February 15, 2011

How I Made God Laugh By Making A Fool Out of Myself

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

You would think that after years of quoting the above famous joke by Woody Allen, I would learn my lesson about the concept of plans. For the record, I am not a big believer in plans but being that I am human…I sometimes fall prey to the seductive powers of planning. Let me explain.

Last year, a variety of circumstances led me to make the following two decisions: start my own business and move down to Florida. I did both and by October, it hit me that both decisions were not working out the way that I wanted or expected. This realization was a huge surprise.

What made it an even more shocking realization was that I had proudly proclaimed online via my writing and social media pages about what I was doing without any thought that what I was doing would not work out the way that I planned.

For about five minutes, thoughts of concern about what others would think did cross my mind. In the course of those five minutes, I worried that others would think I am not capable of sticking with something or that I am an impulsive person or even worse…a loser. But sanity sank in and I reminded myself that sometimes we learn the most when we stumble.

So I decided to look at these two events with compassion and see what I could learn from them. Here is what I discovered:

1. The pressure to make money has become so much of an obsession in our world that it forces us to do things that do not reflect our truth.

2. Sometimes, we let people’s impressions of us make us do things that we think we want but in reality we don’t.

Why did I start my own coaching business? I was pressured into it. No one held a gun to my head and made me start a business. However, as I looked at all the events that led to my decision, it became apparent that pressure for survival made me have a momentary dose of amnesia.

There is nothing wrong with making money but I think it is important to make money in a manner that does not jeopardize your morality or ethics or truth. I found that by running my own business, I was placing myself in a situation that compromised my values and did not reflect my passions. It was as if I was trying to be someone I am not.

Which leads me to the move to Florida. Due to my nomadic past and a few other things, living by the beach seemed like me. However, after actually living by the beach, I realized that it was not me.

The next logical question then became: so who are you and what do you want out of life? The only answer I could come up with was: “not what I have now”.

To make matters even more interesting in addition to what I wrote above, I came to the end of a thirteen year quest to find happiness and meaning. With that no longer being my focus, I could not help but ask: who was I?

This made for a great starting point of a new phase.

As I settled in to this new phase of not knowing, the inner voice which had guided me for most of my life and disappeared when I started my business, became audible again. I realized that after so many years of globe trotting, there is a desire to settle down…for a while.

I know that home is not Florida but the world is a pretty big place and so there are numerous options. I have no clue where I will end up but there are no worries. We are donating all of our furniture so we have the freedom to explore and start fresh.

It is important to note that even though my plans for my business and new locale did not work out as desired/planned, there are no regrets and no thoughts of mistake.

Sometimes in life you have to try what you think you want in order to discover what you really want. Sounds kind of confusing but that is the only way I know how to describe it. Moving down to Florida was one of the best things that we have ever done. We learned so much and really had a lot of fun.

This whole experience made me realize what I value and that is my creativity and the ability to help people see life and themselves from another angle.

For most of my life, I have been the weird one or the eccentric one. I used to struggle a lot with those tags but finally, after spending 13 years in search of happiness and meaning, I am at peace with being my unique self and the fact that I will probably never be “normal”.

When I came to fully accept that, I realized that being my own boss (in the way that I was thinking) really did not appeal to me. I think I had to experience that in order to see that it was not for me. Being an artist (my writing and photography) is what moves my soul. I cannot imagine life without writing or creating.

So I stopped worrying about how I will survive and began living my life based on what I love to do without being concerned about the end result. How this will manifest itself…only God knows and I am at peace with that uncertainty.

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