“How can I possibly start over?” you ask as we stare at the waves tumbling towards us on the beach. “I’m older now. Who would hire me?”
“It’s better this way,” I whisper. “You know it wasn’t good the way it was.”
“Yes, I know that.”
“Do you remember being happy?” I ask.
“Yes, it was in the early days of my career. I felt filled with possibility. But my job became mostly drudgery and politics. None of that had anything to do with why I started.”
“Who were you back then?” I ask. “What did you want your career to look like?”
“I wanted to BE somebody – somebody smart and innovative who inspired people. Somebody who made a difference.”
“It didn’t turn out that way, did it? Why did you stay?”
“Money and benefits. I was raising a family and afraid to give up job security. Now I’m tired from all the drama. I don’t have the energy to start over. Yet I still have to make a living. I’m applying for jobs that I care nothing about and NOT getting interviews.”
“You signed up for this challenge. Don’t bail out now. You chose to be here in the midst of this economic crisis in order to be forced to remember your real mission; to raise the consciousness of the planet with your gifts and talents – through your work,” I remind you as we walk through the warm sand.
“It seems that everything is about money now,” you say with frustration in your voice. “Everyone is making choices because of money – not because of who they are inside or their mission.”
“We’re looking at this economic downturn exactly backwards,” I explain. “Right now we’re being called to do our great work – everyone of us. We need to focus on the new and enlightened ideas that inspire us. When we grab hold of those ideas and launch a business or create a technology or think in a new way to solve an old problem – money flows effortlessly.”
“So you’re saying I’m stuck in the past.”
“Your pattern of looking at career as simply a paycheck and benefits is an old paradigm that’s crumbling right now. It’s up for reinvention, thank goodness,” I laugh. “When we think in those old patterns about work and money, we buy into the scarcity mindset that’s paralyzing so many people. There’s still plenty of abundance on this planet. It’s required now that we work in more conscious, inspired ways to attract it. Does that make sense?”
“How would I do that?” you ask with softness coming back into your voice as you sit on the sand beside me.
“You take all the knowledge and experience you gained in your old career and wrap it all together in a different way – a way that’s in alignment with who you are -with your path and why you came here.”
“How?” you ask after a long pause – running your fingers through the white sand.
“Remember when we talked about your path being one of enlightened leadership – bringing new ideas to the world to solve our everyday problems?”
“That’s a far cry from what I’ve been doing for a paycheck.”
“That’s why it didn’t work out for you. You weren’t living up to your true potential – what you signed up to do.”
“But how does someone make a living and support a family doing THAT?”
“Our true work, the work we came here to do, always DOES support us financially. It’s the only real path to abundance and success. That’s the law of divine order.”
“If this is all governed by divine order, why is there such suffering and chaos?”
“It’s what we come to experience, to push through – like wading in mud. It provides the resistance required to help us find our strength and purpose, to remember who we are. In other words, it’s a great work-out for the soul.”
“You know, for years I’ve dreamt of using my engineering background to develop a new technology that would ….”
“Well that’s your intuition, your higher self, telling you that’s what you came here to do. You always knew that your perspective was different from others. That’s on purpose.”
“The funny thing is that in college I was part of a team who developed technology that enabled physically challenged people to work on computers. I used my engineering talent to create something inspired and meaningful. It’s like I knew back then. And then I fell off-path.”
“You chose survival instead of pursuing your dream. It’s the same choice nearly everyone makes. But there’s a shift now – an opening. What if you remembered your original intention? What if you could become the person you dreamt of being long ago?”
“How would I go about getting my idea going and making money from it?” you ask as we stand up and start walking towards home.
“Now you’re talking,” I laugh – brushing the sand from my clothes. “When we get back, we’ll make a list of action steps…”
If your career has recently ended, now is the time to think out of the box about what you’ve come here to do. In order to tap into the great abundance that still abounds on this planet, you must think new thoughts about your work.
Here are six ways to help you do that:
- What secret dreams have you stuffed away that you know are in alignment with who you are and what you’ve come here to do? Make a list of them.
- What needs do you see in the world that inspire you to take action, think out of the box, get creative, and use your gifts to make a difference?
- How can your answers to these questions be translated into a career plan? Write three ideas that pop into your head.
- What are three small, practical, baby steps you can take this week to move in this direction?
- Stop asking: “Who do I think I am to try to succeed at this new career?”
- Start asking: “Who do I think I am to ignore the great work I already signed up for? Who do I think I am to ignore the gifts and talents I brought with me? Who do I think I am to ignore the purpose of my life story?”
Schedule a Career Intuitive Session with Sue Frederick
My new book I See Your Soul Mate: An Intuitive’s Guide to Finding & Keeping Love (St. Martin’s Press) will be in bookstores in 2012.
Here are a few sneak previews…
How Our Dreams Can Heal Us
Many times when I’ve been in pain, a departed loved one has come into my dreams to heal me. Here’s my most powerful example:
I met my lifelong best girlfriend Crissie in second grade on the swing set of our Catholic elementary school playground. Her crazy brilliance and insane wit bonded us instantly. Our first conversation went something like this (although she was doing all the talking): “Don’t you think the word nunnery is weird, like a cannery? Why would a girl choose to be canned…er…nunned? Do you think nuns all come out the same from a nunnery like peas from a cannery? What if Shakespeare said, ‘Get thee to a cannery!’” As she talked, she cracked herself up, bending over in peals of giggles that had me laughing uncontrollably along with her. I realized I had found a true friend–someone who thought outside the box. I didn’t always understand her, but I loved her instantly.
Years later in seventh grade, the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. Crissie and I were the only ones in our Catholic elementary school to have our lives changed at that moment. We knew the Beatles meant more than wonderful music and that they were showing us a bigger, more exciting life that we both wanted. We promised each other that we’d get out of the south as soon as we graduated high school and fulfill our huge dreams. She never let me forget that promise.
Crissie’s brilliance put her at the top of every class and got her accepted into Georgetown University in 1969 as one of a small group of the first women ever accepted to that prestigious college in Washington, DC. When I told her I had been accepted into University of Missouri to study journalism she forever called it “University of Misery” and told me I should have “aimed for a coast.” (She was right! But I wasn’t as smart as she was, so I was grateful for the chance to attend University of Misery.)
Our friendship lasted long beyond my stint at “Misery” and hers at Georgetown. Her first true love had been a fellow student at Georgetown University named Paul Frederick whom she became engaged to. Two months before the big southern wedding her parents had happily planned, Paul Frederick dumped her. Crissie never truly got over it.
Later when I moved to Colorado and met a handsome mountaineer named Paul Frederick (not the same guy) I was immediately leery of him. Would he break my heart too? (Turns out he did.) Crissie was the first friend to come visit us and meet my new love whose name was the same as the man who broke her heart. She liked him instantly.
When my Paul Frederick was diagnosed with cancer, Crissie’s frequent phone calls helped me cope. With Crissie, every conversation was about exploring new ideas, asking tough questions and searching for the truth–all done in a gleefully witty way. I adored her. She asked me the toughest questions anyone ever did. And she made me laugh harder than anyone I knew. She always told me I was a gifted writer and should “just write dammit!”
Six months after Paul died, Crissie came to visit. She cheered me up and challenged me simultaneously. What was I doing with my life now? Was I moving forward? Was I writing? She prodded and poked as we drove to the mountains to ski. She seemed healthy, energetic, lonely as usual, but generally happy with her California graduate student lifestyle. (She was getting a PhD in botany).
On her flight back home to California, she noticed bruises appearing on her body. By the time she landed in San Francisco, she was covered in bruises and rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Her stunning leukemia diagnosis so soon after Paul’s death was overwhelming. After this devastating news, I suffered several anxiety attacks where my throat would tighten up and I couldn’t swallow or eat. I felt nauseated most of the time.
Crissie’s mother moved to California to take care of her and her father got her into the most advanced treatment of the time – a bone marrow transplant at Fred Hutchinson hospital in Seattle. Surrounded by friends and family she went through chemo and radiation treatments and nearly died during the torturous bone marrow transplant. I couldn’t understand why someone as bright, loving, and good as Crissie would have to go through such suffering–as horrible as Paul’s experience. In deep despair and grief, I sold my belongings and moved to Mexico to teach fitness at a resort. I needed healing and was dropping out of a world that made no sense anymore.
When Crissie was finally in remission, she moved back to California and resumed graduate school studies. But she was only 31 years old and had been through hell. She was in a deep spiritual crisis, wondering what the purpose of life was. I understood her pain.
We stayed in touch with letters and phone calls. She began getting her life going again and started to feel better. She yelled at me when I told her I was in love with a married (but separated) Mexican man named Emilio who ran the local dive shop. “Sue Ellen, you’ll only get your heart broken! You’re a writer so you can use it in something I guess…but really. Come back home and write dammit!” I couldn’t come home yet. My peaceful life of snorkeling and diving everyday with Emilio was a form of healing for me—even if I knew Emilio would never be my lifelong partner. I loved him anyway.
Crissie and I made a plan to see each other back on our childhood turf. Crissie flew to the Gulf Coast to visit her family at the same time I flew home to visit mine. Our dads both owned fishing boats and had beach houses. Crissie’s dad brought her over to the harbor near our beach house to spend time with us. My dad (who loved Crissie) took us fishing and boating. When we got bored with fishing, he dropped us off at a remote island to talk while he fished around the island.
Crissie and I walked and talked for hours along the sandy shore and crystal clear water of our tiny remote island. We talked about her ongoing struggle with leukemia, her bone marrow transplant, her feelings about death, my grief over Paul, my attempts to end my ill-fated relationship with Emilio, and her heartbreaking belief that she would never find a soul mate or have children. She felt alone and unlovable. “What’s the hardest part?” I asked her. “Disappointing my dad,” she said as tears flowed. “He wants me to live so badly…” I knew then that she was dying, no matter what the doctors said. I recognized the process of letting go that she was experiencing. It was the same conversation I’d had with Paul.
When my dad picked us up on the island, he took us back to the marina where Crissie’s dad waited on his fishing boat. As our dads laughed and joked with each other, Crissie and I hugged one last time. She couldn’t look me in the eye as she turned away and stepped onto her dad’s boat. As their boat moved out of the harbor, Crissie and I waved. When she was out of view, I broke down in uncontrollable sobs. My dad gently asked, “Why are you so sad? She looks great. She’s going to make it.” I turned to him crying and said, “Dad, this is the last time I’ll ever see her. I know it.” Crissie returned to her home in California. I returned to Mexico. Three months later she was dead.
The night of her death, before I knew she had died, Crissie came to me in my dreams. We spent the entire night laughing and giggling together (the way she and I always did). When I woke up, my stomach muscles were actually sore from laughing so hard. I’ve never before or since experienced such physical sensations after a dream as I did from that night with Crissie.
That morning as I was making coffee and about to call the states and check in with Crissie, I got the phone call telling me she had died during the night. I realized she had visited me in my dreams to let me know she was fine and to tell me that death wasn’t the end of anything.
But Crissie wasn’t done teaching me yet. A year later, I was finally back living in the states, heartbroken over Emilio, and trying to get my life and career on track. My grief over the loss of Crissie, Paul, and Emilio was weighing me down with sadness and depression.
One night, Crissie came to me in a dream and healed my heartbreak. In the dream, Crissie and I are standing on a white stone balcony overlooking an emerald green sea. It’s peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful and I feel so content standing beside her. We’re talking as we always did but not using words. She’s standing a bit behind me and to my left as we look out over the water. I notice that her physical body is shimmering and seems to be more like dappled light than a fully formed physical presence. The form that I know as Crissie is changing. Her hand is on my back, rubbing it in circles while she talks to me. We’re discussing my heartbreak over Emilio.
She pulls out several handwritten letters on many different pieces of stationary that Emilio had written to his estranged wife (who lived in another city during our relationship). In the letters Emilio is professing his undying love for his wife. Page after page contains stories of how well his diving business is going and how wonderful their life will be when he returns home to her. Crissie makes it clear to me that Emilio never really loved me and I have to let him go and move on. As she shows me these letters, my pain and grief from all of my losses wells up in my chest. While she rubs my back, a loud wailing cry escapes me; the sound soars across the emerald sea in front of us. It’s powerful, ancient, and deep–louder than any sound I’ve ever made. As this pain pours out of me and flows across the water, Crissie lovingly rubs my back and encourages me to let it all go.
When I’ve finished crying, Crissie slowly disappears beside me. I wake up still hearing the sound of my painful wailing and feeling Crissie’s hand on my back. I cry most of the morning. But as the days go by, I realize that my grief has subsided. Finally I’m able to begin a journey of reinvention and spiritual exploration that pushes me towards the work I do today.
It’s 2 a.m., and I’m sound asleep when suddenly there’s a strange and very large man standing right beside my bed – about a foot away. He’s wearing jeans, a dark t-shirt, and an unbuttoned flannel plaid shirt. He’s not trying to scare me; he’s just casually standing there looking at me – rather sweetly.
But he does scare me; It’s the middle of the night and I don’t know him. As all of this information processes through my sleepy brain, I’m already screaming “Who are you?” and struggling to sit up in bed. Now my husband, our two kids, the cat and the dog are all wide awake – yelling, “What’s wrong?” and making lots of commotion.
But I don’t notice them, because I’m still seeing this man beside the bed – quite clearly – even as I sit up, and even as my husband turns on the light. Only then does the stranger very slowly, lingeringly, cell by cell, vaporize in front of me. There’s a slight crackling sound as his form disappears before my eyes.
“It’s just a dream. Go back to sleep,” My husband, Gene, announces. But I can’t go back to sleep. I can’t believe he wasn’t a real flesh and blood person standing there.
“You didn’t see anybody standing by the bed?” I demand to know. But Gene is giggling – laughing at me. “Sue you need to be nicer to these spirits. You invite them to give you messages for clients, and when they get here you yell at them.” He’s laughing as he turns off the light and slides back down against his pillow – snoring peacefully within seconds.
I am wide awake and confused now – pacing in the bedroom, opening closet doors, checking hallways. Certainly this man was real flesh and blood, a burglar, are the doors locked? I saw him so clearly!
I never get back to sleep that night as I run this image through my mind over and over. I’m used to precognitive dreams, yes, and even seeing the quick flashes of spirits with their messages for loved ones. But this was something else… this was right out of Star Trek. This was a solid apparition complete in flesh and blood – and only inches from my face.
In the morning it’s back to being mom, making breakfast, driving the kids to school, and then a phone session with a new client from New Orleans named Elizabeth. Before the phone session, I meditate on her life and career path – which I pick up from the vibrations of the numbers in her birthday. I can see how powerful she is – a large and magnificent spirit here to do something great. I’m excited to work with her.
Later as we’re talking, I can tell she’s fallen “off-path” – not quite living up to the big work she came here to do. She’s running a business that’s frustrating her, and there are other disappointments weighing her down. Her voice sounds tired.
She tells me the story of losing her young daughter to a terminal disease 20 years earlier. “I lost my faith in life then,” she remembers. She tells me about meeting Jim, a man with a large spirit and generous heart who became her best friend, mentor, and business partner. Together they discussed the big questions of life: Why are we here? Where are we going when we die? Is there an after-life?
These discussions comforted Elizabeth because she wanted to know that her daughter’s spirit did indeed exist in an after-life – where she might find her again someday. Elizabeth and Jim make a promise to each other. Whichever of them dies first will return with a sign to show the other that there is indeed an after-life.
Tragically, Jim dies of a sudden heart-attack not long after they’ve made their promise to each other. Elizabeth waits and looks for a sign, but sees nothing. This saddens her deeply as she tries to live with the belief that there is no afterlife, no spirit life – just this seen “reality” that we exist in day-to-day. This weighs on her – causing depression. What purpose is there in this meaningless existence, she wonders?
While Elizabeth is telling me this story, I’m jumping off my chair saying, “Wait, wait… let me describe Jim to you.” I describe the man standing beside my bed who I can still see in great detail… down to his large belly and grey hair. I explain how kind and good he seemed – not trying to scare me – but putting tremendous effort into materializing before my eyes – so that I would not forget him, so that I would not go back to sleep, so that I would remember to tell Elizabeth when we talked in the morning. I can feel the great love he has for Elizabeth, and the energy he has poured into getting this message to her.
As I tell her this, I can hear she’s crying… “Really, do you believe that?” she asks me tearfully. “That was really Jim?” I can feel Jim beside me now urging me on. “Elizabeth, if I can tell you anything that I know is absolutely true – it’s that Jim desperately wants you to know there’s an afterlife, and the spirit world is real.” She is sobbing when we hang up.
Weeks later, through a strange series of events, I meet Elizabeth in person. She tells me how important the message from Jim was, and how it’s reopened her ideas of what life is about and why we’re here. “I’m getting back in touch with my spirituality,” she tells me.
I’m very relieved knowing that this powerful, beautiful woman, on an important journey in this lifetime, is back “on-path” – realigning her life and work to be more meaningful. I remember the dark years after my husband died when I was 29, and I fell “off-path” — not doing my true work or being my true self. I’m deeply grateful for the people who nudged me back “on path” to the work I came here to do.
The only question to ask yourself is: Do I believe in the unseen realms or not? That question will get you to the core of your own personal journey and what may be stopping you from doing your great work or living your best life.
If you embrace the knowledge that we are made of energy, and all of us are spirits on a chosen path to do our unique work in the world and raise the vibrations of the planet – you’re on your path.
If you can’t say that you believe that, reach out and ask for a little clarification, maybe a message from beyond. There are lots of “sensitive” people around, like me, who are more than willing to give up a good night’s sleep – to help you find your way back home.