Work transition

Permission to Expand

These past several months I’ve been thinking about this virtual space, specifically, about how it can support my ever-evolving Creative Living Experiment.

Four years ago (where did THAT time go?!), when I set out to leave my 9-5 job and create a more meaningful way of bringing in revenue, this blog became a platform of sorts for that. I focused on productivity, planning and my art: Stephanie Guimond – Artist, Visionary, Avid Left-Brainer.

Though I still “fit” in that title, it feels a little snug these days. Life has changed since 2011 and I’ve changed, which means some of the subjects I’m exploring have changed too.

There's a reason I changed my tag line a while back. Less labels = less constricting.

There's a reason I changed my tag line a while back. Less labels = less constricting.

It's time to expand.

Of course I've been resisting this, making up stories about how changes to the blog will alienate those who read what few posts I've posted these past few years, or how changing my "brand" may become confusing. Um, what brand? I cried uncle on this particular work transition nearly two years ago! And voici, another loud and nagging story: if I focus less on art here, no doubt it means that I'm done as an artist and that I may as well toss my brushes out with the paint water.


It's amazing the stories we make up, isn't it?

I acknowledge these stories for what they are: irrational, most likely normal, fears about expanding into something that's potentially uncomfortable.

Now that that's out of the way, I will give myself permission to move right on through them and adjust the mold I've created for myself to match what calls my spirit today.

Though I’m still passionate about productivity, planning and art, I want to go back to writing about other things too, like I did before I set out on my work transition. I want to explore subjects like beauty, stillness, books, growth, forward movement, nature, hearth & home, roots, space, clarity, joy, meaning, awareness, alignment and everyday wonder.

So I will, dagnabbit, I will.

And as for you, dearest, if the mold you've created for yourself feels snug today, if your spirit is being called to expand, I hope you will give yourself permission to say YES and explore with me, too.

Work Transition Checkpoint: In Which I Admit to Burnout, Rest and a Softer Approach

“In our hurry-up culture, few of us have the disposition to use time as a resource, yet an authentic vocation unfolds our best life over years; it evolves as we yield to our truths.”

~ Marsha Sinetar, To Build the Life You Want, Create the Work You Love

It's been a while since I've written about my transition from my 9-to-5 job to more meaningful work. Truth is, I feel like I've taken so many steps back and sideways that it's not worth telling you about it.

But I will tell you about it because I want you to know that if you are struggling with the same sideways shuffle or backwards tumble, you are not alone.

I had a long post drafted and ready to go about how I became cynical, jaded and tired at the entire notion and promise of being able to craft a viable income doing what I love. It's true. After ten years studying and reading about it and nearly four years actively trying this and that with minimal financial results, I was burnt out.

Last fall, when my belief in possibility waned dangerously low, I knew I needed a break.

So I took one.

I sank into art, hearth and home. I prioritized work outside of my 9-to-5 job, deciding what to keep and what to pare back. I put my "do your dream work" books aside for a while (I still love these books!), and I asked myself some hard questions about financial security and the amount of space and energy I was giving my quest for meaningful work compared to my other life goals.

I'm happy to report that my hope, energy and enthusiasm are being restored and cynicism is taking a back seat. I'm ready to dip my toes into entrepreneurial projects again, but I'm trying something different. I've shifted my approach:

I practice flexibility, letting things unfold instead of constantly striving towards a rigid idea of "what should be."

I practice stillness, connecting with my Source for direction and guidance instead of relying solely on external experts.

I practice presence, sitting where I am now – 9-to-5 job and all – trusting that things are exactly as they should be, instead of fighting my circumstances.

My days are by no means perfect, but my journey to meaningful work feels a lot softer this way, gentler.

“Frequently your most intelligent strategy for creating work comes by remaining right where you are, saving money, and learning what your aspirations require of you. If you have that luxury, this approach can smooth your ride to wherever it is you're heading.”

~ Marsha Sinetar, To Build the Life You Want, Create the Work You Love

Maybe I am learning what my aspirations require of me. Or, as Ms Sinetar mentioned earlier, maybe it's simply time for me to yield to my truths.

Journey on.