Sunday, February 15, 2009

What is Holding you Hostage or Stuck?

If you are unhappy in your job, in your life, or in your relationships, why are you not taking action to change your position, your direction, or taking steps to end the negativity in your life? Are your fears holding you hostage or keeping stuck? Do you fear rejection, failure or an even worse fate? Does a small voice inside of you warn you? "Be careful, you don't want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire." This fear based thinking can keep you immobilized, exhausted, and frustrated.

This was certainly the case with Susan, a mom who had a job that no longer interested or excited her. She did not feel valued and yet she had a hard time leaving because she had competing priorities and fears. Her teens were facing their own transitions, working hard with learning challenges and Susan was torn between meeting her own needs and the needs of her family.

Seeing her predicament, I offered her the same well designed and highly acclaimed visioning program that I had been taught to jumpstart my own dreams. I had been drawn to Susan because I remembered myself being very much like her. She was a mom, clearly struggling, and looking for another job while feeling stuck. On the positive side, she was eager to investigate new possibilities, had a strong work ethic and creative talent.

She knew she was no longer content with her job. Her husband suggested that she to go back to school to hone her computer skills with hopes that she would land an office job somewhere. She was less than enthusiastic about returning to school to learn the Microsoft Office Suite and she was worried about her family. She was seeking work-life balance and looking for work that would provide self satisfaction. She yearned to find another job that would be satisfying and yet keep her close to home.

Over a period of ten weeks, Susan and I worked together and she faithfully did all of the exercises in each module designed to crystallize her interests, values, and purpose in life. She was approaching the latter part of her work life and could no longer afford to waste her time or energy. In the visioning course, she identified her passion for art and decided to pursue artistic endeavors. As she found ways to incorporate art into her daily routine, I saw her enthusiasm mount, her energy improve, and her confidence emerge. She discovered many opportunities and took action to learn more about many of them.

She excitedly called me one afternoon, “Doreen, I have found a job teaching art through the recreation program. I will be able to design my own work schedule, teach in local elementary schools near my home and they will pay me twice as much as my old job! "

A couple of weeks later, Susan noticed an ad about a new Art Gallery that was opening up. She attended the meeting to learn more and brought her oldest son with her, knowing that he too enjoyed creative gatherings. The new Gallery opening inspired them both to create artistic projects. They worked side by side and shared their art with new enthusiastic energy. Within a month, Susan's son had placed his work in the Gallery and found a new job also.

He is very thrilled with his new livelihood and is taking art classes at a local college to further enhance his knowledge and skills. He is much happier and now realizes that he is most successful when he is pursuing his innate interests and talents.

If Susan had not pursued her passion, I doubt that her son would have pursued his. She served as a great role model. The visioning course gave her permission to explore interests, values, and to connect to her family in new ways. Today, she has more energy and vitality than ever and her family sees new possibilities for themselves too.

According to Marianne Williamson, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?" Actually, who are you NOT to be? As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Frederick Buechner reminds us that we are all connected and says, "The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt."

Susan showed courage, perseverance and her loved ones emulated her. When we decide it is our right and responsibility to light our path, others notice and they will often decide to take action too. When a son or a daughter says, “If Mom can do it, so can I," watch out, there is happiness and self satisfaction around the corner.

In closing, I will ask again… What is holding you hostage or keeping you stuck? Do you want your child to follow in your footsteps? Are you ready to emulate Susan and to commit to finding your passion, love, and purpose?

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