I can tell my life story in a series of goals and how I’ve achieved them (or not), moved on from them, how I’ve come up with new goals, and started the pursuit again. Like interesting music, in reaching my goals I’ve encountered unexpected twists necessitating that I insert pauses in between the notes. Often unwelcome ones. At times, I’ve had to let go of the original “score” and make space for new music to come in.
- Finding a meaningful career
- Finding a loving, long-term relationship
- Creating a successful business
- Creating a conscious leadership practice for Island leaders
- Trying to have a baby on my own
None of these have been textbook.
None of them have been achieved in the timeframes I originally had in mind.
None have come in the order I might have thought they would when I was 30.
Twelve years ago, I wrote a post called She Let Go based on a poem I love. The year previously, I’d had a miscarriage during fertility treatment; at the time I was writing the post I was 29 weeks pregnant with my daughter! The journey to motherhood at times crushed me. It humbled me. It took all my courage. And it took surrender. That there would be an outcome so wonderful was not a given.
Much like in my fertility journey, I can look back and see that, in romantic relationships and in my professional life, it’s been sometimes only in the letting go that things could flow. Make no mistake: letting go without something else to leap to, to cling on to—a new love, a new job—and the resulting uncertainty, emptiness, has been frightening, destabilizing.
But it’s only by entering that uncertainty that I’ve been able to find a new path: learning to surrender, to do small experiments, to sometimes be played by life instead of conducting it. It’s been messy as I learned to trust myself. And while experience has shown me I’m trustworthy, I still have plenty of self-doubt each time I decide to leap.
I’m about to let go again: I’m taking a sabbatical starting in the new year.
I am going to put down my business for a time and become a curious explorer. I am very fortunate to be able to do so. I am in search of more creativity, deepening my connections and contribution, and some blank space.
Will I find what I’m looking for? Is this really what I seek? My intuition tells me that I need to let go and find out.
Who am I if I’m not coaching? Can I trust our financial planning?
What if this turns out even better than I imagine? Who will I become?
How all this will unfold is anyone’s guess. I don’t know what I will find.
I do know that when I have been able to trust life and let go, the music of my life has been a beautiful composition.