PARADIGM: Stuck in a Habit

When I was young life was difficult, or rather I was resistant to it.  You always hear people say “I wish I knew then what I know now” and boy doesn’t that ring true for me.  I knew nothing of the concept of allowing or being in the flow. I kept waiting and wishing that one day some miraculous thing, be it an idea, a man, a rich person, the lottery or some serendipitous and unexpected thing would come and bless my life and rescue me from the pits that was my life.

You see, most of life has been unbearable for me. I thought “why does there need to be life when all life is a series of suffering from birth until death?” Yet life was supposed to be a gift. Many years went by like this as I sat uneasy, fidgeting in my own discomfort.

Why were there people out there who were multi-millionaires living the lives of the rich and famous with carefree smiles on their faces? Why was life so good for them? “Oh, it must be inheritance for sure,” I thought, or just plain “luck”. Certainly, that would never be my luck. Don’t even dare think of it or try to reach. I would never hit the mark. Dream on.

Yet why were there celebrities out there who had made it because they followed their hearts and reached for their dreams? Madonna traveled to New York on a bus with 20 bucks in her pocket. She made it.  Jewel sang roadside in her cross-country tour en route to LA before stardom; she made it.  Not to mention J.K. Rowling, and everyone knows HER story.

Still, that would never be me. It would be silly to even entertain the thought. Reaching would ensure failure no doubt.

CROSSROADS 1: Choosing a Path

When I was 17 I felt a calling in my heart to guide and counsel others. It was something from the essence of my soul that was trying to surface and express itself. I debated between a career in psychology or fashion, because I also loved clothing. I decided at a young age that hearing about others dysfunctions was too much heaviness for me, that I wasn’t even wise enough to solve my own dysfunctions, let alone others. So, I went for the fashion degree.

It served me well and gave me sustenance but it never truly fulfilled me on a deep level.  Many years I sat at my desk wondering if this was the extent of all I could ever reach in life: an unfulfilling career, a toxic relationship, a measly income working as an under-appreciated employee. Was I really going to live this way until the day I died?

I felt dead inside, a prisoner within my own life. Life was meaningless. But, no other great ideas came to me so I continued to sit there for another four years or so. During which time I had distractions of course, things and people that distracted me from my awareness of my mediocre life.  You could say I was a robot.

CROSSROADS 2: Journey to Self-Discovery.

One day during the course of those years something ignited in my heart that snapped me out of robotic existence. One could say I had also reached my tolerance. The years of self-betrayal was over. I quit my job of seven+ years, quit my toxic boyfriend, and headed for freedom.

I thought to myself that the only thing I was good at in life was putting together outfits. So, I became a stylist, then a photographer, and eventually a Reiki master, before dabbling with styling again.  And even though I wasn’t making any money, each day was a new experience and discovery that brought me fulfillment. I was in the moment.

But months later, results though they were there, weren’t appearing to the degree with the velocity I wanted. I lost momentum and gave up on my vision and went back to my life in fashion.

During those years, I worked mostly freelance, sometimes focused, sometimes losing focus, sometimes just cruising and enjoying the paycheck but never enjoying the life. It’s nice getting consistent pay you know. Especially when you keep making more money with every job and you’re good at it too.  But more than a few times during the years I just kept feeling that this life I was living wasn’t the life I was meant to be living.

I wanted more. I wanted a flexibility and freedom.  I wanted a meaningful career I loved, while having time to pursue other passions, and time to be with my dog, family, and friends while traveling the world. I wanted my own business. So I racked my brain but I couldn’t commit to any of the ideas that came to me. I made small ventures but none ever came to fruition mostly due to my lack of focus and commitment. I felt defeated to living life unfulfilled.

The years continued….

CROSSROADS 3: Waking Up the Second Time.

Suddenly I realized I had reached my desired skill level in fashion. I felt I had accomplished everything I wanted to–finally–in the 12 years of my fashion career, and if it were to end soon I would be okay with it. During this time I was also looking into enrolling into a life coaching program. It was the only avenue for happiness which I felt called towards that I hadn’t yet tried.

Soon I found myself mapping out the details of my life and how my days would look juggling work and school, etc..  I was making phone calls inquiring about different programs.  A flashing thought, ok maybe two flashing thoughts, surfaced–if only the company I was working for would just let me go, then I could avoid having to make any big decisions for myself and I could just focus my undivided time on my new career and the life I wanted to build.

A few days later, I was fired from my job. Stupidity or serendipity?

DESTINY , PURPOSE, AND POSSIBILITY: Taking the Unprecedented Path

I decided it was the latter.  See, life has a funny way of putting you back on your path again once you learn the lesson your soul needs to learn.  Or if you are in need of learning it. So now roughly eight years later, I am writing this as I make history on this unprecedented  journey.

What I learned through my journey was that the small voice has been there all along, only I ignored it. It was the essence of who I am always emanating from me and until I explored that my soul could not rest. I can no longer deny my calling  as a natural-born counselor and I have decided that becoming  a coach is the niche to fulfill that.

You see, all those years I was so busy being listening to the  noise and chatter constantly flooding my thoughts that I was never quiet enough to feel the sensations in my body when it was trying to tell me that my life was wrong. I was too distracted to hear the small voice that wouldn’t go away as much as I stuffed it down.

One day I listened to that still voice. I decided to steer away from the familiar path and step onto the yet-traveled one. That day changed my life. See, once you step onto it, there’s no going back. Failure  is not an option anymore. No one is coming to the rescue. The only one who can rescue anyone is oneself. Only one person holds the keys to happiness and that is– well– each and every one of us. Only we hold the keys not for others, but for ourselves.

I learned this the hard way.  I learned the importance of following your passions for your passions are the pathways to your happiness and destiny. Without that, one dies–either spiritually or physically or both.

So ladies and gents my message is this:  Be your own hero and follow your heart. It will never lead you astray.  You are the creator. The hero is not out there. The hero is within you. When you know this, you will know how powerful you truly are.  You have the power to change the world, your world.  I say this as I have and am continually changing my world.

Jenny Ngo is an LOA Life Coach and student of transformative education.


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