In late 2016, I published a blog post called “My Story: Living Inside the Prayer” about my journey through chronic inflammatory illness and my work/life decisions that have been influenced by these circumstances.
My reflection at that time was that “to live inside a prayer... is to exist in a state of Grace with regard to all the choices and consequences that led to this moment, and those that will flow from this moment, and that are outside of our knowing and our control. It is knowing that we are simultaneously vulnerable, protected, and free.”
Two years later, a lot has changed. I finished grad school despite being sick on every single day of my program. My lungs got better in the month after school ended (I’m now on “asthma probation” and don’t have to attend another respiratory appointment for an entire year - yay!). I got a job, and then picked up an extra job by accident, and then one more job for good measure (good things come in threes, right?). Oh, and then I also decided to start a business "as a hobby." On the surface, having three jobs plus other stuff is an odd professional choice. So naturally, I jumped in with all four feet. The experience reinforced for me that it’s normal and even healthy to want (and get) different things from a diversity of professional and personal roles. This seems especially true for people who have varied interests.
What I learned this year is that there are three areas where I want to focus (see, good things DO come in threes!). These three areas are healing (via my counselling work), leading (through my non-profit and community involvement), and learning and teaching (whenever and wherever I can). This is what I have to give. These are the things that make my squishy little heart flutter.
At the end of 2018, I am finding that the phrase “living inside the prayer” is ever-present in how I invest my time and energy, and this mindset is helping me welcome new elements into my life and know that it's not all up to me. I am feeling how valuable it is to make choices when I feel excited about something, even if it's a little bit out on the edge of my comfort zone. I can better rationalize risks, especially when not taking a risk presents its own danger. Change feels a little more exciting, and a bit less scary. And I am letting go of the things that no longer serve me or aren't meant for me, to make room for things that are my work to do. I feel guided by intuition, deeply connected to others, and cared for by forces larger than myself.
In 2018 I also found a new mentor who has brought me a huge sense of relief by being clear, steady, fair, and decent. Also, by believing in me, when I doubt myself (which has been often). Sometimes we find the people we need, at the time that we need them. Frequently, it’s the contrast of our past experiences that allows us to fully appreciate them when they come into our lives. I am blessed and restored in this experience.
2018 was a messy and imperfect year. People watching my career choices
unravel unfold were probably thinking “what the heck is she doing now?” This past year began with a big disappointment over an opportunity I’d been excited about, and then things got complicated and a bit overwhelming in the middle as my counselling and public education work hit a patch of rapid growth, and now the year is closing with renewed hope and professional blessings unlike anything I’ve experienced.
I am jazzed about where I am right now. The spaces I’m occupying are just so good. My work and relationships are rich and fulfilling and exciting. I am genuinely thrilled and eager about the things that are heading in my direction. I'm proud of myself for having the courage to keep living inside prayer - to know that everything will be okay (even when it doesn't feel that way), to embrace change and trust the messages that come through intuition, to bless bumps and flaws and recognize them as parts of my path, and to dwell in thankfulness for the gifts in my life.
My wish is that 2019 will be a year of exciting potential, and as always, that we may experience freedom from suffering.