Upon arriving in Hawaii, I was excited. I was also doing my best to ignore a nagging feeling that I had settled below my worth.
While the overall interview process for the job had been seamless, the offer process was the opposite. There had been a great deal of miscommunication surrounding the details, and none of my requests had been met. I had honestly never encountered this before.
Ultimately I chose to look past these difficulties for the sake of stability and a shared adventure with my husband.
Then came our living situation.
Upon arrival we had the choice between a nicely-furnished, basement level apartment with one window, or an older studio apartment near the center of town. Both were a far cry from my standard of living. (If you know me, then you know.)
We ended up in the studio apartment.
I began to rationalize our situation to make myself feel better.
Housing isn’t easy here.
It’s just how it is.
Cockroaches are normal.
At least it’s not scorpions.
This is just part of living in paradise.
My mind liked these ideas, but my nervous system was beginning to feel challenged.
Ignoring your truth is hard work.
We started our new jobs and one month later I felt like a completely different person, and not in a good way. (Meanwhile, my husband was loving it.)
Not only was I angry at myself for ignoring the signs from the offer process; I was constantly acting like a victim. I was complaining often, didn’t feel heard and judged my coworkers and the leadership team. I cried daily and was stuck in a cycle of negativity I couldn’t get out of, as much as I tried.
I hardly recognized myself.
But actually, that’s not true. I did recognize myself. It was exactly how I felt and behaved before leaving my old career.
I was also having a hard time readjusting to the M-F 9-5 lifestyle. As an entrepreneur, I had spent years learning how to pay attention to the natural rhythm and energy cycles of my body, and it was coming undone at lightning speed. On weekends all I could do was recover.
Over time, my husband (understandably) began to lose patience with my attitude, we were fighting again and there was nowhere to run. After all, we lived on a remote island in a studio apartment.
Once again, I attempted to use logic to cope with my situation.
“It’s a startup,” I told myself.
It’s also an opening.
It will get better.
They’re still learning.
You’ll meet famous people.
But it didn’t work. It was the equivalent of trying to fall in love with the idea of someone rather than who they really are.
The simple truth was it wasn’t a fit.
I knew what I wanted to do, and I was terrified. I was scared to give up a steady paycheck, I didn’t want to go back to coaching, I didn’t want to disappoint my husband and I didn’t want to quit a job after two months. I worried how it would look on my resume. And I was still blaming myself for ignoring the signs in the first place.
I had become my own worst enemy, fighting for my limitations.
So I decided to ask the Universe for a sign.
Using Gabby Bernstein’s method, I asked to see a unicorn if I was meant to leave and a scorpion if I was meant to stay. I honestly picked the first two things that came to mind.
I didn’t receive any messages that day, and somehow forgot about it.
The next morning I woke up and saw my phone had auto-installed the latest version of software overnight. A few hours later I was on my way to work when I went to text someone. A strange button appeared in my emojis asking if I wanted to “see what was new!” Reluctantly I said yes, and it revealed not one but NINE new unicorn emojis.
I stopped dead in my tracks.
As the happy little unicorns stared up at me in all of their multi-colored, heart-eyed glory, I laughed in shock and disbelief. Then I practically skipped the rest of the way to work, thanking the Universe along the way.
It was exactly what I needed to see in order to take the next step.
I broached the topic of leaving with my husband and after much conversation, he ultimately supported my decision. It turns out he, too, wanted his wife back.
I shared my decision to leave with my boss, who advocated for me to stay on in a different role. However, after a particularly challenging conversation with someone where I did not feel heard, I felt myself nearing a panic attack. I texted Liran, cried in the parking lot and left work in the middle of the day unannounced.
I could see that I was acting like a child, and it was all the capacity I had in that moment.
I had been reduced to my most basic self.
I texted my boss when I got home and then sat in the dark with the shades drawn. I could feel myself coming undone. With shaking hands I texted my friend, Sara, who had been supporting me along the way. I asked her if she could tell me that it was okay to leave. She texted me back:
“It’s okay for you to leave.“
It was like she flipped a switch. I had no idea how much I needed to hear that, and began sobbing uncontrollably. And suddenly I flashed back to 26-years-old.
At 26 I had my first complete and total nervous breakdown at work. I lost physical control of my body and ended up requiring two weeks off to recover. When it was finally time to go back, every bone in my body said no but logic said otherwise. After all, I had no savings, no plan and no idea of what I might do instead.
I felt completely trapped.
In hindsight, I didn’t trust myself or anything beyond myself at that time. I had no [spiritual] belief system whatsoever, so I only trusted logic. I also didn’t know that the mind can’t always rationalize what the heart wants, nor is it meant to.
As a result, I didn’t believe I had any other choice than to return to something I hated.
So twelve years later, as I sat there sobbing on the couch, worried about what the neighbors must think, I realized that history was repeating itself for a reason. What Sara had texted me (at my request) was not only what I needed to hear right then; it’s what I needed to hear twelve years ago.
I sobbed for four hours as old, stagnant energy moved through me.
I cried for the 26-year-old who felt like she had no choice. I cried for the current me who was terrified. And I forgave myself for ever believing that I was a bad person because of my bad moods, because the truth is I had always been doing my best.
Once the energy finally passed, I was calm and exhausted. I had nothing left and somehow I knew it would be okay. I officially resigned via email that evening, knowing that my higher self had never led me astray (and that it could be trusted) and that it was perfectly okay to be scared.
I completed my job two weeks later.
If you’ve been keeping up with past posts, you can probably see that many of the same learnings apply to this part of the story: listening to your body, allowing emotions to move through you, noticing when you’re stuck in logic, etc. Rather than rehash those, I want to highlight some new and equally important ones:
1. Healing is not linear.
To be frank, I never saw my 26-year-old self in any way related to what was occurring in Hawaii, and yet there she was. The similarities between our experiences were as plain as day.
We tend to attract or repeat similar situations for a reason: to heal them. Whether it’s a job or a relationship, the Universe is always giving us a chance to look within and do things differently in order to break free of old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve us. This is the essence of awakening (or consciousness). You could also call this up-leveling.
In addition, healing is layered. While we can aim to eradicate a behavior or pattern all at once, the best goal is to shorten the rebound rate. It took me nine years to leave my old career after that first breakdown. This time it took me two months. Progress is what matters most.
2. When you ignore your truth, it will catch up with you.
When you ignore something it rarely goes away. In fact, the more you push it down the more pressure it creates to come back up. This isn’t rocket science. It takes courage to honor your instincts, yes, and the sooner you can do so often the less damage is done. For this reason, support can be really helpful in these situations.
Regardless, you are infinitely wiser, stronger and more capable than you realize. Trust yourself and remember there are no mistakes, only opportunities for learning.
3. What you judge in others is a reflection of something going on inside of you.
This is a key principle of Spiritual Psychology, and it hasn’t failed me (or my clients) yet.
The number one thing that bothered me about my job in Hawaii was that I didn’t feel heard. I didn’t believe that people listened to me or to one another. I also thought certain people avoided conflict. The truth is it was me who wasn’t listening to myself. It was me who was avoiding what was uncomfortable.
Maybe you’ve heard the idea that everything is a hologram. This is what that means. Everyone is a mirror, and their reflection is for your growth and upliftment. It’s not always immediately obvious, nor is it always comfortable to see. It thereby requires willingness and self-honesty. However, the end result is greater self-understanding, empowerment and respect.
4. The mind can’t always rationalize what the heart wants, nor is it meant to.
Sometimes what your heart wants feels scary. It’s thereby important to understand that a huge part of the mind (or ego’s) role is to keep you safe. If it deems something scary, whether it’s a new career, moving to a new place or letting go of an old relationship, the mind will do everything in its power to keep things the same. This is normal. This is its job.
The good news is feelings aren’t always fact, so learning to honor this is part of the process. There are times to listen, and there are times to acknowledge it and keep going. There is no magic formula here, and remember that your body is always there to clue you in.
5. You know exactly what you need.
In Western society we are taught to seek comfort outside of ourselves from a very young age. As a result, we can lose touch with our inner wisdom. This is why when you ask other people for their opinions, you don’t always feel better or seen by their responses. This is because the person you need to be asking is yourself.
At the end of the day you know yourself best, meaning you know exactly what you need and want to hear or do at any given moment (even if that’s to doing nothing.) But first, you need to know what that thing is.
One way I support my clients with tapping into this is to ask them, “what would you tell a friend in this situation?” or “what do you want me to tell you right now?” This is a great place to start. Try it out on yourself or with others and see what occurs.
It does take practice to look inside in this way (and then to ask for what you want from others.) The bright side is that doing so helps you achieve greater peace. It will also help you move you forward faster when you feel stuck.