My pot might be calling the kettle black, but I’m advocating a call to action that says: “stop over-thinking and start feeling. start doing.” Turns out as intuitive and “feelings-based” as I am...I don’t always “feel,” I mostly “sense.” Yep, my intuition and stubbornly independent spirit is pretty freakin’ cool until my therapist holds a mirror to my quirks and calls me out (that’s what I pay her for) on the bullshit. On how I need to really “feel,” to sit in it & soak it up. All that insight into my psyche aside, I’ve been reflecting on certain leaps of faith I’ve taken over the past few years and how they have served me. How those leaps have invaluably introduced me to what I love about myself & what I’m capable of --how invigorating yet wildly vulnerable it can feel to take leaps of faith.
After college I began a master’s program for mental health counseling (there goes the psych talk again. hey, I value mental health & you should too!) and saw a side of myself that was impressive; I was so deeply in love with the topics of study that I was actually taking time to study, to read, to write papers for hours, to dive deeply into the swirling vigor of academia. The only trouble was, I began feeling disconnected with my cohort. I started to feel like I couldn’t relate to my peers and they couldn’t understand me. At the beginning of my second semester I lost my grandfather to dementia, and felt even more alone. As I began to heal, I continued to feel (ok, maybe it was "sense") unhappy in my program. *Once something feels unsettling, no longer genuine, I act immediately to fix it; even if to some it seems extreme. * I called my parents, shared my unhappiness, and told them I was dropping out of the three-year program. I remember them asking me if I could at least stick it out until the end of the semester, to which I flatly said no. It would have been completely disingenuous for me & I knew the quality of my work would suffer as well as my spirit.
As soon as I took the leap to leave that program, a new opportunity presented itself. I was hired for a position with lululemon athletica to help the Winter Park store open a full retail location at the Millenia mall. I quickly immersed myself in that company and rose to the position of assistant store manager in a little over a year. In that time I got to work with different people and personalities and take the time to learn how I prefer to be led and to lead others just as differently. I honed my appreciation for and understanding of personal responsibility, which affords me so much freedom from circumstance. My successes, my failures (i have had many), my shortcomings, my awesome-factor (pahaha! snuck that one in) are a product of my choices, which I am the only one responsible for.
Just over two months ago I left nearly two years of lululemon to pursue building my own business around my passion of personal and wardrobe styling for both women and men. My mission is to empower people to build their unique sense of style while strengthening their confidence in who they are and how they present that to the world. Prior to my leap, I took a hard look at who I really am, what I love, what feels right, what would allow me to preserve and protect those qualities, and what steps I needed to take. Was it logical? Well, what’s logical? Certainly not a trait I carry because I thought with my heart and my gut----my head will always find a way. Those gears are aaaaalways turnin.
Through my cliff's notes version of a story, I’m not just reminding you of and challenging you to, leaps of faith, as it’s much more than that. I’m dubbing it a flight of faith; by harnessing the courage to “do” which allows you to fully take flight. How do you begin?
1. Trust and love yourself enough to give your "do” a chance (I’m not using the word “try” here because it is a distant cousin of “do.” When you “try” you are nowhere near the whole-hearted, throw yourself off a cliff, give 100%ness it takes to actually put yourself out there and “DO” something). This is also where the "faith" lies; it is having faith in yourself.
2. Be grateful for success and failure. Some people are afraid to succeed and some are afraid to fail. There is so much to gain from both experiences, and only if you view it as opportunities to learn, grow, & develop.
3. Laugh. Laugh at your resiliency, a new skill you never knew you had, thinking on your feet, witty banter you had with a new client or stranger. Have fun and laugh along the way.
Now that you have that down, you do it. You do it. You do it. You throw yourself lovingly into what it is you want to "DO."
You have an art class you’ve wanted to take. Do it. You want to eat breakfast for dinner? Do it. You want to call a friend you haven't spoken to in years. Do it. You want to rescue a pet that's captured your heart? Do it (His name is Dexter and he's my little stud puppy & protector). You want to leave your well-paying 9-5 and go work with children in Africa? Do it. Connect to what you really want for yourself and do it. In the words of Cole Porter, "Do do, that voodoo, that you do, so well."
Have faith and take flight!