When You Know What to Do, But Are Stuck

By the time people have wrestled with a challenge in their life and come to me seeking clarity, I often find they have already figured out what they want or need to do. They simply need to say it out loud and have someone validate their choice.

Why then, is listening to ourselves so hard? Why do we stay stuck in knowing but not acting?

Perhaps it’s because we are so afraid of the future and of being wrong that we hear what needs to happen next, but we can’t yet take action. It helps to have someone say, yes, that sounds right and no, not crazy.

We receive many messages to “follow your heart”, “listen to your intuition” and others, but very little guidance on the next steps. What do we do after we hear a calling and know what to do, when that thing is bloody terrifying and can impact loved ones in unknown ways?

People often say to me, “I could never homeschool”, implying that I am some sort of superhero or special breed that can do it. But the truth is I said that too. I would miss my career too much, not know what to do with my son all day, get bored, we would fight. I couldn’t do it.

Then the time came where I knew it was the right thing to do. Well, I knew it in my bones but I didn’t trust myself. I was also in an unusually confident place where I felt that I knew my child best and believed that time with me was the best thing for him and that belief made the decision easier.

My most trusted confidants (about my child) at the time advised against it because of lack of social connections and because entering the school system in a later grade may be challenging. But still the knowing persisted.

At the time this was happening I was self-employed and in the middle of receiving a grant that I had worked on for a year that would fund my next year or so of work. I was very very scared of leaving all the things behind, of not being able to handle it, of messing him up, of all the responsibility for his education.

What I chose to do was to take one step at a time. I took the gut wrenching leap to declare a year leave from my job, forfeiting the grant money I had worked for and the safety of my expertise. Next I enrolled him part time in a private school to give myself a safety net. Then I found a homeschool group and began attending their events and making connections. And the rest is history, so they say.

Once I found a homeschool community and new friends, I took him out of school to homeschool full time. Was it a cake walk with no further fear, no doubt and no hard times? NO. It was a rollercoaster of difficult and wonderful. I just kept taking step after step and adapting along the way and I believe to this day that it was the right decision.

The hype and the gurus may tell us to take a leap of faith and jump off a cliff to follow your intuition, your soul’s guidance. Sometimes that makes sense and feels right and good. But if you're at what feels like a fork in the road and it feels too risky or scary to leap, it’s equally okay to take a small step forward on your chosen path to test it out and get your bearings before travelling onward.

It also helps to have a spiritually minded companion along the way, I did. If that’s something you’d like to explore you can connect with me here.