Discovering your life’s mission, calling or following your heart is actually a continuous journey. In the beginning, you’ll probably be drawn to do something but you probably have no tools, skills, experience, guide and education to venture with confidence and assurance. It’s going to feel overwhelming and you’re going to feel that you are groping in the dark.
Should you decide to start your journey, often there will be period of self-doubt- especially questioning your sanity. Because usually the results don’t shine immediately- so you’re going to be facing a lot of critics- your family, friends, ex-colleagues, etc.
And you’ll find that none of the external critics and dream crushers are as harsh as your own inner self critic.
No one said going against the grain will be easy. Combined with uncertainly and the fact that during the beginning, you’re pretty much on your own and alone in your endeavors. The good news is that in the process, you’ll always end up breaking your own barriers and overcoming limitations that have until that stage, had prevented you to live a full, happy and fulfilled life. And then, so long as you stay true to yourself, help will come- sometimes from unexpected source.
In this post, I want to share with you on my personal account. I am able to write about all these topics because either I myself or those who I care about have gone through these experiences.
As early as September 2007, I felt strongly that I should move into healing. The word healing constantly appear in my mind. I was completely in the dark- it seemed right for the heart to venture but what type of healing?
Puzzled, I search around for clues in my life. Down with chronic fatigue for most part of my life, I find that my syndrome went under control with exercising. Perhaps, my calling was to learn about exercise as a form of healing- using exercise as medicine to heal ailments and health conditions. And so happened in December 07, I came to know a famous blogger who recommended a local fitness school. In December 2007, I met with the owner and told him that I’ve wanted to learn about exercise prescription for special population. Eventually I signed up for the class which eventually provided me the certification to be a personal trainer.
I enjoyed the classes tremendously and for the first time, I was able to learn biology from the perspective of kinesiology, and facts on cardiovascular health, role of muscles and joints in movement. I believed that exercise can be use as medicine and am especially interested in working with special population (probably due to many people closed to me had suffered so much of health problems). But I am overwhelmed as to how to do it- I mean, how to I work with a person with hypertension, arthritis?
Around the same time as I was preparing for my certification exams in April, the inner voice insisting that I quit my job was getting louder and more persistent. Nope, I don’t think I am crazy or hearing strange voices. Call it the higher self, intuition or the power of subconscious.
As much as I’ve wanted to quit, I can’t do so because I was the main breadwinner in my family. My salary, including bonuses were times more than my brother’s. When the nudgings become more persistent, I promised myself that I will quit once my brother can find a better job than the one he’s stuck in.
As if a divine sign- within 2 weeks, he landed in an interview and secured a job with a multinational company. True to my promise, on 13 May 2008, I tendered my resignation…the same day as he signed the letter of offer with the new company.
It was not easy to leave the company that I’ve worked for 9 years… I’ve made close friends, got very good and used to the job. I was in the position to help many people and I did my best to make their lives easier. Hard as my job has been, I had been in my comfort zone for too long.
So there have been moments of doubt (while serving my notice) when I am tempted to retract my resignation and during times like this, a few notable events happened that sealed the fate. They reminded me the reason why I wanted to leave the job. I knew I could not continue anymore.
Two weeks after my last day in my company, I found myself in Thailand. Nope, I did not teleport myself there but through a series of again strange coincidence, I was presented with the opportunity to visit and stay in Thailand.
What was supposed to be a 2 to 3 weeks trip ended up to be one year- of course, I had to travel back and forth in between because of my visa. That year, I took time to reflect on a lot of things in life, and to turn inwards and examine my own flaws and weaknesses.
I realized that the cause of a lot of unhappiness in life is not because of other people or external events- it was how I deal and respond to these events. In that one year, I learned to heal my inner self. You can never heal another human being until you’ve learned to heal yourself….learn to deal with your inner issues.
Last year, I decide to come back to Malaysia instead of travelling back and forth. Still, the nudging that I should be doing something related to healing was still strong. But I was very confused and wonder to myself ‘am I going out of my mind?’. Hardly anyone offered me any encouragement- everyone told me that I should use my capabilities to climb the corporate ladder and earn a good salary. I read about all the complementary healing out there but knew that I do not have the natural inclination to provide healing via acupressure, laying of hands, qi gong, meridian, energy or Chinese medicine. I doubt I would have the skills at physically performing healing. There are gifted healers who have that gift.
But as I gradually start to scale down my life, my mind grew more calm and I was able to see many things that I had missed out in the past. Seeing things with my heart instead of just my brain, I could make an almost distinct mind-body connection to a lot of health ailments- with the aid of Chinese system of healing and works of authors who believe in the power of the mind over body.
Not long after I came back I managed to get myself a job- because I did not want to be withdrawing from my fast dwindling savings anymore. In my job initially, I was put into various confrontational situations and I was able to finally put what I’ve learned to practice. Again I realise that we cannot control others- but our behavior can influence others. If others fault find with us and we do not get defensive but react kindly, eventually we learn to bring out the best in other people. All living beings respond to love and kindness. I’ve managed to overcome some personal hurdles and weaknesses through this job.
Then lately, the context of healing becomes clearer once the emotional blockages from the heart gradually gets cleared. I know now that my call for now is to write on healing is related to mind-body. Our mind has the capacity to manifest our ailments but it also have equal the ability to heal.
To do that, I have chosen not to go back to the rat race (at least for now) in order to concentrate to research, experience and to share in more posts. I hope can help others to heal. I’ve taken a job with a pay cut (bills still need tobe paid) in order to be able to devote more time and energy into research and writing.
I must be doing something right because a number of health ailments that had plagued me for years- strange kidney pain, chronic fatigue & lerthagy, chronic sinuses and constant nightmares seemed to be vanishing. I’ve also successfully lost about 15kg of weight and kept most of it off for a year now (just another 5kg to go and I’ll be on my ideal weight). People who just got to know me within the year could not believe I was so much heavier in the past (in fact, I’ve been always fat since young).
Once, a friend I met during a gathering told me that she used to see me in the train during work in the past. Puzzled as I’ve never saw her before, I asked:
“But I never saw you in the train. Why haven’t you come over to say hi?”
“You looked so fierce then that I was scared to come over and talk to you. But now you look so much better.”
I agree with her- my own colleagues also don’t dare to talk to me in the morning when they bumped into me in the train. The constant nightmares made my head felt so heavy and my body made of lead. I was totally not a morning person- in the first few hours of the morning, I usually felt too tired, drained and stressed to smile (but as the day wears on, the drained feeling will reduce with strong doses of coffee). That was in the past- now I usually get up early in the morning
Mind-body medicine is not the only way, but only one of path towards healing. It may not work for everyone…sometimes the ailment is so critical that life saving medical intervention is necessary. But it is not quack science….usually a person who is too disengaged from their mind and body and stop listening to their bodies (like how I was last time) would consider this as utter nonsense. When I really open my eyes, the evidence has always been there for me to see…and hopefully in future posts, I will be able to present these evidence to you.
The pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall together for me. All the ‘training’ that I have been given in this journey of life…. my education…. the fact that my mom had forced me to speak English from young and gotten me to read tonnes of English books to make me interested to learn to language…. the kind hearted secretary in my first job at 17 that insist I learned typing to proper way (by positioning my fingers at the proper keys)….the 18 months I spent on my job answering emails every day until I was able to think quickly and type…and the sadness I feel losing loved ones and watching friends lose their loved ones to preventable illnesses….everything seemed to be preparing me for do this. It seems to make sense now when in the past, these events seemed to be totally unrelated.
In this blog, and my other Life Blog, I am now beginning to write the kind of articles that I had been searching for in the internet in the past. I’ve accepted that this is what that feels right and that I should be doing. By going along with nature instead of against it, it gives me greater inner peace, contentment and a sense of purpose to wake up everyday for. I know there will be more to come in future, but I won’t fret over the unknown for now. I’ll cross the bridge when I reach it.
This is a part of the story of my life. You may be going through similar ordeals as me, and in total lost as to the grand scheme of things. My advice to you is not to fight it- the road ahead is always not immediately clear but you will find your vocation if you go in the right direction. Others around you may discourage you and tell you that you’re out of your mind. But learn to tune in to your inner compass, use your conscience, your heart and inner peace as your guiding light…
Never measure success by your nett worth, fame and outer beauty.
After all, all the money, popularity and status in the world meant nothing to an empty heart.