I´m a person who loves to set goals. I love to work towards a greater vision and to know when I´ve reached my goals and give myself a pat on the back or a nice reward when I get there. In most part of my life, I´ve felt as if the road has been quite clear. I knew I wanted to work with dance, I knew I wanted to make music, I knew I wanted to be a project manager and work with cultural projects. And to work hard towards those goals was a natural thing to me.
A couple of years ago, after my burnout, this feeling changed. I started to feel stressed just thinking about my goals. Like my world got smaller, not bigger when thinking about them. They didn´t feel as exciting as they used to be. They didn´t get me as motivated as they used to. I felt very frustrated and sad. As if I´ve lost my direction and drive. Actually, setting goals at this point made me feel even more stuck and tired.
During this time I went to treatment for my back pain and the therapist gave me a good tip.
To go towards what feels light and joyful, no matter if it makes sense to me or not. To live more from my heart and my intuition here and now. To be okay with not knowing. To think more about the next step then the big goals.
This was the start of a process that is still going on in my life. To question the way I make decisions and practice listening to my inner voice. So I started asking myself questions before making bigger decisions. And instead of asking questions about whether it was practical, useful or made me look good in other peoples eyes, I started asking:
Do I feel lighter or heavier when I think about doing this?
Do I feel joyful or does it feel tight or tense?
Is my body saying yes or no?
Do I think it´s fun?
This time my inner voice didn´t guide me towards work goals at all. When I thought about what felt light and what gave me joy the answers were: read books, travel, take walks, do slow yoga, sit at a café reading a magazine, go swimming and so on. When I thought about work goals I just felt a tight knot in my stomach.
It took a little while to accept that at this time my most important goals wouldn´t be about work and that for the first time in my life I didn´t feel a strong direction in my career. I didn´t feel pulled to do anything special when it came to working. Learning to accept this was hard and a bit scary. What if I would never know or feel true motivation again? I´m a person who loves to work, loves to have a lot of different projects and what if I now would just become all lazy and never feel like doing anything productive or creative again.
In this period in my life, the thought of exploring mindfulness and meditation came to me. Maybe that would at least give me a little bit of clarity. I used to meditate a lot in my twenties but hadn't been doing that for a while. First I didn´t take much notice, but then I thought that maybe this was the thing. Maybe this soft voice was actually my intuition talking to me.
So out of curiosity, I popped a question in the Facebook group "What do you need help with today, Buddy", a group to ask and get support in many different questions. I asked for books, courses, and education in mindfulness and one of the tips was about Mindfulnessgruppen in Stockholm. I went there for a class to try and something inside of me said yes.
There was something light and open to the feeling so I decided to take one more step in that direction. So one class became an 8-week course, an 8-week course became a teacher training program and that teacher training program made me start Mindful Mojo, which now is growing into a business and course programs. Which also feels to come very natural to me. I realized I´ve missed having groups and work with them like I´d done in my dance classes, I´d missed teaching and coaching and the teacher training brought me back.
So the funny thing is that not setting work goals led me to a whole new career path.
Pretty amazing, huh?