The Leap: Relearning Lessons- Lesson #2: Have a Little Faith

The Law of Faith is about trusting the inherent love and intelligence working through you and all creation.

Trusting in Spirit, The Laws of Spirit, by Dan Millman

The second lesson I’m having to relearn is the ability to put faith in the Universe (God) that it will support me. My Australian adventure was my first test of faith, where I jumped and the net revealed itself every step of the way. My faith carried itself over into Colorado. I moved knowing one person, but through that one person serendipitously found a job and a living situation that worked itself out nicely. It couldn’t have worked out better even if I had planned it. It was proof that the Universe conspires to work in my favor. So why haven’t I learned and embodied this lesson?

Past traumas and a parental example are forefront in my mind. I witnessed and experienced my father completely implode his life, making terrible choices that further impacted him and his family (me) negatively. I catch myself wondering if I’m likely to repeat his karma. At one point during this transitional period, readying myself to move to Oregon, my mom implied she was afraid I’d end up like my dad.

With his misfortunes in the back of my mind, I still press on with my decision to pack up and wrap up my life in Colorado, because I feel in my gut and bones there is a greater force at play. Spirit (Holy Spirit) has been preparing me to make this move since 2021, when Washington/Oregon was first put into my consciousness. Physically, I’m feeling called to the land in Washington, across the Columbia River from Hood River. There’s medicine for me in the land in Washington, possibly even a spiritual teacher waiting for me there. Through meditation, it’s been revealed that my knowledge of nervous system and emotional regulation is my medicine I will bring to the Columbia River Gorge. With intuitive hits, downloads and sensing, I feel divinely supported. Yet, it’s hard to have faith when I’m craving concrete evidence that everything will work out.

I’m taking a big risk in having faith in the Universe. I’m out of my comfort zone, waaaaay past my growth edges! Letting go of control, letting go in general, is not my strength. Not knowing details like a job or stable living situation still has the ability to send me into an anxiety attack. As I’ve been told by a psychic friend, my ability to “logic this out” will be of no use to me, and will even hinder my ability to thrive in Oregon. Fuuuuuck! That’s literally how I’ve survived the past 36 years.

This chapter, this launching off point, feels much different than the Leap I took to Australia/Colorado. My spiritual practice has deepened, and I have more spiritual tools in my tool belt. I can feel the Universe’s supportive energy. I feel Spirit calling me to push myself into significant and expansive spiritual growth. I just need to surrender and believe that the Universe will support me. I just gotta have faith (faith, faith).

The Leap: Relearning Lessons – Lesson 1: Trusting My Wings

Working as a school teacher, there are times when students require that I reteach a lesson to ensure they adequately master content. The Universe, being the ultimate teacher, is circling back on lessons I was supposed to learn during my first Leap to Australia. One of the lessons? Trusting myself.

For my first Leap, I landed in Queensland, Australia. My first week I stayed at a hostel, but quickly realized the hostel atmosphere was not what my soul was craving. I craved deep, authentic connection with travelers, locals and like-minded kindred spirits, so I opted for a work-stay with a local family needing help renovating their rental property. Steve, the father, was a world traveler and we bonded over travel stories while painting and renovating the property.

I recounted my interpretation to Steve, of the lesson I thought I needed to learn during my time in Australia. He had a totally different perspective and I’m appreciative he shared it.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of trusting the Universe, I think it’s about trusting yourself in your own abilities,” Steve insisted.

To explain his point, he proceeded to tell me a story about a bird, who found himself on a weak, unsteady branch.

“Now this bird has two options, he can trust that the branch will hold him, or he can trust his wings and his ability to fly.”

Cut to present time: After spending two weeks in a victim mentality, stressing about the unknowns of Oregon (specifically what to do for work and where to live), in one day, I had two people tell me, “the Universe doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

Clearly, it was something the Universe needed me to hear. If this is something the Universe thinks I can handle, I thought, why am I acting like I can’t handle it?

That’s when my mentality shifted from victim to designer of my destiny. I began to believe in my ability to make this move happen, all on my own. And my actions followed. Organize a garage sale? No problem. Get furniture picked up for free? Done. Get a property manager to rent my house? Check. Start an LLC for the rental property? Yep.

All of the necessary moves that needed to happen fell into place, all in the right timing. But this little birdie doesn’t just have faith in my own ability to fly, I also have trust, trust that the Universe is conspiring on my behalf. To provide me with abundance. This is where I differ in my opinion from Steve’s. It requires a combo of trust and faith. Both, and.

You can read my original post of my Australian lesson: Trusting My Wings

In my next post, I’ll explain more about the 2nd lesson I’m needing to relearn, Having Faith in the Universe to Provide.

The Leap: Cracked Open

To distract myself from the dizziness of packing up 6 years worth of Colorado life, I decided to go see the movie The Mirage, documenting Timothy Olson, an ultra-marathon runner, running the Pacific Crest Trail to beat the previous record of fastest thru hike time.

I connected with his emotional struggle, throughout his time on the trail and especially his recount of addiction to drugs and alcohol and his road to sobriety. What struck me was a quote from the documentary about pushing outside of one’s comfort zone and confronting challenges.

Why would I want this to be easier? Why would I want a red carpet finish? That’s not why I was struggling from day one on. That’s not why I’ve been working on this for years. I wanted this to be a challenge because challenges in life crack you open. -Timothy Olson, Mirage documentary

The last few days have been particularly challenging. I’ve graduated to the part of the hero’s journey where beginners luck has ended. Synchronicities, although still happening, are less prevalent and now I’m facing challenges and obstacles. I’m realizing this transition requires physical, mental, emotional and spiritual purging. A purging of not just stuff, but all of my old belief systems that have kept me stuck or in a holding pattern, resistant to pursue the life I truly desire.

Energetic and spiritual purging is much like detoxing from drugs or alcohol. It is physically and emotionally painful. It has brought out my worst insecurities to the surface in order to be process and released. I’m confronting my fear of houselessness. I’m battling my core belief of worthlessness. I’m confronting my fear of the unknown and my uneasiness to trust that the Universe (God) will provide. I’m confronting my scarcity mindset that has prevented me from living a life of abundance. I’m confronting my past conditioning, my biggest traumas and negative core beliefs. I’ve been cracked open.

It certainly has been uncomfortable to be cracked open. It leaves me feeling raw and vulnerable, whittled down to my purest, authentic essence. But maybe that is what this Leap is about, being cracked open to my most authentic version of myself, so that I can live the life I’ve truly been called to live.

The Leap: What Am I Doing??

“You’re doing whaaaat?”

I still to this day remember the sound of my mom’s voice screeching when I told her my plans for my first Leap. It was the life path course correction that I decided on after reading The Alchemist: quitting my job, moving home for two months, backpacking Australia and then moving to Colorado, my final destination.

My pragmatic mother couldn’t fathom how I could leave a job without having another, how I could go without benefits for multiple months and how I could have such a loose plan strung together to travel instead of putting in the hours working at my steady, safe, 8-4 job as a teacher.

Her reaction wasn’t any different when I broke news to her of this current life transition: move to Oregon for the summer (although I feel it is a permanent move) give up my stable 1 year contract as a graphic design and coding teacher in order to pursue what is in alignment with my highest self. Why did I expect her reaction to be different?

A few days after disclosing my “plan”, she sent me a 7 paragraph email of all the reasons why I shouldn’t be giving up a stable job with benefits, a stable living situation, and a moderately comfortable lifestyle. I called her that night and exclaimed exasperatedly, “why can’t you be my cheerleader instead of being the voice of my self doubt?” After that phone call which ended abruptly, I reflected why my mom and her opinion affected me. Why do I place such high value on her validation?

After talking it over with a friend, I had greater clarity. It’s not necessarily that I place value on her opinion and validation (although I’m sure I do), it is that she is stating all of the things out loud that my protective ego, “Prudence”, (yes, I’ve named her) is playing on repeat in my head; incessantly combating my intuition through every step of my preparation to Leap. My mom and her doubt is my mirror, confronting my limiting beliefs in the flesh.

But, I know a trigger in the flesh is an opportunity for me to practice compassion to the part of myself that believes my mother to be true, that conditioned part of my psyche that believes this Leap won’t work out. This is the inner work I’m confronting during this transition time. It’s a lesson in self-compassion, self-mothering that I’m practicing while I prepare for my Leap.

I still find myself thinking, What am I doing? And to that I reply, “pipe down Prudence!”

The Leap: Three Pages into the Intro of This Book Changed My Life Forever — Maybe It’s Time I Read it Again.

It’s been 6 years and 5 months since first picking up The Alchemist, the book that would forever change my course trajectory of life as I had known it. It was within the first three pages of the introduction that I had the proverbial wind knocked out of me, as Paulo’s words sucker punched me in my gut.

Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bareable; the latter goes on for years and, without noticing, eats away at our soul, until, one day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.

Introduction, page xi, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Paulo, in the introduction, was referencing someone not living their personal legend, their calling, their life’s dream written on their hearts by God.

His words penetrated to the deepest depths of my soul and spoke to me with a resonating honesty. His words reflected truth back to me, and I questioned, had I been allowing myself to suffer the slow rot of my soul in its bitterness of not following my personal legend?

The tears in my eyes expressing the suppressed sadness and grief indicated, yes.

I read the introduction to The Alchemist on a Sunday, and by that Thursday I had finished the book and handed in my letter of resignation to my boss, igniting the propulsion of catalytic forces of the Universe to change my life and follow my personal legend. As Paulo explained in the introduction, when making a decision that is in alignment with your personal legend, the Universe conspires to support it.

The words from The Alchemist gave me what I call my “Green Light, Go!”, an indication from the Universe, and an internal knowing sensed by my intuition, that I’m ready to take action.

Between that fateful Sunday and Thursday I formulated my action plan: quit my soul sucking job, move home for two months to tend to my mental and physical health, backpack Australia and then make the move to my final destination, fulfilling my childhood dream of moving to Colorado.

Looking back on the 6 years, 5 months, I remember the anxiety and trepidation of uprooting my life I had known, one I had intentionally and willingly created. But this chapter of my life had me feeling stuck, stuck in a job I hated, stuck in a city (Philadelphia) that no longer felt like home, stuck in isolation from relationships and friendships.

I was in a perpetual holding pattern, with the inability to get off the spinning hamster wheel, that is until I read The Alchemist. It was as if Paulo’s words ignited a long forgotten spark in me that craved vitality, aliveness and to follow what was written on my heart: moving to Colorado.

Here I am 6 years and 5 months later, sitting in my house in Colorado Springs, Colorado, staring at The Alchemist, like a long lost love, returning for the nourishment and advice, the tidbits of treasure and truths hidden between its pages. It is coming up on my 6th anniversary of moving to Colorado, the place I thought would be my forever home, I find myself in a eerily similar situation.

“Have you read The Alchemist?” She asked.

I sit with The Alchemist on my lap because of the advice of a friend, a spiritual mentor. I contacted her, seeking advice and validation that my personal legend is pushing me toward something more spiritually significant, somewhere not in Colorado.

I chuckled. “Yea, I’ve read The Alchemist.” I replied.

“Maybe it’s time you read it again.” She retorted.

I smiled. Maybe it’s time I read it again.

2021: And So It Begins

I wrote in my last post that I love new beginnings. There’s an excitement, enthusiasm, joy that comes with new beginnings. It’s the butterflies of anticipation for what is to come. Hindsight 2020, the aftermath of an extremely challenging year, lots of people are looking to 2021 for salvation, insight, reprieve. With a cautious undertone and a bracing smile, I write: And so it begins.

As much as new beginnings are exciting, CHANGE is SCARY! Leaving the familiar behind and taking off to explore the unfamiliar can trigger almost anyone into a traumatic fight, flight or freeze state. Humans being creatures of comfort like predictable, comfortable, routine. Change is just the opposite: unpredictable, uncomfortable, and not routine, YET!

At the crossroads, the precipice, staring straight into the abyss, directly where I need to take the leap of faith, I find my anxiety and insecurities peak. My chest tightens, my throat lumps, my ears ring, vision narrows, my body contracts. At this point, I start to doubt myself, my abilities, my intuitive guidance, because WHAT IF SHIT DOESN’T WORK OUT!? What if this change is BAD? WHAT IF I FAIL? The unknowns of change twirl me into a dizzy.

But then, taking a deep cleaning breath I trust and LET GO! I leap! I SURRENDER! The release of tension is so euphoric, intoxicating, exhilarating. It’s an adrenaline high all it’s own. That’s what I love about change, about NEW BEGINNINGS! For me, at this point, there is nothing left to doubt, knowing the Universe has my back in making the leap, taking the step, making that decision, because as Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist,

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Finding yourself at a crossroads, what do you do? Do you fight change with all of your might, your stubbornness raging like a bull with strong will? OR do you surrender? Do you embrace the change, go with the flow, dive deep into the current to see where the change takes you?

I’m quite excited to see where my new beginnings will take me this year. I’m prepared to surrender to the flow, and trust the Universe and the Divine work in my best interests. So, I say, with a smile — the most beautifully strung four words I can imagine: And so it begins!

Hindsight 2020: Shedding My “Conditioning” and Returning To Authenticity

This time last year, I was Ouray, Colorado, with some adventure friends from Philadelphia. I took the day off from climbing to tend to my weakened knee from a bouldering accident, and put my energy into writing for my blog and planning my posts for the upcoming year. I was excited to commit to a personal project, one I had dreamt about for so long. Like any start to a new year (new project, new ANYTHING) there was lots of excitement. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE new beginnings! Innovation, excitement, energy, enthusiasm, exhilaration are just a few words I associate with any new beginning. It’s what brings life energy back to me.

BUT coming back from Ouray to my “normal” daily routine, it became very apparent that this was not going to be my year to work on creative projects. Creativity, true authentic creativity, required outward expansion, when really I needed inward reflection and cleansing. It was finally time to come to terms with my shadow self.

Coming into the New Year, I had just learned about Codependency, reading Codependent No More, by [insert name] and processed the core traumatic incident, the root cause of my codependent nature. Processing that memory, and the emotional energy I carried with me from the incident, left me feeling heavy, deep, RAW. My metaphoric scabs were ripped open and I was left vulnerable. As much as it hurt, I knew from past trauma cleansings that I was healing.

Month after month, I found myself digging in deeper, making a true commitment to my healing. I isolated myself, cut myself off from friends and family, like an injured animal walking off into the woods to tend to its wounds. My isolation coincided perfectly with the collective consciousness shutting down and social distancing for COVID. I couldn’t have asked for a better present from the Universe, divine timing at it’s best!

During that time of isolation, I focused on my mother wounds, my daddy issues, my trust issues with myself, the universe and the divine, I tended to my blocked heart chakra (the reason I felt like I had to hide myself during my healing) through Reiki and therapy. The economic uncertainty following the social distancing orders challenged my “scarcity mindset” and forced me to trust that the Universe wanted me to live in abundance. I “called back” my sacral energy I gave away freely to others, which sparked a flow of creativity I hadn’t seen since college. There was this euphoric feeling that I was closer to the person I had always dreamed to be.

Realizing my worth and untapped potential, I left a toxic work environment which exacerbated my codependency, perfectionism, and people pleasing tendencies. That job left me emotionally exhausted, and resentful, the classic signs of burnout from constantly giving inauthentically. I found a job with a Principal that understood personal trauma, respected boundaries, and a work place that felt emotionally safer.

Due to the safer working environment, my psyche/body decided it was time to start working on the bigger shadow aspects of my personality: trust issues from my abandonment wounds, perfectionism caused by emotional neglect, and people pleasing (the residual effects of my codependency).

Thankfully, after working on my heart chakra and allowing trusted friends into my world of hurt and pain, I was able to talk more openly about what I was processing, and found most of my friends were on a similar healing trajectory. Discussing these shadow aspects with friends allowed me to feel less isolated, less alone.

What does this mean for 2021?

All of this deep healing and shadow work over the course of 2020 allowed me to get closer to my authentic self, and align with my higher self. My past conditioning: the codependency, the abandonment, the lack of trust, perfectionism, scarcity mindset, were all preventing me from living as my authentic and empowered self. Shedding the conditioning from my past, rooted in survival, allows me to now focus on thriving. I can’t expect to thrive with the same social conditioning and behaviors used to purely survive.

Now I can work towards outward expansion, creating authentically, not from a place of ego but from a deep desire to share my ideas with others. The creativity is rooted in connectedness and collective healing, not individualism and personal gain. I find myself being more playful, curious, imaginative, and wanting to help others from a place of genuine generosity.

I am thankful and feel blessed to have experienced the past year of personal trials, triggers, challenges and lessons. I’m better for it, and its helped me to get back to, well, ME! #thrivingnotsurviving #abundancemindset #higherself #authenticself

I, Brittany Bigley, am a Writer.

My poem written to my childhood dog, Gizmo, that now hangs on my mom’s refrigerator 26 years after its creation.

As a child, I wrote a poem about love.
My poem had rhyme, but I also included meter ( for you non-English majors, meter is the rhythm and emphasis of a line of poetry based on syllabic beats). I wrote it on a big, red heart I cut from construction paper. It was a school art project for Valentine’s Day.

I gave the poem to my grandparents. My mom upon seeing it and reading it, responded, “Brittany, I think your talent is writing.” I was 7.
Playing off the compliment, I didn’t consider myself worthy, a belief I carried long into adulthood.

My Grandparents kept that poem on their refrigerator, and my mom, who now owns their house, never touched the poem. It still hangs on the refrigerator as it did 26 years ago.

I distinctly remember when my mom acknowledged my talent, I too acknowledged it. It rang true to my soul, my little 7 year old soul. Feeling the intensity of the truth that had just been spoken, understanding the value of that truth, and how it made me feel, I buried it, deep within me, like a pirate burying treasure. My 7 year old self understood the hurt and pain my soul would feel had I tried to unveil my talent in a harsh world.

Recently, as I’ve neared the end of my contract with a job, I’ve thought more and more about writing. The Universe has sent signs, a “download” about a children’s book a few weeks ago, a quote , “to not follow your passion is to die a slow death by suicide.”
Yes, I buried my truth long ago about being a writer, to avoid the pain of criticism. But I can’t deny my truth any longer, because it hurts more to bury my truth out of fear, than to live it and face critics.

I, Brittany Bigley, am a writer.

There were times where I lived my truth wholeheartedly. In college, I pursued writing because college was a safe bubble to put myself and my writing out into the world, with very few consequences or critics. When I wrote my first article for my college newspaper, The Text, as a freshman, a scathing review of George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina, there was a very deep sense of satisfaction and contentment, like, “yea, this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” My sophomore year I became the Editor in Chief, which I think happened more out of luck and demonstrating passion than from talent.

Writing my column as Editor in Chief was nerve wracking, sure. I demanded perfection of myself, I desired to give the readers my best. Increasing readership and engagement with The Text became my passion project, that is, until it was time to create a senior thesis to graduate with my Graphic Design Communications degree.

I switched my focus to my senior thesis, and I handed over the reigns of Editor, while I studied abroad in London during my Junior year.
While studying abroad, I ruminated over ideas for a senior thesis, a whole year earlier than I needed to. It was while I was in London I got inspired by social activism, calls to action, philosophers of the Enlightenment period, like John Locke and his Social Contract Theory. I knew I wanted to combine social activism, and theory, while also displaying my writing, photography and design skills. After talking with my Serbian and German roommates for hours in our common room of our flat near Elephant and Castle station in South London, “Citizen” was born.

“Citizen” became my senior thesis, a philanthropic magazine about local citizens in Philadelphia who were going out and bettering their communities. Knowing the magnitude of my work ahead of me, I started working on Citizen in the beginning of my senior year, long before most seniors even nailed down their project ideas. I wrote articles, took photos and designed mastheads. I created featured column names, as well as loose ideas for branding. The last semester of my senior year, I took a newspaper/magazine studio course in addition to my capstone thesis studio class to ensure my passion project would get finished.

By the end of my senior year I had a fully functional magazine. Had I handed it to someone on the street, they would have believed it to be a real magazine. My hard work earned me the Writing for Graphic Design award at the Senior Graphic Design Banquet. Unfortunately, I didn’t fully let the significance of that award sink in (at this time, I still couldn’t take a compliment). At the end of my senior year, I was exhausted, and couldn’t stand to look at the magazine any longer. I had ate, slept and breathed Citizen, for more than an entire year. It was the embodiment of all of my talents, from conception to final product through my sweat, stress and tears.

After college, I worked independently as a screen printer and graphic designer while trying to figure out ways to take Citizen to the next level, a real, functioning magazine. But the exhaustion after completing design school coupled with zero start up capital, made it truly difficult to jump start my dream. I found safety in getting a job in education. It was a stable job, steady income, good benefits and hours, plus I knew I could go anywhere and find a teaching job. I switched fields and that’s where I’ve been for over 10 years, up until this week.

Although I have a teaching job lined up for August, I will be currently unemployed for a month and a half. The lack of income during this uncertain time definitely has me on edge, but when I spoke to my mom, she again referred back to her acknowledgement those 26 years ago, “Brittany, you’re a writer, take this time to focus on your writing.” She put into words what I had been inherently feeling, the need to take this time to dive back into my passion.

At 2:15 early this morning, after waking up to a stroke of genius, a fluid stream of consciousness, I’m writing this…

I, Brittany Bigley, am a writer, and from here on out, I’m going to start acting like one.

The Right Moment, At the Right Time

Have you ever had the feeling that you were exactly where you needed to be? Maybe you caught that perfect sunset on the ocean, sat beside the right stranger who becomes your next partner, or read the right book that gives you your next inspiration?

It can be hard to slow down to notice these little moments, but once you start paying attention you find the more you’re in the right place at the right time. Little signs from the Universe, from God, from your Higher Power, whatever spiritual deity you subscribe to, help to show you are on the right path. Will you take time to notice?

What moment made you stop and take notice? Was there a time you knew you were on your right path? I’d love to read your comments below!

Wednesday Wisdom: Walking Away— It’s Not Selfish, It’s Self Love!

I wrote this post about waking away from my teaching job in Camden, NJ in 2016, a year ago. Little did I know I’d be finding myself in a similar situation, walking away from renewing my teaching contract a few days ago. BUT the motives behind leaving both jobs are the same.

I’m coming on almost two years on an important anniversary, the day in which I left my job and my life as I knew it, throwing myself into the unknown to go on a soul searching adventure half way across the globe. Reflecting on the last two years of my life, there are a few life lessons I’ve learned that I think are worth sharing, and one in particular, learning when to walk away.

Let me set the scene of my reality one year ago:  Six months prior I lost my father. Although I subconsciously knew he didn’t have much time left (several months before his death I had a “feeling” I needed to repair our complicated relationship), the loss was sudden. Still dealing with unresolved grief from his passing, and feeling stuck at a job that perpetuated my already intrinsic belief, I am not enough, I had breakdowns during my morning commute daily. Feeling utterly lost, my passion and satisfaction with life dwindling, my dissatisfaction consumed me. Just like anyone confronted with an existential crisis, I decided to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, hoping I’d find direction, purpose, a sign. Three pages into the prologue, the Aha! moment hit me square in the gut as I read Paulo’s words:

“Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for years and, without our noticing, eats away at our soul, until, one day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.”

ProLOGUE, The Alchemist

Sitting there reading Coelho’s description of the slow death of one’s soul when we do not follow our personal legend, warm tears flowed endlessly down my cheeks. I knew I was not living my personal calling, and as I read his words I became acutely aware of the crushing weight caused by the “bearable suffering” I had been tolerating for many years. In that moment, I realized I needed to take action to save my soul from its creeping fate. I shut the book, and bawled until I regained enough strength and awareness to continue reading. I read the book in two nights, the fastest I had ever read ANY book.

I started reading The Alchemist on a Sunday and by that Thursday I handed in my letter of resignation. Although I felt relief and excitement the moment I handed in my resignation, I also felt guilt, shame, embarrassment. I had this overwhelming feeling that I was a failure. I harbored what I perceived to be other people’s judgement and let that influence my self- talk. I am abandoning my colleagues. I’m not strong enough to stay. I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher. I’m a failure. I’m not good enough.

I made this decision without consulting one important person, my mother, and with good reason (love you mom!). I was most hesitant to admit to my mother that I had quit my job, without any plan for a new one.  I expected I’d get bombarded with judgement riddled questions such as, “Do you have another job lined up? How are you going to pay your bills? How are you going to get insurance?” When I did tell her, and after asking those first few questions, she also inquired “So what are you going to do now?”

Humbly, I asked if I could move home, to take some time to process my grief, learn more about self-care, and save money. Thankfully, she agreed. 

During those two months, despite doing the tough work to heal myself, my social anxiety peaked and I was caught up in a debilitating depression. My embarrassment over quitting my job affected my self -confidence which presented as awkwardness and silence in social settings. I confined myself to my mother’s house, to work on my self-healing. Ultimately though, after the two months of healing, I set myself up for success to unnerve myself and go solo backpacking around Australia, and in the end move to Colorado, the place I knew to be my home since visiting at age 15.

I learned one very valuable lesson during this time, there is no shame in walking away, or quitting something that no longer aligns with your values, your worth or your integrity. Had I stayed at my job and still be living in Philadelphia, my soul would surely be crushed by the weight of not living my life’s purpose. Therefore I’ve changed my views on quitting something midway, or walking away when it no longer resonates. It’s not selfish, it’s self love!

When the offer was on the table to renew my teaching contract a few days ago, I remembered this feeling, the crushing weight of not living my life’s purpose, and for that reason I declined to renew. I have no idea what my next move is, and yes it’s anxiety inducing, but I know I’m making space for an opportunity that is more aligned with my soul’s purpose. Here I am jumping, making the leap of faith, as I know the net will be revealed… slowly but surely!