Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out the person we want to be with or the new job we want to take. Many of these decisions require intense soul searching and evolve over a long period of time. Often, we inadvertently involve others when we move in a new direction. This happens simply because we are, for the moment, following our gut instinct and, as much as we want to spare ourselves and others of pain, we make the difficult transition because in the end we feel it is in our best interests to do so.
At times we become so focused on the goal that we disconnect from our real feelings. With our eyes riveted on the finish, we are blind to anything in between. We have set our sight on the object of our desire and are determined to achieve that end. It takes tremendous vigilance and courage to acknowledge and change a preset course. We cannot care what anyone else thinks we should do. The same way that we listened to our inner voice telling us what business to open, we need to listen when it says it is time to do something else.
A year before I closed my art gallery I began to feel the energy slowly dissipate. I had learned the art business from scratch-found the artists, put on seven shows a year, became a PR specialist, did my own graphic design-I had never done any of these things before. For me, it was a way to become a part of the community and at the same time learn a business that was aesthetically appealing. For six years I loved and learned from that business, and when I left it a year later I was a very different person.
When I first started to get an inkling that it was time to move on, I went home and cried. For months, every time I thought about leaving, I sobbed. So much had been invested - not just money, but so much energy. Could it be that it had served its purpose, that I had gone as far as I could go, and now it was time for a change?
Once I acknowledged the feeling, I unequivocally knew there was no turning back, even though I wasn't yet ready to do anything. It took me a year to wind down, and the day I finally closed the door, I walked away unencumbered-all my ghosts had been put to rest, and I was ready to go. Afterward, when people heard I had closed the gallery they asked, “Aren't you sad?" “No, " I responded, “I cried for a year, and now I'm fine. "
The more we trust our sixth sense, the more hints will come our way. We may not want to change something immediately, but for now we have something to think about. Things change incrementally, nothing stays the same. When it is time for a change, we begin to get rumblings. Paying attention to our feelings keeps us connected to our soul's work and enables us to continuously reevaluate the journey.
Chapter 31 from Reality Works Copyright © 2002 Chandra Alexander
Chandra Alexander, MSW, has been living and teaching authenticity for the last thirty years. Selected by The Oprah Magazine as the Life Coach to deliver twelve coaching sessions to the grand prize winner of their Toyota Moving Forward contest, she also spent five years on NBC/TV/Daytime giving a weekly “Reality Check. " Her blog, http://ChandraUnplugged.com is a real find for any true seeker on the path to authenticity. Along with a private practice in Tampa, FL, she coaches clients all over the world in the areas of relationships, work and consciousness. To learn more about her books and CDs, visit her website at http://Coachgirl.com