“I haven’t been inspired by anything in a long time.”
Sajiah, a confident, driven nephrologist in her early 40s looks at me with tears in her eyes. “I feel shackled,” she admitted. “The hospital system is so broken. I’m trapped, but I don’t know how to leave it.”
It’s stunning to hear, as if saying these words revealed layers of emotions buried for years. She’s always wanted to be a doctor—even when she was a curious and caring child playing with her stuffed animals.
She’s received accolade after accolade, risen through the ranks, but something’s missing. Her heart is searching for something, but she doesn’t exactly know what it is. And so she finds herself “biting people’s heads off” lately–exhausted and feeling lost.
We sit with this for awhile. It’s hard to feel trapped, not able to see the light showing you the way out.
Sajiah looks inward and realizes that she’s so focused on the future that she buzzes past the present moment. Her top value–ambition–has spun out of the healthy range, driving her faster and faster into imbalance. While it got her to the top of her career, she forgot to be similarly focused on other aspects of her life–self-care, creativity.
“I think I want to try that.” She points to a flyer in my office for a creativity group I was running at the time.
It is an odd idea to her–something out of her comfort zone.
“I am totally not creative,” she quips, “but for some reason, I feel like my answer is there.”
Keep reading to see more of Sajiah’s story.
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We set her up in the next cohort, and she eases in slowly, like someone testing out the water before diving in. She faithfully does the exercises in the group workbook, and all that keeps coming up for her is the word, “Home.”
“I have no idea what that means,” she tells the cohort.
And they encourage her to find a creative home project, something small, to work on.
“I’ve been meaning to do something with my spare room…”
And so her project was born.
All that keeps coming up is the word “home”
Throughout the rest of the group sessions, while others work on stories and paintings, Sajiah designs and decorates a mediation room for herself. She brings in all the things that give her a little lift of inspiration–a heart shaped pebble she found on a walk, a picture of her dog, her favorite book as a child, and a few of her stuffed animal “patients” she held onto.
During her meditation time, she reconnects with that childlike self who loved playing doctor. She feels lifted and empowered to see that the shackles are not physically tying her to that job.
And she begins looking for a smaller, private practice that feels like home to her. When she sees it, a space connected to nature–cozy, nurturing, welcoming–she knows it’s time to take a leap of faith, leave the hospital job, and join this new collaborative.
Sajiah just celebrated her 1 year anniversary at the practice. She feels warm and alive–no more biting people’s heads off. Her search for a new space is over, leaving room to seek out other things to fill her with joy and hope.
If you find yourself searching for “something” like Sajiah, ask me about one of my creativity cohorts. You have the power to tap into your inner knowing and find the confidence you need to create goals that better align with who you truly are and what you truly love.
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