At the beginning of this year, a group of close friends and I created our vision collages for 2013. It was at my friend Wendy’s home – an annual open-house of sorts she organises every year for friends, and friends of friends.

Wendy Chua is a life coach with Wand Inspiration, but she does this for free, for anyone who is interested in starting the year with a vision of what they want to achieve.

I know I wanted to do this. So I gathered a group of like-minded friends and we headed over to Wendy’s home one Saturday morning, armed with magazines, coloured pens, scissors, glue, and all the stuff you’d bring along for a fun art class.

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At the time, I was happily working with Channel NewsAsia as a Senior Producer for Current Affairs. I say “happily” because I wasn’t unhappy with my work.

I had been tasked to helm a 30-episode series of “Conversation With” which would see me producing TV interviews with prominent personalities all over Asia. That sounded interesting to me, and challenging.

But the problem was, none of that featured in my vision collage – at all. Central to my collage was an image of me as a travel writer.

This has been a “knowing” since I returned from my 9-month trip around the world in 2011. I came back with a clarity as to what I wanted to do with my life, and that was to write for a living, and to travel the world telling stories.

travel writing

But what was also important to me was time with my family, time to read books, time to allow myself to grow and to blossom as a person.

I am a Libra. And balance is very important for Librans. Sure, it’s important to give of yourself – even to give till it hurts – but you need to feed yourself too. If not, you’ll end up being like a tube of toothpaste that’s been squeezed till its flattened.

Having “input” as you “output” is like being an open-ended tube that allows knowledge and experience to flow right into your being, through it, and then to flow out to others. It’s always cleansing and renewing and giving and abundant!

Growing and learning does that for me.

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I also see myself living healthier: Eating less meats (especially red meats), and choosing more fruits and vegetables. I’m told that subconsciously, it makes your soul lighter because you’re not eating animals. I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve gradually liked meats less.

I see myself exercising more too – keeping to my running and Pilates schedules – to strengthen my body, especially my core.

Spirituality is something fundamental to me. While I’ve been struggling with religion (which isn’t the same as spirituality), I still believe in God. But lately, I feel drawn to Buddhist philosophy and I do want to explore it more.

sprititual health

Another area of my life that I want to focus on this year is friendships, something I’ve neglected these past couple of years. I want to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones; to nurture deep and meaningful friendships again.

When I took my vision collage home, I put it on my bookshelf beside my bed – at eye level. So that I could see it when I went to bed and when I woke up. It was almost like an altar of sorts because it was placed in a position of honour.

My vision collage on the bookshelf beside my bed, where I can see it before I sleep and when I wake.

My vision collage on the bookshelf beside my bed – at eye level.

This vision collage made me assess where I was, and where I wanted to be.

I realized that my current reality was nowhere near this. I was in a job that I did not hate, but as my friend Bea wisely noted, “What you don’t hate and what you love is very different”.

I was spending a lot of time at work, while my boys were facing their PSLE year. I hardly had any quality time with them. I had stopped exercising regularly. I had stopped reading altogether. My time was pretty much sold to my job. And I wasn’t even paid much!

While I didn’t hate the work I did, I also knew that it wasn’t what I was created to do. My Element has always been writing – that is my most natural form of self expression. So why wasn’t I doing it? What was I waiting for?

When I looked at the year that lay ahead, I didn’t see it getting any better. Would time free up for me to pursue the things that really mattered to me?

The answer was No.

In fact, as the filming and production work for “Conversation With” goes full steam ahead, I envisioned less time and less energy for these things.

That was when I knew that I had to stand up for myself and my dreams. If I didn’t, who would stand up for me?

For a Libra, I am pretty decisive when it comes to things that matter to me.

I made this vision collage on a Saturday morning. On Monday morning, I handed in my resignation.

My independence and freedom to choose how I wanted to spend my time is of utmost importance to me. If I didn’t work for my own vision and my own dreams, then someone will hire me to work for their vision and their dreams.

That did not sit well with me. Nope.

Of course, the fear of cutting the chords was there. It was very real. I had been in MediaCorp for 7 years; it was my second home. I love the place. I love the people. Yet, it was time for me to take a leap of faith… with no safety net.

Many friends have asked me how I came to that decision. How did I embrace that mindset of letting go of the safe and familiar, and to dive into the unknown?

I have replied in many ways, and in many words… But just today, I read Deepak Chopra’s answer to a similar question, and it summed up for me what I was struggling to say.

And so, I shall cheat here by including his wise response. I don’t know if it will make any sense to you; it may just be utter nonsense. But to me, it made all the sense in the world.

Question:

I am not sure how I want my life to be. On one hand I want independence in what I do, but lack courage to step out and face the world. I am not unhappy but at the same time I feel this is not what I am. How do I resolve this internal conflict?

Deepak Chopra:

There is a wisdom inside you beyond your thinking mind that already knows how your life needs to be. If you connect with this intelligence and get your conditioned personality out of the way, it will all unfold naturally and effortlessly.

The real you does not lack the courage and power to step out and face the world, that is the timid ego-self that is content with the familiarity of the status quo. All growth is a process of overcoming the security and complacency of the familiar with the courage to create something new in your life and the world. That creative process is an assertion of independence and self-power. It requires courage because creativity means you are stepping into the unknown.

But that courage is also a process of self-discovery. You find out who you are by exercising your power as an individual to act, to create, to make decisions. So you don’t need to have a clear plan for what you are and what your purpose is, that will unfold as you begin your journey into the world.

Take your first step, then another, and you will soon find that the path of self-discovery, creativity and empowerment will provide its own motivation and courage.

pam's vision collage
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