Everything has changed
My life. My work. How I spend my days. Even where I live. And, all because I decided to stop doing things the way I’d always done them. I made the decision to let go. To follow where that little voice inside was calling me. I call that voice inspiration. You may call it your heart, your gut, your higher self, your intuition, the universe, or even God. What you call it doesn’t matter. What does matter is when you choose to listen, and follow, everything changes. You’re finally able to step into the life you’ve been dreaming of. In fact, it may be better than you ever imagined. That’s what happened to me.
It started with a decision 22 years ago
Truth be told, it started with breaking down. In 1998, in the midst of a successful career in marketing and advertising, I realized I was burned out. The demands of my job weren’t allowing me to be the kind of mom I wanted to be.
For years, friends had told me I should start my own business. I’d always shrugged them off. Until I realized that was the only way I could create the life I truly wanted. It was time to step onto a new path. Little did I know where it would lead.
My journey into entrepreneurship
My determination, resourcefulness, and compelling reason why propelled me to success, and within a year I was making more in my own business than I’d been making in my corporate job. I had more time with my kids, and life was looking up. But after a few years, despite having created a six-figure, work-from-home, consulting business, I found myself chasing higher and higher levels of success. In 2009, I experienced another breakdown. I knew I could no longer continue on the path I was on. I was frustrated, burned out and unhappy, again.
Perhaps out of desperation, I decided to take a break. My heart was calling me to let it all go–not an easy thing to do. But I knew I had to. I made the decision to stop working so hard, and start doing what I felt inspired to do instead.
I watched my life and business begin to unfold in a whole new way. My business slowed. I was fine with that because I’d been wanting to do different work, I just couldn’t figure out (with my head!) exactly what that was.
That’s when I realized I wanted to teach. Within one month an email landed in my inbox, inviting me to teach online. That email ended up transforming my entire life. And, it made me realize the power of letting go.
Up to that point, my life had been defined and consumed by work. So much so that if you had asked me back then what I did for fun, I probably couldn’t have given you an answer. So, in some ways, the breakdown was a gift. Learning to let go and follow inspiration not only transformed the way I work, it led me to the most meaningful work I’ve ever done: volunteer pet therapy.
Not only do I find great joy in pet therapy, it has provided perspective, and a sense of purpose I didn’t even know I was looking for. I’ve made many dear friends. It even helped me find my tribe when inspiration led my husband and me to relocate across the country.
A 2,300-mile journey
It started with a question. I’m not even sure where the question came from. It wasn’t something I’d been thinking about, not consciously at least. My husband had been pretty stressed at work for quite some time. I knew he wanted to retire early. Perhaps it was that knowledge that prompted me to ask, “Would you sell the house and move to another state if it meant you could retire now?” His response? A resounding, “Yes!” We didn’t take action immediately, but the wheels had been set in motion. Over the course of the next year, following one inspired idea at a time, we made the decision to move, sold our house, packed up our lives, and left our family and friends, and the only city we’d ever called home, and moved from San Diego to Western North Carolina.
The Inspired Path led us home
The thing about following inspiration is you never really know where it will lead you. The inspired idea to move across the country was a scary one. But we trusted it, because deep in our hearts, it felt right. And, we’ve discovered we feel more at home in North Carolina than we did in San Diego. In fact, we can’t imagine being anywhere else. It’s a beautiful and inspiring place to live and work. We never could have planned the life we have now. The only reason we have it is because we listened to that little voice, and trusted it,
trust your wings
On one of our scouting trips to North Carolina, I found a mug that read: Trust Your Wings, They Will Take You Far.
I brought that mug home, as a reminder. I knew that as we were deciding whether to relocate, I’d have doubts. And, perhaps the reminder to trust would come in handy.
As I look at that mug today, I realize that’s what following inspiration is all about. Trusting your wings.
Today, I live in a truly inspiring place. I’m doing work that’s meaningful, enjoyable, and fills with me with a sense of purpose. My life looks nothing like it did 10 years ago. I owe it all to following my inspiration. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping others do the same.
Debbie LaChusa is an author, blogger, and online teacher. After a 30-year career in marketing, including running her own business for 20 years, Debbie stepped away from business in 2017 to focus on writing and teaching. She’s a bestselling online teacher with more than 20,000 students in 164 countries. She’s also the author of four books, including her latest, The Following Inspiration Experiment: Learning to let go and live in the flow. A pet therapy volunteer since 2014, Debbie has made more than 500 pet therapy visits with her golden retrievers, Hope and Faith. She’s also the creator of the PetTherapyStories.com blog. In 2018, Debbie and her husband relocated from the hustle and bustle of Southern California to the mountains of Western North Carolina, where they currently live on a mountaintop, in a home they’ve nicknamed The Treehouse. To learn more about Debbie, visit DebbieLaChusa.com