Lining Up ~ My Path to Today
Have you experienced a moment in life in which you realized experiences from your past had lined everything up for you to be at THAT exact moment?
Today, January 12, 2018, I start the Art of Dying Institute’s Integrative Thanatology Certificate Program. And I am excited to share that I received a partial scholarship for this program. Thanatology is the study of death, and this certificate program is “suitable for those working in hospice, nursing homes, and other health care settings, and is also appropriate for students as well as counselors, social workers, teachers, clergy, psychologists, and others who want to broaden their work in the burgeoning field of death and dying.” ~ as stated on the program’s website (to learn more about the Art of Dying Institute’s Integrative Thanatology Certificate Program, click here)
I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and know that it is because I said “YES!” to my life’s calling. I took a risk by leaving my finance career and deciding to fully focus on my coaching practice. I feel it all lining up. I feel it all flowing. As I type these words, I am overwhelmed with so much joy and gratitude that tears fill my eyes. I want to share with you how I got to today...to this moment.
It was not planned for me to spend Steven’s last days with him.
On January 29, 2014, I was living in Atlanta, GA, and the city experienced what has since been coined “snowpocalypse”. Due to inadequate notice, over a million Atlantans were jammed on highways and roads because everyone in the city, including all the schools, was attempting to head home at the exact same time. I had a 4WD Toyota 4Runner with snow tires (thanks to my time living in Columbus, OH), and it still took me 10 hours to drive the 20 miles from work to home. My ex-husband, Philip, had to abandon his car and rely on a stranger to get him to a place where I could pick him up. It was a mess!
Due to the experience of that day, no one in Atlanta was willing to risk another potential snow threat. On the morning of February 10, 2014, it was reported that there was potential snow on February 11th. The senior management team at my company were deciding that they would have all employees work from home on the 11th.
Around the same time, I was notified that Steven was approaching the end of his life.
I spoke with my manager about my situation, and he shared with me the company’s plan for everyone to work from home. He was concerned that I would be stuck in Atlanta when Steven passed, so he allowed me to leave on the 10th so I could get to Birmingham, AL before the weather hit. The plan was for me to work at Steven’s home. If it had not been for that potential threat of snow, I would likely have not served Steven in the capacity that I did. I would not have had that experience that forever changed my life. Interestingly enough, there was no major weather on the 11th or 12th, but yet life had led me to Steven’s home to be with him and the family the last days of his life.
We often do not know in the moment why we are having a certain experience...why we have been led to a certain moment. That is where trust comes in. That is where being open to life’s moments comes in.
As I have shared in previous blog posts, I spent the last days of Steven’s life right by his side. When I walked into his home on the 10th of February, I had no idea what would unfold. But I had a deep knowing that I was there for a reason. And I trusted that knowing and allowed every moment to simply be what it was meant to be.
After that time with Steven, so much changed. So much within me changed. I spent 2015 allowing myself to heal from the experiences of 2014 and explore and understand the things within me that were different. I’ll share more on a future blog about 2015, but as fall approached that year, I started thinking about how I had always wanted to move to New York City. It had been a dream of mine since being a child. At that time, it was just me, Charlie (my cat), and Henry (my dog), so I thought why not see what could happen.
In October of 2015, I reached out to a few of my contacts in NYC – throwing out fish hooks to see if there were any potential career opportunities for me. By the end of October, I had a potential job presented to me. The week before Thanksgiving after having interviewed for the position, I accepted that job opportunity. And on December 9, 2015, I arrived in NYC after driving alone 15 hours in a U-Haul truck. Did I mention I like adventure?!
It all flowed, and I had a deep knowing that I was meant to be in NYC.
I will be honest, I was not super crazy about the company I went to work for because there were a lot of things about the CEO with which I felt conflicted, but it was a great position working directly under a really solid treasurer. I also felt that the job was a stepping stone for me to get to NYC. And I knew I could trust the guidance I was receiving even if others would not approve of the company in which I worked. I had this feeling that I would not be there long.
And, sure enough, I was right.
I started my new job on December 14, 2015. On December 17th, I awoke to a Bloomberg news alert on my phone advising that the CEO of my new company had been arrested by the FBI. I thought for a moment, “Do I go to work?” As I walked from my Chelsea apartment on 10th & 23rd to my Midtown office on 6th & 45th, I felt a beautiful calmness within me. I had no idea what was going to happen. I knew I had left a very stable company, dear friends, and a lovely life in Atlanta to move to NYC, but I also knew I had been divinely guided there.
On December 22, 2015, I was laid off from that new job. I had only worked there for SIX business days. I’m not going to lie, when I stood in my office allowing it all to sink in, I teared up. I looked around and wondered what in the world was next. And then that beautiful calmness filled me again. I gathered my things, said a final goodbye to my boss whom I had really enjoyed working with for six days, and started my walk home.
It was raining that day in NYC. It was the first time I had ever walked in the city while it was raining. And as anyone who has experienced a rainy day in NYC knows, walking with umbrellas is, of itself, an art form. Who am I kidding...simply walking in New York City is an art form! Given I had never had this experience, I was unintentionally whacking everyone with my oversized umbrella.
I called one of my best friends, Tina, to tell her the news. As we were chatting, my umbrella broke. There I was, standing on a street in New York City, rain pouring down with a broken umbrella just after losing my job, and I started laughing.
Tina commented, “Well, I’m glad you are laughing.” And I responded, “Girl, I survived 2014...I’ve got this! But I am going home to drink straight vodka on a Tuesday afternoon...because I can!”
That day, I felt yet again the still, quiet, beautiful calmness within me telling me, “This is just a blip on the radar.” And interestingly as I shared the news with friends and family, many of them said the same to me. I knew deep within that my move to NYC was not a mistake. I knew it was meant to be.
As quoted in Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to Be Me, it is “important to have a really good, positive attitude for every moment of your life even if you don’t see a reason for doing it in the first place.”
As you can imagine, it is a challenge to find another finance job on December 22nd as it is the end of the year and no one is thinking about hiring at that time. So, I went to visit family for Christmas, allowed myself to enjoy the holidays, and planned to hit the ground running at the beginning of the new year to find my next finance career position. I took time over the holidays to really think about what I would want to do and where I would want to work. I knew with my personality and my love for people and building relationships that I would be great at business development (i.e. sales), and I knew that if I was going to sell, I would need to work for a company in which I truly believed in their product.
On January 4, 2016, I emailed one of the co-founders of the only company in which I wanted to work. He knew me because I had previously worked for a client of the company.
On January 5th, I was faced with the possibility of losing my Chelsea apartment. It’s a long story in which you do not need all of the details, but I spent the day doing all I could think of to stay in that apartment. At the end of the day, I realized I had been grabbing on and trying to control the situation versus allowing it to flow. So, I decided the evening of January 5th to let go of the apartment and allow life to reveal to me what would be for my best.
That beautiful calmness from within washed over me.
The next morning, January 6th, I got a call from the co-founder of the company advising me that they would like me to work for them, but if I did then I could not live in Manhattan for tax reasons. I could live anywhere around Manhattan, but just not in the actual city. My response was, “Well, I decided just yesterday to let my apartment go, and I can move anywhere!”
On January 6, 2016, just four days into my job search, I received the opportunity to become Vice President of Business Development at the one company in which I wanted to work. I mean, seriously, I lost a job in six days and got a new one in four!
On January 7th, I secured an apartment in Hoboken, NJ, directly across the Hudson River from my Chelsea apartment. This new career opportunity allowed me to stay in the NYC area, where I knew I was meant to be. And this overall experience yet again showed me the beauty of life and all the moments it holds.
So, how did I get to today?
During 2016 and 2017, I loved working for the company. Its team, product, and culture were such a great fit for me. But with all of life’s experiences, we are given the opportunity to learn more about ourselves. During my time with the company, I was beginning to feel the calling within me and my passion to help others. And as I shared in my blog post, “My Calling”, I felt the clear call on March 20, 2017 to build a life coaching practice to help individuals and families dealing with life transition moments.
As I moved through 2017, there were various discussions with the company and my future status. After the conversations, it was decided that my position would end at the end of the year. I took a moment to reflect on all that had transpired, all I had learned about myself, and the deep calling I felt. I felt guidance to not pursue another finance career and that I would receive all I need in order to succeed. So, I decided it was time to let go of my finance career, and I left my position as VP of Business Development with only love in my heart for the company and its leaders who gave me an opportunity for which I will forever be grateful.
I felt clearly that I was divinely guided, yet again, to that moment and that it was time for me to fully dive into my coaching practice. And given all the other moments of my life, I knew I could trust that guidance and the beautiful calmness within me.
So, here I am today starting a program in NYC that is going to help me serve others. Here I am today having received a partial scholarship to the program. Here I am in a city that offers so many opportunities to help me in the work I am building. Here I am today, yet again, taking another step on my life’s journey...a step of trust and knowing that I am divinely guided. Here I am pursuing my calling.
Everything truly happens for a reason, even if we don’t know what it is in that moment. And even when the moment is incredibly difficult and we desire to know “why” because the experience is so painful, scary, or unknown, we can trust that the reason will be revealed to us at the right time.
So, talk to me. Have you had moments that you now look back on and can see their purpose? Were there moments that you struggled to see why you experienced such a thing? Are you currently in a moment that feels painful, scary, or unknown?
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~ said Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh
“I think it’s important for people to witness where our lives path can take us from something that was challenging to turning it into an extension of goodness.” ~ Priya Soni, my dear friend, writer, and founder of The Caregiving Effect (check out her work here)
(Please note: In my writing, some names have been changed to protect loved ones. I share my experiences and stories while honoring the privacy of those dear to my heart.)