Are you finding yourself at a crossroads, in your life or work?
Today’s note is for you – a few loving reminders from me.
- You’re in good company. Every time I’ve been at a crossroads, I’ve felt alone. It has seemed like everyone else knows exactly what they are doing – everyone except me. But of course, that’s not the truth. In fact, every week I talk with women who say: “I’m finding myself at a crossroads moment.” Often, it is one that they didn’t see coming – a door closed abruptly, a plan didn’t work out, or sooner than they expected, their feelings about a path they’ve been on changed. It is obvious but we forget: Every lifetime includes crossroads moments. You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with being at one. (And I’m with you! I’m at a couple different crossroads these days – exploring directions for my next creative project, and also considering very different options for our kids’ education that will affect our family life for years to come.)
- Acceptance and agency – both are needed. Crossroads times require a delicate mix of waiting and action, of both being receptive to what unfolds and being proactive about dreaming, intending, and experimenting. They also require a mix of acceptance and agency around our feelings and thought patterns. Whatever feelings arise for you during this time are valid and deserve to be met with acceptance and love. That includes the fear, the desire to control, the discomfort. But we don’t need to stop merely with acceptance. We also have agency. We can set an intention about how we want to experience this time – and seeing it as an adventure, a rebirth – is one possibility. We can open to the story that this is going to be wonderful, that everything is an opportunity for our higher purpose to become clearer to us, for spirit to speak in our lives.
- There are more than two roads. The true definition of a “crossroads” is that place where two roads meet. But I don’t think that’s such a helpful image, because it reinforces the narrative that we are being forced to make a binary choice between roads that someone else has designed and paved. That is never the truth in life. There is always some level of room for us to carve out new paths, or at least traverse the existing ones in ways that no one has traversed them before. I’d say there are always more than two roads. If you right now brainstorm five more paths than you’ve thought of before, what shows up?
- What matters most is what part of yourself you’re listening to. It’s easy to fixate on the question of which road to take. But a more generative question is about your thoughts about the possible paths: “What part of myself is speaking here? Is that the voice of fear? Of self-doubt? Or is that coming from my inner wisdom? My aspirations? My values?” (For help discerning which voice is which, grab a journaling worksheet here.)
Want more support navigating a crossroads? Download the Playing Big: Navigating a Crossroads journaling worksheet here.
Sending you love & friendship in this crossroads time.
photo by Mike Erksine