The Dancer

Picture the tiny ballerina that popped up and started twirling around on her toes to the happy, plunky music when you or your little sister opened the pink jewel box.

This would have been a version of my client, Danielle, a featured ballerina with a famous ballet company by the time she was 13. She had a demanding 20-year-career with that company and retired at 25. Yes, you heard that right.

Next, not clear what to do herself, she followed the practical advice of well-meaning friends and family (they are always well-meaning, they just aren’t career coaches), she finished college and became a mechanical engineer. On that stage, she also became a little star. But it was never even close to her bliss–just a stable gig, her day job.

This is the point at which many people call me for help. They are disappointed and/or dissatisfied and want desperately to feel more alive. They are disconnected from their passions or don’t know what they are. Or if they do know what they are, they don’t know how to make a living at it.

This is not when Danielle called me. She called me long after she had accidentally stumbled into her bliss, was fully alive, and had turned her idea into an all-consuming project. There is never a question about making this thing happen, but how to cope with such a beautiful burden? And when can she finally quit her day job?

Next time I will tell you about the nature of this kind of burden and our unorthodox work together.

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