessness and dread I was experiencing.

To reclaim my spark, to lean my ladder against the right wall, I know what I need to do.

Understand the layers of perfectionism, productivity, success, and happiness (yes, this includes inner child healing).

Understand why I’ve been sold this and where it was created.

Understand that even though I didn’t create it, I perpetuate it every time I buy into it. Every time I lean my ladder against it.

To re-ignite my spark, I need to let go and unlearn all the old programming so I can lean my ladder against the right wall.

It means doing things differently. Being different. Not always fitting in. And learning to be okay about that.

I don’t share these words thinking you’ve had the exact same experience. I know my privileges, beliefs, my upbringing is unique to me. My hope is that you can take some of themes and put them into your own context and by doing so – maybe you have more insights into why you are the way you are and how you can be more you.


When I was 20, listening to “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals, I wasn’t yet weighed down with so much conditioning.

I was going to school, enrolled in performing arts – not necessarily because I saw myself being a professional actor, but because I didn’t know what else to do with my time. This seemed close enough. It didn’t bother me that acting wasn’t a “real job”. That conditioning hadn’t hit, yet.

Now though, time is more precious. I don’t have time to pick something in absence of not knowing what I truly want. I don’t have time to not do what I truly want because I’m afraid to go against my conditioning.

It’s time to know myself and know what I truly want, and work through the fears holding me back so I can live from my soul and light my spark.

Lean my ladder against the right wall. 

🎶 “You’ve got the music in you” 🎶

If you haven’t listened to that song or heard the lyrics for a while – google it. It’s good.


How about you?

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Making Space with Jen Pillipow

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