When Only Living Out of Your Heart Will Do

Back in May, I left my contract position at Foundations Family Counseling, where I did outpatient counseling and ran an internship program for counseling students. It was a great gig and a place I am grateful to be connected to. But it was time for me to step away from counseling and supervising for a few reasons. On the darker side, I just wasn't doing it as well as I wanted to. With my back pain and the ongoing fatigue and moodiness that comes with constant pain, I was distracted at best. On the brighter side, I walked away so that I would have more time and energy to pursue my dreams of writing on a professional level.

I was still leading one therapy group at a residential treatment center in the foothills, once a week. So, in the back of my mind, I had the safety net of being able to say "I am a therapist" when asked at cocktail parties (because, you know, we are big cocktail party people here in Colorado). Then, a few weeks ago, I got notice that they couldn't afford to pay me anymore, and my contract was not renewed. Something started shifting inside, right around this time. I have been working as a nanny since the winter and have been increasingly dissatisfied with it. The family is nice enough, it just wasn't for me. So, I started looking for new jobs. Knowing that I have made a commitment to take time away from counseling, I started looking for a new nanny job. Quickly, I realized that I wanted nothing to do with nannying. I was looking for these jobs out of a sense of fear - a fear that I don't have any other talents or abilities outside of counseling.

Herb was supportive in helping me realize that I needed to wait and come up with something that works a little better for me. So, I took his advice. Things are still being worked out, but it looks like I am going to focus on writing and taking care of my back (and the home). For work, I am planning on teaching some Creative Living Workshops at Vaun Swanson's new Pomegranate Place. The website is not up yet, but it is a women's center where people can go to take classes, workshops, and just find solace in the company of other women. She is renovating a century old mansion in the city as we speak and if all goes well, it will be up and running by the fall. This gives me the entire month of August (at least) to dream and scheme as I pull my ideas for classes together.

As a result of pulling the plug on my nanny job, I have seen what a difference it makes to the heart when you live out of obligation versus your passion. Once I gave my notice to the family I work for, my eyes and heart expanded. I started paying attention to my life again. I came off of auto-pilot and started living the things that are important to me. I have been writing several times a week, working out and cooking healthier meals (and losing weight!), and taking better care of our home. What I am learning from all of this is the importance of doing things that bring us life and give us the chance to pour life out to other people. More than that, I am learning that when we do things that we don't like and don't fit into our value system, it matters.


Blogger Kara said...

This brightened my day, Cara. I'm so happy for you and wish you the best! :)

12:13 PM, July 30, 2009  
Blogger RachelDenbow said...

I liked that last part the best. Something to carry with me this week.

'when we do things that we don't like and don't fit into our value system, it matters.'

I'm really thrilled that you are pursuing a direction or maybe shedding the constraints of previous directions in a way that makes you feel more alive and honest to yourself. It's really encouraging and we are excited with you!

And I'm really happy with you two about Herb getting happy news! Every time I see the word 'herb' on a book title or in a sentence I can't help but think about you guys!

8:44 AM, August 02, 2009  

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