How to Look at Big, Scary Life Changes

Photo by Martin Liebermann
Photo by Martin Liebermann

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.” -Deepak Chopra

Just a short while ago, I found myself wandering around the lake. Overhead the sky was clear and the unnatural blue you only see on a very hot day in South Florida. There was a slight breeze, Palm fronds jumping and swaying in delight, and the ducks were quacking out their morning song.

I felt alive. More so in that one moment than I had in years. And so I promised myself, right there, not to forget the feeling. I made a promise that this feeling wouldn’t just be a passing moment, but that I’d make it last for rest of my life. Pretty big promise. But, that’s how I came to be standing on that edge. For me, that feeling is the one that makes me feel alive, it’s being outdoors, feeling free and inspired. Every nuance meant another line or verse for my story. And I got excited; I still am. But covering all of that free, happy excitement is absolute terror.

Why the fear? Well, I don’t want much. I want a home, a solid roof over my head. I want a community, some sort of home base where I can return if I get lost. My mind tends to travel a lot. I want to be around friends, not the fleeting acquaintances, but the true blue friends – the ones who always have your back. I also need my “me time.” I want continuity and success. And, of course, I want to write. So not too much, really.

I actually have a lot of what I want. But I also have an environment that is suffocating the words right out of my soul. I feel hemmed in and I want something more – something entirely new, uncertain and unknown. And that is why I started writing again. I noticed that something made me feel alive, and I am promising myself that I will do whatever it takes to keep feeling that pulse, that energy in my life.

So here I am, sitting at my desk, tapping out these words surrounded by the beginnings of angst and the promise of a new life. The promise of a life made up of “that” feeling. Metaphorically speaking, I’m packing up my life and I’m afraid. Terrified that I’ll become a lonely nomad, never quite finding any place where I fit in. And yet, I’m singing along to Spotify at the top of my lungs. Go figure.

But you know what dear reader, amongst all that fear, I know something. I know that without this giant step forward, this leap of faith, I cannot pass Go, cannot collect my $200, and I won’t be able to create the beautiful vision I hold for my life.

And here it is – the reason I am sharing my soul: The beauty of life, all our lives, is that you get to create it any way you want. We all face challenges and sometimes need to move mountains to gain ground, but to create a mindful life, one that is fulfilled, you have to learn to let go. Life has a funny way of making you suffer, making you lose something that means a lot to you (and only to you) before you can see the next step. So if my friend, you find yourself on that cliff’s edge right now, or thinking about taking that leap of faith, without knowing the outcome I hope this article will help.

open a new doorSometimes, you have to forcibly close a door so another one will open. Cliché, I know. I remember way back, when I wanted to “figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” there was some confusion amongst my family. They didn’t quite understand, and pushed me towards a path I wasn’t terribly thrilled about. But I went obligingly. I stopped. I knew, “this wasn’t it.” Stepping into uncertainty hasn’t paid off yet. I am writing, and I am terribly grateful each and every day. And I know, without a shred of doubt, I wouldn’t be here today, doing work I love on my own terms, if I hadn’t made that leap. But I’m not earning anything yet. And I am afraid. But I know, I need to keep on writing. Sometimes there are ways to build a bridge between the life you have now and the life you want in the future. I haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m working on it. And it’s that leap and the final letting go of what was, that will open the door for what will be.

I also know that to rise, like a phoenix from the ashes, first you have to burn. And boy, am I burning! But I comfort myself with the knowledge that there are few doors in life that can’t be re-opened, just in case. Alongside my own natural worries about my decision, I have to cope with other people’s fears as well. I have to untangle myself from other people’s beliefs about my life. But, I don’t have to take it with me. (and yes, easier said than done, but as you know, we are all works in progress. Even though I’m still in the baby stages of finding my new life, and carving my own path, I know that other people’s concerns have nothing to do with me. So I have to let it go. People see life through the fish eye lens of their own life experience and as a result, find it difficult to see that their experience might not be the same as yours. Bottom line, don’t let other people hold you back.

We all need to burn, to rise free from the ashes and be reborn into the lives we are meant to have.
We all need to burn, to rise free from the ashes and be reborn into the lives we are meant to have.

Like most of you, I’ve lived through some tough, life events in my time on this planet. I felt in each of those times like I might not make it. Like my world might end. But each time I make it through, and I’m beginning to realize that I can handle it. My new path as a writer and a life coach (still in classes, but on the way!) has given me a resolve I thought I had lost. No matter what life tosses at me, I will, in fact, always be OK.

Leaving the comfort of what you know, whether it’s a relationship, a career path, relocation to a new city or something else, know that we all have the strength to cope with whatever life conjures up. Just like you, I have a lot of tough choices to make. My mind answers me in big capital letters: STAGNATION. Since I must practice what I preach, being trained in wellness coaching, I believe that my ultimate purpose on Earth is to grow – to become more and be my best possible self. So there isn’t much of a choice.

I am plagued by doubt, like everyone else. And faced with the fear of stepping into the unknown, I ask myself, what happens if I don’t? And am I willing to accept that? My own answers give me that final little push to step into the void and find out what life has in store for me next. A byline? A book? A corner office in a wellness facility? It doesn’t matter. There are no wrong paths in life. So I’ll see you at the coffee bar at the crossroads.

Stay motivated and caffeinated!😘☕️




  1. I am a year and a few months into my adventure.
    My dream for years has been to move up to the cape. Its not been smooth or easy. Today, I go all the way into Boston to pick up a percription! Yes, while I’m hacking and coffing. I hope I make it. Dreams are not easy.

    • Sometimes, it’s all about meeting someone else on a journey. We can all find our dreams, it’s the bravery needed that makes us or breaks us. Stay motivated and caffeinated Mary!☕️

  2. “To rise, like a phoenix from the ashes, first you have to burn.”

    Yikes! Not fun, but true. Keep up the great work here and live unstoppable!

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