The Magic of Living in Alignment
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been driven by a burning desire to figure out what I want to do with my life. I’ve read and journaled profusely. I’ve had the privilege of doing leadership programmes and participating in coaching through work. A psych degree graduate, I have a fascination with psychometric tests, personality profiling and any other means of growing self-awareness. I’ve been to career counsellors. I’ve volunteered in numerous organisations. I even watched two animal operations and tried to study physics, thinking I wanted to be a vet. (I’ll never forget the image of a cat’s tubes being tied – and a dog’s knee bone being sawn down).
I have a fantastic day job that’s spanned population health, philanthropy and the social sector, and which I've honest passion for. But I’ve kept searching, always knowing deep down that there’s something more. I wanted to find my true home. I think a lot of us find our way into a career like I’ve done, achieve relative success, get a good salary that pays the bills and allows us to live a pretty reasonable life, and slip into a comfort zone.
Work—eat—sleep—repeat, ad infinitum.
Is it really that comfortable though?
In any case, I could have stayed on my same career path until age 65-plus and be happy enough.
But I’m certain the little nagging noise wouldn’t leave me. I’m fairly sure its tune would go --
Don’t die with your song still inside you ~ Wayne Dyer
I do believe that we each have a unique reason for being here. Whether or not it’s a job is irrelevant really. It’s about how we fill our days – which is ultimately how we fill our life.
And so I knew I’d regret not searching a little bit harder for my true north. I firmly believe that every individual has unique gifts that our world needs. Not harnessing these gifts does a disservice not only to you, but to the wider world.
The problem is, you think you have time.
In 2015, after pushing a lot too hard for a little too long, I chose to leave a job, team and community that I truly loved in order to get a fresh start, let my adrenals calm the hell down and create a bit of headspace. In hindsight I call this ‘wisdom’. In reality I was just so tired. And my 90 year-old self knew that all those extra hours I was putting in were hours I was not investing in living a fuller life. And despite having heaps of passion for my work, I also knew on some level that there was more out there to discover. If I didn’t create the space to discover, I probably wasn’t going to find it.
If you’re ever struggling with a decision, I’m quite sure your 90 year old self would love to chip in with some advice. Ask her. She won’t put you wrong.
Fast forward 18 months and I’m standing in the stairwell with my workmate, talking about our respective studies. I shared with her that I’d taken on a few new coaching clients recently, as I was officially halfway through my coaching qualification.
That little conversation prompted me to look back on the year gone by, one in which I got a small business up and running, completed one year of my coaching qualification, and continued to write. At that point, those were my three very special things that combined to make my purpose. To the outside world they may seem disparate, but to me they were beautifully in synch.
But once upon a time these felt like three very unlikely pipe dreams.
I told my workmate what a magical feeling it was to finish a coaching session feeling stretched and challenged, a wee bit outside my comfort zone, but a tiny bit more confident than before -- and most of all feeling completely aligned with what I’m here to do. I can only describe this feeling as experiencing an inkling of magic.
Magic to me means something you’d always hoped for, but weren’t quite sure you believed you could have, be, or do.
Magic to me means that I transport my year-and-a-half younger self into that scenario and she is in awe of what she’s created.
It means the feeling I get when I step back from what I’ve literally spent decades moving towards, and look around me in awe.
It’s too good to be true, but it’s better than that, because it is true.
One of the big motives for me in becoming a coach is to help others tune into and maximise their own potential, their own magic. Through coaching, I observe that many of us have an inkling deep down about a potential we’re yet to reach. We are each in touch with this potential to different degrees. Some are already taking steps toward it. I call this ‘living in alignment’ -- with our true values, with our potential, with our true self.
I know what it’s like to be on that journey myself -- I have no pretences that I’m there yet, but if it feels this magical so far, I can’t wait to keep going.