Ever since I took my “early retirement” from HR, 11 years ago, I have been in search of “what’s next.” Being financially independent and contributing in some way were more than core values. They were linked very closely to my identity. I loved earning a paycheck (it made me feel valuable). I loved having a title (it made me feel important). I loved leading a team (it made me feel powerful). All of these feelings led to a false sense of security. When they were gone, I didn’t know who I was.
Yes, I made the choice not to return to corporate life after my crash and burn in 2007. As with all choices there are consequences. Although, I had more freedom to take care of myself and bring balance back to my family, there was a strong desire to do something outside of the home. I was in transition.
Google defines transition as “the process of changing from one state or condition to another.” My “process” lasted a long time. The truth is…I am still in discovery. When asked, I still can’t say with certainty what I do. My response is “it depends on the day…I am a yoga teacher, life coach, workshop facilitator, speaker, writer, or some combination.” I’ve gotten to the point that I have identified the common link in everything I do is “well-being” - I help others to rediscover greater health, happiness, and success. It’s been a long journey to get to this and I want even more clarity. I believe that being very specific on who I serve and what I do will lend itself to having greater impact.
As I continue to figure out how to best serve this world, I wanted to share two approaches that have helped me along my journey in the hopes that it will inspire you if you are in transition.
A dear friend of mine, sent this passage to me a while back that sums this up beautifully.
"As an experiment in radical self-compassion, you could give yourself permission to not-know, for now, without any shame, judgment, or pressure to urgently find answers or to resolve the mystery. But to rest and to trust in the unfolding of the human heart. This embodied not-knowing is not passive or a resigned giving up, but alive, fiery, curious, and honoring of the dark as well as the light. There is profound wisdom and creativity in the core of not-knowing, in slowness, and in rest. – Inner Pilot, Lisa Rankin
In other words…it is OK to be in “Becoming.”
Action is required! Not doing anything just keeps you stuck and undermines your confidence. Trust me, I’ve wasted a lot of time being in confusion. But each time I take action, I gain more clarity and confidence. I became a yoga teacher well before I was ready. Speaking in front of hundreds of people is difficult. Launching Women, Wine, and Well-Being felt very risky. These actions have given me some wisdom to use as I further refine myself. I encourage you to get busy and explore the possibilities. The bottom line is you get to create (or recreate) your life but you can’t do it from the couch watching Netflix. Any time change is desired (or in some cases required), it is rarely comfortable. In order to evolve into the next best version of ourselves, we’re going to have struggle. Whatever you choose to do, know ahead of time it will be hard but also know you can handle it!
Although these two approaches are counter to each other, both are necessary. When what you’ve known for a long time changes (by your choice or not), figuring out who you are takes time, compassion, and action.