A Story of Positive Change
Helen took a deep breath and exhaled slowly taking the time to allow the air to leave her lungs giving her that moment of stillness she needed before speaking. It was the last time she wanted to have to feel this way. It was time to say something, do something, even though she had precisely no knowledge whatsoever of what that might be right now. The main thing was she knew something inside was off, she was not being herself and it was getting way too uncomfortable to let it slide. She needed more time to work out what to say and do.
“I can tell you need some time to think what I’ve said, so can we talk a bit later?” Helen hoped having this additional time for consideration would make all the difference. How would she respond?
Later on that day, Helen talked with her boss again about the whether she could organise a small working group to cover the new measures being brought in after the next team meeting. Her Boss wouldn’t budge, she said it couldn’t release the staff for the time and there didn’t seem to be a requirement for that level of depth right now.” Her reply stuck in Helen’s throat. She was frozen and only one single word came out “understood”. But she didn’t understand! She gulped back what she really wanted to say which was along the lines of “it’s a mistake, staff morale will be affected and meaningless hours are being wasted on other things.” She had so many examples.
Helen simply went back to her desk, sat back down, took a breath and exhaled deeply.
Helen knew it was time for more change than simply changing her job again. She’d already moved to this job from a previous one, she had to change to something else, something more meaningful. Maybe a side step would help, into another type of organisation which matched her values better, or in a smaller organisation? Or doing something altogether different and retraining? Maybe even something she dreamed of doing when she was younger, like when she’d worked for a summer in a school with the VSO organisation, she’d loved that.
The whole time, Helen was busying herself with the task of making the change. She was committed and driven to reinvent how she earned a living and knew she’d be happier in the end. The trouble was, all the looking and researching and time talking with others, gaining others opinions and thinking and preparing and working and then thinking some more, getting confused, then doubtfully clear, then downright upset as she was over 30 for crying out loud and feeling clueless, were starting to feel quite draining.
Helen found she was getting pretty stressed by the amount of energy working and doing all this career changing was taking. Her stress level continued to creep up, firstly for being in work she no longer felt ‘herself’ in. Then secondly, because all her fine efforts didn’t seem to be coming up with any answers, in fact the opposite was true. All the searching was creating some confusion and too many options. The more effort she made looking into things the more pressure there was to find the ideal thing to move to.
Helen was contemplating going off sick with stress when she was made redundant. The timing, although difficult financially was the ideal time to stop, or she knew she would have burnt out. Helen decided to take until Christmas off and to keep herself on track. She decided to see a life coach for some new perspective on her situation and health who recommended some books on the positive lessons from burnout, stepping into your power and following your intuition. She tried some of the techniques in the books and joined a group practicing mindfulness.
Helen realised her whole life she’d been making choices based on her head and not her heart. Thoughts about the salary, the prospects, what other people think of the role and what skills she has were prioritised, the whole time not listening to her own nagging negative emotional reactions to each choice.
She learned that following intuition is about listening to our emotions and following our ‘guts’. She made a pact to live the next year of her life experimenting with being led by the emotional/heart reactions to things and not those which her head thought were the right fit. Having the coaching meant she had ally, someone cheerleading her efforts. Then, the more she practiced mindfulness and tried out the exercises in the intuition book the more she found things falling into place.
They really did. Things started to seem easier to her, opportunities would fall into her lap. The more she practiced following the direction of what made her feel happy, the more she felt happy. Her happiness left her somehow more open to new possibilities and with her brighter demeanour made her more attractive to others to work with and be with. She spent more of her time doing the things she really enjoyed including taking up a hula hooping class, which was a childhood favourite.
Helen got back on track and this time felt like coming into her own, coming into bloom. “Better late than never” she once told her coach.
Helen now works for a children’s charity and feels more herself than she ever has. She is excited to tell of her progress.
Sharing this story helps us to see it’s never too late to practice and master the art of letting your intuition lead you to a happier life.
Thanks go to the client for sharing her story.
31/10/2018 Article written by Anna Rae-Jones, life coach, mentor, group facilitator, speaker and creative in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK. Website: https://www.everyleaf.co.uk