For over half my life I did what I thought was “right.”
I attended school and got good grades (well mostly good). I went to church on Sundays (and prayed hard). Went to college (and studied hard). Went to business school (and studied even harder). Got a job. Climbed the corporate ladder. Took two vacations a year. Got married. Bought a house. Had kids. Coached Little League. Bought new cars. Bought a new house….
I lived the American Dream – and did it exceptionally well. Statistics tell me that I did it in the 97th percentile. Unfortunately, in the course of doing the right thing, I lost sight of my purpose. The passion quietly drained out of my veins and it was replaced by obligation and routine. I became stuck and didn’t even realize it.
Then a beautiful thing happened. I was laid-off from my job! At first I tried to replace my stuckness with more of the same. I did the “right” thing (what I had been taught by others – who were probably stuck themselves) and looked for a replacement job doing the same thing that I did before. Unfortunately – or rather fortunately – I found that the corporate world isn’t so accommodating to 50-year old senior managers. The ladder gets kind of crowded near the top with a bunch of others hanging on doing the right thing.
One day, I realized that my soul longed for something more. I noticed that I was actually happier not going into an office and working for someone else. I was set free. While a little scary, it felt liberating. Choice was reinstated into my life and I set out to re-discover who I really am. I took time to meditate, reflect and self-assess.
What I found was that I am a teacher and healer. So I decided to help others reinstate their choice and to divorce their stuckness. Imagining everyone living their purpose and being happy inspires me. I want my sons, my friends and everyone I interact with to be like that. It would create so much ease and flow in this world.
The advice that I can pass on from my recent transformation is to take time to breathe deep and check in with yourself – often. If you’re feeling light and good then you’re on the right track. If, however, you feel heavy and uneasy, it may be time to do some soul-searching. Is your life built around your personal passions? If not, why not? Be proactive and make a plan to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Then take steps – no matter how small – each and every day that bring you closer to it. Don’t wait to be laid-off or for calamity to hit. None of us should ever have to leave this Earth with our music still inside.