(“I Quit” Episode 1)
One day I woke up and decided that I was never going to go to “work” again.
I guess most of us have toyed with that dream at some point or other, hiding under the blankets and spending a minute or two lost in a blissful fantasy world where words like boss and deadline and cheap office coffee don’t exist and imagining 500 creative ways to utter those two simple words that unlock the gate to liberty and freedom – I Quit.
But instead of following up with the usual Oh yeah, I wish, and getting up and putting the kettle on, this time I did something different…
It was the end of 2012 and my life was going wonderfully. Five years of hard work and my coaching/therapy practice had taken off. I had scored a couple of bonus days a week working with children in a great workplace.
I’d completed five more years of study and just finished an intensive (and expensive) 12 – month course (The Use Of Clinical Hypnosis In Strategic Psychotherapy – impressive huh?) that was about to launch me into bigger and better things.
In short, life had finally come together in all the right ways.
Just like I’d planned….
So what happened? Well I opened my eyes that morning and knew that I was done. It was a knowing that came from somewhere deep inside.
I felt that I was no longer on track, no longer where I was meant to be. That I had gone as far as I could down that particular path and the door had now closed shut.
The knowing came with one word:
Of course my mind leapt in almost immediately to laugh out loud, to ridicule and to snigger mockingly at the audacity of my “knowing.”
Everybody feels like this!, my mind cried. You know that. Now get up and get on with it. Pffft!
But the knowing sat there, solid and immovable and stubbornly shook its head.
Mind used common sense and logic, those old faithfuls, to try to reason with me. It rolled out all of the clichés and commonly held truths we are all raised to live by:
What about security? What about money? How would I live? I had bills to pay. I HAD to work!! And, how could I toss it all away? What would people think? What about all of the people I would leave in the lurch? How would they cope without me? Didn’t I remember how hard I’d worked for all of this? I had invested so much time and energy, never mind the money!! Didn’t I remember how much courage it had taken to leave my long teaching career and create all of this?
And now I was going to throw it all away??
I had obligations. I had responsibilities….
Oi! Are you listening???!
I held the knowing and let the fear-filled mind chatter away to itself.
When I refused to engage my mind tried to stall for time. It pleaded with me to have some “common sense”, tried to get me to soften my hardline approach…
Perhaps if I just waited a little bit, hung in there a tiny bit longer, created a bit of financial security….
After all, it was not as if something was actually calling me or anything – I could see no mystical Xanadu shining forth with promise on the near horizon, had heard no divine message from some transcendent bearded dude with wings and a harp and a message from the Divine.
Hell, I couldn’t even pretend I had a deep Little-Miss-Do-Gooder-type yearning to fulfill my life’s purpose so I could die with my pockets full of brownie points and one of those smirky, self-satisfied little smiles on my face!
Plus, I enjoyed what I did and I was good at it.
Perhaps if I just waited to get some sort of idea about what I wanted to do next, if I just took some time and thought about things for a bit until some kind of purpose appeared or until I had some idea of what I wanted to do instead…. Then I could at least make some sensible plans.
Mind to Telene..Mind to Telene…
Sorry, we seem to be having transmission difficulties….
Please, don’t be so stupid, don’t be foolish….You CANNOT be serious!
And then the big mama:
What if you end up with nothing?
I thought about that one briefly. Was I willing to trust that things would actually be okay? Was I willing to take the risk that maybe it wouldn’t?
I closed the doors of my business, called a charity to pick up my office furniture, arranged for the signs to be taken down and went home.
Yes I was acting crazy, yes I was being irresponsible, yes others all had a view.
Yes it was even quite possible a few crayons had fallen out of the box…..!
I knew it was the right thing for me.
To be continued….
Episode 2-Creating A Futureless Future