In the June tip, I wrote that I felt an invitation to “Get Out of the Box and Dream” this summer. As is my habit, I curtailed every responsibility, except my therapy practice, and took a modified sabbatical. Unlike the four previous summers, I had endless time. I was not moving, planning a wedding or recovering from surgery. This left me four days a week totally dedicated to whimsy. The weather co-operated with this invitation. June was warm and I immediately began to bike and swim. Doesn’t this sound ideal?

Well for an overachiever, like me, it was a struggle. I have lots of energy and have spent my life going above and beyond “average”. I graduated early from college with a double major. I received two Master Degrees in three years. And in addition to having a counseling practice, I have always had a second avocation: Retreat Ministry, a Hypnosis practice and most recently, the Journey Back to Self Program. It is no wonder, I woke ill at ease many summer mornings because I had very little to do. Once again, my over achieving nature kicked in. I began to bike long distances and swim at least a half a mile, often after the bike ride. I also dedicated one day a week to a fun “Adventure” in various parts of the state. It should be no surprise that, at the end of each week, I would collapse in an exhausted heap.

In mid July, I had an Epiphany. I realized that I was still “in the box”; I had just made having “fun” my new oppressor. If I were writing a monthly tip at that time, I would have entitled it “Ways to Take the Fun out of Fun”. I decided to shift gears and allow more space to just be. I began each morning lazily on my porch reading D’Arcy’s Wakening up to this Day and Cameron’s The Artist Way. I started to “Be in the Moment” and have less of an agenda. I only rode or swam when I felt like it and I scheduled less “Adventures”. I let Life slowly unfold. I spent more time writing in my journal, reading novels, sending notes to friends and even had siestas! As I allowed the “moment” to inspire me I “got out of the box” and became more spontaneous, more joyful, and fun.

Even so, the overachiever inside was restless because I still did not know what my next step or “ministry” in September was going to be. As often happens, the answer to my question became clear while working with clients who were going through major personal transitions. As they grappled with what they were supposed to do next, I divulged some of my experiences in finding my “True North”. In my life, I have discovered that when I accept my next invitation from the Universe, God begins to co-create with me and “doors blow open”. My challenge is to do my part; stay in the moment, be patient and trust that the details will unfold when the time is right. Once I get to this posture, I am guided about the next step, showered with assistance and in most cases, fruition is better than my wildest dreams. The creation of the Journey Back to Self program is a typical example of this phenomenon. When I wrote the program, my only intention was to present it as a workshop. But God had other ideas! Before I knew it, I had recorded a CD, created a website and was writing self help tips. “Doors blew open” as direction and assistance fell into my lap, usually gratis. This aid included a 16 year old webmaster, a graphic designer from California, a copy editor in Atlanta, record producer and web optimizer in Massachusetts. The Journey program evolved far beyond the one day presentation that I intended and it continues to do so today, with and international reader base.

One would think that after all these years and positive experiences, I have learned to “Be in the Moment” and trust that guidance will lead me when I align with my True North. I must confess, as I see summer’s light fading, I occasionally have apprehension because I still do not know my next endeavor and wonder “What am I supposed to do once summer is over?” Then I sense a small voice whispering, “You don’t have to worry about that now” Be in the Moment... Be patient and trust the answer will manifest itself to you. All you need to do is see clients, write your tips and be a blessing to all you meet”. For this moment, that is exactly what I intend to do because I know that when the time is right, I will find my True North and, once again, the “doors will blow open”.

“When we are clear about what we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and there is no strain. The drought is a lost faith in the Great Creator…” Julia Cameron

Author's Bio: 

JoAnne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who believes in the connection of emotional health to body, mind and spirit. She has integrated clinical counseling with holistic techniques and has formalized her knowledge by creating the Journey Back to Self program which is available in a recorded CD. In addition, in order to further assist others, she writes self improvement tips that you can find on Facebook or her website,