I’ve had friends ask me if the desire to change my life came in an epiphany, and I wish I could say, unequivocally, yes. But as I said in my blog, I Gave Up on Never Giving Up, that’s not the truth.
Destiny can be an elusive little bugger.
After several years of indecisive life changes, I was exhausted. I even considered setting a bush on fire with hopes that it would talk to me. Of course, it was my neighbor’s bush — I’m not a fool.
Finding my destiny has been like a dance – sometimes joyous, sometimes slow, sometimes uncoordinated. In high school I was a bad dance partner because I always tried to lead. The boys must have felt like they were dancing with Hulk Hogan as I wrestled them for dance floor domination.
Destiny doesn’t get dominated.
I’m starting to think that destiny has DNA, and while it’s lodged in our heart and soul, it blooms slowly in all the right moments.
We Fight to Be What We Were Meant to Be. . .
In her book Steering by Starlight, Martha Beck tells a fascinating story about a man whose nose was crushed in a car accident. In an attempt to rebuild his nose, the doctors used cartilage from one of his ears and sculpted it into the shape they needed. Graphed to his nasal bridge, the cartilage worked perfectly. Nobody could even tell that the man’s nose had been injured.
After the surgery, an odd thing began to happen. His nose started to morph into a delicate aural whorl, and the doctors had to whittle it back down. Apparently, that little bit of cartilage never forgot the ear that it started out to be.
While this might not be the most appealing visual, the concept is relevant. Perhaps we are taking our destiny DNA and trying to turn it into something it’s not meant to be.
My Destiny DNA is Calling . . .
I spent years conducting sales training. Because the training put me in front of a group, it fulfilled my teaching DNA. Because I worked with executives one-on-one on the change aspect of sales, it fulfilled my coaching DNA. Because I wrote the training, it almost fulfilled my writing DNA. After a few years, however, I started to feel that emotional cartilage growing outside of my role as a sales trainer. The job was close, but it wasn’t quite right.
So, I went back to get my Masters degree with an emphasis in writing, and it whittled the whorl down for a while. I focused on my kids and getting them through college, and it whittled the whorl again. But when my kids grew up and started going after their desires, I realized, “There go my babies. And my money. And my energy. Crap.”
I called on my own coach and told her that I needed to know the ultimate purpose for my life and I needed to know it now. She did that frustrating thing coaches do — she made me think about what I’d said. This conversation led me to one important question: “Why might I NOT want to know the ultimate end-all purpose of my life?”
I stammered around for a moment before I tentatively replied, “Because knowing the absolute, end-all purpose of my life could mean that I’m dead?”
That was a burning bush moment.
So, I have learned that the power of destiny is in the small steps.
I know that when I begin to write, the time flies by. And when I coach others through change, it fulfills me. I know that I wake up eager to get out of bed, and get to work.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not skipping down life’s path playing with bluebirds. I panic over income at least ten times a day. These are what I call my “OMG” moments, usually kicked off by a bill I didn’t expect or a moment when I accidentally reverse my phone camera and get a glimpse of my 54 year-old face. When I panic, it sets off a hot flash, and suddenly I look like Meryl Streep standing in the shower in Silkwood.
Then the fear passes with each action, and I swipe a little Dry Idea under my arms and move on.
Destiny is not usually declared in a dramatic moment . . . it’s more often an accumulation of little dissatisfactions with your status quo that you let you know your nose might just be growing an ear.
(In comments below) When did you first know that a change in your life was necessary?