Whose life is this, anyway?
Maybe you’ve been asking yourself that lately. You dreamed of doing something you loved, being with someone you loved, living somewhere you loved and, well, just being happy.
Instead you’re overworked, unfulfilled, maybe unsupported, exhausted, stressed. And, it seems, there’s no way out. You’ve got responsibilities, you’ve gotten used to the money, the benefits, the people.
And besides that…making a change is messy. Who wants to throw their life into upheaval?
That’s it. You’re stuck.
Or are you?
By nature, I’m an introvert. I prefer small towns, a few good friends, open space. With the best intentions, I made a temporary move back to busy Los Angeles to finish my book, spend a bit of time with family and then depart for a more nurturing setting.
As they say, the best laid plans…. My mom got sick, my family needed me, I needed them, and six months turned into six years. I took a job to keep things going and the more entangled I got, the more I felt like I might never get back to “my” life.
Finally, one day I got stuck in a traffic jam. My usual hour commute turned into two and a half hours trapped in the car. I looked around and thought of the Talking Heads line: “This is not my beautiful life.” I love my family. I didn’t even mind my job. But the way I was living was not me. Somehow, some way I had to get back to the life I knew inside was mine.
WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?
Being a certified life coach and having just finished writing a book on change – Igniting Change – I drew on all of my tools and here’s the thought that kept repeating in my mind.
Change happens from the inside out.
When we’re so busy responding to our external world, there’s no time to listen to that inner voice that would gladly guide us to our unique and fulfilling lives. So I made a point of opening a dialogue with my inner Self. Before long, magic started to happen. A friend called with a place for me to live for five months rent free while I transitioned to a new town and revived my work. My family gave me their blessing and now I’m back on track.
Here are three simple things you can do to start an inner dialogue and begin shifting your life from the inside without disrupting a thing on the outside. Ready?
1) Put your mind at ease. Our minds like to keep everything safe and controlled. Be clear with yourself. You’re not changing anything externally right now. This will allow your mind to stand down, your fear to diminish, and the conversation to begin.
2) Stay open. I had a client who felt hopelessly locked into a job with a boss who was making his life miserable. As much as he wanted to quit, he had a family, responsibilities. He felt trapped. No matter how we approached it, he saw no way out.
He seemed so despondent, I finally asked him if he could even be open to the possibility that things could change. He didn’t need to know how, just that something could happen. That he could agree to.
I had him post this statement on his mirror: I’m open to the possibility that things can change.
Two weeks later, his boss was fired and my client was offered the job. Yes, we were both surprised. Stay open to possibility. Life has a way of working magic.
3) Honor your envy I know that may sound strange, but envy in its purest form can be a powerful ally. We respond with envy when we see someone having or doing something we want.
If you’re not sure what path leads back to your authentic life, pay attention to that little knot you get in your stomach when you see someone doing something you desire. I used to get that knot when I’d see those photos of contributing writers in the front of a magazine. It helped me get clear that I wanted to take my writing seriously. And if you do know what you want, use that “envy” to fuel your commitment.
Working from the inside can create powerful change on the outside. Now that you know you can start shifting your life without throwing the whole thing into chaos, what possibilities will you open to?
Anna Francesca Celestino is a highly intuitive coach, emotional healer, author, and creator of The Shift System: Shortcuts to a Life You Love. She spent years on her “path”, and now applies her experience to create fast tracks for others like The Emotional Workout. It uses six simple questions to cut through emotional roadblocks and get to more supportive relationships, more fulfilling work and a more authentic life quicker. Download your free copy of TEW now.