Starting with a quote from a favorite Sarah Blondin meditation, ‘Accepting Change’:
“What you once knew changes shape and flys away. You watch as your world morphs in front of your eyes. You try to run after the fragments of what once was grasping onto the pieces as if they are your world and the very things that define you. You shake in fear as the ground beneath your feet cracks and opens. A canyon so deep you can feel a cold air coming up from its depths.
There you stand, looking around desperately for a glimpse of the reality you once knew. Silence, sits all around you. It calls for you to hang your tired feet at the canyons edge and feel the air of new life rising from its darkness. The stillness sweetly whispers in your ear, gently urging you to step out of your wild mind and see the fertile ground you’re standing on. It hopes you will begin to see the beauty in this unfamiliar place.
Often new life can catch us off guard. It comes like a gust of strong wind and blows away the ideas and structures we have worked so hard at building. Sitting in the rubble, we tend to forget the part of us that had been crying out for this very thing. We wish we could take back our secret prayers and scramble to put back the pieces of the comfortable existence we once had.
When faced with great change, we must trust what comes budding forth. We must quickly release our grasp on the old and familiar in order to plant our new garden.” 🌿- Sarah Blondin
I heard this beautiful meditation last week as I was reflecting and deep in introspection around recent wedding travels and events. Blondin’s words deeply resonated with the emotions I was experiencing.
Recent wedding travels and time spent with close friends and family have been a beautiful yet paradoxical experience. I’ve been filled with gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate these beautiful destination wedding weekends and reunite with loved ones abroad to honor the love of those close to me. It’s been extremely special celebrating these moments in new destinations. Simultaneously, it has also been challenging.
During the wedding weekends, I felt like a foreigner in what used to be such a familiar place. I’ve experienced a strange nostalgia for a past version of myself— San Francisco working professional, climbing the corporate ladder, seeking a partner, and envisioning a life settled back in the United States. This version of me was within reach, and it was the path I was traveling just seven years ago.
At these events, I ached for that past version of me who could effortlessly relate and connect. The version that could share details about my conventional job/career path at that tech company, the location of my Bay Area apartment, the latest trendy bars and restaurants I frequented, etc, etc.
I found myself thinking, What if I had just chosen to stay on that path?
Then, I remembered the reality I had been living: from early career burnout to feeling stuck and craving change in my work, living for the weekends, unhealthy drinking habits, toxic dating dynamics, and knowing deep down that I yearned for something different.
And I chose differently. That path was not for me.
By embracing change and leaping away from familiarity, my journey led me to discover what ignites a spark in my soul and a more fulfilling path. Through the transformational journey, I discovered my passion for exploring foreign lands, language learning, immersing myself in different cultures, new forms of dance, healing, and embracing personal growth and expansion through the discomfort of this alternative path.
This is not to say one path is better than the other. Many find happiness by following a traditional path and settling down in their home country.
My intention is to say quite the opposite. It is to say that there is no *one* path. There is no single path that is universally right or wrong.
Each individual has the freedom to choose their *own* unique path. A path that resonates with their authentic being, desires, and aspirations.
When choosing an unconventional path, there will be moments where reminders of familiarity and a past version of self can arise, tempting you back to comfort and familiarity. This can lead to questioning the choices and decisions that have brought you to where you are. However, it is precisely in those moments that prioritizing reconnecting with your authentic self and *your* desires becomes most critical.
Some questions to support you:
- What feels best to you?
- What ignites a sense of joy within you?
- Where do you feel most alive?
- What is the path that *you* want to travel?
- How do you envision a fulfilling and meaningful life for yourself?
- What steps can you take to continue to honor your true self and live authentically?
And once you breathe deeply and reflect, you’ll acknowledge what’s led you to where you are today and the path you’re traveling. In doing so, you will find yourself filled with gratitude for choosing yourself and embracing your most authentic path. As the meditation continues:
“All change has been called forth from our soul. Our lesson is to learn to honor the knowledge of our divine being…You can choose to see the cavern as terrifying, unknown darkness or you can choose to pour sweet honey into its cracks…This is the moment where you become the creator. Where you become responsible for what appears. Now is the time to create in the name that all you long for…Don’t hold back from creating the most vivid and wildly beautiful existence you can imagine. In the face of change, sit there and pour so much beauty you can barely breathe…Befriend curiosity and explore what you very much had a part in creating.”
Here are some tips for navigating unconventional paths:
- Take time for reflection and introspection. Reflect on the “why” behind the path you have chosen to travel and how it aligns with your passions, values, and personal definition of success and fulfillment.
- Reconnect with your passions. Rediscover activities, interests, and pursuits that bring you joy and fulfillment. Aligning them with your chosen path will help you gain confidence in the journey you’re traveling.
- Surround yourself with a like-minded and uplifting community. Seek out a community of individuals who share similar values and aspirations. This support network can serve as a source of encouragement, inspiration, and guidance throughout your unconventional journey.
- Establish strong boundaries and be selective about whose opinions and advice you allow to enter your field. Prioritize your own beliefs and choices, and guard against being swayed by societal expectations or the opinions of others. Stay true to your own values and vision. Trust your inner wisdom.
- Tap into the support of a coach and/or therapist. These professionals offer valuable insights, tools, and strategies to navigate the challenges and opportunities of an unconventional path. Therapists can help you explore your past and work through any underlying difficulties, while coaches focus on looking ahead, supporting you in creating the change you desire, crafting your story, and overcoming any fears or limiting beliefs holding you back from your most fulfilling path. If you’re seeking coaching support, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Having personally traveled the road less traveled, I understand the journey. I offer complimentary consultations, which you can book using the link provided here.
A gentle reminder that there is no single path to success and fulfillment. Each one of us possesses the power to choose and change our direction at any given time.
Your journey is uniquely yours, and that is what makes it so beautiful.