While meeting with a potential client, we discussed how ironic it was that I was now helping others publish books! How did life take me to this point? We were having dinner together to discuss her new book and her aspirations to become a published author. She was a fellow co-worker of mine, so we also spent some time reminiscing about working together in education. At that time, I was a principal in an elementary school, and she was a consultant working alongside me to guide me in this leadership role. We worked together on projects to help the staff and students attain greater achievement scores. We hit it off right from the start, as we are both very self-driven women characterized by our can-do attitudes and ambitious goals. Now, some seven years or so later, we are reconnecting and working on our next passion projects.
We began by discussing how my past experiences in education led me to where I am today - writing books, blogging, creating videos, and mentoring others. She started asking me how this journey of mine came about. I explained that I was at a time in my life when I was very unhappy with the way things were going in my career. I began researching a virtual education company long before the world went virtual. This was a place I wanted to work for so badly. In the spring of 2020, as the pandemic hit the U.S., I was forced to quarantine when I returned from a vacation. I really didn't have anything to do because school was cancelled for a few weeks while we figured out how to teach virtually. During that time I began cooking, writing, and truly finding my joy. I was able to focus on the things I loved doing.
I began to spend a lot of time writing and developing this company, Creative Living Ideas. As the return to in-person work loomed before me, feelings of anxiety began to arise. I felt an emptiness in the pit of my stomach and began feeling like I didn’t want to go back to the challenging times I had been encountering in the school setting. I was feeling calmer each day I was at home and away from those challenges. I began listening to motivational speakers on YouTube, reading self-fulfilling books about motivation and positivity, listening to affirmations, creating vision boards, and writing out my goals. I began to think about how I wanted my life to be and what I really wanted to do. I envisioned what I truly wanted my life to look like. I pictured it in my mind each day. I came to the conclusion that there were three things I desperately wanted: to work for the virtual company I had been researching, to publish my own books, and to help others publish their books.
At this point, summer had ended and COVID restrictions were loosening up. It was time for me to return to the building. Earlier in my career, it had been my happy place, but I could no longer call it that. So following the guidance of many self-help books, I began to put the tools I had learned to work. When it was time for me to physically go back to school, I had to visualize what I wanted my life to be. When I walked into the building, I began thinking about the things that brought me joy. I began thinking about the books I was writing and publishing. In my mind, I would replay images of the books and words I wanted to say instead of thinking about not wanting to be in the building. I learned that if you continue to repeat and ruminate on the negative thoughts in your mind, you're going to have negativity surrounding you. But, if you envision what you want your future to look like and consistently hold that image in your mind, it will eventually materialize.
In the fall of 2020, I was able to truly fulfill my dreams and find my joy. I have a new job, have three published books, and am now helping others publish. All I want to do is spread joy to other people by helping them bring their stories to life.
What I have learned: When you envision joy, you will find it.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.