Five years ago I jumped off a cliff. This was a different kind of cliff than the late afternoon, paragliding, breathtaking experience I had in my early twenties when I lived near the majestic Andes in Venezuela, South America.
This time I wasn't jumping off a real mountain, but a figurative one.
I had spent 20 years doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. Being in the corporate world felt easy to me. I knew how to fit the mold. Show up, work hard, advance. I traveled back and forth across the country too many times to count. And, I got to see the world—Brazil, the UAE, Amsterdam, Mexico, India, Canada, and more—all on the company's dime. I knew I was fortunate, but I felt empty inside. I was high up the ladder when I finally acknowledged to myself that it was leaning against the wrong wall.
So, I took in a deep breath and I left corporate.
I turned in my ID badge, my parking pass and I shrugged my shoulders at the rumor that I'd been fired (some couldn't understand who in their right mind would willingly leave such a lucrative position for an unknown future.)
I didn't know how things were going to turn out, but I knew I'd never forgive myself if I didn't give my dreams a chance.
My path led me straight to coaching, an industry that's rooted in lifting people's spirits, and helping them to see and realize their true potential. Immediately upon entering this space, I felt like I was coming home.
Building others up has always felt right. It's been my favorite conversation since joining the neighborhood summer swim team at the age of five.
Since making the move from a career to a calling, what I consider to be one of the most important decisions of my adult life, it's been a privilege to have helped hundreds one-on-one and through group coaching get to their personal roots of well-being.
But the pandemic has pushed me to want to do more and help more.
Never before have our generations experienced such global distress, discomfort and dis-ease.
Noticing my own desire to feel lighter, many months ago I started interviewing wellness experts and diving into any materials I could find foundational to the ideas of intentionality, illumination and wellbeing.
The more I studied lightness, the lighter my own life got.
Inspired, I created a simple 5-step path to make it easier for anyone to live lighter. Gift yourself 15 minutes now to absorb it and consider journaling as you do so.
Step 1. LISTEN
Carve out quiet time and ask yourself what are you really hungry for? What matters most to you, and why does it matter? Then, design a simple plan that lays out the crucial decisions of life—how you'll eat, sleep, move, love and spend your time and money moving forward.
Step 2. LET GO
You'll find a lot of evidence, especially from your past, to not give your new dream a go. Acknowledge the mental chatter, and then let it go! Take your power back from all the reasons and excuses that have kept you stuck. From this point forward, you live looking forward and anything is possible.
Step 3. LEARN
This is where you go from deciding to doing. Experiment with the ways you eat, sleep, move, love, and spend your time and money. Change will be harder unless you dive in completely. Going in partway won't work. So try things out. Get curious. Listen to what feels heavy and what feels light.
Step 4. LOVE
As you learn, try to love your body and brain for doing the best they can with the inputs they've been given. Also, respect the new effort you're putting in toward your goals. Change isn't easy, but you're doing it and you're finally showing up for yourself!
Step 5. LIBERATE
The human experience is 50/50: half sunshine, half shadow. As you continue to journey forward, tune into yourself and acknowledge (don't negate) your feelings. Life is better with splurges. Delay (but don't deny) gratification. To free yourself from heaviness, always listen and then choose to take the lighter path.
Carl Jung said years ago, "The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are."
I'm not suggesting you jump off a cliff, but if you want greater clarity, meaning and happiness, follow the 5 steps.
A lighter life awaits.