Day 5 of freedom from corporate life. I don’t have a laptop or an electronic calendar yet, so I feel like my right arm is missing. (Or maybe the other arm because I’m left-handed.) I’ve taken to carrying around a small monthly planner since I double booked myself with my grown kid and a women entrepreneurs lunch. Oops. I never did things like that before.  Yesterday, I wandered out to the garden to water my glorious pots when I noticed that one of them was struggling. So I transplanted it, which led to making another new one, which led to … Well, you get the picture. I didn’t need to rush or wonder what time it was, so I was lost in the moment. Not a common experience for Ms. driven. My husband asked if I wanted to go for a walk, so I did. My dear soul sister Cathy Ann called to see if I wanted to quaff wine. So I did. It’s so strange to just go. There is no either/or. If I do this now (walk or meet a friend), I can’t accomplish the 42 things I have planned. There is no plan. Time is of no consequence.

i am working with a coach from Seattle who specializes in helping women who are leaving high-powered jobs and want to intentionally create a new life that doesn’t mirror the hectic pace of the one they’re leaving. Her name is Susan MacCaul Siegmund, and I highly recommend her.

During a two-day retreat with her, I shared that I wanted to work on things that feed my soul. She then documented everything I was interested in pursuing with my new business, boards and volunteering. We also discussed what else I wanted to create in my life beyond work. (What a concept!) Perhaps predictably, we ended up with a dizzying array of options. Susan then asked about each one. At one point, I said, “Well, I could do that.” 

“No doubt,” she replied, “but the curse of competence is that you can do a wide range of things. Do you want to do what feeds your soul or just anything you can do?”

Oh. Let me think about that. (The hallmark of a great coach is great questions that stop you in your tracks and make you think.)

“I only want to do what stirs my soul.” The words were a throwing down of a gauntlet, a proclamation.

I just received a request to be interviewed for a consulting gig that would consume about 2 weeks of time per month. I looked at it seriously because it would be interesting and lucrative. My husband asked if it would stir my soul and allow me the freedom I craved before I left my executive job. The answer was a clear no. So I said no to the headhunter. It felt extremely odd and liberating. 

To honour my intention and not run after new, bright, shiny objects is utterly foreign to me. But I like it.