Most of us have some aspect of our lives that we feel could be better. Relationships, career, health or just generally wrangling ourselves out of bad habits that aren’t serving our best interests. But, most of us are in sensory overload and find it difficult to know where to start!
I believe that creating positive change begins with something quite simple. Active Curiosity.
Active Curiosity is about being open to the realm of possibility and actively learning, just for the fun of it, without pre-judgement or expectation of any end result.
But, how do you know what to get curious about?
Ah! That’s where your Inner Voice comes in. It’s within all of us, available to draw from 24/7, if you just slow down long enough, get quiet, and invite it to surface.
Many of us clearly hear that voice, but squelch it by immediately going to the question ‘But, how do I get there?’ before they’ve even allowed the idea time to bloom. A total journey killer.
I’ll talk more about the ways we self-sabotage ourselves in the creative process later in this series, but for right now…my suggestion is to focus on just being open to doing a little window shopping at the Possibility of Life store.
I found myself doing just that a little more than a year ago. Over the preceding year or two, I had felt an increasing energetic ‘push’ from my own inner voice telling me that, for numerous reasons, I would be relocating out of state. I didn’t know how it would happen or where I was going, but for once, I let active curiosity lead the way.
One of my favorite places on earth is the Northwest. I had lived in Seattle, Washington for almost a decade and always wanted to return, but now their housing costs and traffic rivaled California and that wasn’t creating the lifestyle change I yearned for.
In late September 2018, I decided to take active curiosity for a walk by taking a quick weekend get-away trip to visit a long-time friend who lived Florence on the Oregon coast. I had always been curious about the area and had never visited.
Flying into Eugene, I rented a car and started the 50-mile drive west. As I took in the green, rolling farmland and dense pine forests of the coastal mountain range, something started happening to me that I couldn’t explain.
I became aware of an odd sense of peace settling over me. All the stresses and craziness of my life evaporated. It was such a welcoming feeling, like some unseen force was lifting away the mantel of stress and everyday overwhelm with each mile I drove.
The sun was close to setting as I drove the final leg west into the coastal valley along the serpentine Siuslaw River. I still couldn’t see the town, but somehow I knew it was close.
The river suddenly widened to my left into an open, flat expanse of delta. The late-day, autumnal golden light was now shimmering off the river. I was mesmerized.
Then it happened. Out of the blue…the strangest thought landed. I was home.
What?! Wait! Where the hell did THAT come from? I’m just here for a weekend visit! I haven't even started getting curious yet! Then the REAL surprise! Uncontrollable emotion welled up in me and I started crying! Not from sadness, but a joyful release of happiness for no discernable reason.
Ok, I thought, I’m starting to lose it. Maybe I needed a vacation more than I thought I did? Then, as if on cue, the edge of town came into view like a mirage. It was the town that would become my home only a short three months later.
Have you ever had an experience like this? Going about life, minding your own business, then WHAM! You get a life changing message out of the blue and it’s telling you…THIS way please! Irritatingly, it also usually directs you to the complete opposite direction you thought you were headed.
Maybe you aren’t getting the Universal ‘2 X 4 plank-upside-the-head’ messaging like I did. Maybe you’re experiencing much subtler Universal soul urgings that just keep you in a constant state of discontent with the status quo?
Here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter which process your soul uses to get your attention. What’s key is that you acknowledge, or even better, embrace and act upon the truth your inner voice is telling you.
But, we tend to push those messages off with the fear-based ‘I could, but’s’, ‘what if’s’ or ‘I will, but later’ excuses because there’s ALWAYS a perfectly good reason why we don’t feel ready yet to jump into the fray.
Here’s a news flash. NONE of us are ever truly ready for change!
So, consider this perspective shift. Think of these messages as just a part of your ‘Life GPS’. A friendly ‘voice’ that wants to guide you to your ultimate destination – aka fulfillment, happiness, creativity, knowledge, love and more!
How many times have you ignored your car GPS system on a trip because you thought you ‘knew a better way’ and lived to regret it? Our Life GPS System (aka Inner Voice) is our Higher Soul helping us make better choices on our path.
All it’s asking of you is to stop trying to think your way through the process and do a little more following of your gut instinct and trusting that it’s got your back.
You can't outrun change. You may think you can ignore the calling, but if it’s truly meant for your best life, it will return time and again, reminding you of greater things to come. Listen to it. Let it sink in. It’s what you were meant to experience in this lifetime, the opportunity to grow and thrive on your own terms.
So, how did I come to that place of trusting and following when it came to my decision to suddenly relocate to Oregon? Part of it was the inexplicably deep and immediate connection I had to the place. It was also the charm and uniqueness of the town, the breathtaking nature of the ocean, river and trees surrounding it that fed my soul and the people who said ‘we need you and your services here’. It just felt right.
Yes, the reality of moving two businesses, leaving my friends in San Diego and starting my life over in a completely new environment had its moments of panic.
I didn’t say it was an easy transition, just the right one. But, I’ll address more about that in future posts.
If you are a person that has never taken a leap of faith in your life before, this kind of ‘listen to your Inner Voice’ thing can be a tough concept to embrace. But here’s the good news! Compelling life change doesn’t always require a complete life re-set. That just happened to be what I needed to bring my life into alignment.
SO! What has your heart been whispering to YOU? What’s holding you back from following a new path, making a leap of faith or just taking tiny steps into curiosity? Leave a comment below and let me know what’s challenging you!
In my next post, we’ll dig a little deeper into one of the biggest things that can hold us back from taking even the smallest step and I bet it’s something that’s frustrated you a good portion of your life. Stay tuned!
If you missed the first blog that describes the back story to this journey, check out Week #1’s post here.