Redirection: 7 Lessons from Living Differently

I can’t take it anymore!”

One thing built on another and another, until I reached a moment where I said “Enough!”  As a person of action I choose not to sit in misery.  I identified my problem and took active steps to overcome the problem.  This approach has always worked for me, but this time it was different. I didn’t know why I was frustrated, so I had no idea how to fix it? I was stuck.

I’ve been a goal setter since I was 8; my goals have always been personal and academic or professional.  I always put emphasis on my academic/ professional goals over personal goals.  I tried to balance my life since I moved to LA in the fall of 2010 with minimal progress.  I decided to be radical, loosen my grip on my career and focus 2013 on me.  I simplified my goals down to three goals: Mind: Nurture My Creativity, Body: Start Yoga and Soul: Meditate Daily.  As I walked along my path my goals evolved and deepened my spirituality and I was led on an unexpected path.

1. When things don’t work out, life still works out.  In June, I planned to take a spur of the moment weekend trip with my sisters to New York. I missed my standby plane not once … but twice. That night I got very sick and I wasn’t able to make a standby plan the next day. Upset,  I decided to make the most of my weekend. And I challenged the universe to make it worth my while. That weekend shed light on areas of my life and myself that needed deeper examination. I realized my frustration that led to my goals for the year was an answer to a question I asked a year ago.

2.  Life tests you.  The weekend I missed my flight, I decided that when my freelance job ended in a month, I’d take the rest of the year off to rest. As the end of the month arrived, my position was extended into a new position. Life didn’t give me the easy out. I was asked if I wanted to stay on the show or leave – while part of me wanted to stay, I honored my intuition and left. Once made my decision I felt calm and knew that I made the right choice.

3.  As goals evolve, life guides you towards the unexpected. When I reached goals, in the past I used to enjoy the accomplishment and set a new goal. This year, as I reached a goal it led to another goal that wasn’t on my radar. My goal was to study improv to nurture my creativity, and in the process I realized I needed to explore my voice. So I took a voice class.

4.  A teacher will emerge when you are ready.  And if you pay attention you will find a mirror. As improv territory became uncomfortable, teachers emerged. Literal teachers. My improv instructor, voice instructor and poetry instructor provided great advice and support as I grew. As I discovered more about myself, I found myself surrounded by mirrors.  A mirror is my definition for a person that is a reflection of you.  Mirrors either are in the same place of their growth or have the same experiences, habits or thoughts as you.  Mirrors are life’s reminders that you are not alone.

5. Sometimes you need to cry. We are raised to be emotionally appropriate in social situations. Emotions make us human, they are not weakness and they guide us towards what is best for us. When you hide your emotion you start to fear them. If you are angry, be angry and explore why. If you are sad, be sad and explore why.

Don’t hide or cover your feelings, because those emotions will eventually break through.

6. Vulnerability is true authenticity.  I had the opportunity to read an original poem at an art exhibit. I was terrified. I always feared sharing my original writing or art. As I presented my poem, I struggled to read it and I cried a deep cry. The day after the poetry reading my voice instructor helped me understand the experience. I learned that the fear of showing my art is really my fear of showing me. My creative voice is my authentic voice and authentic self. Life has gotten lighter and my relationships have gotten deeper as a result of my vulnerability.

7. Fear is a signpost of future growth.  It’s not easy to breakdown your being to see how your habits help or hinder you, to see your weaknesses and see the ways you’ve been shaped by your experiences. If I chose to stay in my comfort zone my year would be nowhere near as amazing as it has been. I would not have grown in ways I needed. I am human and I still fear. However, my fear no longer hinders me. I see fear as a signpost or a beacon that guides me to future growth.

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