I was surrounded by all the people I loved in the world, my family, my friends, ex-work colleagues – literally everyone I care about and I was having this overwhelming feeling of “I don’t belong”.
It was January 2006 and I was about to head off for nine months for an ‘adult gap year’ or ‘mid-life awakening’ whatever you want to call it. I’d quit my job, put my house up for rent and I was heading off to travel to Thailand, Australia and New Zealand on my own and it felt right.
But at the party I was having the strangest feelings, I could see work colleagues chatting with my partying buddies, my parents and extended family chatting to my best friends and theatre going buddies and it was wonderful to see all the people I love hanging out together.
If I’m being honest in hindsight it was like looking at my own wake, everyone there to ‘see me off’ so to speak. But in the midst of all of this, I felt totally disconnected, I was been pulled away and drawn to something else, and I knew right then that my world would never be the same again.
The following day I got on a plane to Thailand to start my adventure, not scared of being on my own, but with a knowing that I was meant to do this.
What I didn’t know at that time was I was learning how to listen to my intuition. That knowing, that feeling, that inner voice. The inner voice I had successfully managed to ignore for the previous 40 years!
What I also had not realised was the previous year I had gone back to painting after 20 years, and so had unlocked that creative side of me, the intuitive part of me and it was not going to be stuffed back down.
I’d started painting classes to learn about different techniques and had discovered mandalas. A circular repetitive form which for me was like a creative meditation.
As I painted I was unconsciously pouring into it all the things I wanted to bring into my life – travel, adventure, discovering new things, a new way of being, new cultures and a wide range of people.
And then it happened – after an argument with my boss I quit on the spot, a week later I had my tickets, my house was up for rent and in 2 months I was heading off.
The rest is another story.
But why am I telling you all of this? … I wonder do you have that small voice inside? Do you feel sometimes that you don’t fit in your family, your job or even your own skin? Are you ignoring that niggling doubt that this is not what you were meant to be doing? Or this is not who you thought you would become?
The thing is, the more you ignore it, the more damage you do to yourself and the more likely you are to set yourself up for long-term regret in later life. So if you need help to hear the voice, to make sense of it, to let it speak – then play, create and allow it to speak to you. Then put in place ways to manifest your dreams and watch them flourish before your eyes.