My husband and I are facing career changes in the near future. The lease on our apartment is up on May 31st and we’re trying to come to a joint decision about what’s next for us. We’re not only trying to decide where to work, but also where to live, and, most importantly, how we want to live. We don’t have kids, we don’t own property, and we have very few possessions, so theoretically we could live anywhere in the world.
So this weekend we put on some music, poured some wine, and brainstormed. Equipped with a huge piece of paper and a couple of sharpies, we thought it would be easy to immediately go about deciding our next steps.
We were wrong.
Soon after beginning this exercise, we realized that we needed to pull back – way back – to get a bird’s eye view of why we were feeling certain ways about certain options. It occurred to us that instead of immediately getting down to the nitty gritty of, “Should I take X job” or “Should we live in X city,” we needed to ask a much broader question:
“What do I want?”
In other words, what do I want in life? What do I want our shared path to look like together? What do I value as a person, and what do we value as a couple?
We set aside the huge piece of paper and set about writing our answers down individually. Personally, I re-visited many of the things that I value in life, but haven’t been honoring lately – things like self-care, flexibility in my schedule, and autonomy in my work. By looking at our career options through the lens of what we value, we were able to see which options fit best with how we envision the gradual unfolding of our lives.
Our desire for rejuvenation and self-care led us to book an extended vacation at a remote cabin in Northern Ontario in June and July. As for what’s coming after that, the future is still unclear. What I do know is that in order to fully practice what I preach.
I need to honor myself and my decisions, regardless of what others think of my choices.
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I need to stand in my power and be strong in my convictions, fully present and aware of the importance of honoring my soul.
I’m sure there will be more career-related announcements from me over the next few months. Until then, I encourage you to take a step back from the day to day tasks of your life and ask:
- What do I want? (Go deep here – beyond your desire for a new car or the latest iPhone. What do you REALLY want?)
- What do I value?
- Is the current day-to-day of my life honoring what I want and what I value?
Brainstorm ways that you might start moving your life from its current form into a form that more fully resonates with your soul’s call. Then take one small step to begin shifting your life in that direction. I’ll do the same, and together we can serve as examples of what’s possible when we listen to our True Selves.
What small step are you going to take? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Check out her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and join her whole-self health revolution. If you’d like tips on how to create a life you love and have a thriving relationship, check out her online courses on Creating A Life You Love and Practical Tips to Enhance Your Partnerships.
Image courtesy of Joseph Barrientos.