Tag Archives: career change

Taking a Leap of Faith – and the Accompanying Terror

I awoke early this morning and was filled with terror. My mind began running rampant, cataloging all the things I had to be fearful about. At the top of the list, as always, was not having enough money.

I recently took a leap of faith and moved across the country from Seattle to Salisbury, Massachusetts. I didn’t know what I would do for work, but had been fortunate enough for two part-time opportunities (one with my Seattle employer) to present themselves. In the 10 days since I’ve been in my new home I have been overwhelmed with trying to make sure that I am working enough to make as much money as I was making full-time. Yesterday, both jobs had less work for me to do, and I became fearful about the future prospects with each of them.

When I awoke this morning, I panicked. My mind was whirling with figuring out what I could do to get some more work / money, either with these two opportunities, or in some other way.

I cried for about 5 minutes, and cried out to God to help me. I had a few big yawns (a sign for me that energy is moving) and fell into a deep dream-filled sleep for an hour.

When I next awoke, I was conscious of a change in perspective. I have taken leaps of faith in the past: starting my private counseling practice during a recession, choosing to stop doing work that didn’t resonate with me, choosing not to work for several years to focus on my internal growth, and too many more to mention here. And, it has always worked out for me.

Not always in the way I would have said I wanted in the beginning, or in a way I could have predicted. But it has always worked out for my benefit.

So, with that foundation, I thought about how holding on to the past with my current jobs may be preventing me from moving into my future.

It is terrifying to consider letting go of the only source(s) of income that I currently have. And, the truth is, I’ve known for some time that neither of these jobs is in my future. I need to let go of the idea that this is how I will make my living in the future in order to open the door for other possibilities to show up. And I’m scared.

A few days ago I was shuffling Tarot cards to do a 3-card spread for myself. The Fool literally leapt out of the deck and fell into my lap. A coincidence? I think not. The Fool is about new beginnings and letting go of the past. He also represents bringing a child-like innocence to the unlimited possibilities of the Universe.

I keep coming back to the letting go of the past part. I am still hanging on to certain aspects of the past, not just with my jobs. I see that it is my work now to cut those cords so that I can be free to move forward.

This is not an easy task, but I know it is the right path.

Wish me luck, and I will keep you posted!

The Blue Heron Wisdom Internet TV Show Goes Live Today!

If you have enjoyed reading my posts here (which I will continue to do), you might also enjoy tuning into the inaugural episode of my new Internet TV Show, Blue Heron Wisdom.

To find out more about the show and to watch the archives, go here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/blue-heron-wisdom

To tune in live at 7 PM Pacific / 10 PM Eastern click here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/live-studio-call-vip-show-hot-line-303-872-0503

So, you’re probably wondering what this show is all about. Let’s start with the name of the show: Blue Heron Wisdom. The blue heron is a symbol of self-determination, discovering and walking a path of authenticity. My mission is to inspire you to want to be more of who you truly are, to enlighten you on how to move forward on your own unique path, and to encourage you along the way.

In my weekly radio show I will share information about ways to work through common problems and stuck-points, including exercises and tools that you can use at home. We’ll then open up the phone lines for live coaching on any questions or situations you need help working through.

On the first and third Thursday of each month I will introduce you to a practitioner who offers an alternative approach to discovering and walking your own unique path. Some of the guests scheduled include hypnotherapists, EFT practitioners, acupuncturists and a Kundalini yoga instructor. There will be time in the last half of the show for you to call in with questions for the guest, or for me. Or why not get input from each of us?

I hope that you will be inspired by my stories and the stories of my guests, that you will find enlightenment in the ideas, tools and techniques that we offer, and that you will feel encouraged and supported through receiving live coaching for your own questions. My ultimate hope is that by experiencing this inspiration, enlightenment and encouragement, you will in turn inspire, enlighten and encourage others to be more of who they truly are.

Here is the schedule of topics and guests for the first four episodes:

June 14, 2012
The Inaugural Episode with Wendy Wagoner
I will be interviewed by veteran broadcaster Wendy Wagoner. We’ll be discussing my hopes and dreams for how the show will make a difference in the world, how I came to be doing the show, and sharing what’s in store for the coming weeks. We’ll be sure to leave time for you to call in and get some help with situations in your life.

June 21, 2012
Psychic, Medium and Teacher Melissa Peil
Melissa will share how she became aware of her own intuitive gifts, how using your own intuition can help you move in the right direction, and how she uses her gift to help others find the right path. Call in and to get Melissa’s input (or mine) on a problem or decision you need help with.

June 28, 2012
Overcoming Perfectionism with Ina Stockhausen
Join me and my friend and colleague Ina Stockhausen to find out what perfectionism is, why it interferes with being authentic, and what to do about it. Ina and I will address questions you may have about how to set your perfectionism aside and be more of who you truly are.

July 5, 2012
Astrologer and Writer Rhea Wolf
Rhea will share some information about an upcoming astrological event that will require us to call upon our skills to live with change and uncertainty. We’ll have a conversation about resiliency: what is it, why is it important, how to develop it. Call in to ask for an astrological perspective on current events, or for coaching on a difficult situation.

I am incredibly excited (it seems like I use that word a lot lately) about this new chapter in my business. I look forward to your feedback, and talking to you live!

Here are the links again:

To find out more about the show and to watch the archives, go here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/blue-heron-wisdom

To tune in live at 7 PM Pacific / 10 PM Eastern click here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/live-studio-call-vip-show-hot-line-303-872-0503

When I am on the Right Path, the Universe Supports Me

In the past week I had several occasions to tell my story of making a mid-life career change.  In each telling I shared how once I paid attention to the messages I was getting about being in the wrong career, support for making the change showed up. I have been aware for some time that I get “messages from the Universe” that let me know that I’m on the right path, or that I need to make a course adjustment.

Even the name of my blog, Blue Heron Wisdom, tips my hat to those messages.  I think that acknowledging this support on a regular basis is a good way to get even more support from the Universe.  In that spirit, I want to share the ways in which the Universe has supported me in pursuing my new (now current) career.

When I first awoke to the idea that I needed to make a career change I was in a job where I wasn’t challenged and my boss was not supportive, was volatile, and was sometimes verbally abusive.  I was really unhappy and the stress was affecting my physical health. For several months I had been looking for a different job, and once I became clear on the fact that I needed not just a job change, but a career change, that next job showed up.

I had worked for many years – 26 years at that time – in software development.  I decided that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a counselor, but of course I did not have the right education yet to make that possible.  I would need to return to school and get a master’s degree in psychology, counseling or some other related field, so I couldn’t immediately change careers.

However, I couldn’t wait two years or more (when I finished school) to change jobs.  My current job was just too unpleasant and stressful.  The next job I found, and ultimately my last job in software development, was the opposite.  My boss was supportive and actually liked me, the team I worked with liked and appreciated me, and upper management thought I was great.  It was wonderful to be appreciated.

But this change to a more pleasant work environment did not mean that I didn’t still need to change careers.  It just meant that now that I had woken up and realized I had been on the wrong path and was moving in the right direction (I had applied to grad school for the fall), that I no longer had to suffer.

The lovely new work environment even extended to supporting me in making my career change.  Although my boss new that once I finished school I would no longer be working there, he gave me time off to go to school and let me work part time while I did my internship.  Now that is support!  Not only from my boss and the company, but from the Universe!

Since the school I attended met for full days on weekdays every seven or eight weeks, I could not have participated in the program without that flexibility from my workplace.  Additionally, in the second year of the program I was required to do an internship 20 hours a week.  As a single parent of a child that was too young to be left home alone, there was no way I could have worked 40 hours a week while doing my internship.  I was, and am, extremely grateful for the support I received from the Universe, through my boss and workplace, during those two years.

Once I graduated I was hired into the community mental health organization where I had been interning.  My plan was to work there until I gathered enough client contact and supervision hours to be licensed, and then I would start my private practice.

I want to forewarn you that there is going to be a lot of talk about money coming up here.  I know that many people in our society believe that money is something that should be kept private.  My belief is that I need to thank the Universe and express appreciation for what I receive, so I need to be truthful about it.  Additionally, I hope that my experience will be inspirational for others, which it cannot be if I don’t tell the truth about it.

The sad truth about social services jobs is that they are extremely underpaid.  I went from making $100,000 a year in software development, to making a little over $13 an hour (that’s less than $30,000 a year) in community mental health.  I knew this would be the case when I chose to make my career change and had decided I would supplement my income with withdrawals from my 401K.

About nine months after I graduated from my master’s program I needed to start making payments on my student loan.  Even stretching the payments out for the longest possible term, this meant a $300 a month payment.  Given that I was already drawing on my 401K just to support myself, the additional payment seemed like a lot.

I had been attending an intention circle, where we practiced the Law of Attraction by writing intentions and sharing them with the group, for about year at that time.  I wrote an intention that said “My school loans are repaid easily and effortlessly without impacting my lifestyle or my savings” and forgot about it.

I had the idea that I would ask my mother to give me the money to make the first year’s worth of payments, which would be about $4000.  It was a big step for me to ask my mother for money.  There’s a lot of history I won’t go into right now, but suffice it to say it was a conscious choice for me to do something different in that relationship.  I knew that she would say yes, but I didn’t like being indebted to her.

When I called to her to ask for this favor she immediately agreed. We went on to talk about the logistics of when this money would be available to me, and in the course of that discussion I said something about how much more expensive school was now than when I had been an undergraduate thirty years earlier.  I said something like “Back then it was $282 a semester and now it was $40,000 for these two years!”  My mom replied by saying, “Well, I can give you the whole $40,000.”

Wow! This exactly fit the intention I had set a few days earlier, but was not at all what I’d had in mind when I wrote it.  The Universe works in mysterious and wonderful ways that I cannot even begin to imagine!

A couple of months later I met my mom at the bank to get a cashier’s check to fully repay the school loan.  She was cashing in a $100,000 CD that had come due in order to give me that money.  When we were having lunch later that day she said to me, “Interest rates are so low it doesn’t pay to put the rest of the money (the remaining $60,000) back in a CD, so think about how you could use that money.”  Wow again.  Thank you, mom!

I didn’t immediately clue into how I was supposed to use that money.  I could have paid off my car loan, but it wasn’t enough to pay off my mortgage which was the biggest outgoing monthly payment that I had by far.

It took another month or so for me to realize how I was intended to use this gift from my mother.  As I mentioned earlier, my idea had been to stay in community mental health until I was licensed, which was still about a year away.  However, I had begun getting messages from the Universe that it was time to move on.

These messages were sometimes subtle, such as my voice mail at work getting disconnected multiple times, but I began to notice that my patience for that work environment was wearing thing.  Finally, one day I had an epiphany that this generous gift from my mother was intended to fund the start of my private practice!

In the end, I left community mental health a year earlier than I had originally planned, and it has all worked out well.  It was the exact right choice and in the exact right time, made possible by the Universe supporting me through my mother.

Since then I have continued to see evidence of being supported by the Universe on this journey I’m on, both through the manifestation of financial means as well as emotional and spiritually.

Thank you Universe, Spirit, God – whatever name you prefer!  I am incredibly grateful!

Meditation Is the Path to Inspiration

Since I got serious about being the authentic me I’ve been meditating pretty much daily.  I might miss a day here or there, but it has become a regular practice for me.  There are days where nothing much happens and I end by feeling relaxed, calm and peaceful.  And there are days where I ask for guidance and receive it.

Then there are the days where I have a huge flash of inspiration unrelated to anything I may have asked for guidance on.  Yesterday was one of those days.

As I was meditating I was working on raising my vibration with positive thoughts.  A friend bought me a Mega Millions lottery ticket a couple of days earlier and I wanted to increase the possibility of winning that money through visualization and intention.

I started thinking about all the things I would do with the money, and very quickly came to understand what my larger purpose in life is.  For the last few months people (business coach, intuitive healer, and astrologer) have been telling me that I haven’t yet understood fully the magnitude of my life purpose.  I have taken this in, but haven’t had a clue how or where to expand my current vision of my purpose here.

Yesterday it all came to me in a flash as I meditated on how I would use hundreds of millions of dollars.  The freedom of not worrying about how I would accomplish my vision freed me to see what I was meant to express in the world.

I would only have to do the things I like to do, and could hire others to do things I don’t like.  Similarly I didn’t have to know how to implement my ideas; I could hire someone who was an expert to do that.

I have never thought of myself as a visionary, have seen myself as more tactical.  But yesterday that all changed.  I am a visionary when it comes to knowing my life purpose and how I want to express it in the world.

I’ve realized more and more over the past month or two that what I love to do is to tell my story, inspire and support people with my story, and use my gift for seeing the core of an issue to help others move forward in their lives.

Knowing that about myself, here’s the vision I had yesterday:

Things I want to do personally:

  • TV and/or radio talk show
  • Workshops with small groups
  • One-on-one work
  • Interviews
  • Write books

Things I want to use my money to create and/or support:

  • Supporting others in pursuing their passion and purpose.  I saw how my expanded vision would need people I already know in order to make it reality, and in turn this would allow them to express their own purpose.  Expanding on this further, I could create an organization that helped people pursue their life purpose whether in my organization or in some other way.
  • Humane treatment of animals used for food (expanded to all animals eventually).  I became a vegetarian a few months ago, and will probably become a vegan very soon.  I don’t believe it is wrong to eat animals, but that the way in which we raise and slaughter them is inhumane.
  • Childhood education on happiness, authenticity, passion, purpose and love.  How wonderful would it be if as children we had been taught that it was okay to be who we really were, that who we are authentically is rooted in love, and that being authentic and full of love is what creates happiness?
  • An organization dedicated to raising the happiness set-point of people, and the expression of love, around the world
    • In government
    • In corporations
    • In schools
    • In families

Changing the way we relate to ourselves, in turn changing how we relate to others.  Basing this on love and authenticity, we can change the world!

By the way, I didn’t win the Mega Millions – didn’t even win $2 – but now that I have my vision clearly in my mind I know that support from the universe has to show up.  I don’t know in what form that will happen, but I know it will.

Hurray for inspiration (and meditation)!

I Am Enough

Even after I had my awakening into authenticity, I still struggled with truly believing that what I had to offer was valuable, was enough.  Shortly after I returned from New York I met with someone from a professional organization to discuss giving a talk for them.

The topic of the talk was on finding your passion and creating success in your career life.  This is something that I’ve been doing with individual clients for the past few years, but I felt like I needed some “experts” (someone who had been published and was well known) to back me up.

Having just returned from the workshop with Robert Holden, I used his book Success Intelligence (recently renamed to Authentic Success) to jot down a few points about success and organize them as talking points for a presentation.

When I met with the education director for the organization, I started by telling her about these ideas from Robert’s book – although I didn’t say I got them from a book.  She was polite and seemed to understand the points I was making.

Then she asked me about my own story of why, and how, I had changed careers.  I launched into my story of a horrible final few years of my previous career, how I had awakened to the change I needed to make, and what I did about it.

I could visibly see her interest in me and what I was saying change; she was engaged in my story.  She leaned forward in her seat and watched me intently.  When I finished she told me how inspiring my story was, and it was just the thing that their members needed to hear as many of them struggled with finding their own passion and right livelihood.

I was astonished, and extremely gratified at the same time.  You mean all I had to do was be me and tell the truth about myself?  All these years I’d struggled with making myself what I thought I needed to be in order to provide what others expected of me, and in reality I just had to show up as me?

I’ve had many people tell me that the story of my career change is inspiring to them, but I never really took it in.  I think because it was so obvious and necessary of a decision for me, I discounted the risk that was involved in it.  I knew without a doubt it was the right decision for me and it didn’t feel particularly risky.  So when others would give me kudos for the big change, it just didn’t feel like that big of a deal.

It felt really good to be able to take in that something that was so natural for me could be inspiring to others.  And that it was inspiring enough that I would be asked to speak to a professional group about it.  I was the expert because of who I was, not what I learned from a book.

Over the weeks after this meeting I still struggled with self-confidence and believing that I am enough.  I still do sometimes.  But remembering this interaction always helps me to relax and remember that I do have something unique and valuable to offer: me.  And just being me is enough.