Full Flower Moon

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I was 33 years old and terrified that I was leaving a career that was my dream 5 years previous. I wanted to work in the wine industry and learn everything I could about it. This job took me all over the world where I met amazing people and experienced culture and cuisine. For a wanderluster with a palate for pinot, this was a dream come true.

I was so grateful and in awe of all the opportunities BUT something just wasn’t right.

Deep down, I was miserable. I wanted to travel on my own terms and write. I knew that writing wasn’t going to pay the bills, but I knew I had to try it. This concept was terrifying. I had created such security and my soul was begging me to leap. I edged up to the cliff, looked down and went right back to work several times.

I decided to take 2 years off and calculated my freedom number; the amount needed to sustain my simplified lifestyle for my temporary hiatus from work. I saved until I had what I thought was enough to support myself. Then, I stepped back to the edge of that cliff and I still felt my knees tremble, unable to leap.

My soul was relentless and the misery transcended anything amazing that was happening. There were promotions, trips and raises but my resistance caused more pain and left me feeling helpless and depressed.

Then, I realized no matter how many times I crunched numbers or made excuses, this calling was going to pursue me until I let go of the security and resistance and opened to the unknown.

The day I quit my job, I was nervous and excited. I had prepared a letter and walked into the office of the company president. This man was responsible for all the great things that I experienced with the company as well as mentoring me along the way. I was sad to deliver this message to him. As we spoke, he was gracious and understanding. I was so grateful. That moment solidified that I was making the right decision.

Immediately following that conversation, I felt the resistance fade and relief took over. I felt light and happy and excited to embark into the unknown.

Suddenly, I had the freedom I had so badly craved but felt fear creeping back in.

I knew that if I didn’t squash the thoughts of scarcity and insecurity, I would not be able to enjoy what had happened. I combated the fear with gratitude. I sat in the feeling of relief and thanked God for helping me — prodding me — pushing me to harness my bravery.

This was a lesson in becoming. When resistance, fear and pride took over, I was not allowing myself the chance to blossom. I remained tightly closed for almost 2 years because I feared the loss of security. I needed to let go of certainty in order to fully open up to the beauty that wanted to unfold.

It wasn’t until I full released my grasp on the need to control and my craving for certainty that I was able to truly appreciate what was transpiring. When I let go, I felt my creative passion explode and writing became something I must do. I celebrated my bravery and embraced uncertainty like an adventure to a new land. My heart and soul opened and blossomed.

Tonight’s Full Flower Moon is the perfect opportunity to notice where abundance and gratitude are taking place in your life and confront and fear that may be holding you back. Address limiting beliefs and affirm your greatness. This is a time to showcase the beauty that has been carefully worked on and celebrate the growth that has occurred.

Open the floodgates of passion and infuse the areas of your life that have grown stale from neglect. Go after what you really want. Open up and bloom right where you are. Remember a time when you felt alive and excited and then ask yourself: “How can I bring that energy back into my life?”

Now is not the time to play small. Let go of anything holding you back. Celebrate all the goodness that is flowing into your life. Offer gratitude for the fruits of your hard work. This is the time to show off your big beautiful blooms and appreciate their glory.

It has been 3 years since I delivered that letter and I appreciate what took root that day and celebrate all that has blossomed since then.

“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  -Anais Nin

Quitting Time

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You know it in your gut. Sometimes the head follows and then your entire body follows. It is tiring and feels like the energy is being sucked right out of you. You toy with the idea only to find yourself back in your comfort zone, once again complacent and dreading the day to day.

The decision to quit a job usually comes after several moments and thoughts of “There has got to be something else.” and “I can’t do this anymore!” It is scary to leave a comfort zone, but the brave know that it is also very rewarding.

Our gut will continue to plead with us to make decisions that seem uncomfortable. In the relentless pursuit for attention, the gut may become ill to the point where our only choice is to give in. There is relief and knowing when to trust your gut; your truth center.

Although quitting may seem like the answer, there are some questions you need to consider first…

  1. Is there a different approach to the way you are dealing with a certain situation or is it time to move on? Answering this question honestly can help you discover whether it is time to quit or learn new ways to deal or communicate in a certain situation.
  2. What are you willing to compromise in order to go after what you really want? Perhaps it is a few dinners out or maybe living a simpler lifestyle. If a sabbatical is on your horizon, it is important to think about budget and what you will be spending once income ceases.
  3. What is your time frame? Be honest. Decide how much more time you want to stay in your current position and when you would like to be in a new position
  4. Is it time to take a sabbatical or start applying for different positions? This is crucial when it comes to quitting your job. Determine whether this is a conscious break from working or a career pivot and where you begin looking for your next position.

Each of these scenarios will take a different type of focus and resources. Allowing yourself the space to process this transition will help zero in on the goal and purpose of the change. Talking it through with a non-biased party will help detach from and sort through feelings and emotions. This is where a coach or mentor can help. Friends and family are wonderful for advice, but at times, their advice can be biased based on their relationship with you.

Quitting is a bold move that can be quite rewarding. Taking the time to ask a few important questions can bring clarity and peace. Sometimes we must close the door to something that isn’t working in order to focus on which door to open next.

For more information on navigating a career change or sabbatical with clarity and focus, email me at emily@soulsadventures.com.

Navigating Career Changes

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There have been two times where I have quit my job without a plan in mind. The first time was after a particularly rough period working for a bank while the market was crashing. I just knew that I needed to get out. The stress continued to build and debilitating anxiety became a common occurrence. I believed that peace would be found on the other side of leaving the company.

I left the job for medical reasons and wanted to find a place where I could work with less stress. That search lasted 9 months. During that time, stress over money and direction created uneasiness, but I resolved to keep my mind open to whatever needed to be next.

During my sabbatical, I found that I had a passion for wine and started to look into the wine industry as an option. I decided to put myself at industry events, helped my friend’s dad in his tasting room and began learning as much as I could about wine.

One day, I found a job posting for a company looking for a courier. I figured this was a great way to get my foot in the door and learn. The first 8 months, I asked as many questions as possible, assuming the mindset of a student. I was persistent in my pursuit of growing in my career and asked for promotions often. Eventually, I grew within the company and had the opportunity to travel the world and manage accounts.

After 5 years with the company,  I knew that a new career of path helping others was on the horizon, but was not sure what the next steps were. I knew that if I stayed where I was, I would become complacent and not search for the next steps my soul was asking me to take.

That’s the thing about change, complacency and fear can keep you in place hindering forward movement.

I left the company and bought a 1 way ticket to Bali. While overseas, I wrote and did some soul searching, hoping my next steps would be revealed. It wasn’t until I was back home in a coffee shop when I received the direction I was searching for.

I was writing, and a man approached me, sat down and proceeded to tell me all about his current relationship struggles. I listened for quite some time and then gave him some advice. He responded “You’re such a great listener, you should be a life coach.” I asked if that was a real thing…sure enough, it is.

Within 2 months, I was enrolled in life coaching school and started working on my certification. The evolution of this career has been so natural and I feel like I am doing what I was meant to do. Being able to combine writing and helping others is what my soul was searching for.

I am still in awe with how the entire thing transpired. By staying open to all possibilities, I was able to navigate my career change. Even through the difficult moments where I felt anxious about my next steps, I kept my mind open to all possibilities.

I knew my core desire was to help others and kept that as my north star.

Here are some tips on how to navigate the uncertainty of a career change:

  1.  Find what your passionate about (make a list, create a vision board or talk it over with someone)
  2.  If you’re contemplating a change, save your money and create a budget
  3.  Look for ways to enter the industry, especially with little to no experience.
  4.  Network
  5.  Work hard and speak your intentions clearly
  6.  Be persistent with your will to grow and develop
  7.  Patience pays off
  8.  Stay open to possibilities

If you are contemplating a career change or find yourself in the middle of one, coaching is a great tool to stay focused and weed through options. Email me at emily@soulsadventures.com to begin your career change journey.

A New Definition for Success

planeI silently sighed as I saw my impending situation for the next fourteen hours. I was going to be in the middle seat. My seat mates were discussing how one preferred the aisle over the window, and I just stood there while the seating arrangements were decided. Either way, I was going to be in the middle.

The flight was from San Francisco to Manila. The first layover en route to Bali. “This is an easy flight” the old man sitting next to me said as he adjusted his Bose earphones. He asked if I was headed to the Philippines and I let him know it was a layover.

For the next several hours, I had a lovely conversation with him. He trains teams in emergency response all over the world. He was flying to the Philippines to teach residents how to reclaim their water and drill new wells. He asked me where I was headed and my plans for the trip. I let him know that I had recently quit my job to travel and figure out my next step. He nodded and then went into a long explanation on how life is supposed to be lived now and to not wait for the future because it may never come.

His background was in the military as a paratrooper and said he never felt fear until he went on a ride at a fair with his daughter where he was scared for her safety. “I jumped out of planes into war zones and nothing compared to the fear I felt in possibly losing something I loved.” This was a turning point for him where he decided to live life fully.

The conversation was rich and we discussed gifts that each person has and I told him that I could tell his was service and encouragement. He told me that I had encouragement too because he was inspired by my story. This surprised me because I had been battling some doubt on whether or not I had made the right decision.

Then he said something to me that I will never forget, “Now you need to go from success to significance.” He explained that success is only a portion of happiness, what really matters is living a life full of significance…a legacy (even if you don’t have children). Forward thinking and how one acts after unexpected events is key. How we react shapes what happens next.

I was so grateful to sit next to this man. I think back to how I felt when I realized that I was going to sit in the middle for a long flight and how a negative thought turned into a memorable conversation. It was serendipitous to meet this man and have such a meaningful conversation about direction just a week after I quit my job. I didn’t know what was next. I knew I wanted to make a difference, but I was still in the mindset of success by any means. Changing my mindset to significance and making a difference by helping others completely transformed my life.

I began living my life with intention, striving to make a difference and using my gifts. I have had 2 career transitions in my life and this time, I feel like I am going after my true desires. Taking the time to listen to my intuition and striving for a life of significance is a new definition of success for me. The anxieties that I felt with my first career break are not present because my focus is on something greater.

Everyone has a special gift to share with the world. Seeing significance as success definitely requires a change of thought. When we are  living the life we are meant to be living, success is measured in non-tangible ways.  My gratitude is boundless to the universe for the middle seat and the wisdom I learned on that plane.

How can you add significance to you success story?

For more on living with intention, click here.

Sabbaticals and Career Breaks: Reflect and Reset

pathWhen you find yourself at the precipice of quitting your job to take a sabbatical or at an unexpected career break, a spark forms inside. There is a mixture of anxiety and freedom marking the start of a very important transition; the birth of something new.

Sabbaticals range in time but they all have a common theme. It is a time to look inside yourself to figure out what you really want to do next. This pause in work creates the space to evaluate, plan and listen to intuitive cues. The time is finally available to sit and think about direction.

This time is a gift and although there is some anxiety because the next step is unknown, embrace the ambiguity. Sit with the question. Allow the silence to be a guide.

I have experienced two sabbaticals in my life. The first one was after my career as an investment banker where I watched the downfall of the market and was plagued with anxiety. I was too young to feel that upset all the time. So, I cashed out everything, including my retirement account and moved away to figure out my next step. The time was spent in a new city, exploring a part of the US I had never seen and taking one big trip with the last of my money to visit a friend in Australia. When I returned, I found a job in an industry I had grown quite passionate about–wine.

I worked in the wine industry for five years working my way from a courier to an account manager where I consulted wine makers on their wine making processes. The job gave me the opportunity to travel all over the world and learn so much about wine. After a few years on the road constantly, I began to feel burnt out. I was home a few days a month and exhausted. My passion had waned and I wanted stability and community more than anything.

I resigned after a couple years of saving and planning my next steps. I was terrified when I handed in my resignation letter letting go of the financial security I had created and worked so hard for. But, my intuition told me this was a necessary move.

My plan was to travel the world and write a book. I had a one way plane ticket to Bali but something told me to keep my apartment. I would travel in spurts. While I was in Bali, all of my plans disintegrated and my true path revealed itself. I resisted and argued with the realization. Knowing that my wanderlust was being put on the back burner broke my heart. But it was clearly the right answer.

I returned home and settled in and signed up for school. I was going to write at home and study to become a life and spiritual coach. This last transition has had its share of doubt, anxiety and ambiguity. However, the biggest difference was the way I approached it.

The key was to trust my intuition and know that the universe was going to provide the path as long as I stayed open and listened for guidance.

During this time, I received coaching from a colleague and truly believe in the importance of a coach during transition. Not only can coaching provide guidance and accountability, it can also open your mind to the universal clues we can’t see when we shut down out of frustration.

If you are going through or thinking about a career transition and would like to discuss coaching, please email me at emily@soulsadventures.com. I offer effective tools to tap into your intuition, explore what it is your really want to do and provide planning tools.

Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on Earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling. -Vincent Van Gogh