Where do you find your answers?
If you asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I listed teacher, doctor, speaker and coach. Even as a child I loved learning, growing and challenging myself. I always felt a strong desire to impact, help and work with people. I also knew I was very strong willed, a trait also called stubborn. I remember being one of the only ones in the grade 6 public speaking contests who didn’t dread the experience. I always had a “lot to say” as I am sure many of my friends could attest to. I had a plan and I assumed that everything always went according to plan, I think that’s what every other Type A personality expects. Little did I know that life never follows Plan A!
After repeated attempts to get into into medical school, I had to accept that it wasn’t going to happen. I still felt a pull to continuing education, growing my skills and helping others. I absolutely believe in pursuing our dreams and following our passion; however, I learned that sometimes we are so zeroed in on the title, goal or plan and that we miss the bigger picture. In fact we may miss the Plan B, C, D, etc. that life has planned for us.
For 25 years as a Kinesiologist and teacher, I mentored people both physically and emotionally to transform their lives. I was always grateful for the clients, students, experiences and the challenges. I continually reminded myself that it was the path, the journey and the experience, not just the destination that mattered. Each setback, roadblock, speed bump and U-turn was a moment to learn more about myself. It was never a “dead end” as my mind wanted to believe, it was just a side step to another path. It was always imperative that I continued to do what I loved and to be happy.
I found myself continually asking that question, “am I happy?”. The answer became the compass if I was on the right path. I chose to ask the question frequently and had faith that no matter which challenge appeared that it was all part of “the story”, and was it ever turning into a “good” story, that I will continue to share. Multiple moves, job changes, serious health and family challenges, continued to occur. I would ask “why was nothing working out smoothly or as I planned”? Those questions kept me stuck and overwhelmed and so unclear about what to do next. Instead I would go back to the question, “am I happy”? I used this as the compass of where my answers were. I had to learn to trust the process of what was unfolding. A few key lessons along the way have made all the difference….
- No setback is permanent. Nothing is permanent, and life is always in constant motion, so expect change. The only constant is change!
- Every setback is whatever I called it and whatever energy I gave to it. The story could change at any moment in time.
- Fear and faith cannot live in the same place, and fear is paralyzing so I choose to live in faith. Faith requires that I trust the process, believe that the skills I learned along the way were exactly what I needed for the next stage of life. Every time fear took over I would remind myself that it was a choice to feel that way and I could choose to change that.
- I learned to get out of my head. By living in my head and constantly planning for it to work out perfectly, I was never living in my heart or following my gut. I also was never living in the current moment, hence I couldn’t tap into my gut feelings because I was “too busy living in the past or the future”, which did nothing but keep me stuck!
- By listening to my gut, being clear on my values and what I wanted in life, I remained open. The opportunities started to unfold, and new people and experiences entered my life. Things I never planned on or expected. People and plans that weren’t even in my Plan A!
- Nothing will appear when you are closed and when you are stuck in your head! Nothing!
Life is not about titles, who you are supposed to be, who others expect you to be or even what you thought your grand master plan was. Life is funny and ironic. If you stay in action, stay open and in tune with what makes you happy and trust the process, the detours, setbacks and U-turns of life will actually lead you to exactly where you were supposed to be.