On January 1, 2019, as far as I knew, this year was going to be the same as all others. Today, at the end of the year, I walk into 2020 with all those lessons life gifted me - stay tuned for more about these in the next blog :)
For the whole of 2019, I received probably the least income since I graduated university 14 years ago, but I’ve felt the absolute richest than ever before. You see, I was employed full-time from the day I graduated, and I literally didn’t have a break since. From then on, I have been fiercely protective of my career growth, and my A-type personality ensured that I consistently produced great results. I grew into a new role every two years with the same company, and moved with them to four different countries. It was anyone’s dream. After 13 years, I finally decided to try something else and went to an equally big corporate.
By the end of the year there, the little voice inside me - that had been saying “I want something more” for a while - had grown louder and louder…something that could impact people on a deeper level…something more personal…by then, I had gone through a whole deal of gain and pain, grief, darkness, loss, happiness, healing…surely I can help others navigate through those too.
The universe responded…by the end of February, I was suddenly without a big fancy corporate job. And the universe dared me to do something about that calling…..
The A-type personality in me somehow was calm as a still pond, and I decided to do absolutely nothing for a month or two, see what that’ll be like for the first time in my life, and then I’ll aim for the stars…I’ll find the best way to help others understand and find themselves the way I did.
So, I did nothing for two weeks. Yes, I did cry a little to get it out of my system, I’m still human! And then I did all those things I envied about people who had all the free time in the world: I went out and had coffee alone at Starbucks at 11:00 am with nothing but a book, I went to the gym and the pool in the middle of the day, and I finally organized my recipe box that was waiting for like, 6 years.
In March, I took my niece on a trip to bond with her a little more, because, why not! With no phones or emails to reply to, it was something else! [LESSON 1 in next blog] In April and May, I picked up and met up with a few friends on mini breaks, just to catch up.
I started a coaching course to get myself one step closer to my goal of helping others…lucky me, the class came along with the most amazing classmates that have literally made my life better.
The course was a point of no return, because I discovered very quickly that to learn to coach others towards points of transformation, one must go through their own internal transformation.
Not easy…and there was a lot of emotions and thoughts and fears and everything in between…but I fell head over heels in love with it and rarely had a conversation after that without bringing up coaching in it somehow. [LESSON 2 in next blog]
In July, I flew out for one more trip now that I had gotten the gist of spontaneity - which I never had before but got the hang of now. [LESSON 3 in next blog] In August, I stayed home to focus on building my work and study for my accreditation. As it happens, I also lost one of my closest friends in a horrible accident, and had to learn how to deal with grief, all over again! I had experienced a huge loss before, but hey, life likes to make sure you reeeeeally got the lesson and what you’re gonna do differently each time to pick yourself back up. [LESSON 4 in next blog]. In September, I got to check off a life-long bucket list item: travel around Italy! Once again with no emails or calls to answer, seeing so many different places and people and history for three weeks, I experienced freedom and independence that I never even knew existed. I made precious memories with my friends and took a ton and a half smiley and silly face pictures.
In October, I partnered up with a very experienced coach doing a role I never imagined I would have to do in this lifetime…I said yes to the opportunity…I am allowing myself to do this even if I fail. I only have learnings and experience to gain at this point. (Little A-type inside of me slowly started being ok with imperfection).
For the rest of the year, I went at every single opportunity I could see in front of me. Keeping an eye out for it helps you practice, and practice makes perfect. Whether I was going to succeed or fail at it. I asked my friends to hold me accountable to what I shared I was going to be going after. And I wake up and go at it a little more every day.
Now, I get it, you may say “you were still privileged, Lama, having savings and no other responsibilities other than yourself, so of course you could freely do all that”. You’re not wrong, I am incredibly grateful that I did have a career that allowed me to do all of this, but what I hope you’ll still see and consider is the essence of it all:
creating space and time for your mind and soul, in whatever situation or place you’re in, to wander free and get creative, and to do things you never thought you’d do and explore things you never thought you’d like.
Because I promise you, if you’re feeling stuck somehow, the potential solution isn’t in the space where you are now, it’s in the space where you’re not.
I’m not saying quit your job right now and go wander the world (although if you do, I also tell you, it’s not the end of the world, YOLO!). I’m saying figure out and strive to find a way to create this space for yourself. Be fierce about THAT. Be fierce and unapologetic about your happiness. Don’t let time pass you by. Imagine your retirement party and create a plan so that this party is one full of joy and assurance that you’ve truly done all you want in your life, and that you learned, created, failed, learned again, impacted, influenced, prayed, worked hard, LOVED and received love.
You don’t have to have all that “free time” to figure it out You don’t have to get beaten up with heavy life hits to learn the lesson You don’t have to travel to all those places to gain happiness You just have to DECIDE that this is your time, and trust that the “how” will follow
I walk into 2020 with these lessons, and unlike my previous extremely detail-planned years, I let this one be a blank white sheet so that I can draw big and bold and more amazing things than I can even imagine from where I sit at this moment.
Plus, 2020 just sounds like such a cool number to be your breakthrough year, doesn’t it?