I don’t know how many hours I spent searching for grad programs, scanning websites and thinking, “Oh maybe I could study English… No? Nah. Or maybe anthropology? Wait, do I wanna be an anthropologist or do I just want to travel? Oh look at this, a women’s studies program in South Africa… that would be cool, right?” Yea cool for sure, but I was TOTALLY forcing it. So much so that I applied to two completely different programs, got accepted, deferred, and then just never showed up to my first class. I SO wanted to be in grad school! Or did I just want to feel like I had “figured it out?”
Either way something inside me kept resisting.
You ever experience something like this?
Fast forward five years, after teaching yoga, waitressing, selling chocolate, starting my own coaching practice, and living on the beach in Mexico, I pulled up Lesley University’s website and found their Holistic Mental Health Counseling program. EVERY part of me said “YES.”
I applied right away, got accepted and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life. Now when I talk with 20- somethings who are anxious about their “next step” all I wanna do is scream, “Wait!” And explain that years of “wandering” taught me a skill I could never have learned in school: to recognize the voice of my heart, and to go only where my heart says “yes.”
This is the last “back to school” season that’ll mean this much to me (my 3rd and final year of school). Doing the work of therapy is more emotionally and intellectually challenging than anything I’ve ever done yet I love it so much I could cry. Yesterday I had a 14 hr. work day (internship, class, private coaching, etc.) and at 10 pm, when I finished, I was smiling.
The reason I share this is, yes, to express my enthusiasm but more so because this is proof to me that my life work, your life work, CAN feel like a perfect fit. It doesn’t mean it’s easy but it means it feels right. When something is a right fit (whether our job, partner, home, etc.) it GIVES us energy, it literally feeds us.
Take a quick assessment of the different areas of your life. Which parts feel right (in other words, they energize you) and which parts don’t?
Three weeks into the semester, of course, I’m already missing long, spacious summer days. Since falling in love with my work, though, it’s been a hell of a lot easier to let those days go with ease, and to embrace the sweet seasons ahead…