After The Leap
When changing directions, often all that’s needed is to find the entry point of your new path vs. having to map out the entire route. What happens after you take that leap of faith and you’re a few steps down the new path? We can learn the answer through three clients who recently shared their updates with me.
Once you've headed down that new path, it's important to keep listening so you can comprehend where you're being led next. Those initial dreams may morph into something different and you might need to adjust your plans or open up to even greater opportunities than you first imagined.
Steve, a spiritual teacher, once advised me, "You have your vision of what you're moving toward and that's great. Just remember to keep a dotted line around that vision." Having breaks in the dotted line represents leaving room for Guidance to come in. Rather than expecting the vision to materialize exactly as you are imagining it now, leave room for it to evolve.
I reference that dotted-line imagery often for myself. It reminds me of a formula I've shared with you before:
Act > Notice > Integrate > Act
This is what it means to live a powerfully graceful life: keep listening to what life reveals, be patient and adjust course as needed, and boldly move forward with confidence and faith. Life opens up when you live it this way.
This Week’s Call To Action:
Here's to you,
How They Keep Listening
1. What would you say that you’ve learned about continuing to “listen to your life” and to be open to how things could unfold?
Sandy: I no longer say I’ll do this and then that is it. I know now that I need to go with the flow. All I need to know is what is right for now or for the next phase of my life (which could be one year or 10 years). As I take each next step, a whole new world opens to me that was not in purview before.
Phil answers this question by recalling his reaction to learning that his colleague was taking an acting class: Without a moment’s hesitation I said, “I want to do that.” Within a week I was in touch with her teacher, joined the class, and did a scene for the showcase about six weeks later. I have either been in some type of acting class, in a stage play or movie ever since. The most interesting thing about this is that I am not an impulsive person. As for being on stage, I find it to be extremely calm and peaceful. I have decided to continue running with this and see how far it goes.
Lydia: I think the evolution from truffle farming to vineyard occurred mostly because I wanted it to involve someone else — my husband. We will hopefully remain in good health for a long time together and I wanted something we could both be passionate about. While he was supportive, he wasn’t personally interested in truffles. The winery is something we can both support. The lesson I learned was to think about how you can apply the vision — to your advantage — to a different environment than you may first have thought. Where we live the industry is just starting to grow vs. California where it is well established.
2. What do you think is important about navigating the ever-evolving path?
Sandy: It is important to continue to think about (and for me actually write down) key times such as… who am I now, what is important to me now, what are my goals now — career and personal. I need to always look at both career and personal. If I don’t, they get out of whack.
Phil: Be open to new things. Though I can’t say the idea of acting is new. I think I have thought about it all my life. Whenever my wife, Michelle, and I would go to plays, the storyline was always secondary to me. My main point of focus was watching the actors and I almost always left the theater thinking about one or two roles and saying to myself, “I could do that.” I even remember looking at the audition listings in the weekly arts newspapers in Tucson when we first got there. I can’t say for sure why I never acted on them. The first acting class out here in Santa Barbara gave me confidence due to the teacher’s continuous support and positive reinforcement of what I was doing.
Lydia: Keep your eye on the long-term plan and have faith in the foundational work you did that brought you to the present. Flexibility is required because of more in-depth learning as you go.
3. How would you say you “listen” for guidance or know when something feels right?
Sandy: It feels right when I don’t have too many concerns over the next step. For me, it also has to come fairly easily. If I have to work too hard at it or it disrupts my life at the moment, it probably isn’t right for me. Of course, I have a fairly high tolerance for work and effort, but only if it’s the right effort. For example, one direction I considered became way too much work for the payback. I had to put in more work to go to school, but it felt right and was leading me in a new direction that had many other new possibilities.
Phil: Listening for guidance in my case was pretty easy because a lot of people weren’t just offering guidance or giving support; they were shouting it at me! It was hard not to listen to it. I am not quite sure yet what I am doing, or even if I am a good actor (and I really hesitate to call myself by that name), but I am thinking with all the positive reinforcement I have received in the last year, there must be something that I am doing well. So this was a real surprise for me. I didn’t see it coming, but here it is. I didn’t seek it out, but now I see it as a possibility.
Lydia: Listening to guidance means seeking out experts to inform your opinion. While we may not be able to articulate all the details of our vision, we can take from others’ experiences and say either yes or no to whether they feel right for us. When it’s right, it “clicks” and you can smile about it.
Current of Life, by Virginia Kravitz, is a free, biweekly Ezine for accomplished professionals who want to have more fulfilling careers and lives. Each issue provides practical guidance and inspiration to embrace a new and joyful momentum as you navigate the important decisions of your life. As a subscriber, you have exclusive access to special events such as teleclasses, call-in days, program previews, and Current Conversations, a monthly community call.
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