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From Fear to Freedom: Embracing the Next Right Thing

courage freedom self study Jul 21, 2023

Storytime with Ruby

It's helpful to look back and see how it's all worked out.

I've been exceptionally reflective lately, contemplating the choices I've made along the way and how they have led me to where I am now. How those choices shape the path to my future. This introspection has brought a lot of peace to the process, granting me access to more ease with where I'm at— Trusting that I'm right on time.

When I was younger, the concept of "doing what's right" held particular religious significance for me. Growing up in the Bible belt, with a God-fearing grandmother, and spending countless hours studying the Bible, I internalized the idea of being a good neighbor, listener, and friend. Unfortunately, it also meant being overly conscious of how I was perceived and taking responsibility for others in ways that were imbalanced. If something went wrong, I often blamed myself, feeling that I hadn't done something "right" enough.

I've left a lot of that dogma behind throughout my adulthood, but I am grateful for the sense of purpose it instilled in me. I learned that my actions do matter and that choices have far-reaching consequences. That listening to the still, small voice inside me is always a good idea. Living life with intention aligns me with something greater, and I find comfort in that connection. It just looks different nowadays.

Throughout my life, I've remained committed to doing what's right, and thankfully, my understanding of "right" has continually evolved. Kate and I often say, "the next right thing" is the right thing, which allows room for nuance. What may be right for me now could be entirely different for someone else or even for me tomorrow.

For instance, the Next Right Thing (NRT) led me to turn down a steady job to move from Nashville to LA in 2015, and only six months later, move to Athens, Georgia to be with my boyfriend at the time. Other NRTs include opening my own yoga studio, ending that aforementioned relationship, joining Hinge, fundraising to keep my business afloat, moving in with my mom, selling the studio, relocating to Colorado, taking a work break, marrying my soulmate, and eventually returning to teaching yoga.

The list goes on, from significant life-changing decisions to smaller ones. Yet, each of them counts as the right thing because it was the next step on my journey.

Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague at my yoga teaching job about her decision to pursue a different career path— the next right thing for her. Trying something new can be scary, and she expressed fears about the potential outcome— "What if it doesn't work out?"

"There's always the next right thing," I reminded her.

Sometimes, it's not just about the immediate next step; it's about the journey from Point A to Point B. Some phases are merely transitions, like the six months I spent in LA.

It's the action itself that moves the energy. And moving energy is what making choices is all about. It's how we get where we're going. It's how we create our lives.

Life operates much like reciprocal inhibition—a neurophysiological phenomenon where the action of one set of muscles allows another set to open up. Similarly, our actions in life create space for new opportunities. Courage fosters freedom, and momentum shifts our energy. One choice at a time, we shape the arc of our lives.

Looking back at the Next Right Things I've taken in my life, I am reminded that I can trust myself. The life I am living now is one I genuinely love, and that feeling has been repeated over and over, with each stage getting better.


What about you? Can you recall some NRTs that led you to this moment? Recognize that you can be trusted, too. Is there an NRT you need to embrace now? Imagine the space it could create for you.
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PS If you're needing support in doing your Next Right Thing, we can help. One-on-one Self Study Coaching can connect you to your inner compass and help you tap into your innate courage through the My Self Study Practice themes. Plus, we've been there... or somewhere similar. We know what it's like to be ready for the Next Right Thing but nervous about the outcome. You don't have to do it alone. Sign up for a Discovery Call and see if Self Study Coaching is the NRT for you.

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