This is a guest post from one of my dear clients Stacie, who I wrote about in an earlier blogpost about her budding journey toward living her own dream.
For those unfamiliar with the term, to say that someone is ‘off her rocker’ is to imply that she has lost her mind. In other words, she’s crazy. And that’s exactly what a few of my family and friends have been whispering about me since I resigned from a well-paying position in the midst of a devastatingly sharp economic downturn with effects being felt not just across the US but around the world.
Thankfully, I was prepared for those whispers and the other not so softly-spoken words of concern. I’m not sure when my preparation began, but it definitely accelerated once I stumbled upon a book entitled, “Your Money Or Your Life” (YMOYL).
My version of crib notes for YMOYL would look like this:
Everything is energy, including money.
When I engage in paid employment, I am choosing to exchange my life energy for money energy in the form of a salary.
I can make the best choices for myself, only when I have the complete picture of what the income I am earning is costing me in terms of life energy (i.e., time).
Not only did YMOYL cause me to reconsider my definition of ‘work’, but it offered me my first introduction to the person who would become my friend and financial advisor – Mark Zaifman. It was Mark who first reacted with excitement to my decision to resign, and then cautioned that I may receive some less than encouraging feedback from others.
A few times each day, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror to rehearse possible responses to that feedback. “Thank you for your concern, but it is not necessary.” “It’s wonderful to know how much you care about me, but please don’t worry”. “I understand that you think it is irresponsible of me to not have a job, and to not be looking for one either. However, this is the most responsible decision I could have made for myself.”
In the midst of my play acting, something wonderful started to happen. I noticed a relaxing of the lines that had long ago formed around my mouth, and a softening and brightening of my eyes. Then, I remembered a quote from Deepak Chopra about looking for the shine in our eyes as a sign of our truth. I thought I was just rehearsing responses to offer others, but in fact I was renewing my mind and reaffirming my truth. And my eyes were shining in agreement.
Off My Rocker…And Loving It!
Even as my inner sensing that I had made the best decision for myself grew stronger, those “off her rocker” comments stayed with me. I couldn’t understand why, but something about that term rang true for me and I didn’t like that feeling. Then, as I am learning will happen when I trust that life is for me, I had a moment of clarity.
The television was on mute, but I looked up just in time to see a little girl rocking back and forth on one of those hand-carved wooden horses. She was blissfully rocking away, surrounded by smiling and satisfied faces - but she wasn’t going anywhere. That 10-second clip was a summation of what had become of my life, because I had allowed it to be eclipsed by my unconscious pursuit of ‘enough’ money. I had been moving from position to position, from company to company, from country to country. I had been rocking for so long that I mistook movement for progress, and my life had become miserable.
Fast forward six months since my last paycheck and I, admittedly, have less money. However, I am and have so much more than I ever imagined possible. I am more healthy, joyful, and aware of what ‘enough’ looks like for me. I am more grateful for what I do have, especially time to spend both with those who mean the most to me and by myself. I am clearer about what ignites me, what excites and how I want to contribute even if I don’t get paid. I am off my rocker – that old “movement without moving forward” rocking horse of my own creation – and I love it!
Photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/tourist_on_earth/