I came to Paris in 1999. I was lost and life had thrashed me about more than enough. I had no self-confidence and I was afraid of the unknown, but I had my spirituality and a daily discipline of meditation.
I believe that above all, these things and some loving friends helped me build myself little by little. At 40, I began to believe in myself intermittently, at 50 that became a more sustained state. As we believe in ourselves, we trust ourselves, we are kind, gentle and respect ourselves and we dare to dream.
My dream was to go to India. I have always experienced a deep sense of fulfillment, a sense of being ‘home’ in India. True, I have been practicing Kriya Yoga, an ancient meditation technique from India for 25 years and that has probably helped me with this immersion into the spiritual foundations of India.
But then, my passion for India spread and I began to read books on economic development, social issues, danced and sang with Bollywood movies, learned to cook Indian food and last but not least, began studying Hindi.
At 50, as we do when a big birthday hits, we tend to evaluate, get an objective view of things. Where am I? Am I fulfilled? Are my fears holding me back? I had managed to buy a flat, have a successful psychotherapy practice, give lectures and seminars in many countries and publish a book and articles, but on the personal and spiritual levels, I was not getting any fulfillment at all.
I lived and worked in my Paris apartment and spent too much time alone. I worked 6-7 days per week and often until midnight. All my efforts to collaborate more or simply spend more time with people, meet single men, were not fruitful.
Something had to change. In addition, my knees were literally worn out and needed replacing. The first thing was to have the knee surgery that was no longer avoidable. I decided to have both knees done at the same time to get it all done and over with as quickly as possible.
I spent two months in hospital and rehab to get me back on my feet. All that quiet time was when it finally hit me. Time to take a leap of faith and follow that dream, that calling in my heart to go to India. The months that followed, I worked hard and did lots of physical therapy. That was good for my soul too.
The idea of telling my psychotherapy clients I was closing my practice was daunting. I feared their reactions. And yet, I had to follow my dream, so on 1st September it was time to make it all concrete.
I started telling my clients that I was closing my practice and would be available online. To my surprise, every single client, upon learning that I was leaving Paris to take a leap of faith and follow my dream reacted with happiness for me.
It wasn’t at all how I expected it to be. In fact, by taking this step, I was giving an example to my clients, one that I hope will inspire them to make their leap, whatever that might be, but at least the leap of faith into themselves, to listen to, trust and honor their inner voice.
I started the transition by making a long visit back home to spend time with my family. We enjoyed lots of hiking and quality time together. As I contemplate my imminent departure for India, I’m aware that this is an opportunity to start a new life and to make of it whatever I decide.
In other words, none of the parameters are set, I can position myself and spend this time according to my heart, my intuition. The only limits are those that I (won’t) create. Pretty ecstatic feeling. Can you relate? Ever felt like that before?
My intuition is telling me to have undying faith, take every opportunity, stay focused and do not get scattered. It is interesting that ever since the day I started telling my clients, I have been on one long sustained state of joy, peace and faith. There has not been one moment of doubt, I feel perfectly aligned and at peace.
Food for thought: It’s interesting to contemplate and celebrate the relationship between taking a leap of faith and sustained states of joy!
East-West Executive Coaching
Psychotherapy (Accredited AFP-ACP/FF2P)
Adjunct Professor, Antioch University McGregor