So many of my clients over the last 20 years have come to me seeking a sense of calling, some central “command center” mission that would be the driver of their lives, and fill their days with passion and purpose. We all go through phases where life is so full….of stuff. Activities that jam pack our days, but in our heart of hearts, we know they are just "TO DO" kinds of things…..We are just exhaustively checking the boxes, knowing that’s pretty much the daily drill.
A few years ago, I found myself there. Wishing for a new mission to capture my head and heart. I was restless for a new chapter, so much so, it was waking me up in the night all too often.
WARNING: There will NOT be a giant GONG going off to let you know THIS IS IT. No choir of angels will descend to let you know you have found the IT you’ve been longing for. YOUR CALLING may seem like nothing at all….a wrong number you are too busy to answer.
Here’s what I learned and what I now know for sure:
Some things happen because they are supposed to. They tiptoe into our lives on little cat feet, waiting for us to take hold. To pay attention. And, to relax, allowing our intuition to guide us into the place we were meant to be.
Here’s how I know.
It started one morning, after another sleepless night. All I wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep. But this particular morning, as curtains are known to do, the laser beam of light shining through the crack where the curtains were supposed to come together, was making it impossible to do anything but get up and fix it.
Even though I had planned to give the curtain panels a good yank, for some reason, I glanced out. And, there it was.
The world was waking up to the most stunning array of bright, tangerine and golden beams, shooting through giant marshmallow clouds against a crystal clear columbine sky. It was an “OH MY GOD” moment. A “DEEP YES” moment was simultaneously velcroed to it…I had no idea at the time that those duel moments would turn into many more… in the weeks, months and years to come.
Acting on reflex, I grabbed my cell phone for its camera and ran out onto the balcony of the high-rise we were living in for an attempt at freeze-framing this ever-evolving moment. Every second was becoming a kaleidoscope of spectacular shapes, colors and light morphing into the day ahead.
From that day forward, I was up at the crack of dawn, capturing the sunrise with my cell phone. SUNRISE was becoming my metaphor….the promise of a new day, right in front of me. Watching the winds and the weather have its way with the sun and the clouds invigorated a sense of wonder I had not experienced in many, many years of climbing the corporate ladder…measuring my progress on every rung.
Even a simple cell phone could not miss the majesty, requiring to me to be totally present to the launch of each day of unending possibilities. I realized how ALIVE I had started to feel, just with this focus on the sunrise. So simple. So easy. So stress-free.
It wasn’t some GRAND LIFE CALLING PLAN crafted with a strategist/consultant. I was letting what “grabbed me”, grab me. I didn’t question it. I just enjoyed that agenda-less lifting of my spirit. I let it lead me into the next thing.
I searched online to see if there were any cellphone photography workshops—laughing as I looked—because, after all…..we all know a cell phone is not a real camera.
I wondered how often I had kicked other potential joys to the curb with my opinion/fear of what others called….not good enough. Are you a real photographer if you have no clue about F-stops and the latest lens to use?
I loved those sunrises enough to not care.
Could it be possible to love what I am doing so much, that I DON’T CARE what anyone else thinks? DEEP YES to that. WOW.
As luck would have it….or as I now believe….when we are in alignment with our deepest desires and our most treasured values….God shows up with the “atta girls”. For example…Whodda thunk, when I went on a spa trip with a group of girlfriends that one of the “life learning” classes would be “Capturing Your World by Learning Cell Phone Photography Techniques.”
400 sunrise photos later, I asked myself…..”How could I share these “day-maker” photos with others?” Those mornings and those photos became a book, filled with my favorites, both photos and quotes. All the photos and quotes you’ve been seeing throughout this article are from that book. I call it RISE. Really…..Navigating being human has not changed that much over Millennia. We still have the same needs…. for love and respect, a multitude of fears, personal issues, dreams and goals to achieve, relationships to develop and the growth moments that require our falling down and getting back up.
RISE is a thank you to God for giving each of us a brand new day to see and to experience a fresh palette of possibility. In a world where the most consistent thing seems to be inconsistency, we are treated every day to another miracle in the making.
Another unimaginable blessing came with the creation of the book…..a collaboration with Tiffany Monier, who helped me with the birth of every page…even the cover. Her wisdom, life values, and innate design talent have been in lock-step with me through everything you now see on my rapidly growing social media platform, the Positive On Purpose website, my weekly column, and many of the quotes I use every day on Facebook and Instagram.
Tiffany produces all of it.
Again, I was not on a mad search to “build a team”, frantically interviewing people for “the job”. Our relationship evolved, originally starting with my talking with her about HER corporate career and its future. Knowing her design background, I, off-handedly asked her for ideas about what to do with “all these sunrise photos, taking up storage in my cell phone”. That casual “ask” has become, a decade later, a treasured relationship and collaboration of indelible trust and enduring respect. No plan could have crafted this one either. For me and for Tiffany, who has now moved on from the corporate world to develop Creative Tree Consulting, providing freelance design & marketing services to small businesses.
Who knew that first sunrise would be the start of a much bigger mission to propel positivity in the world? Growing the social media platform that would come from it has been so much harder than I could have ever imagined. I am NOT a tech person, but my cellphone camera experience taught me not to be daunted by my tremendous lack of technical prowess!!
There are people who LOVE this stuff! As long as they don’t frustratedly sigh too much or roll their eyes too many times, while trying to teach me about algorithms, I will forge ahead.
Being consistently committed to creating copy that offers weekly insights into a life of possibility, positivity and purpose has caused me to dig even deeper on those days when that towel was calling me to “just throw it in”. I have had to grow. That’s what a mission is all about…it won’t let you go, you just grow through it.
One sunrise. Has caused me to fill my life with ways I can bring something meaningful into the world. Some days it can feel like a little spit in a great big ocean. I go to bed exhausted after some long and frustrating days with self-imposed deadlines, technical glitches and an ongoing love/hate relationship with the twists and turns of the social media world.
But then, the sun rises.
Not a subscriber yet?
Click here to subscribe and begin receiving PositiveOnPurpose weekly columns & special messages
directly to your own inbox: