“Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.” – J.K. Rowling
Tapping into Your Extraordinary…
I get that I am here to do something extraordinary. I believe that everyone is. To me ordinary is following someone else’s path. Extraordinary is creating your own path that has not been traveled by another. It is scary, exciting and rewarding creating the drugs of euphoria and excitement that fill my body and make every cell feel like it is alive.
It wasn’t always the case. Though I’ve never been good at doing what was normal or following what I ‘should’ do, I was always haunted by the voice that I should be wealthier, fitter, slimmer and more successful. This voice would drive me to a point that looked like I was on the verge of critical success, but then there was a hesitation I always interpreted as failure – not following through, or creating the product, then holding back from going to the next level of getting it out to the world. Products that people said were good, and perhaps they were, but for me they did not feel just right, and the thought of putting my stamp on them and the world seeing it just did not feel authentic.
Then it changed. When I started to listen to my inner compass, the voice of my intuition nudging me to go in a direction that from the present vantage point I could not understand why. A decision to trust the gut instinct, despite not clearly seeing the path.
After 22 years in Australia I left to return to Canada where I was, in a professional sense, unknown. Considering I’d spent the prior 12 years establishing a reputation that allowed me to command speaking fees I could not have dreamed of when I first landed in the country, this was a bold move. My dearest friends in the world were in Australia; I had come to love this country as my home, and in many ways, it was the place I grew up. Intellectually it was crazy to start again but sometimes the voice of intuition does not make sense. It was a move requiring more courage, oddly, than moving to a new country at the age of 22.
What it did though was to strengthen my intuition muscle, and I discovered the more I followed the voice of intuition the more I began to trust the power greater than intellect and even wisdom. It feels like tapping into something greater than myself, my destiny. This is coming from someone who believes we create and carve our destiny from our desires and thoughts, and when you have the courage to believe that this is possible and move in that direction, doors and windows open that you did not even know existed, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell.
It is not always obvious; intuition led me to go from a $5000 per hour occupation to a $42 an hour teaching position that didn’t offer me enough hours to support even a modest lifestyle. When I was asked by the head of school what course I wanted to teach, the words came out of my mouth in my own self disbelief. I said the only class I wanted to teach was a Professional Skills Development course teaching public speaking, something I’d never even coached people on, let alone taught. I was a passionate philosopher about food and nutrition, and here I was completely disinterested in teaching my expert subject matter. I didn’t know it then but I was stepping into my destiny.
I call this emotional bungee jumping. I first experienced it when I gave a paper at the Symposium of Gastronomy in Tasmania in September of 1999. I was in front of industry peers whom I’d idolized. Stephanie Alexander had just finished waxing lyrically about her idyllic foodie childhood and here I was talking about the opposite. It was one of the most courageous moments of my life.
I’d practiced my paper for almost 6 months in the lead up and almost backed out of doing it 3 times. Literally moments after hearing Stephanie’s presentation and going to the podium, I listened to the voice of intuition and changed the introduction of my talk incorporating aspects unique to my life. A step that literally changed the course of my life. I took the leap and at the end of my talk I was flooded with people who were moved by it. I knew from that moment that I wanted to do this for a living; I had to do this for a living, even though I had no idea it was even possible.
I can map the greatest increases of life satisfaction always after the biggest leaps of faith that were guided by my intuition. From moving to Australia, becoming a chef without training, opening a cooking school in 1993 to the present day opening a Holistic Culinary Academy and Entrepreneurship Program, they required courage, self belief and a measure of faith. One way I know I am meant to be doing this is not the absence of fear but this knowing no matter the outcome, I must do this for my soul.
The benefits have always been good when the focus has been on what can I do. The rewards have been exponential when I’ve made the switch to ‘how can I serve?’ I knew this intellectually but, in practice, it again required a leap of faith and intuition was my inner compass telling me that I was in the right place, so although I felt fear, it provided a cushion of knowing that even if the worst eventuated, I knew I was meant to do this thing. The high I get from serving and facilitating others’ greatness has been indescribable. It has, as Joseph Campbell advocates, become my bliss.
It has also coincided with a change in all areas of life; I have found my bliss in hot yoga and intuition draws me to it, rather than feeling I should do it. I am developing an even healthier relationship with food and my body, and quality potential life partners who resonate on a truer level are showing up.
Tapping into intuition is the gateway to living an extraordinary life. Trusting the voice that compels you to do the thing you were meant to do, despite fear, in your own unique loving way is the path to becoming your own hero and as I’ve experienced, transcendent joy.