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Tuesday, 08 February 2011 09:04

Living in the Flow

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For the first four decades of my life, I feel like I have been searching—searching for my purpose, my passion, my flow. I saw a greeting card a while ago that had the quote, "Not all who wander are lost" by J.R.R. Tolkien. I bought the card and hung it on the board by my desk. It made me feel better that just because I was wandering did not mean I was lost. Despite the nice sentiment, I felt lost.

I have looked into countless careers in my 40+ years, including event planner, franchise owner, therapist, entrepreneur, photographer, private detective, CIA agent, and geriatric counselor. This does not even include my actual jobs as a marketing and strategy consultant for high-tech companies and my time as the development director for an animal rescue foundation. I have taken numerous tests to figure out my "type" to help guide me. I'm a Myers-Briggs ISTJ and an Enneagram 1. Okay, now what? I've seen a career coach and a life coach. I've read books and I've written in journals. I've identified what I like, what my strengths are, and what conditions I want. Still, I wandered.

I came across a quote by Confucius the other day that resonated with me. It said, "If we do not change our direction, we will end up where we are headed." Yes, exactly. Four years ago, I changed my direction. It came about when my husband told me to stop talking (about all the things I could be doing, learning, exploring) and start doing. I left the corporate world and found my way to another masters program—this time studying Holistic Health Education. I often think, "If my B-School cronies could see me now!" It's certainly not where I thought I would be, but I know it's where I want to/need to be. I absolutely believe in Four Quadrant Living as a way to whole health. I believe that our health is in our hands and I am passionate about helping others live a happy, healthy, and harmonious life.

In the exploration of seeking my passion and purpose, I would often read about finding the flow. The flow is a powerful state of being where life seems to be moving effortlessly. You feel relaxed and present. You feel completely absorbed by the task at hand. Hours go by without recognition—often filled with high creativity and productivity. Think about times when you experience this feeling. It could be when you are engaging in sports, playing a musical instrument, talking with a friend, putting together a scrapbook, gardening, or doing a certain project at work.

This past year, I have finally found my flow. I am a writer. It all makes sense. All of the pieces of the puzzle now fit. Hours pass by when I am writing. I become completely absorbed with typing the words on the page, placing them exactly where I want them to convey my message. At first, I talked myself out of pursuing the writing path because I knew it was a difficult road. But then I came across a quote from an artist named Faith Ringgold in O, The Oprah Magazine. She says, "Back when I was starting out, someone at a party asked me what I did, and I said, 'I'm an artist.' And a friend of mine said, 'Faith, would you please stop telling people you're an artist? You're not an artist. You're an art teacher.' I thought: That's interesting that she thinks she can tell me who I am. I'm the one who determines when I'm an artist. And that's right here, right now." Faith Ringgold is an artist. I am a writer. What are you?

I have found my flow, my passion, my purpose. I'm still happy to call myself a wanderer, but I no longer feel lost. Are you living in your flow? If not, I encourage you to change your direction. Now. Life is short. It doesn't mean you have to quit your job or change careers, but think about if there are ways that you can incorporate flow into your life more.

If you do not change your direction now, you will end up where you are headed. Is that where you want to go? 


Writing in 2008 before I knew I wanted to be a writer.
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