I recently met a new friend who was having a difficult break in her professional life. She was brave and strong, but also struggling.

She was highly-educated and professionally accomplished, yet didn’t know who she was anymore, and unsure of where she was heading. She was lost and confused.

I understood!

She was in a big life transition. And these in-between times are seriously tricky.

If you’ve been around with me for a stretch, then you know that I’ve been experiencing a big transition myself, traversing a liminal space between the Past and the Future that is… teaching me a lot.

It’s difficult, but I understand its value. And that it doesn’t last forever.

It’s a phase of passing through, in which one identity is disintegrating whilst an upgrade is emerging. It’s not random, though. It is a quest for the Diamond of the Self.

(And I’m the sillyhead “mystic” who asked for it!)

But there’s no playbook. How are you supposed “to do” this in-between thing? We are not taught how to change gracefully.

We are taught not to change. We are taught to be this kind of person. We are taught to play by the rules of our parents, our teachers, our universities, and our institutions.

And then, whoopsie! Those old rules don’t work anymore. And then our old definitions don’t work anymore. And now here we are, lost and confused, and impatient as hell to get on with this “identity crisis.”

Where is the life I thought that I knew? Do I even want it back?

Escape Artist.

For a long time, my work was clear and my identifying labels straightforward: I am a soprano. I am a voice teacher. I am an ensemble director. Easy.

But then, these labels completely peeled themselves off! They didn’t fit anymore. And I couldn’t stick them back on, even if I tried.

In addition to the labels, the rules I knew didn’t work anymore, either. I did not feel at home doing any of the things that were once quite normal. And some things, quite literally, stopped working.

Naturally, I desired to escape this wild discomfort. I sought help from people who claimed they could solve my problems, and help me figure out my real schtick. But their solutions didn’t work, either. In fact, it only made things worse.

I began to think that if I didn’t figure out what I’m here to do, and execute some kind of plan immediately, then I would be sunk, lost, and/or majorly, permanently screwed.

Obviously, it helps to know what you’re about when it comes to attracting work, contributing to society, and having basic conversations. It’s helps to have a clear direction. Believe me, I get it!


But sometimes, for seekers, there is a necessary process of reconfiguration.

And sometimes (especially for smart, multi-faceted, and interesting people like you and me), it’s difficult to succinctly define Who You Are and What You Do and Where You Belong when none of the available definitions seem to work anymore.

Although it may be excruciating, I do not think this is a “problem.” The discomfort is a sign of growth, and an inevitable aspect of the creative process of transformation. And at the risk of sounding trite, it really *does* take the time that it takes.

So is this a crisis?

Or is all of this disintegration and confusion and craziness really your Higher Self’s not-so-subtle process of breaking out of the box you’ve been living in because you have a destiny to fulfill, and there’s important work to be done, and this change was necessary in order for you to do it?

Perhaps all of this chaos reveals that you are evolving, upgrading, and emerging into a truer version of your Self.

This is a very good thing! But, yes, it’s tricky.


In the meantime, what rules do you follow in a process of reconfiguration?

Simple: you fetter yourself to the truth of the heart.

What do call yourself if you are still not sure about who you are and what you do and where you belong? Especially as you are evolving into a person with a new prime directive?

Simple: Be nimble and tread lightly. You are a work in progress.

Give yourself—and these vital questions—some space to breathe. All is being revealed in perfect time, according to a Divine process.

Your identity is no longer factory-pressed according to a set of company standards that define your value, status, and desirability.

Your identity is informed by your wholeness.

It is borne from the inside-out, not the other way around. And if you can liberate yourself from any attachment of knowing what to call yourself, and what you “should” be doing, you’ll be ok with whatever feels right and good for the time being.

You don’t have to figure it all out at once. Life’s genius is figuring it out for you. But you have to be willing to throw out the world’s rulebook, and get to the heart of the matter.

That’s where you mine the diamond.

Allison, A Work in Progress

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