Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, whom I follow on Twitter, posted about this movie a few days ago. Here's what I love about Jonathan . . . he starts each day by asking the Twitterverse, and by extension, the universe, "who can I help today?". That's so powerful. He's all about giving to others and it comes back to him over and over and over again.
The movie he posted got me to thinking about what would happen if I actually listened to the universe (aka my gut, the voices I randomly hear, etc.) more often? In my life, I like to be in control (yes, I know, no one is surprised), I like to know what is going to happen next, and I'm not really a fan of surprises. Giving up control causes me great amounts of stress. So when I hear the voices or see the signs, I frequently ignore them, thinking I know better. I know what's right for me. Or so I like to think.
But what I have found over the years is that when I stop and listen or pay attention to the signs all around me (some subtle, some that beat me over the head), I usually end up in a better place than I had planned. I'm more successful. I'm happier. I have fun. I sometimes make more money. And often, when I take the time to enjoy it, I actually relax.
Take my whole thing about going to church. Without telling you about each of the signs, they've been all around me for the last month or so like big huge neon flashing signs. Yet, I had the worst anxiety about going. I had planned to go last Sunday, but I let my own fear get in the way. This morning, even though I was up early and enthusiastic about my day, I almost didn't make it. I almost talked myself out of it as I stood in my bathroom sweating while putting on make-up. I doubted my decision the entire 3 mile drive to church. And I was going to the church I grew up in; how crazy was that? This shouldn't have been so stress-inducing. But then I walked in the door and each step got easier. I ran into my childhood piano teacher who I happen to see regularly and she gave me a huge hug. From a distance, I saw my kindergarten and first grade Sunday School teachers and a few old friends of my parents. Then I ran into a client of mine who has been encouraging me to come back to church for a couple of weeks.
With each moment I sat there, it got easier and I just let myself enjoy it. I didn't cry, as I'm known for doing in church. I remembered all the prayers, many of the songs, and the Apostles' Creed. And finally, by the time the service was over, I had let myself relax and enjoy it. I'll probably be back.
Oh, and the preacher's sermon topic? It was on not letting fear paralyze us and finishing the course. Talk about signs.