“Do not wish to be anything but who you are, and try to be that perfectly.”
~ St. Francis de Sales

As spiritual women in the prime of our lives and our work professions, we may come to a place where we find ourselves experiencing career disenchantment.  Feelings of ambivalence, boredom, restlessness — and in our youth-obsessed culture, maybe feelings of being invisible or irrelevant at our jobs.   Encouragingly, as Jann Arden states: “women these days are rethinking their future in an unprecedented fashion.  Smack dab in the middle of their lives, they’re completely renovating their careers, their minds, their bodies, their spirituality and their relationships.”

For me, I hit this point poignantly at the onset of the pandemic.  In a single day in April of 2020, I was tasked with laying off a significant percentage of the employee population (almost 30 people) at the company where I served as the Chief People Officer. This turn of events was completely unanticipated by our workforce.  Owing to the contagious nature of the coronavirus, the notification meetings had to be conducted rather impersonally, all via Zoom, one after another.  The onslaught of understandable employee outrage, anger, shock, tears and disbelief was unceasing that day.  I kept returning to my heart between each meeting, asking Spirit that I might have compassion and the ability to listen deeply to each person’s situation.  It was an extraordinarily wearing and gut-wrenching ten hours, emotionally, physically and spiritually. At the end of all the meetings, I found myself asking: “Is this what I want to continue spending my precious life’s energy doing?”

In the weeks that followed, I began journaling.  An awakening had happened in my soul.  It was as if God had taken me to a higher vantage point to see with new eyes, revealing within me things I hadn’t fully acknowledged before. This profession, however stable, lucrative and familiar, was no longer authentic to me.  After over 30 years of a professional life in the Human Resources field, I realized that the garments no longer fit.  They had become somehow foreign and uncomfortable. 

I found Marianne Williamson’s words at that time so reassuring and comforting: “Midlife is about surrendering things that no longer matter, not because our lives are in decline, but because they are on an incline.  It becomes time to take a stand for your own potential.  Don’t worry that it took you so long to get to this point.  It takes everyone this long.  We know nothing until we know all the ways that we’re not who we can be.  Only then do we have the chance at becoming the people we’ve wanted to be, and God intended us to be, from the day we were born.  And for this reason, these are the sacred years.”

I figuratively began to write my new script – a new narrative in alignment with my values and my deepest held beliefs; evaluating what I really love doing and what would bring me a more tangible and profound sense of purpose.  My “why” began to surface – the question being “How do I want to contribute to the good of the world?”  Jeff Goins, in his marvelous book, The Art of Work, shares that “When we don’t give ourselves fully to the work we were born to do, we do the world and ourselves a disservice.”

Of course, my transition to my calling wasn’t immediate; but gradually, with the help of a wonderful coach, I began to study and acquire certifications that would serve me in the role I envisioned for myself and the business I desired to form.  Each step gave me a great sense of empowerment and joy.

You may be finding too, that you have a growing desire, a curiosity or even a recurring longing to express your gifts in a new and different way — to support and give voice to the person you are becoming.  You might not have a singular event that brings you to this realization, like I did; instead, it may be a slow chipping away at what originally attracted you to the profession you are in.  It’s vitally important not to silence this inner whisper and knowing within.  Martha Graham, the internationally renowned choreographer states it so well: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.  The world will not have it.

Our calling is as distinctive as our fingerprint.  What if, at this time in your life, by your courageous personal reinvention, you could open up within you, your most dynamic, influential and creative self?  As Barbara Bradley Hagerty shares: “For some, this means a major revision; for others, it means rechanneling one’s energies just a few degrees into something that gives them more meaning and verve.

It can be easy to ignore the promptings within and come up with excuses to delay, but the world certainly needs what only you have to offer!  You’re so worth it!  Just start to take steps to move in the direction of your best self and see how life unfolds for you.

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