I’ve seen a few posts on Facebook about walking our walk in life. I know many life coaches, personal trainers, sales consultants etc. and we all work to help people improve their lives based on each person’s unique vision of what an ideal life looks like. In fact, one of my dear friends Life Coach Nancy Rizzo coaches people on the basic mantra of doing things that are “simple, comfortable, doable and YOUR way.” Another confidante, Dr. Elvira Aletta of Explore What’s Next highlights the famous quote from Anais Nin (“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom,”) on her website. I am in good company.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am (1) Optimistic (2) Resourceful and (3) I can’t think of #3. At any rate, despite being a financial planner, who is supposed to keep her mind on the money, I’m usually the person across the desk (or yoga mat) who encourages clients to quit their jobs if they’re stressed and unhappy, and then helps them find ways to manage their finances around that event. “There’s always a way,” is my motto, “You have to live the life you were born to live, ” and all that.
Well, it seems life has handed me a trump card: a trip to India.
I’ve wanted to go to India for a long time.
At least I thought I did.
I do, I do…
The initial invitation was met with great excitement, great possibility (at least on my end). My husband, not known for his risk taking, was not keen on the idea of his bride traveling to the other side of the planet. He supports my decision to go, though, so with that and a registration deadline thrust upon me, I sent in the initial deposit.
About 10 days later I woke up in the middle of the night (which I never do unless my cat is coughing up a hairball) (why is 2am such a popular time to wake up or cough up a hairball?) and had a panic attack. Full blown: hyperventilating, heart-racing, thoughts-racing, cold sweats, the whole shebang. The overriding fear? Being judged.
I am not a worrier (see 2nd paragraph); I leave that up to my beloved husband. So just the feeling of fear was rather new to me. What enabled me to calm down and get back to sleep included a series of prayers, chakra balancing exercises, breathing (although I didn’t actually get my breathing much slower that night), and positive self-talk.
But there it was: The dichotomy of me being a person who encourages others to live their miraculous, unique lives (and let the money get sorted out) bothered by the thought that others would not support me in MY living MY miraculous, unique life (not to mention spending the money).
I thought of friends who are facing unemployment and health insurance issues and wondered how they could possibly encourage me (but they do), I thought of family members who would question my judgment, I thought of how it was going to feel taking money out of our savings to pay for this trip, and wondered if I could somehow earn enough to cover it in this short a span of time (anything’s possible, there’s always a way).
It occurred to me that fear is not our natural state, and that’s why it feels awful. We are brave adventurers in this amazing life, and it feels good when we follow our hearts and passions and lead by example for others to do the same, especially when done in a spirit of love and respect for those in our lives and our duty to live the life granted to us.
Thankfully, I also have a friend and fellow financial planner in India, Partha Iyengar, who has even penned for me a three page document detailing all I need to know about traveling to his beloved country.