I used to tell myself my spirituality was a private thing and no one’s business. But here’s the problem with that thinking. It’s impossible to practice living with more awareness while hiding. Not allowing others to see what truly interests me isn’t me being spiritual or genuine at all. In other words, not allowing my friends, family or anyone to really know me is just holding myself back from living a genuine life.
So I’m still not completely walking my talk. I’m beginning to deliver talks on spirituality, to empower ourselves to effect change in our own lives. Yet every time someone asks for an update on my life, I chicken out. I leave out a big part of what I’m doing, how I’m living, and especially what my intentions are. It’s because my new direction is not mainstream. Explaining to anyone, let alone my financial advisors who manage my life's savings, that I no longer want to work in the corporate world, is not so easy. “Oh hmmm, I'm thinking of leaving my marketing career...tomorrow. Can I live on some of my savings for a while? No, I won't be going back to marketing...ever. I'm interested in spirituality and empowering others to create the life they desire”.
When I tell people about my interest, I can count to nearly three-Mississippi before I get two reactions from people. One reaction looks uncomfortable and I then I feel uncomfortable. The other reaction is somewhat supportive and I can exhale. The thing is…spirituality, higher consciousness, living with more awareness, means different things to different people. And I have no idea what connotation any one person has. But I don't have to feel uncomfortable because they're uncomfortable. Not to be harsh, but that's their problem. I remind myself I like my new path. I’m doing this and I don't have to defend myself. For me, when I was working in the corporate world I felt like I was checking off the career box of life. Titles, offices, politics, business trips, quarterly All-Hands meetings, quarterly layoffs, tshirts for morale, got old fast.
Happily, I now realize I get to create what my work looks like. I can create and go after what I'm interested in rather than doing what a corporation decides is important for me to do. It's exciting that my next step, after the next step, is completely unknown. I was always really good at researching companies and taking all the right steps to secure a position at companies I thought I wanted to work for. Only to be hired and underwhelmed, again and again. That's because until fairly recently, I was afraid of following my true interests, afraid of putting myself out there, and afraid of possibly making a poor choice. What if I made a mistake? How would I live? For the first time I'm living for me and not trying to impress my company, manager, family, friends, or peers. I'm no longer working to help someone realize their dream but rather, it's time for me to work my own dream. My choices are to hold back, live smaller and predictably, or live in a way that interests me.