I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across the words above on sandwiches boards outside flower shops, in magazine articles, at yoga studios where I’ve practiced or random places you’d least expect. The universe was trying to send me a message. It’s funny, though I desperately wanted to believe it was possible, the cynic in me put up mental road blocks. My internal thoughts would read something like this: “Yeah, it’s a great ideal but come on how many people are living that dream?” I’d imagine for a moment what it might feel like then rush back to my desk and try to make peace with the life that I’d chosen to lead but wasn’t very happy with.
While I’ve known for sometime the things that I loved doing, yoga at the top of the list, I’d sidelined the pursuits to my spare time that invariably got gobbled up by other things that I enjoyed less but which I placed greater priority on; i.e. working hard at a job I didn’t necessary like but had become good at. I was determined that if I kept pushing harder in that direction, the life I really wanted to live and love would somehow manifest itself as a reward. Sure, externally I was rewarded for my efforts but the things I was most passionate about, the life I really wanted to live, eluded me.
So what stopped me from doing what I wanted to do most? A few things I guess.
Fear: that I’d just fail if I tried.
Judgement: that I would be perceived by those whom I respected and wanted to respect me as a bit of a flake.
Self-doubt: that I wasn’t worthy of a life that I loved.
There were a myriad of other self-sabotaging mental obstacles I’d created to shore up those big ones above. All of them excuses in hindsight.
Here’s the thing: When I finally took that great big leap into the unknown, threw caution to the wind, said to myself “What do you have to lose really?” and moved in the direction of my dreams, the mental dam that I’d created started to leak.
Opportunities to teach yoga began to trickle in, people that I’d wanted to get to know better but didn’t have time for began to get in touch with me, life slowed down to a pace where I could actually enjoy all the little things that make it worth living and for the first time ever I was able to understand, truly, the concept of abundance. That despite all my excuses, i.e. not enough this or that, it being the wrong time, not having a partner to catch me when I fell, all the elements that I needed to create the life I wanted were at my finger tips. I’d unconsciously succumbed to a hoarding mentality that would become my prison.
It’s early days since I made this major leap of faith (leaving behind a full-time job) and I’m still fine tuning my rhythm, routine and outlook on life, and occasionally combating old patterns of thinking but the before and after experience is so radically different that the only thing I’m asking myself now is “What on earth took you so long woman?.”
Okay, I know it’s a well worn cliche to say “Do what you love and the money will follow” and it is by far from a easy process to reconstruct your mental thinking and rearrange your life to do the things you are both good at and feel passionate about and believe can make a difference in the lives of others but it is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. The real secret, if there is any, is believing it is possible and taking a chance on the unknown.
All stuff that I’d heard a million times before but refused to truly believe because of fear. These days the overriding sentiment and feeling is one of absolute gratitude. The more I bask in it, the more I keep receiving, and giving.
Amanda Morrall is a New Zealand based personal finance expert. Her first book Money Matters was published in 2013 by Penguin Random House in NZ.