The Surprising Journey to Becoming a Psychic

I was at a friend’s wedding recently when someone asked the typical icebreaker, “So, what do you do?” Just a few years ago, I would have answered it easily and concretely: “I work in urban planning and economic development, helping to grow industries in New York City.” Now I hesitate, my mind going through flowcharts of what I could say and what their reactions might be. The couple looks expectedly in my direction. “I’m a life purpose coach,” I say. 

My husband laughs and adds, “Oh, she’s a psychic.”

Awkward silence.

Or maybe it was just awkward for me. You see, the last thing I ever thought I would be was a psychic. It started nine years ago, when I was at MIT getting my master’s degree in city planning and I had a spiritual experience that opened up psychic gifts that I never knew were possible.

(read more…)

The Legs of My Stool Are Wobbly

A few years into my career, a good friend suggested I make a “Praise” folder in my work inbox where I could collect nice things bosses, colleagues, and clients said about me. These weren’t necessarily extravagant compliments, but a thoughtful comment above your basic “thank you” qualified. I collected items with some regularity. While I didn’t refer to the folder often, I reviewed it when I needed a boost of confidence or a reminder that I was doing good work and was respected by my peers. So when I started a new job 18 months ago, I dutifully created my new “Praise” folder. Then I waited. Over a year into my new job, the praise folder’s contents are scant — and I could use its support more than ever.

 

I’m in the solid middle stretch of my career. After 15 years of employment, I’m now working at a company widely recognized as a market leader, in a position people might consider enviable, yet in some important ways I have never felt more unsure of myself. At a time in my life when I assumed I’d feel settled and certain about my abilities, I have been doubting my skills and intuition like I am just out of college. My work sense of self is a stool built on expertise, praise, and culture, and right now all of its legs are wobbly. (read more…)

Reinventing Your Job

Royal Hawaiian Feather Art

There is a narrative from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, now largely mythical, about what a career looks like: graduate from college, find a job, then put in twenty five or 30 years before retiring at 55 with a gold watch and a pension. In other words, it used to be very typical to stay at one company for a long time, maybe even your whole career. But in the intervening decades, our cultural expectations of career have changed. Having many jobs has become normal — actually, valued. And there is a general belief that once a job ceases to fully satisfy you, it’s time to get a new one. While there are times when this response is justified, sometimes I think we’re too quick to assume a new job will be the answer. Sometimes a workplace reinvention can be as or more effective. (read more…)

Learning On The Job

Eliza's Notebooks - croppedI’ve started rereading my journals by looking for today’s date one year ago, two years ago, even three, four years ago.  This means I’ve been keeping a journal, sporadically, for a long time now.  (This might also mean that I think I’m pretty interesting).  

When I first moved to San Francisco three years ago, I wrote a lot about moving, about writing in coffee shops, and the sounds of this fogged and hilled and palm-shaded city, and how they differed from the sounds of New York.  My journal was a notebook, like what you might buy in the hot still days of August, before school started, along with a pencil case and some new gel pens.  I guess, after all, that I’m in the freshman year of life. (Me, September 2012).  

(read more…)

Eat, Pray, Love Under The Tuscan Sun

Paul_Gauguin_-_Tahitian_Landscape_-_Google_Art_Project

AIEA, HI— I live where bravery and foolishness blur.

The coordinates, a Zen treehouse in Hawaii.

In June, I left Chicago and corporate success behind, indefinitely, for an island and a home I knew only through pictures. At 31, I had never taken time to process my recent divorce, and felt a strong need to examine my identity and career path.

Yes, this is Eat, Pray, Love Under The Tuscan Sun. (read more…)