Are you trapped in "push culture?"

Updated: Aug 7

I was talking with a friend and colleague today and a phrase came out of my mouth: push culture. We were talking about how in our lifetimes, we've put a lot of energy into creating certain things in our lives, and how that path just isn't fitting for us anymore.


I find it curious that in the past week, I spontaneously had similar conversations with several other people, too. The gist of it is that after spending literally decades of our lives building our professional services, pouring our energy, time, heart, and soul into them, they haven't taken us where we imagined they would. They are not flowing or flourishing in a way that feels aligned with all that we've fed into them.

This isn't a complaint. It's an observation.

We seem to be standing on an invisible threshold of some kind. The past is what was, and however we try to drag it along with us into our future, it doesn't want to come along. And the future is in a state of white out right now. We can't see what's there, and our old ways of interacting with life just aren't working or no longer seem to apply as we move forward.


We're so conditioned to keep pushing that it feels strange to stop pushing and simply pause, listen, watch, and be.


The lack of motion or momentum is creating tension, and that's what led to the phrase "push culture." We are so used to pushing forward through the fog, through challenge, through doubt, through stress, through pain, through change, through whatever to achieve what we believe we want or are told to, that we struggle to stop pushing. It feels awkward and uncomfortable. Yet today there's this deep inner sense that pushing now not only doesn't work, but is not the way forward.

Who can say why. Perhaps the old paradigms we've relied on as a work culture for centuries have run their course and are headed for the trash bin. Perhaps the invisible work templates we've built our service delivery on are undergoing an upgrade and we don't yet know what that upgrade involves or how to engage with it. Doing what we've always done is no longer the way, but we don't see what is the way (and we want to see it clearly). All we know is that what we've done before not only no longer works, but no longer applies.


In my conversation with Gerry Starnes, a well-known shamanic practitioner in Austin, TX, he pointed out that pushing is the masculine way, not the feminine. As the feminine stream of energy moves to restore a healthy balance in our reality, perhaps we are feeling its hand shifting our way forward. While we can't be certain of anything, this notion does fit with the times and the larger context of energy we are experiencing in the world these days.


The short of it is that we are in an awkward, uncomfortable, transitional, in between place. We want to be of service but we don't know how that looks anymore. We want to move our life's work forward, but the road we were on has taken us to a dead end. We want to align with or tune into what's next for us, but we can't seem to pick up the right frequency.

Many of us are feeling uncertain, questioning what's next and how to move our lives forward. We are so used to pushing, and when what we are pushing against fades away, we feel a bit lost...like a boat with no water to sail on.

So what do we do?


At times like these I rest into my spiritual training. I invite myself to stop worrying, surrender, release what no longer serves even if I have no idea what's next and even if I've poured my heart and soul into it, stop pushing, and relax into the flow of what is. Being fully engaged with what is will show us what's next. Our only true concern is what is before us in this moment. The rest is an unknown that will only be revealed as we rise up to meet it.


So stop worrying, my friends. It does no good. Surrender all the ideas in your head about how things "should" be. There is no "should." Release what isn't working or moving your life forward in the ways you want. Its job in your life is complete. Stop pushing against things that don't seem to want to move. Force isn't the answer. And relax into the flow of what is, because your presence there will reveal what's next.

Happy Trails!