July 2014 marks twenty-five years since I “turned pro,” by leaving my corporate career and committing to my calling. It was the day I accepted and surrendered to what felt like my destiny and to being more of who I was born to be, and doing what I was born to do rather than fulfilling the roles I thought were expected of me.
I use the expression “Pro” here to denote an archetype rather than a profession. The way I think about amateur and pro is this: an amateur does what they love, but they often keep it as the edge of their life and don’t earn their living from it. The pro loves what they do, and in fact, they love it so much and feel the call to do it so strongly that they decide they will put it at the centre of their lives and choose to be paid for doing it. The amateur is run by many of their fears and the pro is learning how to liberate themselves from fear.
I resigned from my corporate career in IT sales at the Digital Equipment Corporation on April 22nd 1989 and left on July 23rd 1989. It was my great act of self-leadership and the consequence of that decision will reverberate for the rest of my life. I am so glad I made that decision. In retrospect, I now see that it was also the inner impulse to commit to freeing myself, not just from a job, but to begin the journey of self-liberation, freeing myself from so many old patterns and programmes that had imprisoned me.
Effectively, it was the decision to quit letting my small ego-self run the whole show, and let my bigger spiritual Self begin to take its place in the driving seat. It was an act of Self-leadership and is a decision we can all make. Until then I had been an amateur in relation to my calling and had only pursued it tentatively – I was being run by my fear and my insecurity and my excuses. But the pain of not changing was becoming too great. I was bored. Whilst I had been programmed to be conservative, and to value safety and security, my soul craved the adventure beckoning me. I was the bud craving the adventure of blossoming. Who might I really be beyond the roles I was playing? What was I capable of achieving? Who might I become? What could I give to the world? What gifts and abilities might be inside me waiting to be unwrapped? I felt I had to find out, or I would die inside. Resigning was an end of a chapter of my life as an amateur, and the beginning of my life as a pro.
So after twenty-five years of being a pro, I have taken this opportunity to reflect on this journey of “turning pro and being a pro” – what it means to me personally and what is involved. My goal is to inspire, support and encourage you too, wherever you are on your journey. If I can inspire you to show up even more fully for your own good and the good of the world, I would be thrilled.
So I am writing a series of blog posts about turning pro and living your life as a pro. I have a hunch these posts will form the basis of a book too. Please comment and share, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Some of the topics that are core to being a spiritual pro are: Inspiration and the Muse, sovereignty over yourself, money, resistance, fear, giving birth to yourself, creative expression, skilfulness, growing awareness, dealing with self-sabotage, guilt and shame, dealing with failure, handling success, vulnerability, addiction and incapacity, being bold and audacious, devotion, emotional and spiritual maturity, facing demons and your shadow. In fact, the game gamut of human experience!
The next post is about The day I turned pro