My friend Shantelle’s partner is in the military, so when he got posted to Hawaii, she jumped at the chance to ensure her business was a little more location independent and still balance her energy.
In true form, she has already made some wonderful connections and has even scored a gig as a host on Think Tech Hawaii! When she asked if she could interview me for her new show, I thought it would be fun and jumped at the chance.
It was really cool to be able to Skype in and watch the innovative way that they broadcast my live feed with all their whizz bang technology.
For those of you that have known me for a while, you’re probably already familiar with my story and how I started my career as a social worker, etc.
In fact, there’s a part of me that feels that I’ve spoken about my journey so many times that I’m tempted to just refer people to my previous interviews.
Only, I can’t help but notice that there’s almost always something that I learn about myself, or life when I get asked a question that I haven’t thought about in a while, or haven’t been asked before.
This was the case when Shantelle asked about my journey as a social worker and how weird / odd / random it was when I decided to transition into sales and marketing (selling advertising for the Yellow Pages mind you) without any formal qualifications.
She also reminded me of my seemingly random life changing choices when I started to work as a celebrant. Was there method to my madness? If so, what was the connection? And isn’t that a job for old, retired people?
Admittedly, thanks to kundalini yoga, I’m not as reactive and reckless as I used to be (I once broke up w a guy via a text message and then made my best friend collect my stuff from his apartment *wincing as I confess this*),
It definitely got me thinking, firstly because nobody had ever asked me that before, and secondly because it gave me an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and remember how fearless and tenacious I used to be.
Somewhere along the line on my professional path, it seems I got caught up in validating my worth through the years of experience I have, or through the formal qualifications I hold.
Whatever happened to that girl that would say “F*ck this sh!it, I’m outta here!”
Anyway, Shantelle asked me to share my top 3 tips for ‘dancing to the beat of your own drum’ when it comes to life, love and business and after much thought, consideration and whittling down of so many other values I find crucial in life, I managed to come up with:
- Value Yourself
- Be Passionate About What You Do
- Have Clear (and flexible) Boundaries
Nothing new here or anything you’ve never heard before, right?
But as seemingly simple as these tips are, I find that we can sometimes lose sight of these core values while we’re traversing through life in a way that’s messy, unpredictable and often challenging.
Before I started working, I had actually gone travelling for 2 years and had visited life changing places like India, Africa and Europe, and once I came back to Sydney, I wanted to gain experience as a social worker. I still wanted my life to be as magical as it was when I was travelling, so I also pursued other interests like studying energy balancing, kinesiology and dance. I didn’t want to wait for Friday night to start a 2 day weekend – I wanted to be happy and fulfilled everyday.
One of my lessons that I would come to appreciate later was that my life could never feel balanced, if one aspect of it made me very unhappy. If there’s one area in your life that isn’t quite working, no matter what you do in other aspects of your life, you’re never going to find balance.
Have you found this to be true as well? I’d love to know as I’m really curious.
The passion and vigor I had for my work as a social worker was starting to turn into resentment and I became someone that was disgruntled. I worked in an environment where morale was low and there was a huge turnover of staff.
I was around people who didn’t want to take responsibility for themselves yet want to complain incessantly about how terrible their life / the world was.
I found that I wanted to be around people that would not only call me out on my crap but also inspire me in equal parts.
Valuing yourself includes shifting your tribe because sometimes people need to have a different place in your life while they’re on their own journey of learning.
It’s important to check in with your values all the time – what’s right for us at one point isn’t necessarily right at all times.
BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO
I’m a huge believer in working from the inside out – and this is ultimately the principle that I’ve built my business on.
If you’re looking for something external to fill an internal void, not only will you never be satisfied, but ultimately you’ll keep repeating those patterns til you learn your lesson.
That’s what happened to me when I decided that I needed to be earn more money by moving into a sales and marketing role.
Because I hadn’t done ay of the inner work to clear my blocks, ultimately what I moved from, is what I moved to. In this case, it was another hostile environment where morale was low and the turnover of staff was high.
But in order to really learn my lesson, I was also placed in a highly competitive environment that was not only stressful, but went against the grain of my true nature as I don’t have a competitive bone in my body.
I wasn’t passionate about meeting my other team member’s sales revenues nor was I passionate about advertising.
I discovered that valuing myself was not just about money, it was about the quality of my life as well as the passion or desire to be of some form of service to people that needed help. Learning tricks to get customers to take out a bigger ad was simply not cutting the mustard for me.
BE CLEAR WITH YOUR BOUNDARIES
Remember those hobbies that I mentioned earlier on? Well given that we’ve just finished talking about passion, it turns out my interests were not so random after all.
They ended up playing a very important role in my life – energy healing turned to kinesiology training, dance teaching turned into yoga training and teaching and ultimately, I wanted to do everything I loved for a living.
The thing with doing what you love, is that there’s a fine line between excitement and adrenalin. In fact sometimes the feeling is so uncannily similar, you don’t always feel the difference.
And that’s what happened to me. On the outside it looked like I was thriving, but on the inside, I was so burnt out from saying yes to so many teaching ‘opportunities’, I lost my body-heart-mind-soul connection.
My love of teaching (and learning) turned to spreadsheets, class plans and endless travelling without taking the necessary time to rest and rejuvenate. I guess that’s why my e-course was born.
In a way it was cathartic and healing for me, but I also wanted to make these easily accessible tools available to everyone that wanted to learn to heal and restore their energy.
On a final note, I want to say that I’ve noticed that SO MANY industries can be cut throat and competitive, including the yoga world. In saying that, I truly believe that we all have something unique and special to offer the world.
When you’re aligned with the true essence of your being and you value yourself, are passionate about what you do and have clear boundaries, there will always be a space for you, even in a saturated market.
I think this is because when you come from a place of love, you’re really speaking your truth. What do you think?
P.S. You can watch the full interview right here