Trusting My Inner Compass

Doubt Sets In

I wondered if I should go to a more traditional university, even if I pursued the same degree. Perhaps I could study regular psychology and just take courses in environmental issues. Perhaps a less involved wilderness therapy certification, with its focus on an employable skill, was a better choice. Or maybe this just wasn't the right time for graduate school.

But as I looked through the options, I slowly realized that I had made the right choice from the beginning. The whole point was that I thought traditional Western education, with its obsession on degrees, certifications, and credentials, was missing the point, that the world was deeper and didn't give a damn about me being approved to do something. I didn't need an MBA to learn how to sell; I just started trying to promote myself and bring a product to market. I wasn't going to graduate school for the degree, but instead to connect with the people making things happen. I didn't want to counsel, so why should I train myself to that profession? I hardly wanted to be in school again, and Naropa's minimal residency program made it the perfect fit.

Slowly, I whittled down my other options until I was right back where I started.

I Should At Least Try

Now, perhaps these other options would be better opportunities by normal standards of employability and credentials. They might guarantee a better pay grade or be easier to explain at cocktail parties. But they aren't what I want to do. They don't match my vision of my life. And how will I know if my vision of my life is possible if I don't even try to fulfill it and instead doubt it from the beginning? Even if I fail, it seems a shame to have never even aspired.

To have been so shaken, I supposed I must not have been totally secure in my personal vision of my life. Instead, the perspectives of society ate away at my confidence. I let my goals be clouded by what seemed like better opportunities and safer options. But if my life aspirations point to places off the beaten path (or places with no paths at all), then that's where I'm going. I've learned my lesson about the importance of integrity, and won't sacrifice it for convenience.

Or perhaps I'm just rationalizing...

Lessons Learned

So, I'm sticking with my decision to study ecopsychology at Naropa, for better or worse. It feels more in line with who I am and who I want to become. If that vision doesn't mesh well with society, I guess I'll be in for an interesting ride.

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(Photo credit: psd on Flickr)