I’ve been prompted to start my first official blog post with a work-related question that has followed me (and possibly many of you) unanswered for as long as I’ve been working. Often more like the proverbial hamster on the wheel, than the career trailblazer I set out to be.
When is enough, enough?
What amount of stress is sufficient to finally say “This is where it ends!”. What level of exhaustion will it take to say, it’s time to rest? How many hours sacrificed with those we love is eventually an hour too much? When will the desire to follow a hearts passion, purely for the pleasure of it, be enough to create space for it?
For me that moment has finally come. A true blessing – though at first glance, spectacularly disguised as a very unpleasant ‘rock bottom’. A moment when many separate balls up in the air and weariness finally collided, spilling over into a personal and family experience that was painful for all. Tough moment for sure, but with it, at last my answer has come. My enough, is today!
What’s fascinating is that there’s a very different energy about it than before. Unsurprisingly this is not the first of these moments. There have been many Ground Hog days along the way. But the quality of it is unquestionably different this time. Why? Because today, more than simply making a choice – I’ve made a decision.
The same you may think? No. There is in fact a really fine difference, between choosing something and making a decision.
Choice is variable. It implies an ongoing evaluation of options and choosing one (usually in the moment). Choosing to eat more healthily for example, leaves the door open (we all know) for effortless slips back into old habits. Deciding however, carries a whole different energy. From the way it sounds, to what it sets in motion. When we decide something, the natural outcome is action. When we make a firm decision, it removes other alternatives immediately and decisively.
Decision I’ve come to learn is coincidentally one of the fundamental requirements for spiritual growth. Neale Donald Walsh in his book ‘Conversations with God’, captures it so beautifully when he conveys,
“For all of life exists as a tool of your own creation, and all of its events merely present themselves as opportunities for you to decide, and be, Who You Are. If you wish to be accurately represented, you must work to change anything in your life which does not fit into the picture of you, that you wish to project into eternity”.
Wise and inspiring words indeed.
So what does it mean in practice?
It begins with listening to our inner guidance, when find ourselves teetering or suspect we’re veering off course. From this place of awareness, the next step certainly will require some courage and faith. To firmly decide to either let go of something that is clearly not serving us, or to actively pursue that which does align with our true nature. How will we know we’re doing this successfully? It will feel good. Yes, as simple as that. Though the yardstick is bigger than the positive feelings we get from more superficial, mostly short-term ‘highs. But refers to a far ‘higher quality of good’ defined by inner stillness and a sense of immense peace.
Don’t know about you, but the promise of deep peace sounds good enough to give this process a heartfelt go. Have tried the stress route to happiness, which admittedly hasn’t worked out so well this far.
Now does this mean I’m intending to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Am I planning to leave a hard-earned career in marketing to become a dog walker overnight because I love pets? Tempting maybe, but no. Rather I have decided to add a much needed measure (beginning and end) to my work that has been sorely missing. To bring greater balance to my day. To make more considered decisions that follow my internal voice about what I know to be right for me. To create more space for the people and things I love.
Will this mean I disappoint a few people along the way. Yes. I know there will be a few less than charmed people already in the wake of my decision, which I truly wish could be avoided. But I am finally seeing that to fully serve the world, those I love, and people I work with best, I have to be in service of myself first, guilt-free. Now there’s a new experience! So far, so good…have a sense of real peace today, that I haven’t felt in years. A divine sign I believe…to keep going.
So, that’s my story, that I hope may resonate positively for some of you.