Tag Archives: synchronicity

Course correction!

A version of this post appeared yesterday in my “Sistas” community – I’ve mentioned them here previously. So if you’re from there, you’ve read some of this before – but only some of it πŸ™‚

I am so uninspired by the study of corporate/healthcare compliance. I set out on this path because it was the smart thing to do. I still believe it’s smart, but frankly I have spent around 50 years doing the smart thing instead of doing what lights my fire. I sorta don’t want to spend the next 50 doing the same.

I also have to say that the program is poorly run. It’s been one excuse after another as to why the program is a semester behind, why it is disorganized… there has been illness and budget cuts in the criminal justice department, and I get that, but holy guacamole, you’re a freakin’ university, ACT like one! That just makes me want to run further from this program, because it does not seem like this graduate certificate is going to mean much, considering some of the courses were such a mess and I didn’t have to do much to get the grades.

Something went right today (even if it IS two weeks late)And something else – my text book for the current class was back-ordered two weeks, and I am therefore behind a couple of assignments. Healthcare law is FULL of acronyms. Last assignment I completed, it took me two days just to read the 40 pages that were assigned. I’d have to stop, look up the acronym, understand what it meant, and then go back to the paragraph at hand and put it into context. Seriously erodes reading comprehension when everything is an acronym!

When something is this difficult to get done, I tend to think of it as a gauntlet thrown, but maybe it’s actually a Memo From The Universe that I’m on the wrong path. In this case, I think that about sums it up. I am so used to powering through difficulty by sheer force of will – and maybe, at one time in my life, that was appropriate. A little struggle is good for the soul πŸ˜‰ But now – I don’t think things should always be this obnoxious to get done. I think this is wrong, wrong, wrong, just like praying for a job versus income was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Finally, there’s the timing of this class with the launch of the consulting gig. I have committed to starting that next week, directly after the holiday. I will have ramp-up activities to get through, studying their environment, making connections with people inside an unfamiliar organization, identifying the right resources to get the job done. It’s a no-brainer that I need to focus on penetrating the organization to the near-exclusion of all else.

Welcome to the REAL FloridaThe REAL wake-up call has been my experience this month with the Florida Master Naturalist program. I have been documenting some of my Florida Master Naturalist experience at My Mobile Adventures *~*~*, and I’ve got lots more to share in the coming weeks. It has been stimulating and thought provoking – and also a blast to be amongst fellow nature geeks three times a week, who all wear the same “sporty, functional and you can get ’em wet” shoes that I wear πŸ˜› If you really want to know if you are with your peeps or not, just compare all the shoes. It becomes pretty obvious that these people walk the beaches and the preserves, same as me. πŸ™‚

I TORE through my assignments for the FMN program, but I struggle to stay focused on the stuff for the compliance program. I am normally very academically-minded and can MAKE myself power through stuff I don’t want to do… there. That tells a story too, same as the shoes. I don’t want to do this. And I’m different now than I was when I hung on to the wrong marriage, the lucrative-but-meaningless job, etc.

So, I don’t think I can get a refund for this semester any more, but if I withdraw before July 8th, I can do so without academic penalty. Then I can concentrate on getting the consulting thing off the ground, get the income rolling again, and maybe launch a naturalist blog, do some writing about all this stuff I’ve seen and learned. The reason I want to avoid academic penalty is because the university has a graduate program in Environmental Science, and I want to leave that door open without any black marks on my “permanent record”. Yeah I know, I’ll never be done with school… I’ve always known this about myself, you guys might as well get used to it to πŸ˜› Seriously, I don’t know if I will actually go for that, or even if I qualify with a B.A. in psychology and half a graduate certificate in compliance, but there’s no sense in “dishonorable discharge” if I can avoid it.

Midterm essays are due on 6/30 and I just don’t want to. And you can’t make me. So there. Neener neener.

The icing on the cake – after I consulted with the Sistas, I faxed in my Term Withdrawal Application and emailed my professors to give them a heads-up. I then checked my Facebook News Feed and found some interesting “signs” that validated my actions. I posted these at Memos From The Universe, which is a blog I maintain to record these quirky little “signs”. Go on, have a look and tell me if it isn’t The Universe giving me a nod and a wink and a pat on the back!

Memos From The Universe | Validation From The Universe

For my friend Jen

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I was browsing a shop on Sanibel Island called “Pandora’s Box” – you would LOVE this place – and upstairs, where they have all the greeting cards, I came across this one. And it instantly made me think of you because it was labeled “Kindred Spirits”. So I surreptitiously snapped a shot to show you, then promptly forgot all about it. I attribute this to my advanced age and the onset of CRS (Can’t Remember Shineola).

Someday, we’ll have a drink! And I think you should peddle your wares to Pandora’s Box because actually, the fabulous things you make would fit like a glove there.

Renaissance juggling and the survival-based career

ImFeelingInspiredI have come to the conclusion that I am a Renaissance juggler.

“Renaissance man” is a phrase coined to describe someone who has a depth of knowledge spanning a diverse range of interests. A juggler is someone who has many balls in the air at the same time. I am someone with a diverse set of passions who can and does indulge in several of them simultaneously. I’ve never felt an overwhelming, life-long pull toward any one of these interests for very long. Interests come and go only to return again years later, borne back to me on some unseen tide. At intervals during my life, I’ve had keen, intense interest in writing, performing, photography, organic gardening, Disney, sea shells, psychology and all manner of IT geekery. That last interest currently manifests itself via a fascination with consumer electronics and social media.

Photo by Helico on Flickr
Photo by Helico
I don’t believe I’ve ever been focused on only one or even two of these things at a time. I can remember a time when I was working long hours in IT and using the train commute to either memorize an operatic role in another language or else to study with the goal of acing my next psychology exam, all the while also attending classes and rehearsals at night, roto-tilling, pulling weeds, perfecting the art of the smoldering compost pile and performing on the weekends. Simply looking back at that time is exhausting and causes me to question my own sanity. Yet I was productive and active and happy.

[pullquote] because I’ve never felt committed to just ONE thing that impassioned me the most, I ended up in a survival-based career.[/pullquote]I think it takes a lot of diverse intellectual activity to keep me from becoming bored. Here’s the problem with that; because I’ve never felt committed to just ONE thing that impassioned me the most, I ended up in a survival-based career. That’s where you do what you do because you don’t hate the work and you like the money. It’s the exact opposite of the passion-based career – doing what you do because you want to, because it’s your life’s work.

I have no idea what my life’s work is, or was supposed to be.

Mary Poppins and Mirror Poppins in harmonyIt has never surprised me to find out how many of my colleagues at The Firm are coulda-shoulda-woulda-been musicians, actors and other assorted artistic types who “fell into” careers in IT during the 90s dot com boom. Like me, they were all just looking for their cushy little day job with medical benefits whilst running about auditioning, until someone figured out they had brains and promoted them. You get to an age where being a starving artist doesn’t hold as much romatic appeal as it once did, and the money you’re making doing something else is certainly seductive.

Mary Poppins thinks Mirror Poppins is showing offIt’s nice to not have to limit dinner to popcorn every night – with butter on it as an extra treat on Sundays. It’s nice being able to pay down your credit card debt, purchase a car that was made in THIS decade and go away for vacations. Thus, when faced with the realization that making a living as an artist is going to be a life-long uphill struggle, the survival-based career not only looks attractive, it seems more logical, more sensible, more likely to get your family off your back. I think a surprising lot of people are doing survival-based careers with their lives and that’s why work seems like… well, work. That is why “everybody’s working for the weekend…”. It’s because people don’t wanna work; they just wanna “bang the drum all day”.

Mary Poppins and Mirror PoppinsEarly last month, I was in Downtown Disney at the big World Of Disney store. The jumbo TV in the center of the store began to show a scene from Mary Poppins“A Spoonful Of Sugar”. I was half-listening and humming along while pawing through a rack of t-shirts when the scene suddenly grabbed my attention. Mary was singing. In harmony. With herself. The words, “in harmony with HERSELF” swam to the forefront of my consciousness, and I watched transfixed as she went from joyous to annoyed with… well again, it was with herself. Mirror Mary kept singing a mile a minute even after Real Mary had stopped. What’s more, Real Mary was peeved that Mirror Mary was grabbing all the attention for herself. “Cheeky!” is Real Mary’s tart retort. Off she goes in a stern huff to tend to the children. Mirror Mary only smiles.

(I could go off on a tangent here about Disney and the relationship between work and play, but I’ll spare you!)

[pullquote]Wouldn’t it be really cool if we could always be in harmony with ourselves, and still be able to pay the mortgage, buy some toys and have a little fun? Some people live like that, I hear…[/pullquote] And so it can happen. If any of the fun aspects of a Renaissance juggler’s life start to race exuberantly ahead, consuming more than the permitted allocation of personal bandwidth, then the part that works for a living to support your fun habits can become peevishly resentful. It’s always the survival-based career, the thing you are sort of “meh!” about, that sternly proclaims you’re “cheeky” for studying something fascinating, for tripping the light fantastic upon the wicked stage, for devoting time and brain power to figuring out how to grow tomatoes without using pesticides (hint: “companion planting”. With a heavy dose of self-discipline, that dreaded of all activities known as “taking care of business” commences, and the fun stuff takes a back seat.

Wouldn’t it be really cool if we could always be in harmony with ourselves, and still be able to pay the mortgage, buy some toys and have a little fun? Some people live like that, I hear. I haven’t figured out yet how to make that happen, but there’s one thing I’m doing consciously now to try and find the answer.

I’m listening.

The thought of abandoning the survival-based path, the good ol’ reliable method of obtaining a steady paycheck, instead trying to make a living doing what gives me joy is both intoxicating and frightening. It would be so much easier if I didn’t have so many interests from which to choose. It would be so much easier had I done this earlier on, so much easier if it wasn’t just me bringing a paycheck into this house. This is the downside of single ridership. I find myself with a serious case of SAHM-envy. OK, you’re right, not the “M” part… But I don’t have the luxury of travel back in time or of a mighty breadwinner to see me through this. Therefore, the draw toward the most pragmatic choice is strong. And yet, I cannot help but see that guillotine looming in the near future as my liberator, permission to veer off in a different direction

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Believe in the beaty of your dreamsI do realize that I have not been in harmony with myself, and that a lack of active unhappiness does not equate to living with activeΒ  joy.Β  I do realize that living a little more deliberately, a little more consciously, would make me more actively joyful. The more I send this understanding and acknowledgment into the Universe, the more the Universe has reflected it back at me.

I’ve been having more and more of these moments of synchronous epiphany leap into focus, like the one in the World of Disney store. These moments started last summer, slowly at first. In the beginning, small synchronicities presented themselves, things that, considered singly and out of context, could be passed off as mere coincidence. But as I began to suspect and then fully recognize that they weren’t a coincidence, and even began to look for them, they began happening with more regularity. Some days, they happen so rapidly I barely have time to record them. It could happen online, in text or an image. It could happen while having a conversation with your best friend or with the grocery store clerk. It could happen when you walk into a restaurant and see a piece of artwork on the wall, or while browsing a rack in a shop – something will practically leap off the display and jump up and down crying, “Me, me, me! Look at ME!”. Something that gives me pause, makes me think, connects a few of the sea of dots before me.

Maybe it’s happened to you, too; maybe you know what I’m talking about. Each time it happens, it’s as though the world shifts a little, the movement barely discernible but nevertheless a bit of a shock. There’s a focus, a click of vision and soul, and then you know – you’ve been receiving Memos from the Universe.

I’ll be sharing more about this, very soon. Promise!

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