One of my favorite songs is Life Uncommon by Jewel. When I hear that song it makes me think of those who make brave, heartfelt choices, often far from mainstream thinking, that carry incalculable risks and the possibility of dire consequences. Yet, these souls persevere as if on some level they had no choice but to follow their uncommon fate and destiny.
I am often struck by how one decision can take one’s life in a completely different direction and trajectory. And, I am humbled by the importance of making all our decisions with our highest wisdom and clarity.
I have been thinking a lot about the power of our choices and decisions the past few weeks as I have watched some current movies such as Joy, The Danish Girl and Brooklyn. If you have seen these movies, you know what I mean.
The characters in these movies made life altering choices that took grit and determination. In Brooklyn we see a young woman immigrate alone from Ireland to America in the 1950’s to seek out greater opportunity, while in Joy, the main character took on huge debt and corrupt business forces to seek a financial way out of her family legacy of pain and dysfunction, and in The Danish Girl, the main character actually lost her life after becoming the first transgender male to undergo a sex change operation in the 1920’s.
The main characters in Joy and The Danish Girl were based on real people. One triumphed with the gutsy choices she made and the other ultimately lost her life. What does it take to make those kinds of choices? What compels someone to stretch to such a degree as to create magnificent success while another makes a bold choice in which they ultimately lose their life?
In both cases, I see these choices as extreme acts of courage and bravery. On some level, the choices these individuals made seemed as if they were trying to achieve something that felt unnegotiable to their souls. This is the making of an uncommon life lived by so few.
While most of us are not being called to such dramatic fates, perhaps we need to look more closely at the choices we are making. Where are you holding back? What inner voice are you avoiding, ignoring and not wanting to listen to? How much longer can you resist your inner promptings and what will be the outcome if you do?
Here are three brief tips to get you thinking about the life you are choosing. Do you want an uncommon life or an unconscious life? Only you can decide.
- Listen to your inklings, inner voice and inspiration
We all have an inner voice that is guiding us at all times. Most of us are socialized at quite a young age to ignore this voice. What would it be like if we were all taught to meditate when we were young and to follow our inner wisdom? It’s never too late. Start now to listen more deeply. Ask for guidance and listen to what comes back to you.
When you get that inkling or inspiration, have the courage to follow it and see what happens. Respect these messages as if they were implicit instructions from your soul on how to maximize your destiny and live an uncommon life; a life that is more alive and conscious, based on love, as opposed to fear.
- Beware of What You Share with Others…
In all of the movies mentioned above, and in my own experience, the people closest to you will often try and talk you out of making a gutsy, risky choice. I bet you have been there before. I recently moved across country and closed my flourishing private practice in Providence, RI. While most friends and family supported my decision, some pulled me aside and asked me if I truly knew what I was doing. Did I understand the risks and potential difficulties ahead?
When we share our soul-based, often irrational-sounding decisions with others, be prepared to get backlash. I caution you to share these kinds of decisions with only your few closest confidants until you are firm in your footing and unwavering in your commitment.
- Be Prepared to be Tested and Challenged
In the movies mentioned above, all of the respective characters met with unexpected challenges, obstacles and various dangers. In two of the situations the main characters went on to achieve success and happiness, while the other lost her life.
I often say to clients on the precipice of a major decision, there are no guarantees in life. We all wish we had the roadmap ahead of time that would tell us the best way to go and whether we will reach our destination safe and sound. It simply doesn’t work that way. From what I have seen, we are guided to take one step at a time and to trust that the next step will become clear in due time. This is how I am currently living my own life. Is it easy? No. Is a “safe” life of predictable boredom and underachieving easy? No. Take your choice.
We all must learn to navigate change with grit, determination, faith and positive expectation. The world is not going to slow down and become any easier. It is up to each of us to develop the skills and stamina to take our own destiny in our hands, make the inspired choices and walk forward in faith.
If you are one of the few who desires to live an uncommon life and are in need of support, please check out my coaching services and program Navigating Change. I would be happy to help you on your journey to living your best life possible.
“Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a life uncommon
Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
There is a new army coming and we are armed with faith…”