Corporate life was contagious and aligned perfectly to society’s metrics of success. Yes, I too was chasing the professional dream, an oasis of power, wealth and recognition. This choice of direction defined my schedule and related action which easily transferred into daily to-dos that drove me to rise early and go to bed late.
Like many professionals I have interviewed for my books, the path is rather predictable. There were highs and lows, regrets and celebrations. Some professionals experience more of some, and less of others, and many can share unexpected twists and turns which led to defining moments, decisions or rearrangements.
Investigating the Unsettled Soul
After decades of working to obtain, reach, and relish, my inner compass was nagging and dragging me to new levels of uncertainty and discomfort within my choices. If I was honest and reflective, I was overscheduled and exhausted, but it was more than my physical vitality. My inner alignment seemed off too, which often caused me to question my satisfaction with the chase of my professional dream.
The nagging internal turmoil that I referenced in my post A Woman’s Solo Trip to Sedona, Az. – Searching for Career Clarity and Direction seemed difficult to overlook. My primary challenge, which I highlight in detail, was finding a way to get off this path to investigate, regroup, and if necessary realign my metrics of success.
Making the Leap
Luckily, my heighten awareness started shifting my trajectory before I consciously realized I needed to take action.
Yet, as I reflected back on that critical life intersection five years ago, I likely would have responded with words that led many to believe that I was in the throes of a crisis. I was questioning my desire to depart from corporate America with detectable hesitation and uncertainty.
With reflection, I now realize the Universe has a way of laying the foundation before you realize you are building a bridge that you will eventually cross.
I can now see how my physical and spiritual life has evolved with much deliberate attention and actions which I plan to share in future posts. This was not an easy transition for me. For most of my life, I have defined myself and likely my self-worth on my career accomplishments, accolades, and recognition.
I feel silly sharing this, even though I know I am not alone. However, typing these words for all to read makes me feel vulnerable and I realize that I am still not detached from external judgment.
My journey to redefine my success metrics likely started years before I landed in Sedona and has not yet ended. It has taken me years to crack into my innermost levels, and I can assure you I am not done excavating. But with this, I have discovered new resources, cultivated new conversations and established new behaviors which drive my day and life in a more rewarding direction.
Life Lesson Learned
One of my most profound lessons came from a well-known author, Lynne Twist. Her bestselling book, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life altered a primary story that was driving a large portion of my life. This book is described as a “This compelling and fundamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money — how we earn it, spend it, invest it, and give it away — can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values and the essence of prosperity.”
Money is a theme that will likely show up in many of my posts, as it was a key driver early in my life which actively bred year-to-year from not having it as a child. Money manipulated our family’s sphere of feelings, decisions, and for many, outcomes.
Running away from “not having enough” transformed into my daily creed to collect money which likely harvested my original professional success mantra I previously referred to as an oasis of power, wealth and recognition. I was not great at managing the money I earned. I just wanted to be sure I would not revisit or relive the fear, discomfort, and joylessness of not having money. In fact, I collected millions in an early high-tech IPO in 1998 but lost it all. I wasn’t interested in the process of growing and protecting the money I collected. Looking back, I should have made time to learn how to effectively manage money as now I see this is a healthy piece of the equation.
Fears Are Turned Into Awareness Which Leads to Actions
Lynne Twist’s words and particular examples throughout her award-winning book seeped into the depths of my soul and allowed me to transform learned behaviors into an awareness. This level of awakening has highlighted my fears that I mapped directly into my actions. Making time to refuel and realign gave me the mental freedom to seek knowledge and create a new level of awareness through meditation and mindfulness. These practices created space between my thoughts, actions, and soul. Over time, I formed enough space to recognize the stories and fears driven by my ego that were no longer serving me in this life.
Ms. Twist’s lessons about scarcity, sufficiency, poverty, and abundance opened my heart and mind to how I valued money and how I allowed it to set the metrics of success in my life. Lynne’s books, in addition to many of her articles including The Surprising Truth of Sufficiency posted on Dec. 7, 2009, are just some of the many resources that altered my thoughts and eventually my actions to change my success metrics.
I look forward to sharing the specific examples throughout my journey that have allowed me to transform my definition of success. Initially, my definition of success was driven by my ego, based on fear, which has now morphed into a mantra of success driven from the soul, based on love, gratitude, sufficiency and completeness aligned to my God-given gifts.
I am still on the bridge crossing from fear-driven actions to soul-driven actions with a good view of where I came from and an excitement for what I will find on the other side.