I could hear the sounds of celebration, champagne bottles popping, music playing, and vibrant conversation as I entered the white stucco mansion that was sponsoring this year’s awards ceremony. I was invited to an exclusive gathering honoring the top twenty realtors in my city. I had made the elite list once again, an honor that sacrificed my health, sleep, and creativity for over eighteen years. In fact, most of us did the same, but we bonded over our “crazy deals” and “demanding clients.” One woman revealed her chest covered in hives, like a shield of honor. She scratched incessantly while retelling the story of her last stressful client. “Look at me! I’ve broken out in hives again!” Was that pride I heard in her voice?
As I mingled, I was haunted with a sense of disconnect and boredom. I tried to make small talk with my colleagues, but found I had little patience. A voice was whispering distractingly in my ear, “So what, who cares, big deal.” I tried to muffle the voice with a glass of champagne, but it was of no use. Something inside had shifted, and I was struck with a shocking realization that I was finished with this career.
Was I nuts? I had spent eighteen years building a multi-six figure career as a successful realtor, but was this who I really wanted to be going forward into my fifties? Underneath my exterior of success, poise, and achievement was a creative and spiritual being trying to get out. She was growing impatient, and making her wishes known through what I was experiencing as hormonal, adrenal, and health issues — when, honestly, I was suffering from denial of expression of my true self. She wouldn’t wait any longer. It was up to me. I had to either make the shift to follow a new path based on what I was feeling inside, or stay safe in my career. If I stayed, there would be a price to pay with my health. I could feel it. All I knew was that whatever came next had to be authentic — not a role or an identity that I clung to, but rather an expression of my authentic creative self.
Taking small steps
Little by little, I let go of my clients, my accolades, and my corner office. With each step, I felt fear arise to taunt me with sinister questions trying to chip away at my resolve. “How will you support your lifestyle, what if you fail and everybody sees?” Yet through my hikes in the woods, morning journaling, and meditation practice, my inner guidance grew stronger. Each day was another opportunity to choose to follow what I knew to be true or what I feared might happen.
Seeing the light ahead
By the time the following year was finished, I had a strong footing in my new path as a writer, speaker, and teacher, reviving my passion for design, psychology, and spirituality. Today, my life is purposeful instead of only profitable. I combine my talents with the increased knowledge my years of real estate gave me, synthesizing them into a business that feeds my soul and allows me to serve in a higher capacity the transformation of spaces and consciousness of my clients.
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