Life is made up of the mundane, of memorable events, crises, transitions, and then, hopefully, self-discovery that leads to our personal growth and continued fulfillment. Even as we take actions that redirect our lives, we wait and wonder what will happen next. Change in life is so predictable, in fact, that accomplished author Gail Sheehy, in 1976, published the book Passages that delineated what happens to each of us according to our age.
Passages presented a hopeful message = Crisis gives us the opportunity to be creative and to find a new and better path for ourselves – the Library of Congress deemed it one of the most influential books in modern times.
As a 20-something married to a non-monogamous Norwegian and living thousands of miles from family, I read the book with enthusiastic anticipation to find out what more could happen in my life and how I was going to make the most of it, or create something different.
In 2000, when my employer’s CEO was escorted from his office, I enthusiastically read Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese? for some new direction in my career – and life. Johnson also promoted creative thought. As the company spokesperson, I interpreted a probable pending layoff as a motivator to be creative.
Today, the road map in the face of constant change seems to be captured in the concept of ‘mindfulness.’ Mindfulness means we should think about what we do in the moment, to experience its importance, and to listen to our hearts. It requires us to practice healthy behaviors and to be true to ourselves.
For me, mindfulness has initiated a different sort of transition. Unlike the others, which were initiated from the outside, this one comes from my desire for personal growth and accomplishment. I have chosen, in the not to distant future, to leave one career path for another. I anticipate this journey to be exciting and challenging, and one that I surely will never forget.