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It’s Not About the Why: Take Your Power and Give Yourself Closure


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LOVE LESSONS

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE WHY: TAKE YOUR POWER AND GIVE YOURSELF CLOSURE

Ladies, how many times have you and your girlfriends endlessly tried to figure out why your relationship ended. Whether it was a 2-week romance or 6 months. One year, ok, I give you some deconstruction period. But for the rest of you, if the guy made it pretty clear, please don’t try to figure out the Why.

You’re going to say:
Ok, I get it. I see that I should move on. I get it. But…it was just sooooo great. The chemistry, we were so in sync, the sex. I mean it was Everything that I’ve ever wanted and didn’t believe could happen. I’ve never met anyone like him before!!! I CANNOT lose him. I just can’t. I’m at a total loss. Why??? What happened. I don’t get it. I need to know what changed.

Nadia:
The buzz words these days is: It’s all about the Why? It’s been circulating our FB news feeds, all the big motivation and professional development peeps are asking you, what’s your Why.
So this is very, very important bit of information. The question NOT to dwell on and obsess about when a relationship ended, is WHY. Don’t do it. Don’t go there.
You ask:
But why not ask why? Don’t I have the right to know? Do I not deserve to know why?

Nadia:
We long for the why because it is innate to us to want closure. And knowing the why gives us closure.

Here’s my wake up call for you:

You need to learn to give yourself the closure without knowing why.

Why not ask for the Why?

1. If you have to know the why to give yourself peace of mind and closure, you are giving away your power. Only he can give you the why. If he doesn’t want to give you the why and you can’t accept that, then you are basically handing over your own power to him on a plate, here you go, please your welcome to all my power, eat it all up. Since I need to know why for my own empowerment and you are not giving me the why, I might as well make it even easier for you and just hand deliver my power to you. Enjoy!!!

2. Maybe it’s best you don’t know the why. Do we ladies not have enough to deal with in this patriarchy? We are supposed to be feminine to please men and ourselves by being in our essential nature and at the same time masculine because we’re supposed to pay half, support ourselves, buy a house, travel, pay for our waxing, pedicures, facials to look pleasing for men. Is that not enough to deal with without finding out what unreasonable expectation or idea he may have had about a romantic partner or relationship? What good will it really do for you to know why?

You:
Well maybe I made some kind of mistake, maybe I was too clingy, pushy, maybe I was trying to move too fast, maybe I wasn’t thin enough, or wasn’t a good cook, or or or or.

Nadia:
This is a losing game. I’m all about self-awareness. I see women losing themselves, setting up too high expectations, being pushy, moving too fast ALL the time. But the fact is, if you dig deep down inside. You’ll know if you did that. You probably don’t need him to tell you.

And it’s probably healthiest and most empowering for you to come to that realization yourself, not from the guy who dumped you.

I’ll let you in on another secret. If the guy is into you, he’s into you. He’ll tolerate the eagerness. He’ll tolerate the moving too fast. In fact there will be nothing for him to ‘tolerate’ because he’s in there with you through it all.

Finally, if this is your pattern and you are repeatedly pushing guys away, then let’s chat about it.

It’s a waste of life.

Life is precious, it’s up and down, discouraging and delightful. Depending on how deep you were in this thing, you will need time to heal this loss. I tell you to accept, let go and move on, but in that process be soft on yourself. Allow yourself to mourn the loss of what was and what you hoped for. But remember that what you hoped for did not yet exist, it was in your imagination. And if you want to mourn that fantasy, please do. But not for too long where you’re wasting your life in the now and not allowing the next love to come in.
If you’re waiting to find out the ‘why’ and talking about it endlessly with your friends, you’ve go to: Stop, Hold up, Back up. Don’t waste any more life. Keep your power, don’t give it away. Keeping power means living life, cherishing life and not wasting it. Spending anymore time on trying to find out ‘why’ is giving your life away.

Ill tell you a story. Once upon a time in the Lower East Side of New York City, at a late night semi-private party in a cavernous basement bar, I met a guy who really truly ticked off all my boxes. It was too good to be true so I evaded. I played a little hard to get. I mean who is this guy? He’s too perfect, I don’t want to fall at his feet. So he chased. I mean not for so long as he was so hard for me to resist. His words were music to my ears, he was open, expressive, super successful, passionate about his job and was damn good at it, generous, chivalrous, loved to dance, open and friendly with my friends, a complete charm. On our third date, I made it clear, as I do, that if we were doing ‘this’, it was to be exclusive and only ‘us’. He laughed at me, “oh my god, is this what the city has done to you? You poor girl. You think that I could be hanging with you like this and like you as much as I do and at the same time be dating or be interested in other women! I feel so bad for what experiences you’ve had that has led to this conversation.”

Guess what happened? After 4 weeks of an intense romance, talking about the future, he disappeared. Poof! On a Friday night he called me with a bit of a desperate voice. I’m having a hard time, I don’t know what to do. I’m torn about where to do my residency…maybe I have to go back to Germany.” He left Monday morning with my favorite purple scarf and no word at all. I think I sent an angry email, he may have sent a short reply and that was the end of it.
Two months later, a guy is checking out my apartment to sublet. I remember Mr. Dreamboat mentioning him as a childhood friend. I told the childhood friend I met Mr. Dreamboat. He was surprised, “how do you know him”, he asked, “actually I was just at his wedding’. My girlfriend who was making us tea and keeping her cool while I sat, stunned and speechless, asked, ‘oh, who did he marry?” “His sweetheart of 6 years”, he said.

What Are the Lessons of this Story?

1. Mr. Dreamboat, great on paper, great in real life, isn’t always ALL THAT. This experience had especially turned me upside down because he had all the qualities I had always dreamed of. It was too good to be true and it was too good to be true.

2. Yes, he was a dud, but meeting someone like that gives hope that there are others like him – because there are! And maybe they’re so good they are true.

3. I was wounded inside, but I didn’t dwell because I didn’t want lose my present for what he did in my past. I had to recover. I had to move on. I grieved. I went on vacation with my best friend. In fact it was so tumultuous, the whole thing, that I evaluated my entire life. What was I doing? What do I really want to do? What was my true calling? Can I find work that is as fulfilling as what Mr. Dreamboat did? The whole experience made me step back and really take stock of my life and prompted some huge life shifting decisions that led me to the life I have now (that means living in tropical paradise with a gorgeous daughter and never having to wear pants, jackets, socks or sweaters, which makes me very happy).

4. If I had dwelled and tried to decode the disappearance, the why, what good would it have done for me? I gave myself closure. I closed the door. I didn’t need to know why. And months later, I found out the why. And the why sucked. I was duped, deceived. Would knowing that why have made the healing any easier? Probably not. Especially for someone who always prided herself on her astute perception, the ability to spot a player, a liar. Nope, wouldn’t have done me any good.

So ladies, will you believe me? If he dumps you, please don’t ask Why. And if you’re going to go down that road, before you pick up the phone to text him, call me.

If you need related advice and help write to: asknadiak@gmail.com.

Out of the Crossroads


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FEELING ALIENATED IN THE CROSSROADS

Make It happen. There are no mistakes, wrong decisions or setbacks. Each new moment is a new opportunity.

How did I end up living in one of the most beautiful places in the world with my daughter? If you believe in destiny, its just the way things were going to turn out. Specifically, it was my quest out of the crossroads (my reference to a state of angst, confusion and dissatisfaction with no finite expiry date). Getting out of the crossroads meant wanting to do things my way and finding a way to live, personally and professionally that is deeply fulfilling.

Part I: Being Canadian 

The theme of alienation began at a young age growing up in southern Alberta within multiple cultures. One of those cultures was Canadian, evolving with the rampant multiculturalism of a liberal immigration policy at the time but still a predominantly white Anglo-Saxon protestant culture. Largely reserved, self-conscious, polite, kind, gentle, repressed and honest. There was a prominent belief of putting in your ‘dues’. I hated this belief. I didn’t want to put in dues. I was impatient. I wanted to just do it. In fact there were so many things I wanted to do, I didn’t have time to put in dues! I wanted to feel free. I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to fit in. And I wanted that difference to be appreciated, respected and accepted. Because I grew up in a mostly Mormon town/city in the bible belt of Canada that included significant numbers of Mennonite, Hudderite, Evangelical Free, United and Catholics, people were accepting and kind, even if they didn’t understand the differences because those were the Christian values they were taught. As a Pakistani Muslim, it was a relatively easy place to grow up. As far as rules go, Mormons had even more rules and restrictions than Muslims, at least we could drink coca-cola and coffee and eat chocolate, so there!

I escaped as soon as I could. I continued my studies in Montreal, where I appreciated not feeling weird and different and that I belonged. Finally, I could wear black every single day, even in the peak of summer and no one would make a disparaging comment! I felt relieved and happy to be experiencing this cosmopolitan, multicultural and urban world. At the same time I began to understand and appreciate that growing up in a community that was mostly white, rural, sheltered and innocent was a great privilege because it gave me a fuller and sharper perspective of different kinds of people, ways of living, how we are the same and how we are different. Throw in the South Asian background, and it was an invaluable education.

Part II: The American Dream

Ultimately the Canadian culture, for all its simplicity, security and kindness felt limiting. After graduating law school in Montreal I unintentionally pursued the American dream in New York City. The restlessness and frustration that always plagued me dissolved the moment I stepped out of the bus into Port Authority, New York City. My heart was singing with the pulsating energy of the city. I felt a combination of exhilaration, relief and peace. There was so much stimulation, so much going on, that I felt I could finally relax.

New York opened its arms to me, and has ever since. I arrived an immigrant with little money, very little professional experience, no visa and no NY qualifications. Within a year I was earning a six-figure salary as an associate in a large, prestigious American law firm – the definition of the American dream. Even in long absences, I come back to a long lost friend who accepts and appreciates me, as I am, all of me. The city and I understand and each other; we know how to be with one another.

New York provided a refuge as I grieved the loss of my mother. I was an orphan and an emotional refugee in a city of orphans and refugees from all over the world. Most people I knew didn’t have families to visit on the weekends and their families were too far away for Christmas holidays. We were each other families.

We shared brunches, dinners and Sundays. New Yorkers are comfortable with people, they’re straightforward, they feel free to express whatever they feel and think of you, whether you want to hear it or not. For that freedom of expression, I will never ever complain about a stranger yelling at me or criticizing me. Because with the negatives comes the love, the help, appreciation and laughter.

The city was a huge distraction which I was seeking and longing for at the time. Between work, parties, friends and activities I didn’t have to spend so much time ‘sitting’ with myself. Although I did sit. In those 7 years in New York City, I had 9 different lives, marked by different jobs, lovers, best friends that came and went, the neighborhoods, the bartenders I befriended.

A significant fixture of those 9 lives was having an apartment that was my sanctuary: itsy bitsy, bright and joyful. In that apartment I could cry when I felt like it, lie on the floor and close my eyes and disappear, take a time out. Those times were quickly interrupted with work to do, people to see and places to go. But it was a step, a start to being comfortable with the sadness and loneliness I felt, with the solitude.

After nearly 30 years of feeling alienated and restless, I enjoyed those years in New York fully, appreciating all of it, but eventually the ‘void’, the angst, the dissatisfaction returned. It’s as though New York had been my band-aid, it helped me get through the loss of my mom, who was also my best friend, sister, everything to me. I learned to manage life without her in a place that was free of her memories. But there I was, nearly 34 living a life many admired and dreamt about. I felt empty. I was at a crossroads. I felt my options were to suck it up or to make a drastic change.
I reasoned:

• Money comes and go.
• Change is positive, even when it’s difficult because it makes things interesting.
• An interesting life is better than a safe, comfortable one.

And so I left my home that was my refuge, my urban sanctuary.

Part III: Asia Bound

I took the risk. I quit my job with no concrete plan. I had to be open to giving up the identity of being a lawyer and ending my relationship with the city that was the first place I had felt truly at home. Within six months I packed up my apartment and with 5 suitcases I set out to work for an American humanitarian agency providing aid to families suffering from natural disasters and military operations in Pakistan.

It was an incredible year, possibly one of the best years of my life: friends, family and romance all against the backdrop of this volatile, beautiful and tragic country. The emotions I felt for this place: the passion, the joy and the sadness that it ignited it in me were powerful. I conducted field visits to projects in places that had been destroyed by the military conflict, met people who were full of love and optimism, simply because they had no other option. I was struck with Pakistanis’ acceptance of chronic insecurity and danger. Whether they were Christian or Muslim, they had the same unwavering faith. It was a profound period in my life.

Part IV: Shift to the New Paradigm

During that time, on a trip to a beach in Thailand, I discovered a small, tropical alternative oasis of wanderlust travelers. It was a point of no return. A community and world opened its doors and I happily entered. I was drawn into a world of mysticism, spirituality, alternative healing, a world very much outside of conventional society. I met ‘my people’. They came from all over. Some were refugees from the corporate world who had burnt out too soon (like me), some were taking a break from their regular jobs, realigning and renewing, others were lost, searching for inspiration, purpose and they were those who had no other place where they fit and could just truly ‘be’. I found an eclectic community existing against the backdrop of natural beauty of breathtaking beaches, jungle, coconut trees, new moons and full moons. I didn’t want to leave.

Eventually I packed up my life and moved further south and east. The move was transformative. I still held on to the possibility that I could return to my old life, that my law degree wasn’t going anywhere; that I could go back to the big city, friends, security and comfort. In the meantime I went deeper in this other world of alternative healing and new age spirituality, moving between the beaches and jungle of Ko Phagnan and the lush beauty and spiritual energy of Bali.

I explored various forms of energy bodywork: reiki, quantum touch, source awakening; I discovered traditional eastern medicine: chi nei tsang, gua sha, acupuncture, tak sen. In Chiang Mai, Thailand I studied with Thai healers who had helped me with life-long chronic ailments. I studied Kundalini yoga in Nepal. I took neuro-linguistic programming workshops in Singapore.

During this time of experimentation and exploration I lost my anchors: my professional identity (even though I had tried so hard not be identified with it, it was still there), friends and family. Everyone was far, far away. I was truly on my own. When there were rough times, I had no person or thing to turn or hold on to. In retrospect this was the shift, a big turning point.

There were times I wanted to back out, forget this quest, go back to security. But for one reason or another, I kept on moving. In time confusion and angst slipped away. Doubts and questions were replaced with certainty and peace. It was a process.

Even though my life was moving forward as life does, internally something had profoundly changed. I had always prided myself on going with the ‘flow’, being spontaneous, seeing what would fall in my lap. To others it seemed that things always ‘worked out’ for me, I make a decision and take action. However, those decisions were not based on a long-term plan or a vision nor did they bring deep, inner fulfillment. They were stepping stones that took me from here to the next destination. I knew it was time for me to truly live in my purpose – personally and professionally. This meant I had to do more than figure out how to get from A to B. It meant figuring out what I wanted for my life in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years. Most importantly I had to ‘own’ what I wanted. I had to stop fantasizing about the life that I wanted and create and live that life. Deep down, many of us know what we really want but have difficulty acknowledging it. We continue to repress and ignore for so long that we forget how to access our deepest dreams and desires.

Fear of what happens when we deconstruct social conditioning and the insecurity that could possibly flow from that prevents us from owning our dreams and keeps our truest desires hidden, even from ourselves. I did not want to be bound by social and cultural conditioning and the restrictions that come with it.

I wanted two things:

(1) I did not want fear and conditioning to prevent me from acknowledging and thereby creating the life that I really wanted.

(2) I wanted to exercise the freedom to pick and choose aspects from the different cultures and approaches to life I had experienced that appealed to me and use that to build the life that I wanted. To me, this meant fully living in the new paradigm: the new way that people relate to one another (family structures, relationships), the new way people are working (digital nomads, growth of start-ups and entrepreneurship).

When I let go of this fear, feelings of clarity, lightness and freedom came into my life. The switch flipped and the light came on. I knew what I wanted to do in a much deeper sense than ever before. I was making my way out of the crossroads. Clearly, I was passionate about everything I had been exploring, studying and learning the past several years. I needed to share this with other people, in fact, there was no option; there was nothing else I could do. I was moved to help people feel strong, connected to themselves and others, to be self-aware, to be at peace, to feel light, clear and free using the skills and knowledge I spent many years acquiring and developing. I have been told that my perspective is unique and valued precisely because I have lived many different lives. I empathize because I have experienced the same challenges, confusion, insecurities, fears and frustrations. I have journeyed through my own crossroads and emerged on the other side.

I ended up in one of the most beautiful places in the world because I wanted to raise my daughter in a place where she is surrounded by stunning, lush nature, where the sun shines nearly everyday and where people adore children! I wanted to be in a place where there is no ‘one’ way to be. Where friends have time for a coffee during the day, despite work and responsibilities; where there are many different kinds of families; and where people are very much living in the new paradigm.

Most importantly I wanted to live in a place where I can host and facilitate other people through various life transitions: to get out of the crossroads, to connect with themselves, to take time for physical and emotional nurturing. The word ‘Ubud’ translates to medicine and is home to renowned traditional healers, international therapists, delicious healthy food, warm people, unbelievable natural beauty and deep-rooted spirituality and connection to the ‘other world’.

My Mission

Let go. Get clear. Feel free.

My mission is to help people reconnect to themselves to figure out what they truly want and let go of what is holding them back. I help people through life transitions such as facing a Crossroads, wanting to have a child, being pregnant, dealing with personal crisis such as getting over a relationship.  I provide the mental and physical space and tools for emotional and physical healing to help you reconnect with yourself. This involves treatments to help with physical pain, sessions to help sort out the confusion and malaise in your mind and heart, good food, some fun and time to just be, without having to make any decisions, a break from daily worries and obligations. It’s about remembering yourself, getting some perspective to feel lighter, clear and ultimately happier.

18 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was Pregnant


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18 Things I Wish I Had Known When I was Pregnant

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Don’t let your nails touch your skin, no matter how irresistible. Oil, creams, use whatever you can get. The last stretch of pregnancy was the most irritating for my skin, only shea butter gave me some relief.

2. CalMag will solve a lot of your ailments. I started taking it in the last trimester but I would have done so earlier if I had known how simple and effective it is. Relieves hip pain, leg pain difficulty sleeping.

3. The same goes for Iron. I had this idea that I was a meat eating superhuman and I wouldn’t need extra iron, but I had a superhuman growing inside of me taking all my iron!

4. Epsom Salt Baths with Magnesium Oil. If you can incorporate this into your life, do!

5. Probiotics. Cure for all digestive ailments, at least for me. I tried acupuncture, homeopathy, this, that. All great stuff and wonderful for your baby and balancing out everything going inside of you but I felt saved with probiotics.

6. Don’t be hard on yourself. This is the most unusual life experience you will likely have. A human being growing inside of you? What can possibly top this?! Early on in my pregnancy when I was super cloudy and confused with hormones and fear, a friend told me ‘being pregnant is like having your birthday everyday’. Do you feel entitled to treat yourself well on your birthday? Well pregnancy is an excuse to do so every single day!

7. Weight. Having your birthday everyday, you may feel entitled to eat whatever you want, anytime. That is allowed every so often. But if you do it everyday you will have to deal with the consequences later. Living with new restrictions on your freedom and lack of sleep is enough to deal with when the baby arrives, you don’t want to have to face working on a big weight loss as well. Hormones are powerful, I understand that it may be too challenging to fight them, but if at all possible, try not to get carried away with binging. If you can’t resist, then go back to #6.

8. Coffee, Alcohol, Sushi. I highly recommend reading: Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know” by Emily Oster. She dug deep into the standard instructions given to pregnant woman about do’s and don’ts. I drank one cup of coffee every other day after month 5, and about one a day from month 7. I didn’t refrain from eating raw fish because I had never experienced food poisoning from raw fish in the past. All of this is your call. The most important thing is that you are feeling good. If you feel good, supposedly so does your baby.

9. Childbirth. I remember asking a friend about childbirth, she didn’t say too much other than the baby is going to come out one way or another. Agreed. It is what it is. It will happen. I read the books, took a couple of classes, had everything in place. It didn’t work out as I planned. C’est la vie. Underprepared, over prepared, the end result will be the same. However, I do believe that having a mid-wife and doula that you like and are comfortable with is the preferred route. Being pregnant can be lonely and scary. We don’t have the family support that women had once upon a time, why not take advantage of these resources if you can? There is no reason not to. I was supposed to go the natural route, all the way and ended up having a cesarian. However, I was fortunate enough to have the presence of my midwife through it all. After the surgery when I was paralyzed from the drugs and my baby was in NICU she helped me express the superfood colostrum. Most importantly, if you can take the time get educated, do the research. Get empowered. However it plays out know your body, what’s happening to your body and what may happen.

10. Breastfeeding is difficult (and that’s understatement). I experienced mastitis, blocked ducts, blisters, nipple thrush and crazy, crazy pain: nipple pain, back pain, neck pain. Thankfully, I was saved from cracked and bleeding nipples. But I knew there was light at the end of this period. The worst of it is over within 4-6 weeks, 8 weeks for sure. Everyday is one day closer to the end. If you can remember this, then try to keep with it. Before too too long it will become easy breezy. I promise. And yes, if possible hire a Lactation Consultant if you’re having a hard time.

11. Entertainment and Distraction. Great to have a television series on hand to get you through the first 6 weeks postpartum. I watched all of Lost, seasons 1 through 6. It was a distraction from the pain and kept me company all those hours of nursing. I have no idea what women did before!

12. Probiotics save the day again. Have some on hand for you and the baby after the birth. It is common for babies to have thrush in their mouths and on your nipples. Break the capsule and apply the powder on their mouths and your nipple.

13. Baby gas. Many babies suffer from gas. It is painful for everyone, particularly the stress, worry and guilt that you’re causing the gas. Frankly it is very hard to figure out. I recommend staying away from dairy and legumes. You will also be told about chocolate, caffeine and a host of other things. You can experiment and try to cut it out. A cup of black tea in the morning with 3 squares of chocolate was my one treat, vice and pleasure postpartum. I wasn’t willing to give it up, so I didn’t.

14. 2 month fog. Expect to be in a two-month fog post-birth. Expect to be sitting or lying down 24 hours with your baby. And know that the fog will end.

15. Nursing Bras. I was very confused about nursing bras. What size, what kind. It’s very subjective. I waited to see how I would feel after the baby came. A month after birth I bought one, but I found it frustrating. I ended up using a fairly supportive lycra bralette. However, many of my friends would not have gone without nursing bras. My advice is to wait until you have the baby and if you are very concerned have at least one bra at hand guestimating what size you’ll need.

16. Breastfeeding Friendly Tops. Spaghetti strap long tank tops were my uniform. Nearly 18 months later, I’m still limited to baby feeding friendly tops. The first 6 months I found it helpful wearing at tank top with a loose tank or t-shirt on top, it’s discrete, smooth, easy, no fuss.

17. Kelly Mom. I recommend going to www.kellymom.com for all questions about nursing. Excellent resource.

18. Read and Watch.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know”, Emily Oster

Spiritual Midwifery”, Ina May Gaskin

Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood”, Naomi Wolf

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby From Birth to Age Two”, William Sears

Watch: Business of Being Born, the Ricky Lake documentary on childbirth. Excellent!

Drop me a line if you have any questions about this or any other issues.

Crossroads


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I feel confused.

I feel a void.

I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to change my life.

I fear taking the risk to change my life.

I describe these kinds of feelings or states of mind to be part of the crossroads: the contemporary mid-life crisis, the new paradigm malaise that inflicts our generation. It is an extended period (10 to 20 years or forever) of angst, dissatisfaction, confusion and disconnection.

At 34, I led a life that many people admired and envied. I lived in a hip neighborhood in Manhattan, wonderful friends, fabulous parties, a well-paying job that carried a lot of status and credibility in the epicenter of international capitalism. I worked hard, played hard, dined and danced. I traveled often. Yet, I felt a void. Everyday I questioned whether this is the rest of my life. I felt that I was missing something, I felt unfulfilled. I also felt like a spoiled brat even entertaining this angst. I was privileged and fortunate enough to have this life, yet I was still dissatisfied. I wondered if the feeling was the result of failed relationships, worry about missing my baby-making window or that my professional career was a long ways from the very reason I became a lawyer in the first place: to be in service. This angst, confusion and dissatisfaction manifested itself in a malaise that started to grow and that became increasingly uncomfortable to live with.

I wasn’t alone. A few friends suffered the same chronic ailment but when I brought up the idea of making a drastic change to get out of it, they cautioned against it. Sure, they agreed there is the malaise, emptiness, dissatisfaction, and disconnection, but risking everything to search for a way out, when I didn’t even know what ‘the way out’ meant, was not a wise move. There was too much too lose. I reasoned that by staying in it wasn’t I losing out on everything else that could be gained?

I was at a crossroads with a difficult decision to make. Do I continue the status quo and try to ignore this void and distract myself with more ‘fun’, more parties, more work or do I take the risk of losing this fabulous life in hope of finding what would really inspire and fulfill me in a way that I had never experienced. I was less fearful of losing what I had than the possibility of missing out on finding what I really wanted.

People had cautioned me from making risky life changing decisions in the past. As before, I didn’t listen. At some point, it wasn’t a choice for me, there was no option but to find my way out of the crossroads. And for me, this meant leaving my job, my friends, my home and my city to find the answer.

A few years ago, after an intense session of abdominal massage with a Thai master in Chiang Mai, who had to sit on my stomach, all 250lbs of her to get deep enough into my dead colon, I had vivid dreams of all my fears. One of those fears was financial security. I immediately called my best friend. I needed to tell her about my fears and that I just wanted over this. I didn’t want my kidneys, lungs to be holding on to this toxicity. What’s the solution? To be rid of this fear of financial security, do I return to the urban, conventional, structured world that I left? Maybe it was time. She reminded me that my law degree wasn’t going anywhere and pointed out that I had left the matrix before and fear drove me back in. Maybe to really get out of my crossroads, I needed more time, that my true calling, my purpose may not come to me during a 6-month hiatus, or a year, or even a couple years. Maybe I needed years. Was it not worth taking the risk to find out? Big picture, what is a few years in a lifetime?

whynam magic

So I stayed put. I had to be at peace with all my fears. That meant having the confidence and the certainty of the woman I was at 26 to move to NYC, with no job, no visa and a very small savings. I lived the American dream: I came with nothing and created a fabulous, successful life in the big city. I needed to call that younger self back. I needed faith and the deep knowing that I will get what I wanted. But what did I want.

A period of deep uprooting followed. During a challenging emotional time, I was without the security and comfort that most of us can turn to: friends, family, job, the neighborhood coffee shop down the road. I had none of it. Many times I questioned my decisions. Why did I do this to myself? Do I hate myself? Am I punishing myself? Why do I have to take the hard, more challenging road? I met with healers who told me that this was what I needed to get to the other side. This was my process of healing. Heal what, I wondered? And why do I have to experience pain to get over pain. I didn’t get it.

It wasn’t a quick fix. It took time and patience. It took a pregnancy. It took a child. It took more time. It took a lot of exploration- internal and external. It took sitting with myself without being distracted with parties, friends, this, that. I was on my own and then I was with a baby. And then it finally happened. I felt a change. I felt congruency within me. I felt peace. Angst, confusion and dissatisfaction fell away. I was finally out of the crossroads.

Everywhere I go, I meet people at a crossroads, in one way or another. I offer empathy and optimism. I was in it for a long, long time. I know it’s possible to get out of it, that wanting more doesn’t mean that you are taking what you have for granted, that it’s not just a fantasy or a problem we’ve created in our minds. For me getting out of the crossroads was dealing with the pain, longing and lack of fulfillment I felt in my soul.

It took many moves and years for me to get out of the crossroads. In some ways this crossroads we get to or get stuck in is a complicated place but when you’re out of it, the answer, solution, the destination seems so simple because it makes sense. If you can get out of the crossroads you can be in a place that fits, that is comfortable, that feels like You.

I am on a mission to help ease this malaise that is plaguing so many of us.  The crossroads can feel like an alienating, lonely place. But the old line that we are more alike than different is true. The journey and destination out of the crossroads may look different, but when you scratch the surface you find that the essence is the same.


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