Opening Windows at Work

This afternoon I am sitting in my home office, in cozy yoga clothes, to write this post.

After waking up and leisurely sipping my coffee, I was able to do some light cleaning (okay, not really, it just sounds good). Afterwards I ventured out to hike along the shore of Lake Michigan with my 8-year-old son, and our new puppy. The winter snow is slowly giving away to fresh mud and there is so much excitement in the air for spring. And I get to witness it all. Days like today have become a new norm for me. But it wasn’t always so.

Two years ago I was sitting mindlessly behind a computer screen at work, counting down the hours until 4pm, when I could leave.

Angered daily by working in the healthcare industry, I would breath deeply and tell myself there was only so much I could do, that I couldn’t fix everything. But the anger started building up. Between the dysfunction of the healthcare industry, and the hypocracy of it (think: plastic plants, generic artwork, sterile rooms, carcinogenic hand sanitizer), I was suffocating on the corporate air. When time I got home at night after my hour-long commute, I would reach for the red wine just to shut up that inner voice telling me that I was slowly falling into the sickness of corporate culture too.

These feelings didn’t make logical sense at all. As a social worker, I had a pretty fabulous job. It was better than all of my previous jobs. So, by comparison it was pretty legit. I made decent money, had flexibility, and really loved my boss. After all, I was getting minimal raises each year, and could even work from home once in awhile. Things outwardly looked pretty sweet. So what the hell was my problem? Was I ungrateful? Depressed? Full of Drama? I began feeling ashamed of my feelings.

What I really wanted was a flexible job, to be my own boss, and wear comfy yoga clothes all day.

I wanted time to take walks outside, and time to get a new puppy. I wanted to own my life. And at the very least, I wanted a job where I could open up the windows at work and breathe in fresh air. Knowing I couldn’t continue down this path, I began meditating regularly, working with a life coach, and sorting through the stories I was telling myself. Some limiting beliefs that kept me stuck, a bit longer than necessary, were:

  • I should be grateful for this job/it’s a good social work job
  • I won’t be able to make as much money somewhere else
  • If I go out on my own, and fail, I’ll look like an idiot
  • I can’t be my own boss
  • I am giving up a lot of work that I’ve already put into this job
  • I am asking for too much

Let me tell you, each one of those beliefs were coming up to teach me something. I just had to listen. Taking the leap, and catching myself, has been the most amazing journey. And, the ability to open up my windows and get fresh air is damn nice too.

Are you ready to tap into your inherent sense of power, play and purpose?