I’m sharing this deeply personal experience that I call my “Titanic moment” as a reminder of what can happen when you ignore your inner guidance (or “~ing”). May my story serve you to get back on track if you’ve strayed.
What you need to know about me first
I fell in love with Canada a few years ago and decided to follow my heart there, leaving my life in Spain as I knew it. I cashed in major sunshine for the rich rainforests of Vancouver. You see, we often outgrow the place where we were born. Then we find another place we consciously choose to call home because we connect so deeply with it, so we uproot and relocate. And that place, for me, is Vancouver.
I also didn’t finish school (that’s another story). I built my career through hands-on training and dedication to help people put their businesses online. No client has ever asked me to show them a piece of paper to prove I can do what I do. I just do it. And people like it. And they benefit from it. Refer, repeat, thank you. So I never took time out to get a piece of paper to prove that I was qualified – because I already am by experience, right?
What I forgot while I was building and marketing websites for other people was to honour my personal desire to write books. I told myself I was being creative because I developed their sites, but I was pushing off the real expression of my personal creativity. In the back of my mind I also heard my dad’s words, “Get a good career that pays the bills, and then you can be a writer…” so I did, because that’s what seemed best at the time.
A fateful decision
Fours years ago today I submitted my work permit application in Canada, because of my wholehearted commitment to be a fully participating member of the community.
I was coming down the escalator at YVR, with the waterfall behind me and my heart full of anticipation. I could see the Visitors line up ahead, and the Visa Applications to my right.
I could have walked in as a regular visitor, and spent a little time figuring out some of the details that my gut was telling me needed attention…
Instead, I listened to the voice in my head that said, “But you told everyone that you were going to do this… so you better do it. And you have a great job offer, you’ll be fine.”
Since I was determined to live up to my word, and admittedly felt massive fear of rejection that overpowered my discernment, I went against my gut feeling.
And of course, since Universal Law has proven that you get what you focus on…
My application was politely turned down due to my “lack of education” (where’s the tick box for “worldly education,” “lifetime experience” and honest-to-goodness “I have a lot to give, just let me show you”?). Mixed with employment concerns in the local market, you might say the odds were not in my favour at the time.
Please note, I am not knocking the system, but I’ve learned to appreciate that the entire global process needs to look at people more closely… like in-their-souls closely. Can we make it happen please?
That sinking feeling
Suddenly, I didn’t fit in on paper, although I was given some time to sort it out.
Still, the initial rejection hit me hard – my confidence, my sense of worth, my decision-making abilities, and my self-trust all felt it. Emotionally, I had hit the iceberg and my ship was about to take on water fast… If I couldn’t stay here, then where would I go? I left my hometown because I had outgrown it, and Vancouver was the only place I wanted to be.
I did everything I could to stay afloat, to carry on as usual while I figured things out. Even though I asked friends for help and guidance (which they lovingly provided) I felt very lonely. In this hazy race against time I made decisions based more on fear than anything else. Much as there were some beautiful moments, it was also the toughest and heaviest time of my life. I felt like a bird that’s stopped singing.
After my ship hit the sea bed, I ended up moving to Los Angeles, which helped me unravel, sit with my raw emotions, take deep subconscious diving excursions to blow limiting beliefs out of the water, find healing in the sunshine and anonymity of a new place… and build myself up again. I gave myself the space to reconnect with my forgotten dreams, and to embrace my personal creativity with renewed passion. “Progress” was about to take on a whole new meaning for me.
What I learned from this experience, and you can too
I personally had not been rejected by the system. Much as it hurt when it happened, I came to realise that Life/Universe/________ was telling me – very loudly – that it was time to take radical responsibility for my desires and get on with what I really want to do in life.
I have stories to tell, imbued with real life experience that I can share for others to heal, laugh, find inspiration and honour their truth as well. So for starters I poured my heart and soul into making my first book happen. I got the message, Universe. Thanks.
What we do in life need not be a linear process. We can integrate our passions and make a living that fills our hearts and our bank accounts if we so choose to receive. Start busting some of your own outdated paradigms.
Fine tuning our intuition is in high order for all of us, so we can be of better service to others… because we’re all in this together.
Saturn Return – I didn’t realise I was going through it until I was in the thick of it, and I felt like the player at the bottom of a rugby scrawl with everyone else piled over me, with no room to breathe.
Be kind to yourself especially in turbulent times. They will come to pass and you will have a stronger, clearer relationship with your identity as a result.
Sometimes we need to strip it all down so we can get a clear reminder of who we are at the core, and breathe new life into our existence.
Forgiveness of self opens new doors to healing – I had to stop playing the old stories in my mind and start forgiving myself for some of the choices I had made, so I could fully embrace a new way of being.
Live where I may live, Vancouver is my home.
I’m feeling this life-altering experience of four years ago the strongest today – knots in my stomach and all – because it took me this much, and planting the seed of pure intention with my book, to bring the last remnants of those emotions to the surface for me to clear. I am grateful for the laser awareness I have now.
The icing on the cake
You don’t need to go through Titanic moments to “wake up”, but if you do experience them… please remember you’re not alone. Ever. The reasons why may not always seem clear at the time, but Life really has your back and your best interests at heart.
And it’s full of beautiful surprises ready to bloom along the way.