Thank you for reading my articles here. If any piece resonates with you, I encourage you to share your reactions, as they will likely resonate with other readers, too. I also invite you to visit my website to learn more about REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life. Much Love and Many Blessings, Alice
Friday, May 13, 2011
Today, I officially wrap up my consulting contract of the last 15 months. With that, I’m also leaving my livelihood for the last 10+ years as a market research and business consultant. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be busy with my book launch and immersing myself in learning all I can learn to create the next phase of my life. Standing at this point of transition got me thinking: When was the last time I had the luxury of spending most of my time and energy in learning mode?
To start from the beginning, I was raised in a traditional Chinese family in a tiny, unknown city named Macau¾a Portuguese colony until 1999 when it was reverted back to China. Since a very young age, I knew there was a bigger world out there, and I believed my life wasn’t meant to be boxed in that little gambling town. So, at age 16, I found myself a freshman at Maui Community College. By Divine arrangement, the pre-computerized college made a mistake in admitting a legal minor. I showed up on campus with few possessions, even less self-confidence, and a vague but raw dream to make something of my life. Being the only girl raised among 3 boys by an extremely protective mother, it was rude awakening to be suddenly on my own, thousands of miles away from everything and everyone I knew. I was grossly ill-prepared to function in a foreign country, terribly homesick and had to grow up really fast.
Now, nearly 25 years later, I find myself symbolically in a very similar place. I’m leaving my “home” to walk into a world that’s foreign to me. And, I’ll be immersing myself in learning what I need to learn to realize what calls me into the unknown¾just as the dream of a better life called to the teenage me. Most of all, like 25 years ago, I don’t know what the precise path ahead of me looks like, but I believe passionately in my calling. With the same inner drive I had then, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to fulfill my mission in life now.
Objectively speaking, I have a lot more to lose now than when I was 16. But I also have 25 years of life experiences showing me that I don’t need to know more than the next step to take. Much of the angst I had felt over the years stemmed from the fear-based need to know the outcome and to control the course of the unfolding. I now know that, as long as I continue to take the next step and the step after that, the path will unfold before me¾very likely much, much better than I can orchestrate myself. The more I get out of my own way to allow the unfolding to happen, the less worry and anxiety I bring on myself, and the easier it is for me to focus my energy on what I need to do.
The choice is mine to practice the Zen concept of “Beginner’s Mind.” That is, to have an attitude of openness and eagerness that’s free of preconceptions, to welcome any and all possibilities of how the next chapter of my life will unfold. As I walk away from a professional world in which I’m fortunate to have enjoyed many years of success, choosing Beginner’s Mind at this juncture includes appreciation for being able to immerse in learning again in order to feed a dream. It’s a luxury I haven’t had in a long, long time. It’s definitely a moment of Grace for which I’m grateful.
The 16-year-old me had little to lose but a bigger and brighter future to gain from fulfilling a dream. I’ve chosen to sign up for that again!