Five years ago today was one of those seminal life changing moments for me. I surrendered completely and was blessed with a powerful and clear sign even though I had no idea what to do with it.
It was Independence Day 2007 and I was vacationing on Monhegan Island, Maine. A place that time forgot: where the silence is loud and the pace is S L O W. At this point I had already dug through the muck of my soul as part of the catalyst of my journey from self-loathing to self-love. I had my epiphany that I was ready for the path of self-employment and had started the journey of building my own business while I was still working my day job. Problem was that I couldn’t get over that hump. I felt stuck in that limbo between getting started and taking the leap. I didn’t know how to make the decision to leave my day job for the unknown. I though that a gradual exit was my only “responsible” way to make the transition. Yet, every time I attempted to move to a part-time role at my company the doors were slammed in my face. Not just closed but slammed in a “we do this for other people but can’t do this for you blah blah blah” sort of way. I applied for part-time positions but didn’t get them. I pleaded for a job-share with someone on my team who wanted to do the same thing. No dice (of course that same person was granted a job-share just months after I asked). Here I was receiving very strong guidance from my soul that I was meant to move into my own business and yet every step I took toward that end left me disappointed, confused, and at a dead end. I was at my wit’s end.
So, I went on my vacation as planned hoping some grand message would fall from the sky and point me in the right direction. The more I paddled, camped, and enjoyed the silence, the clearer I became that I wanted to design my career in a way that enabled me to live the kind of life I really wanted to live. I wanted freedom, flexibility, and the chance to live out my calling and purpose now, not “someday…maybe, later”.
But HOW?? How could I do that?
Credit Image: seagull in flight via Shutterstock
No amount of thinking, scheming, or intellectualizing seemed to get me any closer to an answer.
So one foggy day while hiking on the island, I simply perched myself atop a cliff known as Whitehead and asked the empty space before me. I literally surrendered to whatever higher power there is (God, Buddha, Universe, etc.) and asked – “What lesson are you trying to teach me? I’m totally out of ideas, so what step do you want me to take next?”
The answer came very clear. In one of those moments writers yearn for my pen sped across the pages of my journal and without need to be edited a short verse that tells it all was born. I entitled it “Independence Day or is it Liberation Day?”. You can read the inspired verse and photo here. It is one of the many inspirations that lit the fire for me to complete my first published book as well.
So what happened? I’d like to say that I immediately knew what to do. I didn’t. I felt awestruck by the poetic and clear message but thought – ok what the heck does that mean in the real world?!
Oh but the mystery wasn’t over yet. This was just a commercial break.
I returned to my day job only a few days later. On my second day back to work (while my Dad was off having heart surgery on top of it), I got laid off and lost my job in a reorganization with no reduction in headcount (yeah, I know wrap your head around that math). Instead of panicking though, at the moment I was told the news, I immediately saw the seagull from my day on the cliffs and KNEW. I knew deep in my soul and to the bottom of my toes that this was part of the plan. That this was going to be one of the best things that happened to me even if I had no idea what to do next.
So the lesson I learned that day was one of surrender. Trusting what I now call Intuitive Intelligence® and getting very clear that there is no way we could ever possibly mastermind the most important moments and choices in our lives or careers. It is the letting go that leads to liberation and true independence.
This post originally appeared on BlogHer.