For the last two-and-a-half years, I had the honor and privilege of marrying my professional public relations and marketing skillset with my passion for helping people find freedom from alcohol.
About six weeks ago, minds outside of my own decided it was time for me to make a change. Had I been given the choice, this would not have been it. And yet, here we are.
Freshly unemployed as of September 1, I had three open doors (by my count):
- Apply for jobs aligned with my 25+ years in public relations and marketing.
- Re-establish my public relations and marketing consultancy (which I closed after almost 13 years in business in 2019).
- Refresh my life and recovery coaching business with the goal of making it my sole (and soul) focus.
In a perfect world, it’s door number 3. Every day of the week. I’m old enough to know I am at my best when I am doing what I call “heart work” — the stuff that lights me up the brightest and doesn’t feel like a job.
But, because this is not a perfect world, I’ve chosen number 3 (mostly) with a side of number 1 (because … bills). I’ve applied for about 50 jobs so far. And, apparently, I am ineligible for unemployment benefits.
I promised myself I would take the entire month of September off. So, of course, I dove right into planning and rebranding and content creation and strategy stuff on 9/1. We took a planned trip (first in a year) over an extended Labor Day Weekend and then I forced myself not to touch anything “work”-related for another two days. That was all the break I could handle — I was craving productivity, a way to achieve something, anything. I was absolutely twitching.
The fact that my heart moves me to start researching and developing programs, writing and sending a weekly newsletter which I abandoned a couple of years ago, stepping back into online conversations in the alcohol free space, and even (finally!) taking a few small steps toward publishing my book, beautifully validated my choice of door number three.
And, I realized something. I am shifting so I can help others shift. Every phase of my journey exists to teach me more about how to support others as they explore change in their own lives — whether they’re looking to change their relationship with alcohol or anything else they notice is no longer serving them.
Back on August 16, I saw four herons on my walk (after seeing two the day before). I’m usually lucky to see one. They are always a gift and I never question their presence. I posted about them on Instagram. In fact, every time a heron enters my world, you can bet I am going to post about it. They’re just that special to me.
That unusual abundance of herons seven weeks ago was no coincidence. I just didn’t know it at the time.
Here’s the deal …
Herons encourage us to flow with the energies around us, not struggling but rather cooperating. They represent autonomy, calmness, detachment, keen-mindedness, individuality, gallantry, meditation, nobility, peace, serendipity, solitude, stability, steadfastness, tact, tenacity, reclusiveness, and willpower.
I am both honored and grateful herons waited for me to be ready to appreciate and connect with their power. I feel like they waited for me. Maybe that’s part of their magic.
You see, many years ago, I learned to harness anger as my energy of choice. For a long time, I believed it was not only helpful but also required for success. Looking back, I am not sure there was ever a time when it served me.
I am proud to have abandoned anger so deeply at this stage. (Don’t worry, I still get angry; I am human after all. I just don’t try to leverage its energy to effect change or dictate outcomes. Mostly. I’m also imperfect. So … sometimes anger shows up for me. It’s a good invitation to remember why I don’t like it.) Releasing anger makes room for magic.
Yep, I believe in magic. Only because it’s shown up for me time and time again. I definitely notice it more in sobriety. Some people have told me I had a hand in creating some of my own magic. I don’t know how I feel about believing that. I like the idea that it comes from somewhere else.
What I do believe is that there is a force much bigger than me at play. It isn’t other people. It’s something universal that has all these invitations to give out and shows up when you least expect it.
I am not going to lie. Life has been a lot the last six weeks — from moving our oldest to college for his freshman year to our daughter facing some health challenges to major car repairs to postponing an elective but life-changing surgical procedure I had been planning for January 2023 to getting a flu shot that fueled my first sarcoidosis flare in months to questioning every thought I’m having and wondering when things will feel right again.
But there are glimmers of hope. Sparks even. I’m inviting them to carry me. My sense of smell has almost completely returned after my bout with COVID in June. A brand new coaching client started off their first session stepping right into their power and setting goals like a boss. An old friend called and reminded me of my value.
Everything is happening for you. Don’t forget that appearances can be deceiving. And, never (ever) judge a book by its cover.
Everything is an invitation. It’s what you decide to do with it that dictates your future … and, that’s where you have control.