Finding My Lifeboat in a Stormy Sea

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Finding My Lifeboat in a Stormy Sea

The early years of my professional life were like a well written book about a smooth sailing ship. Each chapter lead to the next in a natural progression. Although I was not the author, rather the main character, I was never left in the dark for too long. I networked and tried various fields within business. However, my inner compass was leading me to strike out on my own.  My retail shop  gave me inner satisfaction and a wonderful sense of accomplishment. 

Running a small business is no small feat. It has wonderful perks, but it is a tremendous amount of work, almost like having a child to care for. You give it your blood, sweat and tears. You give it your time, energy and resources. You give it your fullest attention. Your life is intertwined with it.

The business had its ups and downs, but through it all, I loved the work, the people and the creativity. Even during stressful times, I kept pushing forward. 

During the eighth year, something began to shift. The business was at its height, things were going smoothly, yet I seemed to have hit a bump. I felt more drained, less energy, as the passion and drive slowly began to ebb.

I was lost. It was not the sudden wrong turn kind of lost. It was the long progression of losing myself kind of lost. It was a slow process that lead to the dawning of a new reality. I had lost the passion and drive to continue to run my business. 

The creativity that I had thrived on for so long seemed to be less fulfilling than it had once been. I was losing my steam to run the business. I tried tapping back into my inner compass. I still had the drive to be an entrepreneur and own my own business, just not this one. Something else was changing too, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.

Until this point, I always had an inner guide that lead me to my next adventure, the next chapter in my personal book. The problem was that I knew it was time for a change, but I had no new set of directions. My inner compass was not working. My connection seemed to be lost, spotty at best.

It was like my ship got lost in a stormy sea. Waves would billow up around me and threaten to swallow me whole.

Various potential lifelines were thrown to me from different directions. Change is scary, retraining is intimidating and were any of them right for me? Which was the one to bring me not just to dry land and ensure survival, but would also land me in a place where I could start fresh and thrive again?

I had no answers, only more questions. So began my search. What had I accomplished personally and professionally until now? What dreams and aspirations were still waiting to be realized? Was I living the life I had hoped for? What could I do if at all to make that happen?

For many months I tossed and turned on my isolated ship in a stormy sea of doubts.  I questioned all of my decisions in life leading to this day. I questioned my foundational beliefs. I stripped away all that had been built, down to its very core.

And then I noticed a shift in me. Deep down I began to realize what I had known all along, 15 years prior,  20 years ago, what I was really meant to do and be. All of my experience and schooling had lead me to this point. This was not a dead end, my compass was not broken, I was misunderstanding the new directions.

My next adventure was right in front of me, waiting for me to discover. It would be like having another child to care for. It would take my blood, sweat and tears. It would take my time, energy and resources. It would take my fullest attention. My life will be intertwined with it. But it would be worth it.

My passion had been reignited in a whole new way. I took hold of my steering wheel and set a new course for my ship to sail. The storm was clearing and the sun was shining. My inner guide was working, showing me the way, the entire time. I was the one who needed repair.

Refreshed and rejuvenated, I looked forward with wonder, awe and anticipation at my next adventure, the next chapter ready to be written. This time around, I had blessed meaning that I did not understand possible before.

There would be bumps ahead. Steering a ship is not all smooth sailing, but I was ready.