I would venture to guess that most of us are not living a life led by our inner voice. If it weren’t for a recent jolting life experience (see previous post), I would still be struggling to meet external standards of success while sacrificing my own precious happiness. I was always living by “the book” — killing myself to meet all of society’s rules for schooling, and working, and spending, and saving, et cetera. I totally bought into ideas like, “not everyone can work their dream job,” that “work should be hard,” that our “success is directly proportionate to how hard we work,” that “we should work to live.” These ideas do not have to be true, unless we believe them! In fact, whatever we believe will become our reality.
This year, in hopes of creating a much happier reality, I am choosing to believe differently. After surviving some difficult experiences over the past few years (loss of a parent, miscarriage, serious debt, etc), it’s become blissfully clear to me that there’s nothing more important than following our own happiness, and the fastest way to get there is by listening to our inner voice. This voice is our soul guiding us to our soul’s purpose. There is nothing that can make us happier in life than living our soul’s dream.
So, I’m swapping out old ideals of hard work and serious business for dreams. It may sound totally Pollyana-ish and airy fairy and woo woo and all the rest, but I’m willing to bet that 2019 is my happiest year on record.
If I were still hellbent on following societal norms, I would be feverishly pushing myself to apply for bigger, better law firm jobs and would be striving to get published in law journals and striving to serve as an officer for various legal groups, and adding more pro bono hours to my resume, BUT my inner voice just says, “BLEH!” I, the big me, the cosmic me, does not want to do any of that. Cosmic me LOVES working on this blog and wants to start designing a new website and writing personal development content for more regular posts. Cosmic me wants to be a blogger, author, life coach, Reiki master, and healer.
Yes, it’s SO scary to follow my inner voice — especially when everyone around me seems to disapprove of where it’s leading! No one says, “Go, squander your law degree and the hundreds of thousands of debt you incurred and follow your dreams.” No one says, “Try for a 3rd career at age 37 with a 2 year old and one on the way! The most important thing is that you’re happy!” NO ONE says this, except me, which is all I need.
The reason I know that listening to my inner voice is working is because I am so much happier already! I don’t feel stifled and depressed and bored and restless – I feel lighter and freer and creative and in alignment with me. Just a little bit of passion-project time goes a long way!
Your inner voice is SO important. It’s you. It’s the real, authentic you. It wants nothing more than to be seen and heard and expressed in the world. It is your purpose in this life, and abiding by it is critical to finding and cultivating happiness.
Please feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear your stories around purpose, inner voice, and happiness!
For a solid year now, I’ve been cleaning house — making peace with my past, giving the boot to limiting beliefs, taking charge of my thoughts, clearing old baggage, and using my emotions and intuition as a guidance system for getting to my best life (a la Abraham Hicks)! While it’s felt incredibly energizing and hopeful, I’ve struggled to shake a nagging feeling of boredom. My job is BORING. I’m a real estate attorney working my first job out of law school and am basically a glorified assistant to a “real” attorney. I do much less “real” attorney work than I’d like and am tasked with lots of administrative/secretarial duties. My ego brain continually wonders, wtf?! I survive 3 of the worst years of my life in law school and incur $200,000 in debt for THIS?! How on Earth will I pay back the debt at this rate? How stupid! How shameful! WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!
Needless to say, one of my greatest challenges over the course of this last year was to step into the present moment with genuine and radical love for all of it — for my past EXPENSIVE “mistakes” and for what look like my present shortcomings.
By listening to hundreds of hours of Abraham Hicks, Christine Hassler, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Connie Chapman, et cetera, I’ve really upleveled my conscious and subconscious mind to a much happier baseline. I would say I’ve had a true spiritual awakening. And in this awakening, I’ve come to peace with the fact that I do not want to practice law. Ouch! It hurts to say that out loud. After the massive time-energy-money commitment I made to earn my law degree, my ego struggles to even consider the possibility that I may not go on to practice law.
When I first set out on the legal path, I truly thought it was a smart decision — I would be using my strongest skill sets (writing, research, analysis) and making a great living that would provide the financial security I desperately wanted after leaving my first career as an English teacher. I suppose it was a “smart” decision, but when it comes to the biggest choices in our lives, I’ve realized that the goal is not necessarily to make a “smart” choice, it’s to make a heartfelt choice. The heart (or souls or inner beings or highest selves, whatever you want to call it), will never let us down, and, on the flip side of that, we will never find the deep, fulfilling, exhilarating kind of joy we are looking for if we let our limited minds take the lead.
This time around (3rd time’s the charm!), as I look for a career and life path that will bring me joy, I have committed to waiting until that joy is evident. I will not involve my mind this time. I will only listen to my heart and my intuition. I will hone in on activities that I really enjoy doing and will start doing more of them and will let the joy lead.
Just like Abraham urges, I’ve been choosing happier thoughts and fostering positive emotions and attempting to reach the all-hailed state of “alignment” (see my previous post for more detail on alignment). Although, I must confess, while I’ve made tremendous progress in shifting to positive thoughts, my usual thought process starts high and then takes a mini-nose dive and then perks back up again — something like, “Gosh, I feel SO grateful today; I feel so joyous and excited and just know that my future is about to burst with goodness; I can feel the good things coming; my core desired feelings are freedom and joy and excitement and I’m feeling free and joyful now. . . buuuuuut . . . there is that work problem and that little old debt problem. Work pretty much sucks, and I’ll never be able to pay off my debt with my current income. Not to mention, I feel bored and stale and kind of dead at work. Gosh, work is boring. I get to the office, and my whole body just feels so, BLAH . . . BUT, back to the gratitude! I AM awfully grateful for my job. It’s really decent money for little work and great hours, and I get so much free time to work on pet projects, and my boss is amazing, so…what is there to complain about?! I have it made. My job is the best job EVER!” That’s the gist of my inner manifesting monologue — the job hating and the debt and the boredom factors always creeping in . . . but I continue to tell myself to hang in there, hang onto the feeling of knowing that things will get better, that I will feel more freedom, and excitement, and joy in my life again SOON!
All this to say that it feels like it’s finally happening! The manifesting is really on a roll. Yesterday morning a podcast notification popped up on my phone that I accidentally opened with a mis-swipe and found a gift staring me in the face: The Life Coach School Podcast: Episode #252, “Should I Become a Life Coach?” I’ve been toying with the idea of a profession in life coaching for over a year now. I rrrrrreally want to do it but haven’t been able to get my mind around taking on more debt for ANOTHER degree, and besides that, my husband would probably disown me. He’s a very practical fellow, so I would have to find some secret money he didn’t know about to pay for the training and study in the dark after he fell asleep in order to pursue my secret dreams. Lol. I kid (sort of!).
I clicked on the episode immediately and then found myself realizing a limiting belief so deeply rooted that I could hardly detect it. I had been telling myself that I COULD NOT afford to become a life coach, that I just COULD NOT do it. NOT an option. But, actually, I COULD save and over time find a way to afford life coach training. That IS actually an option. It was like the clouds suddenly parted, and birds came out, and Zippety Doo Dah played somewhere off in the distance. As soon as I arrived at the office, I searched the internet for reviews of The Life Coach School but found myself drawn to a separate search result: “The Life Hack I Used to Get Into an $18k Coaching Program — Natalie Bacon.” Oh my gosh, Natalie had my same story! She’s a former attorney bamboozled by law school debt and disenchanted with the practice of law who found her way to money and freedom and joy and excitement as a blogger/entrepreneur.
EXCITEMENT coursed through my veins for the first time in such a long time! I rrrreally like this blogging business. I love sharing and expressing myself through writing. Why couldn’t I find success through some sort of entrepreneurial venture tied to blogging?! Yes, I know, everyone and their mother, brother, sister, and cousin want to be bloggers and entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be. What everyone else is doing is irrelevant to MY joy.
So, I’m following MY bliss. I’m not worried about where it will lead or how I will get there. The universe will take care of those details. I’m just focused on feeling the joy and excitement of pursuing my own business/side hustle!
This morning, as my husband and I struggled to get our two-year old to the bathroom to brush his teeth, I could feel the patience running threadbare in each of us. Our little boy had already been up since 5:45 a.m., and we’d just talked him down from a near-cookie-calamity — what were we thinking leaving Girl Scout cookies in plain sight?! As this potential breaking point escalated, I suddenly remembered my commitment to change this year; I remembered that I wanted the energy in our home to be different. Out of nowhere, I felt called to my breath. With a conscious inhalation and exhalation, I heard the words “Divine. God.” It was a powerful reset. Perhaps the best thing we can do each day to remain in a positive place and manifest a more positive life is to remember our connection to Source.
I tucked that bit of wisdom away for a calmer moment and carried on in the race against the morning clock. During my commute, I remembered the imparted words, “Divine. God.” and this time the word “Sacred” came through to complete the expression. Divine. God. Sacred. The meaning was simple to me — we are divine because we are one with God, and this oneness is absolutely sacred. That was it. That seemed all I needed to know — in that moment and possibly ever.
Of course, as I so appreciate, Source would send me a few more signs all aligned in the same direction, just to make sure I got the message. As I tuned into The Lively Show just moments later, the episode I’d absentmindedly chosen (#301) was all about turning to the inner voice and allowing it to be our primary guide. Host Jess Lively conducted a recorded session with her client from the place of her inner voice, almost as a channeling of the divine within her, or of the non-physical part of her, as Abraham Hicks would term it. Lively’s inner voice continually calls her client back to the present moment each time her client presses on for advice about what to do in life and work. Lively’s inner voice simply repeats, “All is well” and “There is nothing wrong.” Her inner voice is so totally calm, and as she points out, it’s as if her “job” right now in this world is simply to vibrate at these higher, calmer frequencies — the frequencies our brain enters when we are in a meditative or exalted state. From this state, we can achieve the vibrational alignment that is necessary to use the Law of Attraction for positive manifestation.
As Abraham Hicks breaks down for us again and again, the Law of Attraction works as follows:
We ask — this is easy and automatic; it comes out of our mere existence as vibrational beings.
The answer is given — the Universe immediately responds to our requests.
We allow — we must tune our vibration to the frequency of our desire (a.k.a. get into alignment); if we are not vibrating in alignment with our desires, the desires will not manifest. We must get into a positive frequency to attract positive desires. Abraham reminds us that our natural state is well-being. Dr. Wayne Dyer would add that this is so because we are one with God, and since God is love, we are love. It is only when we get caught up in worldly life that we stray from our natural state of wellness and love and divinity.
This is why staying in connection with our higher source / higher self is so key to manifesting. When we are connected to Source, we are automatically in alignment and can then stay in a place of deliberate manifestation.
I’ve been guided to this realization over the past few days and believe this is the answer for me right now. Just last Friday, my sister randomly recommended Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the LeadbyTosha Silver. Of course, I immediately listened on Audible, and the thing that struck me most was the calmness and tranquility in Silver’s voice as she narrates the audiobook. It was just like Jess Lively’s inner voice — so very calm and so much more simplistic than the hurried and contorted gymnastics of the ego mind. She challenges us to let go of all of the demands and contortions of our minds and, instead, follow and trust in our inner voice, or connection to Source. This divinely inspired place is where we want to manifest from.
Then, yesterday, in a rare hour by myself, I felt drawn to skim the Super Soul Sunday recordings in my DVR, which I hadn’t done in weeks. There, I found only one episode I hadn’t yet seen: Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Brother David Steindl-Rast, a benedictine monk. Steindl-Rast emphasized and repeated that the most important thing in our human journey is to trust life. Trusting in life means trusting in Source and in its love for us. When we do this, we are in a complete state of calm. We are in alignment. Positive manifestations flow.
Okay, Source. I get it. Let us quiet our minds. All is well. Nothing is wrong. If we listen to our inner knowing, we are, in fact, listening to you and opening ourselves to co-creation with you, the divine, which is far greater than anything we could possibly imagine or create on our own.
I have to assume, after all of my failed attempts to force my way to “success”, that there’s a better way. I see now that I’m a recovering over-achiever. I over-achieved my way through graduate school and then worked as a college English instructor for a few years. I then over-achieved my way through law school and currently work as an attorney. Still, I haven’t found “success” in my every day work life — fulfillment, inspiration, joy, financial abundance, financial security, et cetera. Of course, I experience moments of these positive states, but it’s not the kind of light-me-up, holy shit, life is amazing kind of “success” I was expecting after all of my painstaking efforts.
Of course, I know now that I was letting my mind do the leading. I followed all the rules, took all the career quizzes, considered ALL of the advice, weighed all the pros and cons, and I worked my tail off, but never did I really consult my heart. Deep down, I don’t think I believed it could lead me to the right place — I didn’t trust it and really didn’t even know to listen to it. Now, after some difficult-to-swallow missteps (like the unbelievably astronomical amount of debt I took-on to purchase my law degree) I know.
I decided to take a spur of the moment trip last week to visit my family in California. It turned out to be exactly the vibration-booster I needed. The biggest block for me over the last couple of years has, surprisingly, been my home life. I love my husband and two-year old son dearly, so, why would it be that my greatest emotional triggers occur at home? Maybe it’s the laundry and the dishes and the dog hair and the built-up resentment over seemingly uneven distribution of household chores. Maybe it’s our stressful jobs that leave little patience for our rascally two-year-old and the dragging evening routine of toddler dinner prep, parent dinner prep, practice pee pee on the big boy potty, bathe, brush the teeth, jammie time, story time, bed time (around 8:30pm — finally!), then mom shower, mom jammies, and whoop, it’s already mom bed time. Rinse-wash- repeat all week long.
In re-reading the above, all I can hear is my own COMPLAINING, which tells me I’m shifting out of that story, or have shifted out already. I’ve vented about this struggle with other new parents repeatedly over the last few years and felt very justified in commiserating. Adjusting to the lack of sleep and new slew of demands can be tough, but I am feeling SO ready to heal the struggle and shift into a calm, comforting, rejuvenating, energizing, happy, joyful, peaceful home life.
The inner awareness I’ve needed for healing has been coming to me, as if my desire for tranquility at home is, in fact, manifesting. The first spirit-inspired message that really sunk in for me came from a Connie Chapman podcast (which, side note, is amazing! — completely genuine, deep, and coming from such a beautifully aligned place). She explained that so much of our unhappiness comes from resisting what is, and oh my gosh have I been subconsciously resisting the demands of adulting! Then, just the following week, I came across Abraham Hicks discussing the fact that so many of us are afraid to look at what resistance is telling us. For instance, it’s perfectly okay that my resistance to grown-up life is showing me how much I value personal freedom and “me time.” I’ve realized that one of the fastest ways for me to get into alignment is to head to a coffee shop BY MYSELF and write and read and listen to my favorite podcasts. All it takes is a few hours to shed my negativity. As Carl Jung so famously said, “Whatever you resist, not only persists but grows in size.” This could not be more true, and I think it’s often a deeply rooted element of fear that prevents the ego from really looking at the object resisted.
In my case, it’s possible the ego refused to look at my resistance because of what it might reveal about me — that I’m a bad mom, or that I am, in fact, “trapped” in the routine and obligations. With another baby on the way, it makes sense that ego would block out clear access to my deep desire for more “me time” — some part of me realized it would soon become more limited! Ironically, it’s been in acknowledging the deep resistance I feel at home that has allowed me to let go and see the truth. I am not trapped. I am not a bad mom if I want to feel freedom. I can absolutely incorporate “me time” into my life, even once our second baby comes. I have a husband who supports my getaways, and I have friends and family who would help me if I needed it, and there are endless babysitters and childcare providers who could help provide me with some free time. Long story short, finally confronting the fact that I’m constantly triggered at home allowed me to see my resistance to all of the responsibility. Rationally, I know that I love my home and family and wouldn’t change a thing about them, but a little piece of me wanted to scream, “Nooooooooooo!” to the threatened personal freedom. My ego really wanted to ignore these feelings, really wanted to resist their existence, and, sure enough, they persisted — for a couple of years!
LESSON: Use your emotional guidance system! Where do you experience the most negativity in your life? Ask your higher self: what’s the real reason for my negative emotions? Sometimes just uncovering the real reasons for our negative triggers is enough to cause a shift toward something better. Is some sort of unjustified fear or limiting belief possibly at the root of the negative emotion? Are you buying into a bit of a story? Perhaps, it is time to let go of it all…
PART II: Meant to Be, or Manifested?
So, back to my weekend in California. I kept finding myself mentioning how triggered I was at home. It wasn’t something that I had planned to talk about during the visit, but low and behold, these really honest admissions kept seeping out, probably in eager hopes that soul-expanding wisdom would flow my way, and it did.
On my flight into Orange County, I zoned out to Abraham Hicks‘ The Vortex. Abraham suggests ignoring unwanted behaviors, and my mother, of her own accord, made the very same suggestion. Reason being that whatever we focus on, we get more of. Of course, we can’t ignore everything, but, in my case, I could ignore so much more than I do, not only when it comes to undesired behaviors but also when it comes to household cleaning and maintenance. I hadn’t realized until this past weekend how much I let unfinished chores bother me. I’m not even that much of a neat freak; I just have this constant nagging feeling that the dishwasher should be unloaded, that the toys should be picked up, that the bedding should be washed, et cetera.
It wasn’t until I received a Reiki healing session on Saturday from my oldest sister that I put it all together. She noted that my throat and sacral chakras were blocked with negative emotion. While she worked on my energy field, I had sudden repeated thoughts of the phrases “holding on”, “holding on”, “holding on” and was simultaneously drawn to the tightness in my chest and throat and shoulders. Then I saw/heard the phrase, “letting go”, “letting go”, “letting go.” When I shared this with her, she added that the throat and sacral chakras are all about expression and truth. I wasn’t living in my truth at home. I wasn’t honest about my feelings, and I was constantly preoccupied with keeping up with some arbitrary household tidiness standards. I was holding on to these standards ridiculously tightly — so tightly that I couldn’t even see I was doing it. My sister added that I wasn’t in vibrational alignment at home. I wasn’t choosing happy thoughts or happy things at home. I wasn’t making it a place that I feel calm, comforted, rejuvenated, energized, happy, joyful, or peaceful.
Icing on the manifesting cake: my mom, sisters, and I decided to draw a few oracle cards Saturday night before bed. After a quick prayer and summoning of spirit guides and angels, my oldest sister drew one of Colette Baron-Reid‘s Spirit Animal Oracle cards for each of us — the deer for her, the dog for my mom, the beaver for my middle sister, and the seahorse for me. The message for the seahorse? “Hovering gracefully, the seahorse observes with the perspective of one who is not engulfed by the drama, remaining at a distance from all the turbulence . . . Your message from Seahorse Spirit is: ‘Not my circus, not my monkeys.’ Spirit wants you to know that even if you are tempted to jump into the fray and try to fix things, the best way to serve yourself and others right now is to remain calm and simply watch and see.” This could NOT be any more relevant to my previous blog post. In a nutshell, I’ve got to stay out of the negative energy welling up at home in order to stay in alignment and continue manifesting the peace that I want.
The next day, when I returned home to Austin, Texas, my house was a borderline disaster. It would have completely triggered me pre-weekend in California. But, as I wrote in an earlier blog, I am committed to change this year. I simply do not want to be the old me, and I do not want to live in my old vibrational patterns. Perhaps, most importantly of all, I’m starting with ME. I’m not expecting any change in my husband or son. I’m trying to do the changing. The toys and dirty dishes and unfolded laundry and disheveled couches disturbed me not! Who says all of that should be picked up — the imaginary committee of Stepford Wives living in my head? I focused instead on how totally adorable my sweet, silly little boy is. For the first time in a while, I saw so much more good than bad. I felt the calm flowing through me. There were no worries, just love. I didn’t even pick up the mess that night. I caught up with all the dishes the next night, and am saving the toys, couch, et cetera for a group effort tonight. Who says it’s all my job? Who says my sweet husband and son won’t help willingly? Abraham Hicks says that we will get what we expect. I’m going to expect good things and be excited when they come but detached when they don’t. It’s ALL good.
I started writing this post with the title “Meant to Be,” but I really think these recent revelations were more manifested than predestined. I’ve been wanting to heal my experience of home for some time and have been cultivating better feelings in my life in general over the last year, which I think brought forth these new pieces of wisdom — so that I might shift into a more free and peaceful experience of home.
Soooo, as I mentioned in my first blog, I’ve just wrapped up a year of wild consumption of all manner of personal development books and podcasts and courses and meditations and therapy sessions and body work and emotional release and reiki treatments and reiki training, and I am just now starting to feel a real shift in energy welling up for the first time — just in time for the new year! Talk about divine energy and divine timing!
I experienced many new awarenesses and openings of the soul and “ah-ha’s” and purgings and letting go’s over the course of 2018, but I never really felt close to the real, lasting change that I yearned for. I told my therapist at my very first appointment that I could clearly see the me I wanted to be. In my mind’s eye, I saw a peaceful, joyful, loving, caring, glowing, smiling, passionate, creative, fulfilled, authentic, purposeful me, emanating light and life and complete inner peace.
I don’t feel like I am that person yet, but after the tremendous change I’ve already experienced, I know that I am on my way. This year, I commit to surfing the higher vibe. It’s a matter of going where the energy feels lighter, and freer, and more exuberant. Like my beloved father used to say, “Wherever you go, there you are.” I cannot look to anyone else to elevate the quality of my life. I must simply follow what FEELS good and avoid what doesn’t because wherever I choose to go, there I will be.
I am writing this blog in hopes of connecting with other people who are either interested in or immersed in personal/spiritual development but who are maybe bogged down in the details and demands of work and bills and relationships and child-rearing or who are maybe just feeling a little alone in the whole process.
A little bit about me: in the present moment, I’m feeling like I’ve tried, tried, tried to make the “right” choices in life so that I would love my job and have lots of security and prosperity, but I’m not quite there . . . I’m feeling so stuck in my career and so stuck under the weight of debt. I’ve been working for over a year now on clearing old emotional blocks and limiting beliefs, and from this clearer place, I’m trying to manifest my dream job and my dream life.
I’m in the thick of this process and am looking to connect with others who are on a similar path. Each week, I’ll blog on my latest thoughts and questions and on any recent successes or “failures”. I’d love to hear about yours, too!