Why I do This Work
The Curated Soul is the combination of my talent and my yearning for clarity, especially in hard times.
While the space between suffering and personal excellence is where growth and hope reside, it's also where a particular form of agony exists when you don't know how to get from one to the other, like a lone castaway gazing at a ship on the horizon.
Seven years ago the bottom fell out of my life. I was used to being the de facto "counselor" in my circles, able to quickly diagnose the underlying problems and see the way out, but not this time. My talents for clarity, problem-solving, and wisdom were utterly foiled. I had to become better, but knew I couldn't do it without help. So, with my friend Google by my side, I went searching.
I wanted a way to heal and excel that was private, safe, and independent—a way to see through the haze of overwhelming emotion and confused thoughts. I wanted to see the big-picture of my growth, to discern which way was up, and to assess my life so that I really understood what I most needed and why.
I wanted to cut through the cacophony of contradicting voices telling me what I should and shouldn't do, and instead to know it for myself. I wanted to know how to trust myself again after major failure, and to understand my own soul enough to pray for something beyond, "Please God, help."
I searched in vain.
The more I combed the internet looking for what I needed, the angrier I got. Why wasn't anyone speaking my language? Why had no one provided what I needed so I could get out of pain? Why was so much of the "personal development" industry focused on getting thin, getting rich, getting success, getting happy, and so little of it focused on getting meaning, understanding, and wisdom?
And why was it all so disjointed, fragmented, and lacking logical foundations?
My angry frustration agitated the conqueror in me and lit up the analytical side of my brain. Ironically, in feeling like I couldn't solve my own problems, I began to solve a much larger one.
I realized that how you define the problems, challenges, and hope of personal growth determines how you frame the solution. Is it a practical, tactical problem? A psychological constraint? A personality deficit? A limiting belief? A moral failure? An emotional wound? A persistent bad habit? Or perhaps some combination of all of these?