Beginning and continuing a journey are scary propositions. There will always be fear of the unknown. Once we take a leap, strike out on the path, and begin our journey, this fear fades. It never completely subsides but the peace and empowerment we feel in moving toward a calling outshine the fear of the unknown.
I have recently made a huge lifestyle shift, a major course correction. I left a steady engineering job to - first travel, but ultimately - pursue a life teaching, coaching, and writing. I have a deep passion for connecting people with their bodies and spirits while helping them to discover how best to care for themselves. I knew that I wanted to craft a life in pursuit of this calling but I remained unsure of the details. I had strong conviction of my message but was unsure how to share it.
I know first-hand how easily we can to allow the fear of uncertainty to paralyze us into inactivity. Its a big scary world out there and if we never venture forth, we never expose ourselves to this fear.
Before beginning, you can feel the unknown and nothing else. You cannot know the peace of moving toward a calling until you take the first step. There are forces at play to guide us on our journey. Friends and loved ones, companions on the path, and experiences along the way all push us in the direction we are meant to travel. We must have faith that the next steps will reveal themselves as we come to them. Our job is simply to continue moving and stay true to our intention.
We are not subject to the pushes and pulls along the way until we decide to move. For the wind to blow you where you are meant to go, you must first open your sails.
"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for" - William G.T. Shedd
I had dreams and visions of the life I wanted. A life crafted toward the pursuit of spreading my voice and helping others discover theirs. Do you have visions of the life you truly want? Are you working toward this life? Or, like I was, are you just content to simply dream?
Deciding to Start opened my life up in ways I could have never imagined. Simply setting foot on the path gave me enough momentum to continue moving. But most of all, exposing myself to the journey has revealed the next steps to me. I know how easily we can refuse to begin because we cannot see all the individual steps between where we stand and where we want to be. We can see the mountain in the distance but cannot see the way there. I simply needed to start moving to learn that the road curves, only allowing us to see around the next bend as we come upon it.
I returned from traveling recently to commit to my journey. Only 12 weeks in and I can already feel momentum building and the next steps revealing themselves. I am incredibly "young" in my journey but I am more optimistic about my future than I have ever been. Each step forward reveals more of the path. All it took was a commitment to my calling and a willingness to Start.
I plan to teach, speak, coach, and write within the health and fitness community. I have hardly more of a plan than to immerse myself in the communities that I want to be a part of and take action everyday to craft my message and offerings. Opportunities arose with a simple commitment to growing within this community.
Within a week of returning I re-connected with Linda, a friend and owner of mobile body composition testing units. Soon after I began assisting her. This has now developed into conducting events by myself and an opportunity to operate my own truck. Not only do I love the work but I will travel all over a large region of California to meet tons of people within the health and fitness community. This opens the opportunity to broaden my reach to build an "audience" with whom I can share my original content and courses. I know that this is an important part of my journey but I could have never anticipated this step. I would have never come to this opportunity without committing to Start.
A significant piece of the commitment to my journey is a focus on self-growth. While traveling I found myself falling deeper and deeper into my yoga practice. Yoga and yogic philosophy play a huge role in shaping my life and health views. I planned to enter into a teacher training this year to grow my practice, incorporate into my course offerings, and share yoga with fitness communities that it may not otherwise permeate. I have known for some time that I would take a teacher training in the near future but I made a connection recently that revealed to me when this step would come. I attended WDS (an event impossible to describe both in a simple description and in the benefit it brings to all attendees) two weeks ago in Portland, OR. There I met Colin, a co-owner of Jai Rhythm yoga studio here in Ventura. He and I made an instant connection. I wasn't sure what I would learn or gain from WDS. I planned to attended because I knew that it was a community that I needed to be surrounded by. I committed to moving forward on my path and when I arrived the next steps revealed themselves. Colin will be an incredible allay on the journey and I have no doubt that we will become even closer friends and partners on many wonderful things to come. I now find myself connecting to an amazing yoga community at Jai Rhythm with opportunity to participate in their upcoming teacher training beginning in January. All steps that I knew were on the path but I could not have known when they would come without continuing to move forward.
Both of these opportunities set in motion huge changes to my life and push me further along my journey. Neither could have arisen without first committing to this path.
I'm struck by the words of Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist, "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." Upon first reading this seems like something we say to children when we tell them that they can be whatever they want when they grow up. I'll amend this quote to: When you truly commit to something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. I sincerely believe this to be true.
I am a long way from where I dream to be. I am also a long way from where I began. As I continue to move forward I see the next phases of the journey rising from obscurity. I cannot fully know where I am headed, but each day I feel momentum build. I still fear the unknown but the confidence I have in myself and the faith I have in the journey far outweigh the fear. Looking back to one year ago, I cannot imagine never taking that first leap.
I do not remember the defining moment when I decided to drop everything to make a change. I do not remember the precipitating events that led me to this decision. I can be sure though, that my course-correcting decision rose from the perfect concoction of discontent, inspiration, conviction, and boldness. With ever-growing conviction and confidence in my message, the perfect storm of inspiration from friends, books, blogs, and podcasts swirling in my heart, and deepening discontent in leading a life that was not truly serving me, I needed only to summon the boldness to make the change that I knew I needed.
I share my story in hopes that it may strengthen your inspiration-storm that moves you towards taking action. Perhaps my story serves as the final words you need to hear to finally take action toward that dream.
You can never understand how damaging your discontent is until you can look back from a place of empowerment and fulfillment. I have experienced so many people who have improved their health through positive changes to their nutritional, exercise, and spiritual practices. All look back and say "I never realized how unhealthy and unhappy I was." The same true holds for our life paths. It is impossible to understand how unhealthy it is to lead a life not your own, until you can look back on it.
Have discontent or poor health become your new normal? They do not have to be.
I hope to inspire you to Start! You cannot be sure what will happen but you will not regret pursuing your calling. Take that first step and truly commit to the journey. You will be amazed at where you pushed and where you end up.