Opening the Door to a Powerful New Life

You’re standing at the doorway.

On one side of the door, you can decide that life has not turned out the way you desire. It’s unfair. It’s too hard. Maybe the same thing keeps happening to you—or not happening.

You might feel anxious or discouraged. It’s a young techie’s world. Or a blonde’s. Or someone luckier and other than you. You don’t have real money. Stable true love. The recognition or freedom you deserve. It almost works out sometimes. But then it rains. You lose your ticket. The job is taken away. Your lover turns out to be a tiny bit misleading, what with being married to eight other people and all. And the disappointments seem familiar, and yet cut you to the bone, because some part of you knows, it doesn’t have to be this way.

This is a life that is “happening to you.” This perspective denies your power. I am not demeaning your feelings of frustration. It’s just that I have something more useful in mind.

You can walk through this doorway.

You may have to crawl. You may need to breathe deeper than you have ever breathed. You may do it while kicking stones and cans in resentment, but doing it nonetheless, giving yourself a shot. You may have to grow. You may have to choose to do things in a way that you have never done them before. You may have to become a superhero in your own lifetime. It’s what you really want. It’s what the deepest part of you wants.

So, are you going through the doorway?

I want you to join me. I want you to step into the life you didn’t plan. I want you to loosen up on your control over everything you think needs to happen.

Everything that hasn’t exactly worked out in your life brought you to this wooden doorstep. It is the doorstep of willingness. It's a precipice. It's an adventure.  It's a choice. It is time to unlock your powers or your destiny. Congrats, you’ve arrived.

Uncertainty is your new best friend. It will help you discover your certainty. It will help you reach for freedom.

Because when you let go of your plan, you open to a powerful path, the path of being led. It’s the end of emptiness. It’s the beginning of your True Life, the one of following your inspired instincts instead of your fear.

This takes courage. Or desperation. Or curiosity. Or ambivalence. I don’t care how you get here. Let’s just do this. Let’s begin in this second. Let’s give life a new chance. It’s the only life you have. I’d say bet your life on it.

Let’s step into the greatest life ever, the life we didn’t plan.

You are growing beyond where you have been. Your life isn’t diminishing. Your old life is diminishing. Your True Life is expanding. It’s roaring for your love and commitment.

You may think you’re stuck. I’d say you’re standing at a threshold.

Are you willing to thrive through every aspect of your life right now—and not just when things change? Things change because you decide to thrive.

Where is uncertainty creating discomfort for you? Making you feel small? Or making you play small in your life? That’s where you’re getting fooled. You’re letting the circumstances of your life define who you are.

Oh, but butterfly-grasshopper-lover of transformation—you are here to define (or redefine) your circumstances. You are the storyteller in your life. And you are here to live a great story with a happy middle as well as a happy ending.

This is the secret superpower that successful people have: They can stand uncertainty. They can get past their past and create their ultimate soul-stirring relationship. They can spin a new entrepreneurial venture out of thin air, fail, and spin three more. They can run for office, write a memoir, or trek around the globe even if it seems foolish at their age or level of inexperience. They can stay with things for as long as it takes for their desires to come true. They can hold on where others let go. They can trust instead of trying to control every single outcome. They don’t need to have a guarantee in order to succeed.

They already have a guarantee.

Showing up is the guarantee.

As you show up for your true desires, life shows up for you.

You feel alive when you show up. You feel flattened and hollow when you don’t. You may have your “reasons.” But it doesn’t matter. Anything that keeps you from showing up is poison.

I’ve seen a Broadway actor belt out a song that practically reshaped the bones of the audience—and helped them remember what it feels like to be redeemed. And I’ve wondered what if that singer had stopped going to auditions after a brutal round of rejections? Someone else quit.

And I had a client adopt the Chinese daughter of her dreams after experiencing illness, mishaps, obstacles, and enough paperwork to wipe out a forest. But what if she had closed her heart or stopped jumping through the hoops? I wouldn’t get those yearly Christmas cards. And I’ve met others who were betrayed or faced a major health challenge or other difficulty and they were happier than others I knew in perfect health and jobs.

Why do some people keep going? Why do some people come up with creative angles that immediately get attention? Why do some people meet the right connection? Or bounce back from setbacks? Find the right doctor? Get funding? Meet that incredible partner? Get the breaks? Enjoy where they are, no matter the circumstance?

They have mastered the art of showing up with love for their lives. Acting with love. Glowing. Possessing that something extra. They are not forcing their lives. They are discovering them. Working with their own spirit, instead of against it.

I’m sensitive this way, because I have almost given up or settled, lost my own fight with anxiety and frustration too many times. And it’s unbearable to me to think of the life I would have missed—and I so don’t want you to miss the life that is calling to you.

I know what it’s like to have everything change and to have to make up your life out of thin air and fight back tumultuous fears to do it. Years ago, I walked out of an established life into the terror and wonder of transformation. I had been practicing law with an elite corporate law firm. I’d graduated Harvard Law School with honors. Everything looked “set.” But while I lived in the illusion of security, that “established, safe life” was crushing and killing the real me, every single day.

Finally, feeling broken and, at the same time, as though I were breaking free, I left everything without a plan for the future or a safety net.  I abandoned “conventional wisdom” and followed inner wisdom instead, an instinct, a drive, a hope, and an inner authority that spoke to me about living my life from love instead of fear.

It took a different voice within me to create a different life.

I’ve walked through so many other transitions too, and, always, when I listened to my heart, I experienced a secret footpath through the world, even though I couldn’t see this path. And this is the practice of powerful self-discovery I’ve taught in my workshops, retreats, and programs. At this point, I’ve written four books, gained a following in the United States and throughout the world, and have been featured in national media. But more than this, I’ve discovered that I can trust an inner wisdom, and it is more instrumental than anything in this world.

I just couldn’t find my way in the world. I had to find myself first.

I found myself by learning how to listen to a loving voice inside myself. It’s been a quantum shift in how I think about and approach everything in life. When I began, I thought I was just going through a career transition. But that career transition turned out to be an identity transformation. It’s been a spiritual pilgrimage of shedding old, limiting, and “rational” beliefs. I couldn’t have a different life until I realized I was so much more than who I thought I was. We all are. And that’s the journey I’m hoping you’ll take with me.

Find out about upcoming programs with Tama Kieves at Kripalu.

This article is excerpted and adapted from Thriving through Uncertainty: Moving Beyond Fear of the Unknown and Making Change Work for You (the Penguin Group).

Tama Kieves, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, left an unfulfilling life at a prestigious law firm to pursue her passion and become a writer, speaker and visionary career/success coach. Now, she helps people worldwide to move past fears, tackle uncertainty, and shift their mindset to achieve the extraordinary in their own lives.  She is the author of Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work, This Time I Dance: Creating the Work You Love, and A Year Without Fear: 365 Days of

Tama Kieves, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, left a corporate law practice to write and embolden others to live their deepest desires.

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