Four Sources of Support as You Prepare For a Big Leap

Photo by: Ambrose Chua

Photo by: Ambrose Chua

The clock is counting down, as my husband and I get ready to welcome our new baby girl into the world any day now!
 
As a result, you’ll be hearing from me somewhat less frequently in the next few months as I go off to on an intensive retreat to learn about becoming a parent (aka: maternity leave).
 
But not to worry, I won’t be disappearing entirely from your inbox! I’ve got some good stuff lined up for you while I’m away: New blogs and some past favorites that you may have missed.
 
These last few weeks, as I get closer to the Big Day – when labor begins and it's time to totally dive into this new life – there are two words increasingly on my mind:
 

Surrender                          

Trust


We all have moments like this in life. When we’ve accepted a big adventure and are preparing to step across the threshold. Because we were called to do this, because our integrity asks us to, because we love, or because we were inspired.
 
There’s no turning back now, and we won’t return without undergoing some transformational change.
 
It’s time to ride the waves.
 
I know that many of you out there are also poised on the threshold of your own big life adventures: maybe a sabbatical, a new job or business, marriage, retirement, a new personal or creative challenge, or (like me) parenthood!
 
As you prepare to move boldly forward, here are a few inspiring things that have supported me recently:


1. The Hero’s Journey, a concept by American mythologist Joseph Campbell


Early in my sabbatical year, I shared with a mentor of mine how I was struggling with the uncomfortable and sometimes isolating feelings that accompanied my decision to leave my career and life for a period of open-ended exploration.
 
She asked if I had ever heard of the Hero’s Journey, and suggested that I might find comfort in seeing that journeys like mine often follow a predictable pattern of stages – just as they do in humanity’s most beloved myths and stories (everything from The Odyssey to Star Wars).
 
She was right. It did help.
 
Later she sent me her personal notes on the Hero's Journey, highlighting these sentences for me: 
 
“You need to go on your 'Walkabout' and may not have the support of the community. But the world needs you to go, and the world needs you to come back and embrace your gifts.”

 
2. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy

Sometimes when we start out on a totally radically new path, we feel like imposters in risk of being exposed. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy talks about this feeling in her TED Talk, as well her discovery that you really can “fake it, until you make it.” Her book, Presence, is also great. 

 

3. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works -- A True Story by Dan Harris

Dan Harris, co-host of ABC’s Nightline news program, tells the story of how having a live, on-air panic attack (likely viewed by more than 5 million people) led him to begin investigating how he could begin to better manage stress and the raging inner critic inside his head. As a workaholic, highly skeptical former war correspondent, Harris didn’t expect to turn to the “woo-woo” self-help world for answers, or that he’d eventually embrace Buddhist teachings and a regular meditation practice.
 
As is befitting for a professional newscaster, Harris narrates his own audiobook, which I highly recommend. He’s funny, lively and speaks to the benefits of meditation and its underlying Buddhist principles with refreshing, down-to-earth candor.

 

4. Life on a Möbius Strip, a true story told by Janna Levin on The Moth

Astrophysicist Janna Levin shares the improbable intersection between her work and falling in love, suggesting how the Universe’s beautiful logic can be found in our most personal lives. This is one of my favorite Moth stories, at turns mysterious, wryly funny, and awe-inspiring.   
 
I hope you find something here that you can use in your weeks and journeys to come. As always, if you have something good to share with me, please do send it along!