Are You True to Yourself?
It has been a long two weeks that keep getting longer. I have opened my new office and I feel like I’m getting settled in. However, we have one more big task at hand. My husband recently retired from his 30-year career. That being said, he is by no means ready or able to “retire.” So we’ve been tossing and turning trying to figure out what he should do.
He did the old job search thing and nothing really stuck. He did some interviews, but only one or two of them went really well. I began to think maybe his heart wasn’t in it. I mean, when you retire, why would you jump back into the same pool? You were tired of it to begin with right? Otherwise you would keep going.
This got us thinking of ways to align what we’re really passionate about. Instead of finding another job, what could we create? What kind of business could we go into that would advance or at least align with our goal of bringing wellness to others?
Let me tell you, it’s not an easy road. We are not medical professionals, so we have to be creative. We live in a small town, so we can’t start something that already is in existence and thriving; or worse yet can’t be supported by more than one business of its kind.
So we started looking at businesses for sale. There’s a candy store. Um, no. There’s a bar. Not really in alignment. There’s a holistic pet store. Maybe, but not our dream. We have a couple of irons in the fire right now that are in alignment with bringing healthy food to people. One is very risky but doable, the other is expensive but proven. The first one wouldn’t require a lot of specialized knowledge. The second one is new territory for us in many respects, but also utilizes a lot of the knowledge and experience we’ve gathered over our careers. And it’s way, way, way more exciting. To put it bluntly, it’s my husband’s dream and something I’ve been considering for several years now.
I can’t say much more right now, but I really needed to spend some time getting back to you and talking with you. I actually start to feel disconnected when I’m not sending you something you can use. Sometimes it’s diet-related, but often times it’s about connecting to yourself and pulling back the layers.
This entire process has both of us pulling back the layers. It can be very difficult at times to turn down opportunities that fill the gap, or the immediate need. Society is so fast-paced and we are so used to instant gratification (next day delivery, same day service, fast food, etc.) that we have forgotten how to wait for what we want, what we deserve, and what we truly need.
A few weeks ago I put the four agreements on my bathroom mirror. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should grab the book The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a quick read, literally. It is also very grounding, bringing the reader back to what really matters. I gave it as a gift last year to a high school graduate in the hopes that it would help her get grounded before beginning her life in the adult world and starting college. I also wrote a note on my husband’s bathroom mirror (that smaller room out in the hallway). His note read, “be open.” I know, kind of vague. But that was my point. I needed him to know I support him in this journey and there is no need to rush. I could have wrote to be true to yourself, but he already knew that. We he needed to hear was that I was not expecting him to take a job he would hate just so we would feel safe.
In sizing up an earlier opportunity, he sat down and made a list of the pros and cons of operating the business. For him, the biggest con was that it was not in alignment with who we are now. Ten or more years ago, definitely; but not now. It would be settling in order to move on and have an income. But we all know what happens when we do things to feel safe in the moment.
I’ve done that too many times in my life. I’ve taken the options offered up on a silver platter. They were easy, but they weren’t always the best for me. I’m not saying any of them were bad. I have learned so much from all that I have done in my life and I appreciate every single one for what it gave to me. The one thing I have always avoided is risk. I have not risked big. I have not trusted myself to go for my dreams.
Why does any of this matter? Why am I tell you all of this today? As a health coach, I don’t just focus on diet and exercise. My clients like that aspect of their time with me; but the majority of the time is spent giving them space to dream, set goals, look at their priorities, and determine what is and isn’t working for them. Obviously that includes diet and exercise, but there is so much more to our health. Sleep, stress, social lives, spirituality or sense of connectedness with others, and security all play major roles in our overall health. We don’t realize it until we pull back those layers as well, to see how they are affecting us on a daily basis.
Health coaching in and of itself was a risk for me. It meant I had to spend years learning and building upon skills I had, but did not use in this way. I had to risk being open and vulnerable; very scary territory for me. I had to trust that I had knowledge and information that is needed and sought after. I needed to believe in myself, which is not something I have excelled at in life.
I’m not telling you to go out and throw all caution to the wind. My point today is to get you to look into the many areas of your life that need attention and care, just like the self-care I talk about so often. Is there something you would like to do? Can you start setting goals to get there? Break it down:
- Research what you need to do to get there;
- Determine how you need to go about obtaining the necessary tools;
- Break it down into realistic, doable steps or milestones that you can track;
- Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.
Many times the journey itself is more important than the destination. That’s what being open is all about. When we get tunnel vision over the end-game, we miss some open doors along the way that we were meant to detour into. Being open, being present in the experience, being flexible as to the outcome, and being willing to change course can sometimes bring you to a place even better and more in alignment with your needs and desires than the original goal.