Why Things Don’t Work Out In Your Life (Part 2)

When I was 22 I was offered the opportunity to audition at 3 dance schools for their degree programmes in Dance. The auditions were a disaster, and I didn’t get into any of them. At the time I was really disappointed, but I can see now that what I thought I wanted, was not what would have made me happy. Because I didn’t get into dance school, I went to live with 2 yogis for a year and learnt about the philosophy of yoga and other esoteric erudition, and had the opportunity to practice daily morning meditation which has now become the mainstay of my spiritual life. This also heralded the start of my discovery of my calling and path as a healer and coach. I thought that I wanted to be a dancer, but it wasn’t what I really truly wanted, as it turned out.

What you think you want is not always what you truly deeply want.

While living with the yogis, I also read philosophy and self help books voraciously and came across the work of New York Time’s bestselling author and columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine, Martha Beck. USA Today and Psychology Today have referred to her as “the best known life coach in America”. In her book ‘Finding Your North Star’, Martha Beck says that in order to find out what you truly deeply want, you have to have WIGS- not the kind you put on your head, but the kind that come from your heart- Wildly Improbable Goals.

Martha Beck says that if you think about what you love to do and then the greatest expression of that, you can come up with meaningful goals for your life. For example, if you love to sing, your WIG could be to win Singapore Idol.

Figuring out what you truly want is tricky business. It involves digging deep and being honest about what you yearn for. Martha Beck also says that yearning for something, a relationship or fulfilling career, is a guarantee that we are going to get it. And that we should see all yearning as a promise of what is to come.

You will find out what you truly deeply want in the quiet, still moments of your life. It will not come from your mind or ego, it will come from your heart. When you create meaningful goals, from your heart, you will find that you will be motivated to work toward them and things are more likely to work out.

When I wrote down my WIGS, a decade ago- and it works best when you have a few written down at a time- one of them was to meet a well-known spiritual author. Another was to attend a shamanic workshop this same author had recommended, in Brazil. At the time this author had stopped teaching, and even when he was teaching, his workshops were priced at thousands of dollars, which I couldn’t afford. The shamanic workshop also cost several thousand dollars, and this was not including the return plane fare to Brazil from Singapore. But I thought, that maybe in 10 years, I might save enough to go to one workshop. I didn’t think it was likely I would meet the author though, since he had said he was not running workshops again. But I wrote these WIGS down anyway, because these were things that I truly deeply wanted.

Less than 2 years after I wrote down my WIGs, I was on a plane headed to South America for the very first time, about to start what turned out to be, one of the most transcendental weeks of my life. I finally got to meet the spiritual author I so yearned to meet, and learned an enormous amount from him. This week was undoubtedly a major turning point in my life. I travelled back to South America 2 months later and over the following 5 years, attended another 13 workshops. Most of them paid for by the organizers, who eventually hired me as staff.

Over the course of my travels to South America and in the last few years, I gained the confidence to start my own business. Where I had held mainly entry level jobs previously, I became and still am today, 5 years later, my own boss, learning about running your own business while I do what I love to do and get to share my journey with others on a day to day basis. That was another of my WIGS- to be self-employed. About 2 years ago I was certified by Martha Beck as a life coach. Things started to work out as I figured out what I truly deeply want. What I truly deeply wanted, what I yearned for, I discovered by looking into my heart.

Your heart will tell you what you truly deeply want.

It nudges you in subtle ways and whispers from within you in quiet moments.

It will never lead you in the direction of conflict and pain. Conflict and pain come about when how you are living your life goes against what you truly deeply want. Then you may experience difficulties or your life may even fall apart, because that is your unconscious way of dismantling the dysfunction and giving you the chance to start again and do things differently, in line with what you truly deeply want.

During periods where things feel like they are falling apart, you have to allow them to break down and fail, to end. Your ego probably won’t like it, because of the uncertain and undefinable nature of such times, but it’s a necessary part of things coming back together again, like how the leaves on trees must fall off the trees and decompose into the ground in order to become the earth that nourishes the roots of the trees, new leaves and flowers that bud and blossom.

What helped me on my journey of working things out in my life, was to aim for goals that had meaning for me and let go of what wasn’t working, in order to make room for what could. This served me each and every time and continues to do so. When things don’t work out in your life, it’s sometimes because what you thought you wanted, was not what you truly deeply madly wanted.

*Read about my experience at the shamanic workshop in Brazil in this Article

My Dirty Secret

I have a dirty secret. I don’t make a lot of money. I often just get by financially, and not because I overspend, but because I just don’t earn a regular income. I have to think before I spend more than $50 and I can’t afford to travel as I used to.

I am not in debt, and never have been. In fact my family has always offered me help, but recently I decided I would not depend on them as much and learn to live within my own means. Well, it’s been over a year now, and I’ve exhausted my savings (the little nest egg I had saved hard to build as a safety net) and am worried I made the wrong decision.


I can’t deny loving the sense of independence I feel because I am living within my means.

I can’t deny how freeing it feels to have simpler choices. When I go grocery shopping, I can’t buy any and everything that I want now. Instead I buy mostly what I need and is within my budget. There is less to choose from, and funnily enough, I feel happier.

I can’t deny that knowing what I have in my bank account will not last me beyond the next 2-3 months makes me motivated to create more workshops and share what I have learnt about health, healing and purposeful living with a wider audience.

I can’t deny that I appreciate and am immensely grateful for the clients I have now and want to find the best way I can to serve them.

I can’t deny that spending less money, mostly on what I need, rather than what I want or can spend money on, makes me no less content. Modern society has conditioned us to think that more money and material things will make us feel secure and happy, when in actual fact, recent studies have shown that ‘once wealth reaches a subsistence level, its effectiveness as a generator of well-being is greatly diminished.’*

Deep down inside I knew that depending on my family financially just didn’t feel good and in fact it made me feel disempowered and resentful. I feared it kept me as a child and in fact I am often mistaken for being much younger. While my vanity revels in this, I can’t help feeling like this is also because there is a part of me that has yet to fully grow up.

Maybe that’s what matters most, that I am doing what feels empowering and truthful for me.

When I was in this same position last year, down to just about enough money to last me a few months, I received a cheque for $10,000 after the death of my Godmother. She said she would look out for me and even in her death, she did.

In retrospect, I’ve always had enough to pay for my necessities and a little more, on the odd occasion a lot more, which has enabled me to study, travel and broaden my horizons. So this year, I decided I would make a conscious decision to keep going, keep moving toward my dream of independence and financial freedom. One step at a time. Maybe that is how you succeed. Not by never failing, but by making a decision to keep going even when you don’t.

* Quote taken from Wikipedia page on Happiness Economics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness_economics