“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than their lives.”
A friend of mine posted this quote to twitter last week. It so depicts what has been my biggest challenge in life, to extract myself from the false belief that I am what I do, have and achieve.
The quote reminds me of what I believe now; that my real job is to design a meaningful life that is the best representation of who I am and what I believe and to figure out how to finance showing up -doing those things I believe and want to do!
If you are working on designing your life and business- join me tomorrow for Unleashed: Designing a life – not just a job or a business!
Monday May 17- 8-9 am PST The art of making a life & redefining personal success. Listen to the conversation at 1150 am in Seattle or online at KKNW or Chat with Women. And participate on twitter at #pamchat.
We are told to make a living. Making a life seems secondary to succeeding at work, in career or at business. There are templates and formula’s for getting a job, career or starting a business but where are the templates and manuals for crafting and making meaningful, authentic lives? And how do we manage to go counter culture in light of the fact that most of society defines success as one’s ability to make a living, perform financially and create financial returns from one’s investment in a career, job or business?
It takes courage to redefine what success means and to take back control of one’s vital resources and focus on creating a life not just a living. It takes clarity and deliberateness to create a meaningful life that resonates with one’s values, passions, purpose and priorities.
And to begin the conversation I thought I’d share a story from a time when the pain in my life was so high, I wondered if I had the courage and the stamina to design a new life…a life I believed in, a life that had meaning and purpose, now that everything had changed.
“The rain pelted the hood of the black Dodge Durango. The windshield wipers raced to keep up. Through my tears I saw a blur of red, no it was flashing lights. The train whistle was shrill. I could keep driving. I could crash right through the wimpy gate lowering in front of me. I could park this whole disaster of a life on those damn tracks.
It hurt too bad. I just wanted it to be over. I didn’t want to live a failed, hell hole life. I didn’t want this life; not now.
Now, now that my 20 year friendship, 16 year marriage was over.
Now, now that my 8 digit business was sold and the proceeds day traded away.
Now, now that I’d gotten a divorce, even though I’d never believed in divorce, and was single with a 7 and 10 year old.
Now, now that all my beliefs were changing.
Now, now that we’d buried; Becky, Troy, Bob and Chris after the plane crash.
Now, now that I only had 2 emotions;anger and sadness.
Yes. I could. I could just park it.
This was not what I had ordered. I didn’t want this life and I didn’t have a clue in hell, how to navigate all these failed intersections.
The black and white guard rail locked into position. Like that would keep me off the tracks. The train roared by. The car shook. I exhaled.
Of course I wouldn’t do it. I wanted an easy out, but who was I kidding? I had two little kids. Somehow I had to go on even if it meant crawling on my belly like a snake for the rest of my life. The question was how to purge the anger that seethed within? And how to quiet the self loathing chants that reminded me hourly, “You’ve failed.”
I was at an intersection. I could kill myself, drown my pain in substances or just keep crying, swearing and telling God how f—– mad I was until maybe someday I wouldn’t be so f— mad.
I’d always believed me and God were a majority, we could get through anything. But that was when life was easy, money was abundant, I felt secure, when I was married to my best friend and 4 people I called family were still breathing. Now, I wasn’t so sure. I wasn’t a majority of anything and God, where the hell was he?
The lights stopped blinking. The black and white guard rail lifted. The windshield wipers preservered. I lifted my foot off the brake. Veering right was the road I’d traveled every day for the last two decades. The one to the left, well I’d never ventured down it, I had no idea where it led.
I veered left.
I gripped the steering wheel. The phone rang.
“When will you be home?”
The intersections of life.
We all have them. None of us can make it more than a few seconds without hope and faith. Keep the faith. And remember you are here to design and unleash your best life and to discover that you – you and God- well, you are a majority!
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