This Sense-sational Life is a blogging series that explores the senses as a way of cultivating a more mindful, connected life. This week’s post touches on one of the senses I have been working with for the last year as I moved from being employed by other to starting my journey as a Soul Proprietor. It has been one of the most amazing adventures of my life that come our of a Sense of Choice.
Sense of Choice
My husband, Eric, is fascinated with the symbolism of The Crossroads. He looks for it in movies, mythology, legend, and in his own life. Because we share so much, I have taken to looking for it as well…..and learning from it.
We all find ourselves at The Crossroads from time to time. We stand there with the opportunity awaiting us to change paths. Sometimes we know we are coming to The Crossroads. Sometimes we call it to us. And other times, it arrives out of the blue.
The Crossroads can bring with them a new chance, perhaps leading us closer to a dream, or it may feel forced upon us, unwanted, never asked for, and not welcomed. However it comes, The Crossroads put a choice in our hands about how we handle them, how we frame the change.
I came to The Crossroads in October 2011 when I discovered my life offering me a change. I had been studying counseling and working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, but my passion for helping others nurture a more creative lifestyle began moving me into life coaching, offering expressive arts workshops and e-courses, massage therapy, as well as, sharing my own art with the world.
I remember the night I discovered I had a decision to make. I loved the work I did at the shelter. I loved the opportunity to be an agent of change in a venue that so desperately needed it, but I also recognized I was moving away from my dreams and my vision for my life. You see, in my early twenties I looked inside at what I wanted to be when I grew up. What I saw there was a confident woman who worked with others both one-on-one and in large crowds to help them connect with their innate ability to be creative. I saw myself traveling to give inspirational talks, writing about the subject, and providing an avenue for profound change for people world wide. For a long time, I didn’t know how to do that. When I discovered blogging, a door was opened. However, I had also found the work at the domestic violence shelter meaningful and knew I needed to be there for some amount of time. The question was, how long? My dream was calling me more strongly with every day.
I told my husband I wished I was brave enough to stay. That’s when The Crossroads revealed themselves to me.
How many times had I sat with a woman on the verge of making a move into a life she wished for and witnessed her having to make the decision between staying in what she knew but what might not be working any longer or risking the unknown to step into her hopes. I thought being brave meant staying with the important work I was doing with those women and sacrificing my own dreams for theirs. Then I saw the other way was brave as well. Maybe brave was following the call of my heart.
When I realized I could be brave on either path, following my heart became easier.
That began my shift into full time work for myself, now just over a year ago. With each passing month, I figure out a new piece of the puzzle, I grow in confidence, and see my vision more fully coming into shape. Sure there are days when I miss the work I did, but the satisfaction that comes with knowing I am working for my dreams and helping others bring their creativity to the world makes a spark fire up in me that just makes me melt.
So how do we cultivate the Sense of Choice?
For me, part of the equation is to become more and more aware of the choices that are put in front of us. Some choices have become easy with practice. What station will I listen to when I get in the car? What do I watch on TV Thursday nights? Bath or shower? Russet potatoes or sweet? White, pink, blue or yellow packet….or maybe none at all?
Some things we know because we have made an over-reaching decision about them. But some things are up for change, some things are new territory. In these instances, I like to believe that my choice will be made by balancing just enough information with a bit of clarity and a bit of intuition. Then, I will try to determine The Next Right Move and trust that no matter what happens, I can always move to a new space.
I give myself permission to flub up. I learn from the choices I make and try not to beat myself up if it doesn’t go just right. And when I do get it right, I celebrate.
I would love to hear about your Sense of Choice. How do you make the choices that are in front of you? What do you do to make choice-making easier for you? What is working? Where do you need to make a choice in your life today?