Back in January, I wrote about this year becoming a Year About Me, making sure that I have what I need in my life and that I follow my own dreams. These are the things many people have thought about in their 40th year, no doubt.
At mid-career, with many skills built up, a family and a home, the question lingers: have you done everything you want to do? And if the answer is no, then get on it already!
Media That Matters
A month ago, I attended a retreat in British Columbia. Several of you have wrote lovely emails thanking me for the words that fell out of me on the road home from that conference. It was an amazing experience.
Right at the beginning of the retreat, I checked my email for the last time before unplugging for the week. There was an email from a man I’d met and worked for on a small video shoot a year ago: he had just begun producing a documentary and he wondered if I’d be interested in working on it with him. I told him I would get back to him in a week, and promptly unplugged.
At the conference, surrounded by media makers of all kinds, my next career steps swiftly crystalized for me: I have a unique gift in being able to communicate stories in a wide variety of media. I have, in various ways over the years, used that talent to create positive behavior change in others. I have been working for a very long time toward accruing these talents and skills, and at long last I am ready to take my work to the next level!
Transformation happened in those woods, and I freed myself to do what I needed to do.
At the end of the week breathing in the beauty, I’d realized I was ready to move from my high-paying corporate anchor client back to the work I really set out to do in my life. I’d learned, I’d paid some of my loans, and it was time to move on.
It has been scary, but also comforting – like finding my way home.
When I got back home, I was re-energized. Like I was 25 again, excited at the possibilities and convicted in my dreams.
I worked hard to finish my website, to visualize my vision, to jump into the next phase. I started talking about my work with other people more, no longer bashful about it. Somehow the “what I do” conversation became so much easier.
Two days later I called the man with the documentary. We talked for 4 hours.
It turns out Jon has been on a similar journey, trying to figure out how to create sustainable change in the world. By the end of our 4 hours, we were discussing how to bring large environmental organizations together to empower them to do their work more efficiently and effectively. We were discussing how to incentivize businesses to operate more sustainably through community storytelling. And we dove deeply into how to take people beyond awareness of climate change, and help them get to the next stage: how do we help people change their lifestyles? What tools and guidance can we offer to make that transition easier and more effective?
We had our first day of shooting the documentary last week. It required Jon and I to be one on one together for 23 hours. We took each of those amazing topics and discussed them at two levels deeper. And so it goes…
We are now discussing building a business together. I’ve launched the Elements In Time website.
And that’s not all. Work has been steadily rolling in. Good work, meaningful work. The world has aligned with me as I’ve aligned with it.
Here are some of our clients right now:
- American Association of Colleges and Universities
- Countywide Community Forums
- Friends of the Cedar River Watershed
- Health Advocacy Strategies
- Patient Health Perspectives
- Carbon Cycle Crush
Suddenly I’m helping a several great organizations to do their work better.
I’m proud I’ve taken the time to focus on a year about me. It’s only half over, and so much good has happened already. I can’t wait for next month!