I was in my late 30s, having just left a corporate “power” position. Not knowing how to do anything other than ‘be busy,’ I hurried to set up an office in my home. New laptop computer, new printer, impressive new desk and, of course, the proper desk chair to go along with it; readying myself to start my new “power consulting practice.”
While sitting in my perfectly furnished new office, absent other people with their interactions/interruptions, voices, computers typing, emails to answer, phones ringing, meetings, and stress-filled calendar, the silence set in, and this is when things really began to happen.
I worried, what if a prospective client finds out I am working out of my house, and don’t have a ‘real’ office? Wow, how can I expect to garner their respect when I only have an office in my home?
As time went on, while trying to understand how to generate a consulting practice from nothing, household chores like the laundry began to encroach upon that 8-to-5 mentality. OMG, I am not being 100% productive 60+ hours a week. The term ‘position power’ took on new meaning and I began to realize that all my perceived power had come from the corporate position to which I had risen. And without that title, I did not know who I was. Did I have any value?
The days turned into weeks which turned into months. Client projects were not flowing in. With the lack of “activity,” I found my mind beginning to drift. When for the first time in my 40 years I began entertaining the idea, “Maybe I should have a kid,” I knew things had truly taken a turn for the worse.
In the new silence and non-busyness, I had inadvertently entered, extraordinary and completely “off my radar” events began to happen. “Like what?” you ask.
As I sat at my desk, looking out the window, new ideas began flowing into my mind. They were rich and unlike any I had ever perceived before. I saw beautiful new ways of looking at old problems. The words, the simplicity, the deeper and more insightful wholeness of understanding; these thoughts made me almost giddy. Then they began to expand beyond the workplace to humanity and the condition of humanity as a whole.
It was an amazing time, yet a great deal of it was not comfortable. Some 25 years later, one part that I remember clearly was the phase I went through of “hearing voices in my head.” In this new silence I became aware of a real phenomenon that goes unnoticed until we consciously allow ourselves to enter into silence. The frightening (and it was at moments almost terrifying) part was that I came to realize that I could not stop these voices. Where were these voices coming from? Am I possessed? Why can’t I get away from them?
Important questions for an important—pivotal—moment in my life. These questions led me into a decade of exploration, becoming open and available to things to which, in my prior “corporate reality,” I would never, ever have opened myself.
This was the start of my becoming “available to my soul.” At that time, I had absolutely no inkling of “soul.” It was the beginning of allowing myself to have experiences completely beyond my narrow “corporate reality.”
How does this story end? Well, in truth, it does not. There are paragraphs and chapters that are still being written. However, this availability to “the soul” has brought with it a gratitude and appreciation for which I have no words. It has brought with it a new understanding of the purpose of my life, the purpose all life.
There is a Plan.
Had I stayed in that “corporate reality” I would have missed the grander, greater story.