January 29, 2014

What Happens Next?

Yesterday I described my road to choice. A road (sometimes rocky) that eventually led me away from academia. This past autumn was the first time in my life I didn't go back to school. Those initial months were magical. My creativity exploded: writing, photography, cooking, and exploring. I felt fully awake. I had extra capacity. I was connected to myself, loved ones, and nature.

Now I see more clearly the divided life I was living. I loved teaching, but I didn't love statistics. I enjoyed talking with students, but I didn't like selling the subject matter. My inner-life had blossomed. I knew myself, my emotions, my worthiness. I valued quiet time for reflection. I prioritized people and relationships over all else. I lived from my heart. But academia is head-centered, not heart-centered. And academia (most institutions?) think more is better, even if everyone is spread too thin. So this was the divide. My inner-life and outer-life were opposites. And I couldn't hold that inside any longer. I'm just glad I noticed before everyone else.

So I wonder: how do I merge these inner- and outer-worlds? I allowed space for art (writing + photography), but now I understand that's not my next path. I write and shoot, just as a breathe--to stay alive. To feed my soul. I don't want to sell my art. I want to do my art. (And if someone pays me for it, that's awesome.)

I do love to teach. I like organizing a course so people understand (even difficult ideas). I like holding a space where everyone is heard. I care about people. 

These months without a job deepened my mindfulness practice. I meditate daily. I sit weekend retreats. I notice. In fact, writing and photography are both about noticing. Noticing details, light, beauty, and emotion. My year has been about noticing. 

How do I merge my inner- and outer-worlds? By teaching mindfulness. By providing a safe space where people experience life--their breath, their bodies, their emotions; where people stay with themselves and the present moment. And I hope to do this in the workplace (an I'll-come-to-you mindfulness class). Because mindfulness is wellness. Mindfulness is so many things. It changed my life in dramatic and positive ways.

Friends, this is all very new. I'm baring myself to you. This is an idea, not yet put into practice. Yet I'm far enough along to share my intention. I know I'll make mistakes (how else will I learn?). But I also have faith. Faith in this wholeness of my inner- and outer-lives. 


  1. "My inner-life and outer-life were opposites. And I couldn't hold that inside any longer." How I love this sentence as it exactly says how I felt for years and years. Wishing you all the very best on your new path: I know it will work as you'll be living your dream. As Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says: "Let the world know why you are here, and do it with PASSION." You radiate mindfulness, in everything you do, so I know you'll inspire other people and change their lives for the better. That's what you are doing already, here and now, on this blog.

  2. oh yes! this just sounds perfect for you and for those you will teach. (I would love to be taught by you!!) yes yes and yes again! xx

    1. i can feel those yeses--feel them in my heart. thank you, sweet debs.