Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
I never really had a vision for my life after I graduated college. I simply did the next logical thing…I went to grad school, got a job, got married, etc. I wasn't happy and I knew deep down that there was something better out there for me. I didn’t know exactly what yet. I had friends who were living in what I thought was "the good life." They were making 6 figures, working part-time, and traveling the world. I remember thinking "that would be nice." Their lives became my default vision. I didn't really think about it too much or put conscious effort into achieving that vision...but slowly it started happening. I was also learning what I didn't want (which was invaluable) and some things had to clear out of the way first. I got divorced, I went back to grad school (again!), and before I knew it, I was working part-time, making 6 figures, owned my own home in San Francisco and traveling the world by age 29. Holy moly!
Strangely (or as you might expect), I still wasn't quite happy. It was pretty nice to live a life that my friends were living, but deep down, everyday, I knew something else was waiting for me. What was it? I had no idea. or rather, I had a million ideas, but nothing stood out as THE one. I started to dive deep into myself, exploring, “What did I want for my life? What was MY vision?" These questions took me on a LONG journey, exploring both my internal world and the external world.
I spent years and thousands of dollars invested in my exploration. I was determined to discover something, some secret treasure map that I thought existed. I explored all aspects of who I was- physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I experimented with Pilates, Rolfing, acupuncture and Ayurveda. I meditated for days- once I did 10 days- in silence. I joined women's support groups. I sought out counseling. I spent time with shamans in the Amazon. I received and am now studying energy healing. I traveled and volunteered around the world. I took courses, workshops and seminars on numerous topics from business and self-improvement to renewable energy and sustainable fashion design. Along the way, I became a certified yoga instructor and certified counselor. None of this, had I ever dreamed I would be doing.
I started to come to the realization that the person I thought I was, was simply a placeholder. It was waiting for the real me to show up. I’d buried many pieces of the real me long ago, in hopes of fitting in, winning approval, praise and love from family, friends and the world around me. I started to remember things that I wanted long ago, but pushed aside because I thought they were either not important or impossible. At some point, I had embedded a belief that I’m not good enough and I don’t deserve them, even if I truly wanted them. I recognized that my life was empty of what I valued most: community, collaboration, creativity, curiosity, exploration/adventure, connection, and freedom.
The one thing that was constant through my exploration was my desire to have an impact on the planet. Back in college, I chose to become an environmental engineer, because I thought that’s what I could do to protect and preserve our planet, which I cared deeply about. I made many decisions to support this desire. However, I ended up burying my values because that's what seemed to be required for the job. I didn't know how to bring my real self to the job and had a belief that I wouldn't be allowed to. In general, engineers work behind the scenes and have limited interactions with others. I needed more contact, but didn't know how to get it. I was told what to do, how to do it and when to do it. I didn't feel valued for my ideas or listened to. There was too much structure and my creativity was stifled. I was so exhausted from trying to fit in, that in my free time, I only had energy to re-cooperate and my unhappiness spilled over into my life.
As I explored, my vision started to come into focus. I sought out for ways to combine my values, my experience and my desire to have a positive impact. Maybe this was the secret treasure map I was looking for. I created my vision around the question “What do I want in my life that is in full alignment with who I am?” I answered specific questions like “What work do I want to do? How much money do I want to make to support myself? What was my ideal relationship? What communities do I want to be involved with? Where do I want to live?” I made my values a priority this time. "How can I bring creativity, exploration, connection, community and freedom into each area of my life?" I let my dreams unfold. I started to feel my answers somatically in my body and truly believe that these things are possible for me. I no longer listened to the voice that said I didn’t deserve what I wanted.
This time I was clear on what I wanted. As I write this, so many of my visions have come or are coming to life! I have my own business helping others uncover and achieve their visions. I have time to myself- for yoga, meditating, dancing, hiking in the redwoods, and picnicking on the beach with friends. I’m in an amazing, supportive relationship. I have communities that are collaborative and inspiring. I’m still traveling and exploring. I have more visions in the works that I'll share with the world when the time is right. Perhaps for the first time in my life, I am feeling truly fulfilled and know I’m on the right path.
Protectress of Mother Earth, Energy Healing, Plant Medicine Integration, Coach, Writer