I just got off the phone with one of my favorite clients. I was telling her that when I was growing up I was encouraged to be a doctor, lawyer or business person, definitely not a writer or wellness advocate. She is a few years older than me and replied by telling me that when she was young her choices were limited to a teacher, nurse or secretary. She completely bucked conventional wisdom and became an actor, and that’s part of what I adore about her. I remember the collision of her perceived options and mine in the 70’s and 80’s. I specifically recall NOT wanting to be in “pink collar” positions – teacher, nurse or secretary – because I was a child of the women’s movement and we didn’t aspire to that anymore. We had “higher” aspirations. (Insert turned up nose.)
I’ve learned so much since then. First of all, I’m a natural teacher and nurturer. Those roles show up in everything I do despite my early resistance. I’ve also learned there is a deep discomfort in being in unwelcoming spaces. It’s not always obvious – it may even feel exhilarating in the moment, but the stress buries itself deep in your spirit. Going where you are not valued or wanted is difficult, whether you’re the only black woman in the board room – I’ve been there – or, the “only” in any other type of way. It hurts to feel judged because of your race, gender, culture, ethnicity, or any other way you define yourself. It hurts to feel tolerated rather than appreciated, and forced to downplay your natural self. We are all beautiful, unique and worthy of the deepest levels of fulfillment and expression. It hurts when others don’t “see” us and we reduce our light to a twinkle instead of a shine.
Today I quit my job to work for myself. I don’t entirely know what that will look like, but I know that now is the time. I turn 51 next week and I’m grateful for every day of this life. I realize that many people never make it to 51, my own sister included, who died at 31.
I know I can’t wait to do my life’s work.
I know my days are limited.
I have to write.
I have to teach.
I have to encourage.
I have to speak for the voiceless.
I have to transform, and give others permission to do the same.
Until next time – I wish you freedom, alignment and effortless abundance!
P.S. I’m working on a book called “Thinking Outside the Chrysalis.” It will be available in time for my spring retreat of the same name. I couldn’t have made this decision if I hadn’t dared to think it first. (If you want to share your comments please click my FB link at the bottom of the page.)