It's been one year since I left my corporate job to pursue a different kind of work, a different kind of experience. In the 12 months since I made that decision, much has happened and changed. Almost everything I've experienced is not at all what I expected, so I've compiled a list of how that decision has impacted my life and what I've learned:
Having (and making) time to spend with my biological and chosen family:
What changed: I now find myself with full control over my time, which means being available for last minute childcare, hang time with Mommas on maternity leave, impromptu hangouts with a friend, weekend visits to see my parents.
What I've learned from this: Nothing can replace the time I get to spend with the people I love. There is not enough money, glamour, recognition, gifts or promotions to fill the space that a few moments with one of my nephews, a walk with a friend I've had for 30 years, or a day with my Mom can provide. The pure joy and deep laughter I experience taking a bus ride with a 2 year old or snuggling a 14 month old cannot be replaced.
Understanding the power of my body:
What changed: I'm moving my body more often in more ways that I enjoy. That might mean a home-based asana practice in the morning or a 90 minute kundalini class or a living room dance party for two (sometimes Rina joins in...). Whatever I choose to do, I am finally understanding the necessity of moving my body in a way that feels good for me. It's not about changing my body to look a certain way, it's about having an experience with the energy that lives and needs to move in and out of my skin. It's about creating space between the bones, the muscles, the facia, the tissues. It's about providing my body an environment where it can heal. It's about listening to the parts of my body that are in discomfort and hearing what they need from me in order to be in alignment.
What I've learned from this: My body can heal and nurture itself when it is provided with an environment that supports healing. Eating a relatively clean, primarily plant-based diet, moving in ways that I need and want to, asking my body what it needs from me, listening to the response and taking action have meant that the discomfort I used to frequently experience in my back, my hips, my neck, my feet, my jaw have been significantly reduced. What I've learned is that I have the knowledge to make changes that will keep me in alignment. It's not complex and doesn't require training. It simply requires asking, listening and action.
Working alone is harder than I thought would be...
What changed: A year ago I was surrounded by some of the smartest and hardest working people I know. What we did together was a huge team effort. So now that I'm running a one woman operation, I'm realizing there is a ton that I don't know. More than I thought. Humbling.
What I've learned: I don't have to do everything alone. I'm terrible with numbers, mainly because somewhere along the line I decided I don't like math. I recently found an accountant who is going to help me, and I'm pretty sure save me from future tax disasters. It also turns out that I'm a bit of a procrastinator (likely not a surprise to my parent and some of my friends) when it comes to my own projects, so I've just started working with a mentor who is guiding me and helping me to stay on track. As Tony Robbins said, "...most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year--and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade." Here's to accomplishing more in the next decade than I expect!
The truth is that in many ways I have no idea what I'm doing. And that's new for me. I have rarely taken on a role where I didn't have a strong sense of confidence and knowledge in my experience, knowledge and ability to perform. But there are many, many elements to mentoring and guiding women through spiritual practice and personal development that I'm still learning.
This spring, through some work with a coach, I gave myself permission to explore ideas, practices and trainings that piqued my interest. Fact is, this is new to me and it's not something I can necessarily go off and get a degree in, so it's important to engage in training, workshops, coaches etc. to really understand and build a base of knowledge as I continue to serve. I'm also practicing not giving myself a hard time about what I haven't accomplished, and instead, am trying to acknowledge and celebrate what I have accomplished.
So cheers...and thank you...for your encouragement and love this past year. Let's see what the next year brings. I'm ready for it.