Why am I telling you this? If one person reading this is inspired to do something, then I will be ecstatic, I hope that I inspire you to go for it (whatever your 'it' might be)- not to quit your job of course, but to do that thing that is niggling you to do, it might be to buy a book you've always wanted to read, or start a that course, or a pick up a new hobby that has always interested you, it doesn't have to be something drastic or edgy, but if you make a small change now, it could be life changing, it's never too late and you're never too old.
Ok, let's go back in time to start, what were my career dreams...
I have a letter to myself in my Mum's loft, I wrote at the age of 15, to myself at the age of 30. I remember writing that I wanted be a business women or a lawyer, living in a smart pent house in New York City. I would have MY OWN business, be my own BOSS, and I would be rich and I would have FREEDOM!
At a young age, I knew that I wanted to be my own boss, more importantly, I had a bee in my bonnet, that I didn't want a man telling me what to do (I remember saying this to my friend at school). I was always what people may call bossy, which I hate, as there is no such thing, I was just independent and knew how I liked things to be done. I knew that wanted to make my own rules, and be the one who leads the way, I never mentioned having a team of staff though, I was always just dreaming of being a one women band. At school I was always a voice for female rights, I remember protesting at dinner time, because I was annoyed that the boys took up the whole playground to play football, and the girls were forced to the side lines, I stood in the goal, and got the ball kicked at me, but I like to think I made my point. This was my true self, these were my true beliefs and they been lost along the way, packed in a box, as to speak my mind in such a way in a work place environment would not be ok!
So what happened?...
I took Business Studies and Law as an A-Level, so at 16 I still had the dream of being a business women in NYC, then somewhere along the line between 16-18 something changed. I have no idea why I chose to be an English teacher, from my inner work I learning about myself (see previous blog) I think this comes from conditioning, being conditioning to take safe job, being conditioned to follow the path of school-college-university-job for life, what I do know is I have always had a desire to help others.
I also grew up in an area which is very safe, I know people who work in the school that they went to, or just live around the corner from where they grew up, and this is perfectly fine, as we are conditioned to think that this is what we SHOULD be doing, not what we COULD be doing, I always planned to move to a bigger and better city.
I got lost in the what I SHOULD be doing, no one else around me ever spoke about leaving our home town, but here I was saying I was going to live in NYC, so I put it in the dream drawer, and went to study English at University, never to be spoken of again-until now.
What I am doing now and why...
When I started to practice yoga 4 years ago, it was just a class a week at first, which slowly increased, and I started to have an interest into the philosophy of yoga. Unintentionally, I started to live a (not perfect) yogi lifestyle, which has progressed into something more intentional over time.
In 2020, I was struggling with anxiety, and my day job played a HUGE part in that, but yoga outside of school was helping me to get through it. All the reading, meditation and inner work I was doing was keeping me on track, over time I have come up with strategies to help me become more at peace and more mindful, and as a bonus, I became more physically fit and more flexible.
What I was also getting the desire for was growth, I wanted to work with other people who were feeling the same as I did, and share with them that IT'S NORMAL, not to feel happy everyday, and how yoga and other mindfulness strategies could help with this, and I couldn't do that while a school teacher.
As a result of this I started to feel that teaching in a school did not align with me any more, and it was Christmas 2020 I decided I was done. I wrote down in my goals for 2021 that by the end of the year I would have handed in my notice- and I did.
My whole perception of life is changing, and the way I was looking at the world is changing, I am more aware of my thoughts and beliefs and the way in which I want to be treated, and I how I treat other people, I am becoming more spiritual, and awakened to other ways of living, so working in a big corporate school, just doesn't align with me anymore.
I've started to look more closely at mental health, and how to look after your mind more, and again, this is very hard to do in a place where it is hard to have your own thoughts. I have released that the world of endless data trials, and paperwork is not me anymore, I see past the importance of this, and have found importance in other areas, such as looking after your mind and body, and the importance of a mind and body connection, these are lost in a corporate setting, and are hard to suggest that we share in sucha corporate setting-I have tried.
Physically, I struggled for a long time with back issues, but also noticed at the weekend these issues were better, it was being tense and on edge at work which was causing these issues, once I started to pay more attention to my thoughts, my back ached less. Once I let go of all the worry about the expectations of me in school, my body aches stopped.
To summerise, I feel lost in education, I feel held back, and hushed. I know have so much to offer, but at times education is not the kind of environment that allows you to shine, unless you want to jump through hoops, set by someone else to jump through, and these hoops suddenly move, and they're sometimes on fire.
I have now started to train as a Women's Heath Coach, I was drawn to this as I wanted another channel to be able to offer the whole package to other women, to help them to get through difficult times, or just to get them through the week, to show them that there is more to life than what we are conditioned to do. I have passed my first two modules, and on psychology and mental health, and I am raring to go. I am now on the Ayurvedic Medicine module, and every day I am excited to get a bit of me time to sit down and study.
And it is all up to ME how I do this, I will be my own BOSS, not answering to anyone else, setting MY OWN deadlines, not living by someone else's rules, not being told what to do in such a masculine environment, I will have the FREEDOM I have dreamt of since I was 15.
Finally, after 15 years, I am becoming that business women I dreamt of when I was 15, I am not living in NYC (yet, this is on my list for a month in 2023) but I am living in another amazing city. I will have freedom to act as I see fit, and won't be told what to do or say by other people.
Yes, it might seem like a scary thing to do, but what scares me more is not taking a leap. I am so grateful for the skills I have picked up in teaching, I can talk to large groups, I was able to whip up my own website, I have people skills, the list is endless, and I will use all of these skill sin my new business venture.
Over to you...
You don't need to quit your job to get this feeling of FREEDOM, sit down and think about that one thing you want to do FOR YOU! If you love your job, that is amazing, maybe it might be a promotion you want to ask for, or a project you would like to do.
Think about what aligns with you, or something that lights you up, it might be a course or a hobby, you need to take the leap and make the change, if I can do it so can you.
Ally McDonald-Bull; Wellness Coach
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