Four years ago, this last month, I made a choice that changed everything. I would like to share that Story of Change with you. 

I started my coaching and healing business, as Jaime Lyerly Coaching, in September 2013, only 5 months after quitting my boring 9 to 5 job, and basically losing everything I had to start a new path. Yay for 4 years of service to radical transformation!

That choice to start came from part insanity, part trust, part desperation, and part demand to myself that what I was doing was not working, so it’s time for something different.

I’ve got a story for you that I hope will inspire you to choose for you, even when things don’t make sense to your brain. 

I’ll be telling it in parts, so that it’s digestible and actionable for you too, if you are inspired. It starts back before I started my biz, to another big choice I made that same year to step out of the box of a “normal” job.

Spoiler Alert: It turns out awesome, but this is a path of messiness and uncertainty. I wish my story was less messy but I like to keep it real, so I am not going to pretend that everything was easy peasy cuz it wasn’t. Anyone who tells you that it is either got very lucky, had someone paying their way, or is trying to sell you their method.

My desire is to share the real deal, and inspire you to choose to listen to the whispers of the Universe, even when it doesn’t make sense to your head.   

 


Part 1 – Stepping out of the Box 

In January 2013, I was working at a community college, and had transferred from the Information Systems department to a full-time position in the Public Safety office as clerical assistant to the acting department director. I had worked as 911 Police and Fire dispatcher in the past, and I thought it would be like that, only with day time hours, where we went into action when something exciting happened.  

It rarely did. That was, by far, the most boring, loneliest, mind-numbingly slow way to spend 8 hours a day. So I would play on Facebook all day, and do maybe 2 hours of actual work a day, and that’s when I really had something for the department. I was BORED.

And yet, in my mind, I was living the dream – getting paid decent money with benefits just to show up, and have the freedom to entertain myself in the mean time. 

Why the heck would I be doing this?

Bottomline: Because I didn’t know what else to choose so I went with what you are supposed to do after getting your BA degree – get a full time job to pay off your student loans. You know, the “normal” thing to do, right? 

In 2011, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art, with a minor in Psychology from San Diego State University, and was a part of the top 1% of students for Scholarship, Leadership and Service. It took me ten years of work and school finally earn that BA degree, while taking care of my son. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do after reaching that goal, and those student loans were a looming. So having a full time job seemed like a great idea, but I didn’t choose it for another year.

I balanced working with spiritual studies, healing from break-up from decade long relationship with a narcissist, and community events. I continued to make a name for myself as an artist and blogger, but after I had deeper spiritual awakenings, it became hard to write about other worldly experiences I was having. I turned away from sharing about my experiences online as I thought no one could relate to where I was at.

Two years later, back at my desk at the Public Safety department, I sat looking at the clock at 9:15 am, dreading another day at most boring job ever… I couldn’t fake being normal anymore. 

I made a choice. It was time to get out of this box I had put myself in. 

So what did I do?

I made another choice. What would it take to get free from this job? Well I usually get about $4,500 for a tax refund, so I should be able to live off of that, right?

So I did my taxes, and the moment I got my tax refund in my bank account, I put in my two weeks’ notice.

What happened next? People found out I was quitting for no apparent reason, and they were curious to see what I was doing next. People in my department and from my previous department would come up to me to ask me what my next job would be.

I would tell them, “Oh, I’ll figure something out. Maybe I will make art and sell it.”

Then I would get these comments, “Oh, you are so brave. I can’t do that because I have a child to support.”

Then I would say, “Yeah, me too. But he is 14, so we should be fine.”

That kind of conversation would happen throughout the entire two weeks. People would ask me what I was going to do, and I would give them an answer about making art, teaching art again, or doing workshops on art and spirituality topics, or sometimes I would even tell them that I would look for something “more in my field” as a way to let them know that maybe one day I would have a “normal” job again.

But what I realized was that I was placating them. I never planned to have a “real job” again.  Ever. I couldn’t even see that as an option or I would never go for what I truly desired.

The day I stepped out of that office, and onto this unknown path would change me beyond recognition. 

The girl that sat in the office, waiting out the day, distracting herself with Facebook, was let out of the self-imposed prison with that one choice to say, “No. This is not how I am going to spend my life. What else can I choose here?” 

And then came the break-down… ​to be continued in Part 2 next week. 

…. 

​Here are some actionable questions to ponder or journal about if you are in a similar situation, and would like to change it.  ​​

1. Even the most “ideal situation” can feel like prison when it is not a good fit for you. 

  • Where are you settling for “good enough?” Do you have a voice telling you that there is MORE here for you to do?  If you are like me, suppressing that voice takes a ton of energy, and I see now how exhausting it was to suppress it even for a few months at that desk, let alone the years prior at other jobs that weren’t a great fit. 
  • Are you willing to be brave, and acknowledge the places that aren’t working for you? It doesn’t always mean quitting a job, but the willingness to say, “No this isn’t working for me” is the first step towards making a change.  

2. When you do make a choice, everyone will have an unsolicited opinion about what you choose, especially if they would “never” do what you are doing.

Most people were impressed by my trust and willingness to jump into the unknown.  And I did have a few people say that I was crazy and irresponsible, especially since I was a single mother.

People came up to me to tell me the excuses of why they can’t do the same, and when I didn’t buy it as my excuse, they would open up and tell me their own desire to do something more with their life. It was really intimate, and I realized that I had changed and inspired the people I talked to in a way that was unexpected. 

  • Where are you buying the excuses, from yourself or others, that you can’t make a different choice? Are you willing to give up buying the excuses as true?

 

Have you had a similar story or are you in the thick of it now? I would love to hear from you!

Sometimes, it takes a while to acknowledge the bravery that it takes to walk away from something that no longer fits. When we share our stories, we don’t have to be alone in the process of radical transformation. i would love to hear your stories and top tools for when you know it is time for a change.

Thanks for reading this story of change and please let me know if this was a contribution to you.

My desire is to get back into the habit of sharing weekly with those who are on my list, and those who read my blogs or social media posts. I will have part 2 for you next week!

Listening to the whispers,

Jaime