Thinking back on it, my lifestyle change journey really began about eight years ago. But I didn't become aware of it until about three years ago when I consciously decided I needed to lead a "lighter" life and started by cleaning out the medicine cabinet.

It seems so simple now, but it took three months before I could let go of the contents of that 14 x 16-inch space. Every time I went in that cabinet, a more honest assessment yielded more trash. Soon it became easier to be honest about the clutter of my life, at least the old stuff. Memory stuff was not so easy--things my parents gave me, my ex-husband, old boyfriends, friends--I'm sure you get the picture. Of course, the kids' stuff was the hardest. But practice does make perfect, and in time I was able to make hard choices about what was really important to me. Slowly but steadily over the next three years I conquered the rest of my house--purging and cleaning every corner, cabinet and room.

Happy with what I'd accomplished, by fall of 2005 I was ready to focus on other life shifting goals. It was as if cleaning out the medicine cabinet and the rest of the house was the catalyst for other, bigger changes.

And the messages to make changes were all around me. Early in November 2005, I started hearing them. "It’s time to really shift." I heard Dr. Phil, television’s well-known therapist, say whenever I clicked on his show. I didn't watch him very often but when my intuition said tape it or turn on the tube, I did, and there was the same message, "If it isn't working for you, change it." The timing was always impeccable. Of course, he expressed the message in different words.

But even with these coincidences, I heard the bold words but didn't take any action. Then the messages started bombarding me. Small, soft, large and loud. They kept coming. In early December, while in a meditative state, I heard it. This time very clearly, very direct AND very, very loud, and firm. "Its time to really commit and get bold. Its time to reinvent yourself, Catherine."

All I could do was give a throat chuckle. The message scared the heebie jeebies out of me. Over the space of the week my feelings transitioned into, "Okay, I'm open, what do you mean by that?" I asked even though I had a good idea what it meant. The vision of selling everything and changing my environment to be much lighter, more Zen-like. I've needed to lose a lot of weight (that was always a goal). But this time it was different, it wasn't the weight at all. It was, "Get healthy. There’s a lot in store for you, and you need to be healthy in order to get there."

The picture got clearer as each week progressed. Key items appeared, I got nervous, questioned it, mulled over it, ran and tried to hide for a few hours from it, shared my doubts with my best friend, Brenda. The doubts faded but my lack of trust in myself didn't totally go away. I kept wanting all the answers. I want to know exactly what I was to do and how to do it.

The New Year is here now and I know what I need to do, although I still have no clue of what it all means. The thoughts of measuring up to the vision is still a little nerve wracking. Doubts come and go but only when I really don't want to eat healthy or exercise. One step, now, is all I can focus on. Eat healthy now. Exercise now. Sell one piece of furniture now. Its replacement will come. I know all will come at the right time. And I think that is the only thing that keeps me in the "now" of working towards wherever this "reinventing Catherine" message is leading me. I hold on to the vision that has been there for the last few months as I really like its picture.

Yesterday, I spent some time working on my 2006 Attraction Board. It had been in the works since early November but the pictures weren't clear. Yesterday, while in the craft store things began to mesh. This week I plan on test-driving new cars, deciding on which one I like, and placing its picture on my Attraction Board so that the universal laws will bring it to me.

When messages come of steps that you want to take, allow yourself to go through the emotions, but don't get stuck in the feelings. Keep the door open because the message you receive may only be a partial picture. If you block it because it seems too big or impossible or unimportant, then the next message, the one that explains it or gives it additional clarity, won't get through to you. Even profound decisions often mask themselves as many simple choices -- like cleaning out a medicine cabinet -- and only take a few moments to make. So be ready. Keep the doors open to the possibilities and listen -- messages can come from the strangest places -- a television program, a child, a piece of music, a memory or your own behavior. It really isn't difficult. It is a decision though. It is a choice.

(c) Copyright 2006, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Catherine Franz, is a syndicated columnist, author,radio host, International speaker, and master business coach.