Welcome to our “Personal Growth” series of articles focused on helping you, the reader, develop and prosper during these challenging times. Watch for Sheryl Cattell’s live online Lunch Bunch presentation on January 8, 2021, 1:00 p.m. ET, for her recommendations on living a richer, fuller life.
Tragedy has a way of getting your attention and shaking you to your core. COVID-19 is certainly that wake-up call for the entire world.
As an individual, you may be facing extended isolation, the loss of a job, family illness or the death of a loved one. These jolts to the system can stop you in your tracks, make you question your values and priorities and challenge the choices you have made and continue to make daily.
If that’s the case, don’t be alarmed. You’re not drowning. And you’re not alone. You’re having a natural reaction. The bigger question is: do you want to take the time to go deeper to explore how to get past this fear and anxiety brought on by COVID-19? Because if you do, the reward could be your chance to make significant changes in your life so you can live how you were meant to live, both personally and professionally. In other words, it’s time to learn how to sing your song.
Don’t Be Afraid to Look for Your Song
To learn how to sing your song, where do you start? I recommend taking three key steps.
First, take a look at the book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s one of those classic books that nearly everyone reads at some point in their life. I seem to remember reading it 10+years ago. A few months ago, it somehow appeared at the top of my Audible library list when I was searching for something else. Books only come to the top of your list if you open or download them or have some recent interaction. I had not knowingly clicked on the book, yet there it was right at the top of my reading list. This was the equivalent of a book jumping off the bookshelf and landing at your feet. So, I followed the sign and re-read the book.
The book tells a charming fictitious story of Santiago and the search for his “personal legend.” You join him as he faces his fears, loses everything, overcomes obstacles, falls in love and still follows the signs and omens that deliver him back home to where his “treasure” has always been waiting for him. Through this we learn that the journey is much more than the destination. There are so many beautiful lessons and people that he meets along the way. His willingness to follow his “personal legend” inspires those he meets to do the same. It doesn’t hurt that he is successful, and he gets the girl in the end. But along the way, the story inspires us to follow the signs in our own lives toward our own “personal legend.”
The second step to learning how to sing your song is to really listen to the small quiet voice within you because your song can be found only in one place, within. Ask yourself, “What is it that brings me joy? What ignites my passion?” There are many paths to the source of your song, including meditation, prayer, selfless service, nature, inspirational readings, music, dance and immersing yourself in the love of family and friends. And then plunge into those experiences. Watch for the signs and signals, keeping your mind and heart open. What do they tell you about your song?
The third step is to identify where you are going in the distance, something I call the castle, and then define the first step you plan to take in the direction of this new destination. In my practice, I use something I call creative manifesting to hold the vision of the castle firmly in mind, to unite with that vision of myself, and then feel what it will be like to finally arrive back at my authentic self.
What It’s Like to Sing Your Song
When you start to sing your song, you feel a clarity of intention and the draw of intense attention. Beautiful music requires a singular focus. It’s impossible to sing with your mouth full, or your attention divided between different melodies. You can only listen and sing one song. Yours may require you to let go of things that are disharmonious or things that no longer serve you. Or you might change your focus to that which brings you the most joy and fulfillment.
Your song may start faintly, like a warmup before the show starts. It can lead up to a prelude before the main act, appear in exactly the right place and right time in your story, and then end with the crescendo of You living and breathing your life’s purpose. That is what we all want in the end, to have satisfied our life’s purpose, with our song playing loudly in our life, and for those who we are here to serve.
Can you afford not to find your song? I know the world will be a better place when you find it, and your happiness may depend on it.
How I Found My Song in the Midst of COVID
When I was reading “The Alchemist”, I learned that life was pushing me into my next adventure. And I moved toward it despite confronting personal difficulties along with this historic pandemic that we all continue to face. At the same time, a dear friend of mine tells me she wants to hire me as her Life Coach and formalize the work we have been doing together informally and sporadically. I thought I was being a good friend and doing what I always do with my team, staff, volunteers, family, and friends; listen and hold them in the highest vision of themselves. The request for me to be a Life Coach led me to take a 30-hour intensive workshop and become a Certified Life Coach. During the class, it became clear to me that helping people find their “personal legend” resonated as an excellent descriptor of what I strive for when coaching my friends or colleagues. These words were inspired by “The Alchemist.” The name, Personal Legend Coaching, and website URL were available, and I took the plunge. I am now on a path where I am doing what comes naturally to me, helping others see the best in themselves.
I will leave you with my favorite quote from the book: “The boy didn’t know what a Personal Legend was. It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.” –Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.
Your Personal Legend is your mission on earth along with the journey back to yourself. As terrible as the world events seem right now, goodwill emerge, especially for those who decide to examine how they live their lives and listen to the signs the universe is sending.
Sheryl Cattell, CLC is the founder of Personal Legend Coaching, dedicated to help overwhelmed and distracted high achievers, to realize and attain their “personal legend.” Sheryl is a Certified Life Coach from the Certified Life Coach Institute. She is the recipient of several ARDY Awards and spent nearly ten years shaping the digital footprint of Bluegreen Vacations where over 75% of owner transactions are made online. For more information please visit www.personallegendcoaching.com or contact her at email@example.com.