Saturn Return

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It has been known as a quarter life crisis. Around the ages of 27-31 it hits and all of a sudden something must or just changes. For some it is a subtle nudge that doesn’t go away until addressed. For others it seems devastating, like everything that had been worked towards was a sham and the feeling of starting over is too much to bear.

This time is known as Saturn Return; a milestone of reaching adulthood. Saturn takes approximately 28 years to make a full orbit around the sun from the time of birth. With each occurrence, responsibilities change, thoughts mature and a shift in mindset takes place.

Each person experiences it differently. It is a time when life does a course correct. Some learn new skills that propel them in the direction that is now waiting to be explored. Others feel this time as a difficult transition, feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. For some, it can be a period of hard work either physically, mentally or emotionally.

My Saturn Return hit me a month before my 28th birthday. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. Anxiety flooded my days and I doubted my decisions as everything I had worked for seemed to just not fit any more. I knew I needed a change, but I didn’t know what I needed to do. I wanted answers immediately, but they took their time to arrive.

While I was in what felt like an endless loop of waiting, I learned some hard and valuable lessons. I started recognizing my core values and desired to live a life that aligned with who I wanted to be. This is where the pain set in: I had to give up ideas of what I thought I wanted and where I needed to be to align with what I really wanted. It was scary to think about starting over.

The more I resisted this new path, the harder things seemed to be. But, when I embraced the changes that were occurring, regardless of my attempts to control, a peace set in. I noticed that the amount of anxiety I experienced was in direct proportion to the amount of control I tried to exert. I released my grasp and a new career, friendships, cities and outlook appeared.

I had to make room for what needed to take place.

I noticed 4 phases of a Saturn Return:

  1. Humility: I felt embarrassed thinking that what I swore was my life path was actually wrong. Having to admit to myself and others that I was starting over was recognition that I did not know it all and that I still had some learning to do. OUCH!
  2. Growth: I had to learn new skills to move forward in a new career. I had to learn a lot about myself and grow from mistakes. Embracing my authenticity and bravery catapulted growth and helped me to move on and forgive myself and others.
  3. Emergence: After the inner struggle of control, I was able to emerge onto the new path. There was a new found confidence after I embraced the growth. I felt renewed and excited.
  4. Freedom: Finally accepting the end of where I thought I was heading and embracing the next phase brought a sense of freedom. There is a renewed sense of trust that occurs which feels free and lighthearted.

I have coached many people going through their Saturn Return. There are spiritual shifts, career changes, relationship and life transitions that occur. It can be scary and exciting to navigate. There is something beautiful on the other side of the struggle. It is quite lovely to see the transformations from struggle to freedom. These steps differ in time for each person, but at the end, freedom appears.

Like a caterpillar creating a cocoon, this a time of transformation. Don’t let preconceived notions take over and stunt forward movement and growth. Be open and allow the changes to happen. Celebrate each lesson and be grateful for the path thus far. Soon, the butterfly emerges and spreads its new found wings and soars into freedom.

You have escaped the cage. Your wings are stretched out. Now fly.

-Rumi

For more on coaching, email emily@soulsadventures.com

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