Hello, it’s your soul calling. I’ve arranged a special event for you. This event will remind you to check in with me, to nourish me to see how I am doing and make changes if necessary.
IT’S YOUR WAKE-UP CALL
It always comes as a surprise. You don’t know what it’s going to look like or when or how it will arrive. It could be a serious illness or a significant life event like the kids leaving home. It can be the ending of a longtime marriage or retiring from the work world. It could be losing a loved one or narrowly avoiding an accident.
However it arrives…it’s an event that makes you realize life is short. Too short to waste in a job you no longer love. Too short not to buy those red shoes you’ve always wanted. Too short to be surrounded by people who want you to live small instead of big. Too short not to take those risks you’ve always wanted to.
Wake up calls shake us out of complacency and oh-so-cozy routines.
They cause us to question the meaning of our lives, our relationships and how we spend our time.
It can feel like falling into a big black hole.
It can jolt us to life.
Some wake up calls make us want to hold our kids tight, tell people that we love them. Others encourage us to live life to its fullest, to reach our potential, to build a legacy. Their intention always is to shake things up and then step back and watch how we respond.
HOW WILL YOU ANSWER THE CALL?
We all have wake up calls, but we don’t always answer them. Sometimes we respond in a half in/half out way, “Yes, but….”. Yes, I should make some changes to my life but it’s not the right time or right place. Yes, I would love to walk every day or take that art course but I’m too busy right now. Yes, I would love to… but my aging aunt needs me, the kids need me, the cat needs me. But is (really) saying …… no. Not this time.
Answering a wake-up call and getting into action requires a subtle tweak. It’s tiny word change and it has big consequences.
Here it is, “Yes but….” revised to “Yes and….”
Suddenly everything shifts.
“Yes, but….” resists, closes the door, shuts down possibilities.
Wake-up call – Declined.
“Yes, and…” opens, expands, and builds on what we’ve been handed. It welcomes change and new-ness into our lives and goes to work creating possibilities.
Wake-up call – Accepted.
“Yes and I will take the step.”
YES I’LL TAKE THE STEP
Answering a wake-up call requires we take a step into the unknown. This can be scary. It can be exciting. It can be both. The step can look like signing up for that class you always wanted to take. It can be making the decision to quit your job or close your practice. It can mean following your curiosities to discover passion + purpose.
When we take a step into the unknown the future may look a bit murky, unimaginable or even a complete blank.
“How can you know what you’re capable of if you don’t embrace the unknown.” Esmeralda Santiago
Give yourself the time and space you need to heal, regroup, rediscover yourself and become the woman you were created to be. Answering the call requires a promise to yourself that you will keep going, that you won’t fall back into old habits.
“Keep going trust everything will come to you in the right time.”
It can mean being willing to sit with uncomfortable emotions.
“No matter where you are in your journey that’s where you need to be. The next road is always ahead.” Oprah Winfrey
It can mean exploring our habits and beliefs that are no longer working for us.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, to have the life that’s waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell
A willingness to ask difficult questions. To spend time understanding why we have made certain choices in our life and how we can move forward.
“Out of difficulties grow miracles.” Jean De La Breyere
Our soul wants us to thrive, to live life fully. It will continue to send us Wake-up calls and opportunities for true & profound healing until we’re ready to accept the call and take the first step.
I’ve answered a few wake-up calls. Here are 3 that stand out.
The first wake-up call was to ‘retire’ as a film and television actor at age 44. This industry that I loved and had been so good to me has a way of discarding women after a certain age, I could feel it breathing down my neck (wake-up call) so after a successful 3 year run on a television series I said “thank you”….time to move on. At that point I wasn’t sure to what. But it all become clear within a few months. I carved out a path as an educational consultant using performance strategies to build critical thinking in youth. This work found its way into 3 countries and was deeply fulfilling. I loved it just as much if not more than being in front of the camera.
The second wake-up call was when my daughter left for university. Life seemed to change overnight and suddenly I’d lost my way (wake-up call) and was ‘prompted’ (read that as ‘forced’) to rediscover myself in the new place. The rediscovery process had extreme highs and lows but ultimately revealed a totally new direction that has included this blog and supporting other women in the (re)discovery process. This work is profoundly meaningful.
The third wake-up call was heart surgery. Coming face to face with one’s mortality is extremely difficult and very uncomfortable. I made peace with death not something I ever imagined doing and the learned preciousness of time and the understanding that this moment is all we have. This wake-up call shifted my world significantly. I now understand we all have a choice in each moment. My choice is to Act now. Speak my truth, tell someone I love them, say YES, encourage another and give in the highest way possible in every situation.
What have been the wake-up calls you’ve answered? Where did they take you? What did you learn?
Please share your stories they encourage and inspire us all.