Get in the Driver’s Seat

“Don’t let life drive you crazy. You drive that motherf…..; it’s yours. You’re in charge.” – Jennifer Lewis (click name for video)


So, WHY do we sit here? I mean, why do we sit down in our life? Why do we have such a hard time getting up out of the chair and taking that first step? What keeps us in that place of being a “passenger”? I think it’s because we’ve forgotten we have courage, perseverance and strength. And most importantly, that we have choice. Here’s my story.

It’s September 2012 and I’m exhausted. I am all over the place. On the outside, everything looks great; I’m carrying on like all is well. On the inside, however, I feel stuck and I’ve felt like this for a long time. I feel a buzz in my body and in my brain. I close my eyes and I see those zigzags like we used to see on our old black and white TV back in the 70’s when the reception went on the fritz. I want something, but I don’t even know what that something is. To top it off, the fear of change has had a firm grip on me for years. As I get older, those voices get louder: “You’re too old to make a change”, “Who do you think you are?”, “You can’t go back to school”, “Are you making this up?”, “Is it really that bad?” And then that other voice settles in: “This is the way it’s going to be; suck it up, you have no choice.”

On my birthday last year, a friend tells me that I am at the end of a 7-year cycle and it is significant, so take notice. I go home and do what I always do (drives my kids crazy) …. I Google “7 year cycle” and discover that I am going into a period of tremendous change, so buckle up your boots baby, cause the ride is going to be wild! Suddenly I have a stark awareness that the status quo is simply not good enough anymore. I am not ok with sitting on the sidelines of life. Anyone who knows me and is reading this I know will be saying, “What? Seriously? You always look like you’re totally engaged with life!” Truth? I’ve been manufacturing that so it looks good on the outside, but inside I’m crumbling. I’ve been working so hard to build someone else’s dream and suddenly I wake up and discover that no, actually, it’s not my dream. I am devastated to discover this. It’s an awesome dream (and an unbelievable success story) and I am extremely proud of the work I’ve done, but it’s time to move on. Problem is, I have no freaking idea what I want. I decide to ask the universe to guide me, give me a sign, anything! I set an intention to listen more and be mindful of messages coming to me. This is not easy for me; it’s a new way of being. I’ve always sucked at listening to my gut. But slowly, I begin the journey of noticing.

I see an email about a Reiki course happening in a week and I decide to sign up. Not because I want to be a Reiki master, but because I want to be in the presence of this very wise young woman and Reiki Master named Tara Antler, whom I’ve known for years. I’m thinking, “This is very smart Lauren. This is going to give you the kick start you need”. Holy cow. Be careful what you wish for. During the course we did a guided meditation and I had a vision of myself as a young girl, probably about 10 years old. I am doing cartwheels for hours on the sandbar at Victoria Beach, Manitoba where my family had a cottage. It’s sunny and warm, a typical lazy August day. I hear the waves and I hear the sound of my 10-year-old self laughing. It’s like that dream that won’t stop. You keep waking up from it and then go back to it, but this time it’s a good dream. I hear my mom’s laugh (she had the most incredible laugh). I haven’t heard that laugh for years. I miss it. Laughter is all around me. I start to cry. I suddenly have an awareness that I’m so caught up with being a grown up that I’m forgetting how to play. Where is the laughter? I want more joy in my life. I set an intention to look for change. No really …. seriously this time. Beginning a few days after the course, my life starts to turn. Again, from the outside, everything looks like it always has…put together. But inside, sheer chaos. I’m being bombarded with messages, and they’re flying around my brain like a ping-pong ball. Suddenly the moment when I thought I had no choice, I have a dozen choices? Which one though? I feel myself going into paralysis – too many choices, so best to just choose nothing.

Uh, uh. No way. Not this time. Don’t forget, I’m at the end of this 7-year cycle and I feel a fever rising in me. Get on with it girl!

The good news? I have choice. I get to choose. But first, more listening. I start to notice things posted on Facebook (what’s their origin?). Coaching. I am a subject of a new TV show pilot (that will never be shown…thank goodness). The host? A coach. I meet someone at a party. A coach. I go to my old PC and discover a 4 year old bookmarked website….a coach training site. Is this a message? Wait, for years I was a rhythmic gymnastics coach. Yup, it’s a message. I can do this. I’ve been doing this, somewhat in my current job. I feel this incredible desire rise inside me. Suddenly opportunity is presenting itself and it’s up to me to grab it and run. With intense fear I sign up for the course and my life as I knew it (sitting down) is in the past.

So here we are – it’s October 2013. A year later and I’m making it happen. I look back and I think, “Wow, the fear and chaos is behind me”. It’s staggering how far I have come. So guess what everyone? I made a drastic change and I’m still alive! I am a COACH! And yes, I got a coach for me. That’s how I did it. I had someone kicking my butt and who got me to challenge my previously held limiting thoughts. Thanks Deborah! You know, some of the not so fun stuff is still in my life, but I feel different inside. That “stuff” doesn’t have a grip on me anymore. The power it held over me is slowly losing steam, replaced by a burning fire to keep awake. To be BOLD and COURAGEOUS. To keep taking a step forward INTO my life. I am no longer sitting in the passenger seat. I am in the driver’s seat baby!

I leave you with this:

Which seat are you in?