It takes courage to be an Authentic Leader like Marcus Aurelius, who over two thousand years later is still quoted and deeply admired for his leadership abilities and his wisdom to utilize obstacles as creative opportunities to advance and build a great nation.
As I reflect back on my career path, I now realize how every impediment and obstacle I experienced propelled me to action and ultimately guided me to the work I do today.
As new immigrant to the USA I encountered many impediments at the beginning of my new life in the New World. One of the obstacles getting in my way at that time was gaining admission into Graduate School. My degree from Ireland and the administrative rules and regulations during that time were standing in my way of getting into a Graduate Degree Program in Counseling.
I had my heart set on and wished to pursue only this Master’s degree in counseling. The only options presented to me at that time (if I wished to pursue that particular graduate program), at that institution, was to complete another Bachelor’s Degree and reapply to Graduate program many years later. I was 34 years old at the time and completing yet another Bachelor’s degree did not feel right to me.
However, the denial into that particular program led me to reconsider other ways to get into different Graduate Schools. I took the “no” at that time as an opportunity to take a different career course in my life via a different graduate degree program. Less than two years later, with a Master’s Degree, I was accepted into a PhD program and focused my attention away from Counseling to Research and Educational Administration.
The new way led me to a very successful career in Higher Education for 18 years (Teacher Education, Researcher, Textbook author, and the creation of degree programs) and prepared me for the work I now do today at illli.org. Looking back on my life I now see that all the obstacles I encountered back in the 1990’s guided me onto the path of Higher Education and prepared me for my role as Dean of Education and co-creating illli.org with Rev. Dr. Temple Hayes.
Though I never took the original route into licensed counseling I eventually found other ways to satisfy my soul’s needs to help and encourage others. I found another way I be present for others who may just need someone to talk to or listen to them. I now spiritually counsel as an Ordained Minister. As a Reiki Master, Certified Professional Life Coach, and as an E-RYT 500 Yoga Instructor I guide meditations, teach Yoga, motivate and encourage people to make positive changes in their lives.
I now see how spirit guided me and illumed every step of my way. I can now affirm the times of greatest difficulty and struggle in my life were in fact the times when I was most definitely guided to a new way; guided on my soul’s path journey.