every exit is an entry

I saw the above street art last week while walking a new route to work. ‘Every exit is an entry somewhere else’ – yes! I immediately took a photo, loving the random surprises that can happen when I vary my daily routine even just slightly.

In my last week at my previous job, we held a three-day conference for health care professionals. For this event, we brought in vendors to sell some beautiful products. I purchased a pair of unique earrings – one of which unfortunately broke the next morning.

I wasn’t looking forward to asking for my money back, or for a repair (I couldn’t find the missing piece), even though I knew this was the perfectly reasonable thing to do. I was readying myself to approach the vendor, when the thought crossed my mind: Why don’t you make something with this?

The week before, I’d visited a crafts store and purchased a lotus-motif charm. I’d recently been spending more time in such shops, looking at all the different products, soaking up the creative potential in the air. I took apart the earring that night and reworked it to make a pendant. I liked it much better than the earrings I’d originally purchased.

The floodgates opened.

I am now obsessed with making jewelry. Reading about it, watching YouTube tutorials, dismantling necklaces I no longer wear and re-stringing them into bracelets, visiting thrift stores to repurpose items, even unearthing the beads I bought way back in my teenage years.

It’s illuminating to resume a hobby I was passionate about when I was younger. As a teenager, my biggest loves included writing, beading, and being part of a drama (theatre) group. When I look back now, it seems that these activities stopped abruptly, though I can’t pinpoint where.

I’ve been connecting with my teenage self a lot lately; that potent time where I began to discover what I was naturally drawn to. That precious window where I explored my hobbies with excitement and no filters. There didn’t have to be an end product or a known purpose; I was just having fun.

Every exit in an entry somewhere else. I’ve learned a lot in the work I’ve done over the years, and have met so many kind and lovely people…but I don’t think I will ever return to a full-time office job. Being immersed in a truly engaging, creative pastime these past few weeks – staying up late, forgetting to eat, being consumed with making – has made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve felt so much like ‘me’. I want more of it.

Here’s to budding creations, on this new moon and in this new season.

success is in the heart

For the first time in my life, I have a job where people don’t say, “You’re capable of so much more.” After years of working in more junior roles at the same organization, a few months ago I accepted a management position in a field I’m passionate about. Finally, I thought. For the first time, I can be proud of what I do. I have my own office filled with plants and books – and business cards! I don’t have to explain my career choices anymore.

And yet, something feels off.

In my previous position, a colleague once said to me: “You don’t seem particularly career driven.” I don’t think this was meant offensively, but I was slightly triggered and pondered her words for some time after.

The fact is, she was right. When it came to a day job, I never wanted the responsibility that came with senior level roles. I was always content to serve in a more support-type capacity, because I didn’t want to carry home any unnecessary stress. I liked being behind the scenes. I took pride in doing a good job, and I could forget about work at the end of the day.

For the most part, I was always motivated by something else, something much deeper for me. It was a personal, inner – spiritual – search. This occupied most of my energy, and that was hard (and often pointless) to explain to those who were more outwardly focused and who questioned why I didn’t challenge myself more, work-wise.

Fundamentally, I also never cared about title and prestige. It was an interesting paradox to feel triggered by the opinions of those around me, yet know deep in my heart that it ultimately means nothing. I understood I was so much more than my career.

Now here I am poised for change yet again, and I ask myself (yet again): what do I really want? Can I feel and follow the beat of my own drum, unplugging from others’ notions of what ‘success’ looks like? Seeds have been planted, and movement in a new direction is imminent. This involves leaving the company I’ve been with for many years and starting over in a new organization.

As I previously wrote, my home environment is changing too. In these times of upheaval all around, some of us are moving back to our roots (as the wonderful Laura mentions in her comment on my post). I’ve been spending time in the very neighbourhood I grew up in and, more than ever, it feels like home.

For so many years, I wanted to live anywhere but there. I had visions of starting life over in a foreign country where I knew no one and had no shackles of the past. And now, the place I grew up is the only place I want to be. I’m seeing my childhood, and the awesome beauty that surrounded me, with new and appreciative eyes.

In a way, it feels like rewriting time and history.

My friends laugh at me for moving and changing jobs so much. And yes, I am feeling a bit exhausted and want some stability. But then, is anything really stable these days? Can we accept that flux is the new norm? Though this little birdy is looking for a place to nest, she will always be grateful for the ability to fly to new surroundings and expand her horizons.

For now, my new direction feels good and as long as I trust my heart and intuition, I can’t go wrong.

keeping my words sacred

A couple of nights ago I went to a book launch party at the invite of a dear friend who wrote one of the chapters.  The book, The Thought That Changed My Life, features 52 authors recounting, as you might imagine, the one thought that changed their lives.  I have not yet read the book but after hearing some of the authors speak I am really looking forward to doing so (I got a free copy, yay!), as it was hugely inspiring and gave me further insight into the power of the mind, words, and thoughts.

As I have been writing about in this blog, a couple of months ago I decided to leave my job and I will be wrapping it up in the coming months.  As yet, there is no real plan in place.  I’ve realized in this process that I have to be very discerning as to who I reveal this information to.  Some people are highly supportive and excited for me, while others can’t imagine leaving a job without having something else solidified to take its place.  The latter group would probably feel it’s unwise and impractical – not to mention scary – to do such a thing.

There seems to be a general feeling among my circle of friends that the old way of doing things doesn’t work anymore, but the new way hasn’t fully formed yet.  This can lend to a sense of self-doubt about our decisions to leave jobs or cities that aren’t resonating with us anymore.  Which brings me back to my point about being discerning about who I share my intentions with.  I can be quite susceptible to the fears and doubts of others, which of course have nothing to do with me – unless I internalize them as my own. (Then again, in some cases it could be that I’m projecting my own self-doubt onto others, and interpreting their reactions through that highly questionable filter.)

The funny thing is, I often know better – I find myself sharing my thoughts and words with people who I know will not be supportive or encouraging, and who would not do the same themselves.  Why do I set myself up for that?  Many people will not take a risk or step into the unknown.  And there’s nothing really wrong with that – everyone has their own unique circumstances – but I always feel slightly bad after such an interaction.  Not ‘guilty’ bad; more that I’ve diluted something that is precious and sacred.  That I’ve wasted my words…words which represent the energy of what’s going on in my heart.   And then I have to get myself to a place where I feel ‘right’ and centred again.

crystal in sand in varkala beach, india

crystal in sand in varkala beach, india

I want to me more conscious and respectful of my desires, and speak of them only with people and in situations where they will be nourished.  I want to treat them with more care and reverence.

I’m in transition: experiencing a tenuous, raw space between my head and my heart, and I need to do all that I can do to move in the direction of my heart. So that living from there feels more natural.

The trouble is, the heart’s signs aren’t as easy to read when one has been living in their head for most of their life!  Thus I really appreciated being among such an inspiring group of people at the book launch.  I shared with a few of them where I’m at in my life, and I received nothing but support in my decision and ability to say ‘I don’t know what’s around the corner, but I know I can’t do this anymore’.  One of the authors asked what my dream in life is – something I’ve been asked numerous times before, always to space out and stammer something about not knowing, usually with a slight deer-caught-in-headlights expression.  I found myself about to do that again, but paused to think about how I really wanted to respond to that.

It is time that I let myself fully dream.  There’s always been a hesitancy with the dreaming…do i dare?…I hold my breath, and don’t allow it fully into my being.  So it doesn’t have a chance to make itself known to me, let alone express itself.

My head (and body) has long echoed with all the people and voices and social constructs and mass thought-forms that tell me why I can’t have, and live, my dream (and their reasons are endless).  But that’s ok and I’ve learned that resisting those voices doesn’t work for me.  My friend Sadee Whip mentioned the idea of spaciousness a few weeks ago, and I’ve been contemplating and feeling it ever since – that my true, essential nature wants to expand to include new ways of being, rather than use its energy to resist the old ways (and thus constrict myself).

So that’s the thought that’s currently changing my life.  I’m allowed to dream, with no limits to my imagination, and open myself up to whatever wonders dreaming lets in.

I think I just felt my heart smile.