Have you ever made a big decision in your life and then questioned whether you made the right decision? Do you believe that a detour in your path is actually a helpful thing? I love what Tony Evans said about that: “Part of reaching your destiny is in understanding your detour.”
In my last post, I shared how I made the decision to put my business on hold to return to graduate school full-time to become a psychotherapist. The process of getting accepted and making the changes in my life to support the decision was a big deal.
I drove up to Edmonton, with my excitement and pillow in tow to settle in for my first block week course. I just knew it was going to be great and I was anticipating how much the experience of being back in school was going to nourish me and support my goals.
As the week progressed, I began to get this unsettled feeling in my gut. Was I feeling homesick knowing I was missing out on my family life? Was it fear related to being back in school? Was it my ego struggling with being a student again? Was it telling me that this path wasn’t a fit for me? Ultimately, what was my gut trying to tell me?
I returned home in a huge fog with no sense of clarity about what all this meant and what my next steps needed to be.
For the next 2 weeks, I felt like I was in total limbo. I couldn’t bring myself to write the 20-page paper that I needed to do for the course and I couldn’t bring myself to focus on my business.
As I sat with the confusion and lack of clarity, I also knew that I was exactly where I needed to be.
I put my mindfulness practice to use by relaxing into and accepting the fact that it was okay and desirable to be with the discomfort of the uncertainty. My mantra became, “I’ll know when I know.”
As I settled into the discomfort and waited for the fog to clear, I knew that I wasn’t meant to passively wait for some divine mystical experience to shed some light on my confusion.
I balanced the “being” with the “doing” and the work of the head with the work of the heart.
For my heart and in order to connect with my inner wisdom, I asked myself the following questions every morning after my meditation:
- What decision is aligned with my highest purpose?
- Who am I?
- How can I be kind to myself right now?
For my head and to gain insight into understanding what my gut was trying to tell me, I got all sorts of perspectives from all sorts of people knowing that in the end only I would be able to determine what was right for me.
This process felt like I was playing ping-pong as I went back and forth between staying in the program and leaving the program.
And then one evening as I settled in to read my psychotherapy book, I knew the answer. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I wasn’t meant to pursue this path. I knew that I wouldn’t flourish while walking this path. I knew that I wasn’t making the decision out of fear or my ego; I was making it based on knowing that sticking with this program wasn’t in alignment with my soul’s path.
It was important to not only listen to my gut but also understand and become aware of what my gut was telling me. If we listen to our gut but don’t understand the “why” we won’t gain wisdom and will risk repeating the same mistake (it’s only a mistake if we don’t learn from the experience).
This detour was a huge gift for me because, in the process of going down a path that wasn’t meant for me, I got a whole lot of clarity about what was meant for me. I needed the detour in order to let go of the energy associated with always wondering whether I should have become a psychotherapist.
With that knowing, I am now able to put all of my energy into moving boldly forward in my coaching practice.
The detour gave me the opportunity to get back on track with more passion than ever before. I know I’m meant to work with clients as a coach and not a psychotherapist. And, not only do I know that in my gut, I know why coaching resonates with me and why psychotherapy does not.
The detour also gave me an opportunity to practice using my head, heart, and gut to make a decision that wasn’t easy, but necessary to fulfilling my destiny. So did I make the wrong decision? Absolutely not! The only wrong decision would have been to ignore my gut and not examine and develop a greater awareness about what my gut needed to tell me.
What insight or wisdom have you gained from making a decision that didn’t feel right? How did you handle the detour? In this situation, I described my experience as it related to school. Could you apply the same process to detours related to relationships, careers, friendships and other important decisions in your life?
Share your comments below to inspire others…..