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Inner Light Clarity
Re-write your story
The Messy Business of Finding my Purpose
A year ago I was showing up daily to a job that I hated. Well, maybe I didn’t hate it, but I certainly didn’t enjoy the time spent there and while I really appreciated and respected my colleagues, so much of the job was spent with spreadsheets and word documents. It was technical work and required a deep technical knowledge, but it wasn’t particularly challenging otherwise. Except staying focused. Staying on-task. And producing version after version of the same-but-different in an endless string of documents because the client’s needs changed, we hadn’t been entirely clear on the audience, or we needed to focus solely on the most bori… I mean technical aspects of the research.
The program that I was involved in has national impact. They are helping guide a booming industry, and the work is important. I want to be very clear that I am not in any way trying to downplay the importance of the things my team has continued to work on for the past 8 months in my absence. But I do need to share the very important piece of my story, which is that I was not fulfilled doing that work. It was hard for me to spend so many hours each day toiling over numbers, sentence structure, and subtleties uncovered in hours-long conversations about the same things day in and day out. I am a visionary, and while sometimes things came up where I was given some space to dream or vision up something beautiful, we sadly always had to come back to reality and keep our efforts within the narrow lane where Federally-funded product-neutrality resides.
"The days I worked with people I felt fulfilled and like I was making a meaningful difference in the world."
Enough about that! How did I find my way? And more importantly, how did I manage my expectations while doing so?
First, I needed to work at this job for 13 years. The first year was to learn I didn’t like it. Years 2-4 were all about trying to figure out how I could afford to do something different and coming up with a vision within my family that would allow us to do what we love. Years 5-8 were working really hard to stay engaged and do my best while budling the foundation needed to make the shift. In year 9, my husband, partner, and best friend was diagnosed with cancer and died 6 short months later. While I tried to adjust to my new reality, I settled back into the grind, accepted that my dreams had died alongside my partner, and I was destined to a lifetime of discontentment between the hours of 9-5.
The problem is that an unsatisfying work life can’t be left at the office. When you are not inspired and ignited by the work you do, life loses some of sparkling color and luster. The unhappiness leaks into your mornings, you carry it home with you at the end of the day, and you can’t even escape it on weekends, because you know deep inside that Monday is coming and there is nothing you can do to escape the requirement of being at your job ready to perform. When you allow this level of mediocrity into one part of your life it will trickle its way down into every single aspect of your life, your awareness, and ultimately will affect your very being. We cannot compartmentalize in the way I was trying to, and it brought me to a place where I was unable to focus, dream, or even see beyond my work day.
I call this stage 1. I became aware that I can’t continue to live my life like this. I needed a change, and thankfully, I knew how to access profound change. I started working with my PSYCH-K facilitator, and we were focused on building my sense of self-trust and self-worth in these early days. I started to believe that I was worthy of more. I started to believe that I was even capable of achieving success doing something else- something that I loved. Maybe even something I was naturally skilled at. I started a meditation practice. I loved it and learned Transcendental Meditation and incorporated an additional practice into my days. I worked hard- physically- to keep my physical body in optimum shape. I deepened my self-study and learned the enneagram personality types as I continued to uncover my own weaknesses and how the weaknesses of others triggered me. I poured over my StrengthsFinder results and continued the subconscious work to truly accept and integrate all the things I was learning about myself.
Growth was my mission and I was willing to work through whatever came up so that I could level-up and make the changes in my life that would allow me to shift the things that were draining me. This was a multi-year endeavor, and there were certainly ups and downs. I will dig deep into parts of this journey in more detail on future posts, but in an effort to keep this at a high-level, I’ll skip to the next stage…
As the signs of misery began to reduce (waking up some days already in tears, allowing things other people said or did to completely trigger an emotional cascade that would last for days, and no energy to do anything outside of bare-minimum responsibilities), I shifted to stage 2. At this stage, I had some motivation! I had some tools! And I had just enough clarity to realize that whatever I do with my life, I need to be doing it directly with people. I love people. I spend my free time trying to understand and learn more about people. And once I retreated from my own den of misery, I was able to see how many other people struggled with their own version of discontentment. I was always trying to inspire, teach, and challenge other people to see a new perspective, implement a new wellness strategy, or just take a few minutes to slow down and connect with their needs. I decided I needed to be embracing my love for people with my desire to help, and I made the decision to go to the PSYCH-K basic training and become a facilitator myself. I was still working at my job, but I carved out the time to go to the training and felt so empowered and energized, I made another trip to get the master facilitation training the next month.
The goal then was to build my business on the side and, in time, I would leave my steady soul-sucking job to focus solely on my mission to help other people get out of whatever rut is it they found themselves in. This is where expectations became a problem for me…
I was inspired to do and become more than I was physically capable of at the time. I was working part-time at the computer, but I also have 4 children. A full-time job plus a part-time job does not equal time or space to grow another business, and while I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with clients when they fell into my lap, I didn’t have the capacity to market and grow. This brought a new level of challenges for me to work through, and it was really about allowing my dreams to meet my reality. It was a good thing I had learned PSYCH-K, because in this stage there were so many limiting beliefs that needed to be adjusted. A few of the things I worked on during this stage were:
- I easily focus on the right work with confidence.
- It is easy for me to overcome challenges.
- I efficiently complete all of my work, even the tasks I dread.
- I am focused and deliberate
I continued to juggle my work and family life more gracefully, but was still stagnant in my capacity to grow my business because of the limited hours in the day and my unwillingness to give up even a moment of my precious sleep! But I continued to show up to my practice, work hard on transforming my inner struggles, and become more and more clear about my intentions.
This is when I was thrown into stage 3. Yes, it was because of decisions I made, but it still seems so outlandish that I am shocked (and grateful) that it played out the way it did. By this point I was coming up on my 13th year at work. We were almost 2 years into the pandemic, and I had not seen any of my colleagues in person for just as long. I was already working remotely from ID for my company located a few hours away in WA, but of course there was nothing in-person yet. But our new President had declared that all Federal subcontractors would have the COVID-19 vaccine, and I had no intention of getting this (or any) vaccine. My life and the choices I make with my health and the health of my family are in alignment with supporting our natural ability to build the necessary immunities to disease. We were certainly not in a high-risk group, nor did we interact with anybody in the high-risk group. It simply did not make sense for me to compromise on this value, so I filled out the necessary exemption request forms, worked with my managers, and I had a woefully mislead level of confidence that my exemption request would be granted. They put off making the decision on the Friday they said they would, then on Monday I was notified that my exemption would not be granted, and I could go on an unpaid leave of absence for up to a year. My email was de-activated, and by Tuesday I was completely cut-off from all access to everything I had bene working on and everybody I had been working with for the past 13 years.
I know I should not have been, but I felt shocked.
I know I should have been happy and relieved, but I felt sad and discarded.
I know I should have embraced my freedom and the time to build the things that were meaningful to me, but the feelings of hurt and rejection were real, and I found I had more work to do.
There were a lot of complex feelings that came up that I needed to work through, and again, I’ll go into those details on a separate post. But it was months of learning to navigate this newfound freedom, lightened flow to my bank account, and how I needed to re-prioritize the things that remained in my life in order to continue on my trajectory of growth while still juggling all the requirements of being a mother of 4 children under the age of 10.
I listened to so many books and podcasts about everything from mindset to marketing and exposed myself daily to something that inspired or challenged me. I joined a networking group and started connecting with other wellness-based practitioners in the area. I joined another networking group and started getting referrals as they got to know me and began to see the value in the subconscious work that I support. I cleaned my living room up each day when I put my little guy down for his nap and I scheduled one client a day to come to my home so I could help them make their profound leaps in their own journey. The days I worked with people I felt fulfilled and like I was making a meaningful difference in the world. Then I would get the texts, “I am experiencing life on a new level!,” or, “I have more peace around (whatever topic) than I have ever experienced before,” or, “My sweet girl’s light is back..” And my heart began to overflow with gratitude for the opportunity to help other people access this level of profound change and healing in their life.
Last week, I moved my furniture into my own office. It is a beautiful space in an established wellness center, and I am working alongside other professionals that are helping people overcome their challenges and start living their best lives. I still have my own challenges I am working through (the main one being attaining a comfort level with visibility), but I am officially open for business and committed to growth from here on out!
Thank you for stopping by to get to know me and learn a bit about my story. I plan to make posting a regular thing, and I would love it if you would sign up to stay connected for when new blog posts come out or when I offer specials. I hope reading this gives you some hope and patience as you figure out your own way. Please remember that making small changes each day compounds into the big, monumental shifts that so many of us need in this life in order to align with our true essence and purpose. You are fully capable of making those small shifts, and trust me- you will not regret an ounce of effort once your growth begins to be realized! I truly believe this is what we are all here for, and I am grateful to be here on the journey alongside you <3