Gage Christine Bock, MA, ACC, CPCC
Once upon a time, I thought that changing my life was an “outside in” process: change the outer situation, and my inner experience will change.
I went through my life thinking that if I could just LOSE THIS WEIGHT, leave THAT JOB, find THE RIGHT GUY, or make MORE MONEY, then I’d find the peace and inner happiness I was seeking at long last.
Oh yes – and I also believed that I needed to be critical and hold myself to extremely high standards of perfection if ever wanted to change (oh how wrong I was).
One day in 2005 (while I was working at a particularly boring job) I had this dream:
I am sitting at my desk in the law office. As I look around, I notice that the entire office is gray. Every single thing - desks, chairs, phones, computers - all are washed in a dull, drab gray color. Every single thing, that is, except MY desk, which is awash in bright, rainbow color.
Crazy as it may sound, I took this dream very seriously. I took it as my psyche’s way of telling me that this job was not MY place, not where I was going to bloom. I took it as my signal to finally listen to my soul and do something I really wanted to do (not what I thought I “should” do).
After ensuring I could cover at least a couple months worth of rent, I signed up for a yoga teacher training I’d always wanted to take, and quit my job.
A major SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE
This choice led to a unique chain of events: During my yoga teacher training, I got a part-time job selling sculpture (which very much satisfied my creative self).
At this particular job, my boss happened to have a Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology. Spiritual Psychology? I thought. Someone has a degree in that?
I was hooked.
One thing led to another, and a couple of months later I found myself in class at the University of Santa Monica (USM), on track to get my Masters in Spiritual Psychology.
It was during my two years there that I learned something that changed everything for me. It was this:
How I relate to the issue, IS the issue.
Said another way, how I relate to MYSELF while I go through the issue, IS the issue.
Now as I’ve mentioned, I'd always thought that when I achieved X, Y or Z (got a new job/lost weight/made more money, etc), THEN I would be happy.
However, I learned then that it was actually the other way around: when I found and created my own happiness on inside first, then - and only then – did I find the happiness and fulfillment that I’d been searching for all along on the outside of my life.
Because of this huge shift in my thinking, my life began to get better and better.
My body (or really, how I related to it) began to change and I lost the “baby weight” I’d carried with me well into my twenties.
I found work that felt truly in alignment with who I knew myself to be and who I wanted to be in life.
I paid off ALL of my outstanding debt and actually began saving (whereas before, I had no idea how I'd ever pay my debt off, and therefore always felt hopeless).
I met and married an amazing, generous, and deeply caring man who I'm so proud to call my husband (and we recently moved to a home in nature that was part of our “ideal scene!”).
And last (but certainly not least), I began working as coach, mentor and guide doing deeply fulfilling work that allows me to serve others in a way that aligns with my innate gifts and talents.
I feel so honored and blessed to work with others in this way, helping them peel back the accumulated layers of judgments and limiting beliefs, so that they can see their own true brilliance and utterly beautiful uniqueness.
WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE
From living my own journey thus far, what I know for sure is that our happiness and joy cannot be found in anything outside of ourselves: food, drink, money, material things, other people, etc.
Rather, I’ve found that the only way to be truly, deeply, and soul-fully content is to cultivate and nurture a loving and supportive relationship with ourselves FIRST, and then move out from there. When we really listen to our deepest Selves, life really starts to work.
From experience, I know that anything is possible when we set our minds to it and really, truly love ourselves.
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