All posts by Jean

My New Life

Heaven Shining Down, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches, ©2016 Jean McGuire

Have I ever mentioned that up until four years ago I was on the corporate treadmill? I spent all of my days working hard to make money for companies that I had no investment in other than the emotional investment. I spent years trudging on that treadmill, despite the fact that I was always exhausted and vaguely dissatisfied. For years I wasn’t actively unhappy, I just wasn’t fulfilled.

I tried to be positive and do the things that would reinforce that positivity I was striving for, but I always knew that I would still have to get up early and slog to work for at least five out of every seven days. Because I was raised with a rather rigid vision of what success looked like, I thought that this uninspired effort was what being an adult looked like.

After spending years ignoring nudges from the Universe that were trying to gently tell me it was time to leave that world, the Universe became more adamant. I dug in my heels and stayed in that job until it got to the point that on more than one occasion I woke up and burst into tears at the thought of walking in that building even one more day.  So, finally, I took a deep breath and I quit.

When I so bravely gave my notice, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do to support myself for the rest of my life. I was fortunate enough that I had a part-time job that offered to give me more hours so I could pay my bills while I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I spent the first few months meditating, teaching yoga, working a little, and focusing on what I loved. I made lists almost every day of what I loved. I let go of trying to twist those loves into a “job.” During this period of my life, the one thing I was sure of was that I never wanted a “job” again. I wanted to do things that made my heart sing.

It’s now been four years since I walked away from the life I had worked so hard to achieve. My home is more modest, my car is smaller, and my heart feels like it grows from happiness every day. In the four years that have passed, I can honestly say I spent maybe a grand total of five minutes worrying about whether or not I made the right decision. My heart and soul have known from the moment I walked away from my former life that I was walking towards my destiny.

I am an artist. I rent a studio in an art house filled with artists who are intimidatingly talented. I share my space with a good friend, and I am able to work in that incredible space any time I want. I get to show my work in galleries, studios, and businesses where it is seen by hundreds of people. Strangers are moved by my work and spend their hard-earned money to own a piece of my creativity.

I am a writer. I have written and posted almost two hundred blog posts in the last three and a half years. Strangers read my posts, comment on them, and pass them along. Because my followers are few, I have the freedom to write whatever is in my mind or my heart at any given time, and I don’t have to worry about the “what will people think?” voice in my head.

I am a yoga instructor. Six days a week I am able to work with people to improve their balance, strength, and flexibility. I have a real impact on how a person looks at their body and their life. I try to honor that by being as positive and encouraging as I can, no matter whether I’ve had a good day or a bad one.

I know that not everyone has the ability to walk away from their life the way I was able to. Every morning when I wake up, I give thanks for the life I get to live. I know that no matter what, no matter how my day goes, I’ll get to do something I love in the next 24 hours. On most days, I get to do multiple things I love. I am awed by how lucky I am to be living this life.

If you are reading this, then the odds are good that you are someone who has helped and encouraged me through this journey. I am so excited for all the even more wonderful things ahead. I know a few of the things that are in my future, and I have set my intentions for some other things in my future. Thank you so much for all you have contributed to my life. Next time we see each other, let’s raise a glass to the adventures ahead on this path we call life.