How satisfied are you with your job?
Do you find fulfilment in your career?
Or is it a social currency to gain approval when asked “What d’you do?”
These are some questions you could ask yourself to find out if your career path is one that truly inspires you - or whether a radical change could be what's needed.
In a moment, I’ll introduce you to a powerful, guided exercise that includes three core questions (different from the ones above!). The exercise will help you connect with your body, heart and mind. This holistic approach will, I hope, help you move to a place of greater clarity as to whether your current path or job is wholesome for you - or whether changing path might offer greater fulfillment, meaning and joy.
How do we get to that place of clarity?
One starting point is to begin listening to the different parts within ourself - I'll guide you through a simple way to do this in just a moment. And what you might find, as you listen to the different streams of thoughts & feelings within, is that something magical begins to happen.
From carrying, perhaps, seemingly random messages or impressions, these inner streams of experience begin to communicate a more coherent one. This process can bring an incredible gift. It enriches our life with the meaning and direction we seek.
Read on, and we'll go through this process together soon!
But first, here's a question...
Are you in a career knot?
If we were to classify the different streams within, we could divide them into three: depending on which of three 'centres' they arise from - whether they arise from our head centre, our heart centre or our body centre.
If you’ve read Tina Welling's amazing book 'Writing Wild' you'll have heard her describe a trap we can easily fall into. The trap is that we can favour one of these three centres and let it steam-roll over the other two.
Sound familiar? It's familiar to me. While at medical school, I was on a path that was starving my soul, cramping my mental space with a burden of undigested information, and choking off any space to reflect, to dream, to feel.
Like many people on a rigid career path, one inner voice was telling me: "Just finish the course. You’ve already worked so hard. Just get your qualification, then it will be okay."
This was the head centre speaking. The voice of logic and so called 'reason'. But what about the heart? And what about the body?
When we allow one centre to dominate - when our head, our heart and body fail to be in alignment, that's when we experience what Tina Welling calls an 'energy knot'. That's when we block parts of ourselves off. We numb our emotions, for example, and let one voice dictate to the rest of us.
As we use energy to push down our hopes, fears, dreams and passions, we have less energy left for other purposes. We become more numb and less efficient.
Wouldn't we prefer to include all parts, and support an internal democracy when all our energies come together in alignment?
We can! Here's how...
There’s an exercise sometimes practised alongside Journeywork that I’ve found has added effect when combined with ideas and core questions from Tina Welling’s inspiring book. Let’s go through this combined method now to help bring those energies into alignment and gain clarity about our direction.
So, let's assume that one option is staying on your current career path and the other option is you make a change. It doesn't matter if you don't know exactly what that change is - having just a mild sense of some other possibility is sufficient. As we go through this exercise, you'll likely gain some clarity.
What Career Path do you really want? 3 core questions to help you decide…
I'd like you to imagine two paths in front of you. One is the path of ‘no change’. The other is the path of ‘career change’.
Let’s walk along the path of no change first.
Imagine yourself walking along this path.
Walk a day from now into it.
Continue walking a week into it.
You're now one month along this path.
Do you notice anyone there?
What do you notice yourself doing?
Now continue walking to the six-month point in time along this same path.
Keep breathing as you walk.
Continue to a year down this path.
Here you can pause.
Ask yourself the first core question:
Qu.1: "How comfortable is my body feeling at this one year point?"
Check into your body as you do this - and in particular your abdomen.
How does it feel at this one year point?
Let your attention connect with what you're feeling. Take the time you need.
Once you’ve sensed and gathered the different impressions, take a slow deep breath in - and out - in your own time.
We’re now ready to move onto the second core question. Ask yourself:
Qu. 2: "What do I care about most at this one year point?"
Here you’re connecting with your heart centre.
You may like to place your hand on your chest to help. Notice where your attention goes as you ask this question. Notice what feelings are coming up, what images, people, events or subtle sensations - as you ask yourself 'what do I care about most at this one year point?' Let them enter, and breathe, welcoming them in.
Take your time - you can give this a few moments.
Then, when you’re ready, you can move onto the third question.
The final question to ask yourself is this:
Qu. 3: "What interests me most at this one year point?"
We’re now connecting with the mind centre.
What words, images, or thoughts are coming up for you. Whatever they are, allow them to arise with acceptance and trust.
Give this a moment or two.
Then imagine yourself walking back to the starting point.
When you're back at the place where you began, take a slow, deep breath in and out in your own time. Let yourself come to neutral.
You're now going to walk along the other path, the path of 'career change'.
Simply repeat the exercise above this time walking along this different path. (Clicking here will take you to the start point in the text!). At the one year point, again you will pause and ask yourself the same three questions.
Once you're done, imagine yourself walking back to the start point again with the two paths in front of you.
Ask yourself - "Which path do I take?"
- Check with your body.
- Then check with your heart.
- Then your mind.
Let your attention gather the impressions coming as they come through each of these three centres. These impressions will naturally reorganise themselves as they interact. Let them do their work while you enjoy the process!
Our inner world, and how it reveals its mysteries can be interesting and fun! #careerchange
You’re unique, and so is your journey…
This exercise opens up a creative process and will be unique to you. You might discover insights directly related to your job or career.
Or perhaps related to an area of your life or people you've been neglecting as a result of it. Perhaps there's an area that needs more attention? Unless it is addressed, you will be creating an 'energy knot'. Deal with the area, and the knot will begin to unravel.
This simple exercise is one useful way to become more clear about a career, job or indeed any life-choice.
It may reveal a major insight. Or it might invite us that little bit along the process of clarity and discovery.
I'd love to hear how you get on. How did this exercise work for you? Feel free to drop a comment below, letting me know.
In the meantime, I wish you happiness and fulfillment as you continue to travel on your unique journey – and as you benefit the wider community and world simply by stepping more fully into the truth, the beauty that you are!
About Dr Muzammal (Founder of Restorative Wholeness)
I'm Dr Muzammal, Career Realignment Catalyst, Facilitator and Therapist. I've shifted my own career path, having previously worked as a medical doctor in NHS Psychiatry over more than ten years. I've transitioned to work I'm really passionate about: Helping clients discover their passion and purpose, transform their life-path and helping build community. I'm also inspired by nature.