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  • Writer's pictureShawna

New Year, New Beginnings

Updated: Jan 25, 2018

January: a new month, the beginning of a new year, forever ripe with the expectancy of alluring things to come; of hopes for improvement and positive forward motion. We feel a renewed sense of self-motivation in January, or so it seems, both individually and collectively; we reset, reevaluate, and resolve to tackle those plans and projects and commitments with fervor and optimism. We choose to look forward rather than backward, armed with the beautiful tools of belief and hope and confidence, knowing that so much of our ability to succeed in our endeavors rests on our willingness to first believe in our own self-worth.

I’m excited – and a bit nervous, in that healthy-nervousness-born-of-passion-and-expectations sort of way, where you really care about the thing you’re laying out there in the world (you know what I mean, right??) – that this particular January holds a much-anticipated beginning for me. This is the start of a new journey for me; one that I’ve been gradually preparing for for years, that’s born of true passion and purpose and what I have come to see as a calling on my life that I cannot not pursue. You know when you find that thing that seems to have always been within you, tucked deep inside in the places where you keep your most cherished dreams and desires, slowly growing stronger and more pronounced as it’s nurtured and developed and given its proper space and time to come into its own – you know how when it finally blossoms and blooms, you’re just so dang excited to live in the fullness of that and pursue it at all costs?

That’s where I’m at. That’s the root of this new adventure, this dream come to life. It’s my time to take a flying leap of faith, to risk the scariness of the unknown and embrace vulnerability, and dive wholeheartedly into this new adventure that makes my heart soar. For what on earth am I doing if not living in the fullness of who I believe I was created to be? It’s time to step out, lean in and live my life with intention -- and that means leading with my passion.

I've always been two things: a writer and a people-person. If you asked me what I wanted to be at most any point in my life, I'd have been hard pressed to give a concrete answer that fit any semblance of a cookie-cutter profession, because all I ever wanted to do was write and invest in relationships. I knew these were what mattered most to me, and where my true identity resided -- yet how does a girl figure out how to turn those things into a career? Of course I would always write; I knew that. But how did I pursue a profession that allowed me to invest my time and energy and talents on relationships, in a truly purposeful, intentional way? This was what I set out to discover, and my young adult life up til this point has been a journey of "finding myself" – discovering who I was and who I wanted to be, driven by a desire to dig deeply into the core of my being where my truest self was hidden and unearth my calling. It often felt like I was on a desperate race against myself, driven by a burning desire to find "that thing" that I was meant to do, to be, to unleash into the world, and growing impatient with the exploration and waiting and dreaming phases. I wanted to find it and start building my life around it already! I hated the thought that I was wasting time.

I won't share my whole story with you right now -- after all, this is only the first of my “chase your bliss” blog posts!-- but I will say that I now know without a doubt that I was not, in fact, wasting time. I was growing and learning and readying myself. Funny thing, L I F E -- how you can dream and scheme and plan all you want, but sometimes there's a greater purpose to what you can only see as "madness" that's brewing under the surface the entire time, and you simply have to trust the process and believe that your path will unravel exactly the way it was always meant to. It became so clear to me that I needed those years of serious soul-searching and steady personal growth, of self-exploration and trying different paths and questioning endlessly what it was I was created to do, to force me to strip everything down to the very basics of what mattered the most to me and to then pursue that single-mindedly.

And for me, "that thing" was relationships. It was always relationships. I ended exactly where I began, finally realizing that I had to figure out a way to turn an innate love and gifting into my life's purpose and career. A journey that first started for me back in 2010 at a life-altering leadership and growth conference in Laguna Beach, California, to which my mother invited me to attend with her, pushed me to dig deeper into myself and planted the first seeds of my renewed sense of direction and purpose. I attribute that to the start of it all; at that beautiful, beach-side resort in the loveliest part of the USA, I came face-to-face with myself and knew I wanted to change my life. Something shifted within me after that and I knew I was no longer content with simply living; I had to find my bliss and chase it passionately. I went back to New York a changed girl and chose to pursue a Master's in Marriage & Family Therapy, fully immersing myself in the journey toward becoming the healthiest version of myself and one fit to spend her life helping others chase their passions, discover their self-worth, and thrive in their relationships.

From that, the dream of starting my own business came to life, and after working as a therapist with a variety of diverse populations in the heart of Manhattan for the past few years, I am ecstatic to launch my own Counseling & Coaching business. I believe this new journey starts where so many do – at the intersection of faith and risk, of calling and determination, of dreams and dedication and a whole lot of hope.

So here’s to January, the keeper of new beginnings, the gateway to the future. I know I can’t be the only one with high hopes for this year, and I can’t wait to see whose paths cross mine in the days to come. We all have a bliss, a “sweet spot” worth chasing. What better time than now to follow it through.

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