For many of my adult years of life I’ve felt guilt and shame for not “knowing what I want to be when I grew up”. You know, the infamous question asked by caring family members and friends during school. And while I do think it’s beneficial to think about this and to dream about the future, if no answers come, then it can lead to unexplored feelings of bewilderment and not knowing where I “fit” in society. A silent outcast through no fault of anyone. Thoughts of “What’s wrong with me?” swirling in my head as I got older. A steady job that brings fulfillment. . . non-existent in my world.
While early on I did hold space of a really good job with good income for 8 years straight, a personal record! Alas, I was young and those were different times. After the financial crisis and market crash in 2007, my resume looks like a hodge-podge of tip-toeing through the tulips with a yellow umbrella in the rain while the sun is shining! (sarcasm)
But that’s okay.
Through all of this, it has led me on a sacred journey of re-alignment and self-discovery. It has not been easy to unlearn years of conditioning that I thought society expected of me. And what I have learned in this process is that there is nothing wrong with me.
I ventured into the unknown and got my real estate license and tried out a few things I never would have otherwise after that happened. More recently, I went back to school as an adult student while raising 2 teen boys, holding a full-time job among other responsibilities, and I finished my college degree! I am proud of my experiences, the challenges I’ve overcome and the people I’ve met along the way.
A few years ago a friend of mine shared with me a TedX Talk that blew the doors off my strong-held beliefs. I won’t go into detail here, but for the first time I felt it okay to be me. More focus on what I want and what works for me, practicing self-care, scheduling coaching sessions, and re-programing my beliefs have led me to where I am today.
Still, though, it is not where I want to be. And I’m okay with that. I know that it’s about the journey and not the destination. It’s about opening up to new ideas that expand my mind, it’s about the people I meet and the connection I make with them, it’s about having fun and always moving in that direction.
Do I get off track? Sure, but I have learned to come back to my center, to appreciate where I’ve been, and to align with what I know.
And I know that all is okay as I am.
This reflection. These dreams. My goals for the future. ALL of this is okay with me wanting more out of life. The purpose of life IS to experience joy. And the truth is that I have a pretty darn good life right now.
Is it possible to tweak things and create the life I want? With mindset and determination + action and support, it’s not only possible, it’s probable.
Do I know how it’s going to come about? No. But I do know that I have to believe that it can be. This has been the hard part for me. Years of trying to break the patterns that keep me feeling stuck in the same ole industry and listening to what I thought was my intuition, only to be led down the seemingly wrong path where I’ve ended in darkness and despair. Each time I’ve pulled myself up and out of depression, somehow. And each time that willpower to find my purpose, my passion, on my terms and doing it my way, strengthens.
It’s been the willingness to see things differently.
The question of “What else is possible?” ever-present in my mind. Opportunities abound in places I’ve yet to discover, in ways I’ve never known before. This is the scary part and the exciting part. The ambiguous unknown.
What I know is that I want more freedom.
I want more resources (money) that allow me to give more, share more, be more and do more than I am right now. A few people who give me hope that this is possible later in life are Morgan Freeman, whose career didn’t earn recognition until age 50, and Julia Child, who first earned media recognition at that same age. And then there’s this woman who keeps going at age 90, Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world’s oldest yogi.
I mean, if I think about it, I’ve got my whole life ahead of me!
I want to leave a legacy for my family. This means a lot of things to me and touches many different areas of my life. When I was younger, I didn’t think anything about this at all. Now that I am getting older, this desire has become a focus of my thoughts.
This I am not sure. But I do know that I can’t keep doing what I’ve always done expecting different and better results. (insanity) I must take action in the direction that feels good to me.
I didn’t grow up with guidance or knowledge about how to manage money, how to make connections (networking), and I wasn’t given advice on how to build wealth. But I am learning. And part of my legacy is to teach and guide my own children on these societal foundations so that they understand more than I did, so they can implement more of these tools than I ever knew, and to set out into the world a little more aware than I ever was.
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur; a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
I’ve tried to be one a few times; a real estate agent, jewelry direct sales, figments of my own business that never went anywhere, all of which did not pan out the way I had hoped. Queue the negative mind-chatter – “you’re a failure, you aren’t good enough, you aren’t worthy” etc. While it took some time for me to realize, looking back, I now know that all of these experiences were lessons and part of what makes me stronger today. Failing Forward is a blessing, look at Thomas Edison. He failed 1,000 times before he got the light bulb to work. And thankfully, he never gave up.
I am currently back in the financial business working for a local bank. While it’s a steady income, it’s also limiting (time and money) and not very fun. I have a goal to pay off my student loans sooner than the term on them, I also have a senior in high school about to go to college and another kid about to get his driver’s license. For me there just has to be more than this. I began to look for what drew me in so many times before, yet with a new set of eyes. My perception on life and how things work have changed since those days, and now I look to what interests me and I look to move in the direction of what brings me joy.
About a year and a half ago, I happened upon an opportunity that has three things that caught my attention:
1. to be part of a mission (passion) that is greater than me, to spread the message of toxic ingredients in beauty products.
2. advocacy (action) for more regulation in the beauty industry to change the world for the better.
3. my own business (dream) whereby I opened up another stream of income for my family that has uncapped potential by offering safer, high-performing and innovative products for purchase through my personal efforts and by connecting with others who, for a variety of reasons, have the same passion and who want the same for themselves.
Here’s what I know.
I love my company, what it stands for, how it operates, and the products it offers. It feels good in my soul to know that I chose to align myself with something that can help me achieve my goals while feeling confident knowing that what I put on my face and body are safer, healthier and give me the results I was looking for. This company is the leader in the clean beauty movement. It is making a difference in my life and others across the country. It is growing in size, recognition, investment capital and innovation and I am proud to be a part of it!
These days, I choose to move in the direction that feels good. I choose to bring joy in all things I do (even in banking), and I choose to live passionately, on purpose, and in alignment.
Michelle is a Comsultant with Beautycounter. She started her business in October 2016. She enjoys researching topics of interest, learning about spirituality and how internal work reflects externally and is an avid student of the law of attraction. She remains true to her calling about being part of something bigger than herself. She lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband, two teenage boys and their black lab, Charlie.