“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” –E.M. Forster
Kefi is a Greek word that can be described as a feeling of pure exhilaration where you have bliss, excitement, and euphoria. During moments of Kefi your entire being experiences a rush that you want to share with others. You smile, laugh, dance, or sing. You do whatever it takes to release this joy. Hard to translate since words cannot completely explain the feeling when one does experience it. While Greek dancing at the full moon party in Folegandros’ port, I had it, and this is when my friend explained the word to me. It was beautiful. My journey is about finding Kefi and I know that all of us can find it if we just let it in.
My life prior to May was not about living Kefi. It was about achieving, climbing corporate ladders, making more money, getting more degrees, working long hours, thriving on stress, buying homes, saving for retirement, etc. You get the picture. I was doing everything right; the way society accepts and defines ‘how to live a successful life’. I am very gracious for the abundance that 18 years of working brought me and the experience gained while working in top consulting firms, travelling the world, and engaging with some of the world’s largest corporations. To some, this might sound like living the American Dream. For me, it became a living nightmare as I dragged myself out of bed each morning to go into the office and sit in my dark cubicle.
I was not living my life; I was only existing in this life. Actually, looking back, I really did not know how to live life, how to do nothing, how to have hobbies. I buried myself in work to avoid figuring out what made me happy. I buried myself in work to avoid the reality that my marriage was not what I wanted. After moving on from the marriage and when I finished my MBA, I sat in my backyard and realized I had no idea what I liked to do and what made me happy. To avoid this dreadful feeling, I started to run again and searched for projects overseas. I was on my way to Afghanistan. The universe intervened. Since I kept repeating the same things over and over, the lessons got harder and harder. I was forced to sit alone with myself and begin the journey to transform my life and to create the life I wanted to live. It was painful, but looking back, I would not change any of my life experiences. They all weave together to create the amazing life that I am living.
I started to experience and feel ‘deep down’ truly blissful moments while away from work and on vacation. I started to travel alone to remote places, met wonderful people along the way, sat in the park with Ingrid, did a lot of yoga, learned tango, opened up to the flow of life. Time and time again, I experienced that when one slows down then situations are presented and we have what we need if we just listen and see the signs. I went to Bali in October 2012 and that trip was the turning point. The whispers inside my head to live the life I want became louder and louder.
While living and feeling Kefi everyday in Bali, I made a commitment to myself to only live a life of joy and to only accept into my life people and situations that appreciate me. Sure, there are bad days and good days and I welcome all, but we are here to experience more joy than pain. We can, as long as we let it in and remove from our lives negativity that is blocking us from living the life we want.
In Bali, I said, I will not be at my employer one year from now. I felt strong and courageous and had a power in my soul like never before. I resigned in my heart. This led to events where I left my corporate life on May 1, 2013. The day I walked out the door was Kefi for me. I smiled and danced on the corner of 42nd Street and Madison Ave and welcomed my new life.
Dear life….where are you taking me next? I am on a journey. Destination unknown and I don’t need to know. As long as I am on the path that feels right then my journey will be more worthwhile than the destination. I know it will not always be easy, but I am prepared to welcome the experiences – good and bad. My life is now about letting go of the control, letting go of the plan and just being open to people, places, and events. I want to see what happens when I let go of the control. I lived a structured life, used my logical left brain, did everything by the books and now I am free to do the exact opposite. That is what I am doing now.
I am allowing myself to not plan and to travel to places where I have never been and to have an open mind. I don’t make decisions as fast as I used to, I use my intuition to decide where to go next, book plans a few days before and try to do what feels right. TRY…since I cannot rewire myself in a few months. My logic kicks in all the time, I lose living in the present moment, I bring in past stories, I worry about what I will do when I get back to NYC, I worry I am spending too much money, I don’t always follow my heart and intuition and I end up back to square one- stressed, frantically running around. I pull myself out of that frenzy and am back again on track.
“When the bird and the book disagree, always believe the bird.” The bird is my heart and the book my logic. Know your mind. Know your heart. Know your courage. My purpose now is to learn to always follow my heart. If one lives with an open heart and follows it, then one can never go wrong. Following my heart fills me with joy and by doing things each day that make me laugh and bring joy, only then can I give that joy back to others.
The more we live our Kefi the more Kefi we attract into our lives. My life is uncertain now, but I embrace the unknown and trust that if I create and live the life I want then all will be well. I have no fear. Since I left ‘corporate america’ and started my journey, I have felt so free. I am free as a bird and I am able to see a happiness that I never really knew. It is my Kefi.
What is your Kefi?
Photo by Graham