Tuning In and Changing Your Life

tuning in

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”– George Bernard Shaw

I guess you could call me a late bloomer.

At the age of 36 ¾ I made the decision to throw caution to the wind, to chuck in my 12-year career in project management, as well as to ditch the corporate world. I had known I was on the wrong path for a long time, and I had finally decided to start living the life I wanted to lead – rather than the life everyone else wanted me to lead.

Sounds pretty inspiring right?

It turned out to be one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.

Prior to my HUGE life-changing decision I had reached a crossroads.

With no savings, anxiety and all-encompassing fatigue, I was struggling to keep up with the corporate life. Actually, I was struggling to keep up with life but the thought of leaving my job and changing careers at the age of 36…well…I didn’t really believe I could do it! And no savings – hello!

I knew deep down that I needed to make some big decisions. I was just so tired, and well, scared to death.

But, after my third car accident in a year and a half – the third being in my own driveway, reality struck hard (in the form of a fence, a rubbish bin, a couple of metal poles, and a trailer). Things really did need to change. The universe was sending me a very clear sign. It was telling me to stop – now!

After a few months of feeling down and out and sorry for myself, I enrolled in a mindfulness program in order to bring my stress levels down and to confront my demons – or rather, myself. This forced me to embark on some intensive self-analysis, and to actually make time to sit down and tune in to my mind, my body, and my spirit.

Needless to say, they weren’t happy. As it turns out, they had been screaming at me for a very long time to stop!

And so I stopped. Just like that. And I vowed to myself to prioritise my health from thereon in.

A funny thing happens when you start to tune in to your mind, your body, and your spirit, using them to guide you in your life. Change starts to happen. Your world begins to shift. New opportunities open up, and new people come into your life.

It is so easy to get caught up in what we think we should be doing, in what others think we should be doing, in the fear of something, of anything…but, I tell you this: it is never too late to change. All you need to do is to look deep within yourself and really listen – it is then you will to find the answers you are looking for.

How tuned in are you?

What is your mind, your body, and your soul telling you?

Are you listening?

Photo by saigerowe

tuning in

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39 thoughts on “Tuning In and Changing Your Life”

  1. That’s quite the inspirational story there – it’s never too late to turn things around! I agree that in order to change your way of life for the better, you need to achieve balance and be “in tune” with all aspects of your life.

    For me, this happened a few years ago, when I realized that a “normal” life didn’t fit in with the way I wanted to live. It was only when I looked inwards that I could finally make a change.
    Nice write-up!

    1. Hey Mathias,

      Thanks! Glad you liked it :) It certainly is never too late. Sometimes we have to back-pedal a bit, and most of the times we need to keep reminding ourselves of our limits but also of what is most important – our health!

  2. My wife and I were both project managers and left our careers after nearly a decade of work experience. We decided enough was enough; like you our bodies were telling us that the life we worked ourselves into wasn’t what we wanted. So we took off also to explore what makes us happy. It’s been a year and we’re still working on finding our place in the world, but we both agree it was the right decision to leave our careers.

    1. Hey Tim,

      That’s fantastic to hear that you both did it together! I’m still waiting for my fiancé, who is a Business Analyst, to make that move. I could so see us traveling the world – me writing, him working on his art. There is the minor issue of money though!!!

      You will find your place – it takes time and lots of exploration!

      All the best.

      Janine

      xx

  3. I was in the corporate world for 30 years and really did not understand what I was missing in life until I left. There are many people in the same situation as us and they don’t need to hit rock bottom before they can start to make positive changes in their lives. If that is one lesson I have learned it is never too late to change and the sooner a person does their own self analysis the sooner they can begin to lean in the direction that the want to fulfil their life. Thanks for the post.

    1. Hey Leslie, I am so glad you found it inspirational. Just to know others are or have been in your shoes can help so much! It can be done! It just takes work and change…which can be scary personally, and to those who love us. Hang in there! Janine x

  4. Jannie, thanks for sharing your story. I find it very interesting? Would you explain more about the process of “tuning” mind body and spirit? How do you align them? I hope my question doesnt sound silly. Thanks in advance.

    Jose

    1. Hi Jose, In brief, I attended a mindfulness based stress reduction program which really helped me link what was going on inside my mind / brain with what was happening to my body. In a way, being mindful has helped me to really tune in and see how my mind and body are interrelated, how external factors trigger reactions in both, and so on. Overall this has then helped me to become so much more peaceful – although I still have my moments. Mindfulness is a lifetime practice!

  5. Hi Janine and thank you for this. I, too, have needed life to knock me over at times to see that I was working or living or doing something unhealthy. Last year, in November, I was laid off, and though it has been and is scary, it is a blessing.

    Change at any age is tough, yet at 66 I am excited. I’m blogging and finding other ways to build a new career. If you have time, please come over to see my site http://www.allowingchange.com. It’s not even a week old yet and is my first!

    1. Hey Barbara,

      That’s fantastic! There are so many options out there with the extension of the online world, the access to networks, and so forth. It’s really quite amazing – it’s all about how far you let your mind and ideas stretch! I’ve followed you on Twitter. Looking forward to following your journey!

      Janine
      x

  6. I can so relate to what you’re talking about. I’m a psychologist and there have been two major times that I had to listen to my body. One was when the group practice I was in was bought out by a corporation and we were changed dramatically. I became more and more stressed and along followed the typical stress symptoms (headaches, fatigue, GI distress, you name it). It was terrifying but I quit and left to start my own practice. It was a great move but 12 years later I found myself getting to the point where I just couldn’t hear anymore trauma. All the stress symptoms returned with a vengeance. I thought long and hard and decided I needed to stop being a therapist. The last year was the worst due to all the endings and the emotions of my clients but the day after I saw my last client I started feeling better physically. It was astonishing. And of course, it was validating that I made the right decision. Congratulations to you on your changes!

    1. Hey Holly!
      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It’s funny how life / the universe / our selves needs to send reminders to ourselves every now and again that we need to step back and reassess. I’m so pleased that you listened to your body and mind and stepped in the right direction again. Sometimes we do need to keep reminding ourselves what’s important, even if it involves giving up something / back peddling – which isn’t a bad thing at all! I felt kind of similar after launching into a life coaching career, realising that helping others through coaching was making my anxiety worse. Writing is so much better for my head!
      Have a great day!

  7. Hey Holly!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It’s funny how life / the universe / our selves needs to send reminders to ourselves every now and again that we need to step back and reassess. I’m so pleased that you listened to your body and mind and stepped in the right direction again. Sometimes we do need to keep reminding ourselves what’s important, even if it involves giving up something / back peddling – which isn’t a bad thing at all! I felt kind of similar after launching into a life coaching career, realising that helping others through coaching was making my anxiety worse. Writing is so much better for my head!

    Have a great day!

    Janine

  8. I am going through a very similar process right now. It took me a while to realise that this is what I needed to do, but I am now – hopefully – on my way to regain control of my life rather than being thrown about by circumstances. Funny that I had a couple of minor (nobody hurt) car accidents, too… I have recently discovered Mindvalley and I love what they do. I could listen to Vishen for hours on end – he is a truly inspirational teacher. Mindfulness is at the top of my list of things to learn to practise. Things can only get better from where I am now.

    1. Wow so the universe or something has been sending you signs too. Im so glad you weren’t hurt and that you are on your way!

      If you get a chance to see Vishen speak live, do so. I saw him at Awesomeness Fest in 2014 – he was quite motivating and inspirational.

      I cannot recommend mindfulness highly enough! Go for it! The Miracles of Mindfulness is a good little intro (it has been translated from a letter written by Thich Nhat Hanh.

  9. I love that quote you shared, Janine. It’s so true that if we want change in our lives, it starts with our minds, the way we think. We have to continuously dare ourselves to do different things if we want progress. It may not always work out as planned, but the spiritual rewards will always be there. Sometimes, the choices in front of us are difficult to make but if we see them as possible ways of truly investing in our selves, then they’re always worth giving it a shot! Thanks for the inspiration, as always. xoxo

  10. I hear you Janine! I have a similar story and oh, sometimes the smallest things were the most difficult! And somehow, the minute the regular income dries up, the expenses escalate! I think the reason I had it all together was my family…what a rock they were!

    Very inspiring post! Hugs!

    1. Hey Vidya,

      That’s so awesome that you had the support network. In those times of weakness or stress it’s fantastic to have that rock to lean on! Hugs to you too. xxx

  11. Wow, Janine, this is bizarrely close to my own recent journey, right down to the multiple car accidents! I had been feeling, metaphorically, that I was banging my head against a wall in my life and then I ended up with five literal concussions in less than a year and a half. I’m a bit older than you and I’m finally going down the path I believe I was meant to take all long. Scary, but it feels right at the same time.

    1. Woah 5 concussions are you okay?! That’s a serious number of wake up calls but I am so glad you are listening! If its any consolation also, my fiancé suffered a brain injury 2 1/2 years ago after slipping on the tiles at home. We joke – at times – about him needing a serious knock to the head to wake up! You gotta laugh and take the positives from these negatives. Good luck!!!

    1. Hey Ken,

      Its about listening to your mind – your thoughts, and then ‘watching’ your body to see how your thoughts effect your body. i.e. when you feel stressed, often your heart races, you might sweat, get irritable, your stomach might hurt. etc. Does that make sense?

  12. Thank you for such an inspirational post. I read this and find myself relating to almost everything you say. I have focused my entire life on attaining things other people have told me I should have. I always thought once I achieved this I would be happy but I was dead wrong. I am questioning everything I have known, I am very exhausted by life and I am very unhappy.
    I feel empty even though I am surrounded by the things I thought I wanted. Because I worked so hard to achieve these things I have missed out on life experiences and have secluded myself since everyone I knew was focused on school, travel and partying. I didn’t realize the impact my decisions would have on my mind and body. I am still very young so I am hopeful I can be successful in changing this around but it terrifies me to think I might be going back to square one and that the past 7 years could have been for nothing. Thanks to this article I am now aware of the importance of nourishing your mind and spirit with what it truly wants. Your article has given me the strength to make the change. I want to follow my dreams and attain my own happiness. Thank you for making me see this more clearly.

    1. Thanks for leaving such an honest, open comment. It is hard – do not doubt that, but you can do it. What I would recommend is not looking at the last 7 years as having all been for nothing. Sit down and think about what you have learned – both positive and negative, what you have experienced, how this has shaped you now, and so on. I know at times I wished like hell that I hadn’t wasted so many years in deep depression or in the corporate world, but then, no matter how horrid some of it was, it has shaped me and I am a better person for it and now have the strength I need to make change…I wish you health and happiness!

  13. Thank you for sharing your story. This story is happening more and more. People are quitting their corporate employment to pursue their passion and it is at this point, the person’s skills and abilities are truly honed and developed. This is when explosive magic can happen.

    1. It’s like there is a worldwide change in the wind…I love how you say that’s when the ‘explosive magic’ happens. It most definitely does if you open yourself up to it!

  14. It is funny how life can throw curves our way to sway us in our truest direction. Car accidents, consistent money problems, and even broken relationships can be the universe’s way of rerouting our destination to one more telling of who we are meant to be. I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation for about a year now and it has dramatically changed my life for the better. Granted things, like you mentioned, were hard at first and some parts didn’t seem to be turning out the way I thought when I chose to change my life course but patience is a virtue and will tell the honest tail of the wind in due time. I found your message true and inspiring.

    Thank You!

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