By Rachel O’Rourke
Have you ever felt restless? Like something in your life needs to change…but you aren’t sure exactly what that could be? This has happened to me a lot in my life.
On smaller scales such as: realizing that the change I was searching for was something as simple as getting a new office chair, a change of hairstyle, or launching something new in my business. Or on a much bigger scale such as: Firing a big client, moving out of state, leaving the corporate world, ending my marriage, and most recently…making a decision that just a month prior…I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS thought I would make.
In June of 2020 I was feeling extra restless. Not just because the world was locked down by COVID, but because a month earlier I had found out that my company, SPARK Personal Growth Experiences, was forced to change its name. Another company called “spark xzy” had emailed me a cease and desist, stating that I was infringing on their trademark. I truly didn’t believe it was possible since there are dozens of companies with similar names and we were in different industries. However, after hiring an attorney I found that it would be in my best interest to do a complete rebrand. My mind was muddy with ideas. After weeks and several brain dumps into my journal…nothing. Not one single potential name that represented what this company and community is like was as good as the single syllable word – SPARK.
It was around this time that I began to daydream of the desert. I could see the red rocks in my mind and I could almost feel the hot breeze on my skin. It was calling to me. After a few days of feeling a strange pull for adventure, I decided to listen. I packed up my SUV, said goodbye to my family, and hit the road on my own with no solid plan in sight other than to head toward Sedona, Arizona. I knew from experience that getting out of my environment sparked my creativity, and I truly hoped the new name for my company would implant in my brain somewhere along my journey. I ended up travelling for 7 days, hiking, swimming, driving, and sleeping through 8 different states. It was an incredibly freeing experience, being out with nature, alone with my unfiltered thoughts, and disconnected from the business of my daily activities. Connected to myself more than ever, I realized that this journey of mine was less about finding a new name for SPARK, and more about finding a way back to myself. Somewhere under the sky in Colorado during a thunderstorm, I brought out my journal and asked myself these two questions: “What do I want more of in my life?” & “What do I want less of in my life?” The answer to the second question was this: I want to feel less busy. Despite having felt pride for years about how much I could juggle (and I was really good at managing a lot of things) these days that busy badge of “honor” left me feeling exhausted and drained. To the question “What do I want more of?” That was easy. Deeper connections. Because I have been so busy…my relationships were more “quantity” than “quality”. I wanted to go deeper.
I didn’t know what the answers to these questions meant at first, but I asked GUS (God, Universe, Spirit) to show me a sign along my journey. A couple of days later, while hiking one of the energy vortexes in Sedona, I got my first glimpse. I had just reached the top of Cathedral rock. My eyes were closed, my toes were resting on the red dust, and a buzzing energy was running through my entire body. It was day 5 of my journey and felt like I had finally wandered back to who I am. I could hear my inner voice with such pristine clarity. I wished everyone could feel like this. I thought of all the messages I had received from women since I left. Most were a variation of “I have always wanted to do something like this, but I’ve never had the courage.” My inner voice whispered “Take them.”
The next day I got a text from one of my clients. “I don’t want to interrupt your trip, but I just had to let you know….” As she shared her excitement of achieving a goal we had been working on together, I was reminded of how much I love working with women 1:1. I had been on-and-off coaching for the last 5 years, but never more than 1-2 women at once. SPARK had been my main focus for so long and took up most of my available time. I heard the whisper again “Teach them.”
As I began my drive toward home, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I wanted to with my coaching practice. It was so clear to me that this was a source of the deep connection I had been craving. I began daydreaming of what that would look like. I could see that my hypnotherapist, Mary Lou, would be involved somehow. I also knew that I wanted to get women out of their routines, out of their heads, and even out of their homes. I wanted to work with women who craved adventure and were willing to make big changes. The more I thought about what I wanted, the more excited I got of the possibility.
Then I was reminded of what I DON’T want. The busy. The overwhelm. Doing all of this on top of running SPARK was impossible. I’d be even more busy and not less.
The answer was right there, and when the thought crossed my mind…it took my breath away. Everything that I wanted had nothing to do with SPARK.
My mind raced. I had spent the last 4+ years building up this organization. It was thriving. It was in its prime. People relied on me. Not only my employees, but the nearly 200 community members. What about the big visions I have had for so many years? I had dreamed of SPARK being where it’s at…no sane person would walk away from this. What would people think?
Yet, I knew the answer. It doesn’t matter what the external “evidence” is. The only thing I needed to pay attention to was the internal. My inner knowing.
We humans can spend so much time and energy climbing a mountain toward our goals – and it feels SO good when we reach the top! But as time goes on, we don’t often stop to look around and ask ourselves….”Do I still like the view from here?” “Is this still making me happy?” If the answer is NO…the next question is “What feels good to me now?” The answer can take time, as it’s not always the one we necessarily want to find. It often means climbing another mountain or starting a new long journey, and that can feel terrifying. Our fork in the road is whether or not we trust our inner voice and have the courage to start the journey again. I have found that we can put the decision off…but life will remind us…and often through a series of negative experiences, stress, anxiety, and with a lot more force and a lot less flow. I know this from experience.
When I left my marriage I had second guessed my inner knowing for years before taking the leap of leaving.
Walking away from my corporate job took months.
Moving out of state? Weeks.
Firing a big client? Days.
Walking away from my dream company that was thriving? Minutes.
I handed over the structure of SPARK to one of my employees and created my own unique coaching experience that I appropriately call “Wanderback Women”. It’s infused with deep connection and adventure. As you can see, I’ve gotten a lot better at trusting my inner guide. My gut feeling. My inner knowing. Just like anything, it gets easier with practice. For me, “flow” has been found in my life in this process of trusting and leaping. Rinsing and Repeating.
I want you to think about your business for a moment. Think about your LIFE. Are you THRILLED about the view from where you’re at? Do you feel the way you want to feel? Is this as good as it gets? If the answer is anything less than a resounding YES! Ask yourself this:
Do I have the courage to begin imagining something different?
Am I willing to make big changes in my life and business to get there?
Am I brave enough to follow the new path in front of me, even if it only makes sense to me?
I hope the answer is yes.