Welcome to the very first episode of the Wayfinder Diaries podcast! In this episode, we’re diving into what can happen when the path we’re headed down isn’t in integrity with our souls or aligned with our purpose. Just a quick note that if you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to my podcast and/or YouTube channel and consider leaving me a review. Also, please like the video! Doing these things helps the algorithm so that it can reach a wider audience. Thank you!
About this episode
Do you ever feel like you’re doing “everything right” but life isn’t going the way you’d like? Well, welcome to my world. I used to get frustrated by this (and sometimes still do), but it’s been my experience that the Universe (or God, Source, Spirit, Love – whatever you feel most comfortable calling “it”) is conspiring to help me live my best life. A life of deep integrity and purpose.
And, as I’ve discovered time and time again, when limiting beliefs hold me back or I deviate from what’s most aligned with my soul – when I step out of my soul’s integrity – the Universe communicates with me in no uncertain terms via my body to get me back on track.
In this first episode, I share with you a story of how not living my purpose recently played out for me – a story that you may very well relate to. A story about how living in my zone of excellence (a reference from Gay Hendrick’s fantastic book “The Big Leap”) stopped working for me.
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Hi, my name is Kristi Amdahl, and I am the host of the Wayfinder diaries Podcast. I’m also a life coach, a blogger and a Soul Seeker.
This podcast is for anyone who prioritizes living from a place of integrity regardless of the personal cost. Its former my sisters who know that they were put on this earth for a reason, even if they don’t yet know what that reason is. And it’s for those who are inspired by stories of personal struggle, perseverance in transformation. This podcast is my platform for sharing the lessons that I’ve learned throughout my own very unconventional life, and for providing an opportunity for others to do the same. If you’d like to learn more about me apply for life coaching, or be a guest in a future episode, please visit my website at Kristi amdahl.com.
Hello, hello, welcome to episode number one of the Wayfinder diaries podcast. It is truly an honor to be here with you today. I am so grateful that you’re here and that you’re tuned into this podcast with me. I hope that you enjoy the episode and that you subscribe when you are done.
So the topic of this episode today is about how your body and soul conspired to help you live with integrity and purpose. So I’d like to begin by just asking you a question. Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything right? But that life’s not responding the way you’d like?
Am I seeing some nods out there in the virtual world? Well, welcome to my world. I used to get frustrated by this. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I still do. But now I do my best to view setbacks and disappointments from a different lens. You see, it’s my firm belief that the universe God or whatever you want to call it is conspiring to help me live my best life. And that’s a life filled with joy and purpose. But sometimes my fears or limiting beliefs hold me back. Actually, they often do. And this plays out for me in various ways. But there’s usually a common thread. So for example,
I don’t get what I think I want, or the universe God or whatever throws a monkey wrench into my stagnant life as a not so subtle nudge to get me to take action, or my body just straight up rebels in a psychosomatic way.
And so I want to share with you a story about how this played out for me recently. And just so that you can kind of just so i can bring home my point.
So I think it was back in November, I started getting a lot of anxiety surrounding my corporate job. I was nearing a mental breakdown with it. Like I just felt I couldn’t do it anymore. And I really wanted to get fired.
That didn’t happen, by the way. But I was like thinking that was my out, right? I mean, I couldn’t quit because I have financial responsibilities, like who doesn’t. But I was really, really, really struggling with my job.
just to be upfront, or very clear, I had a good job. I was working for a company that was doing some great diversity, equity, inclusion, to style of consulting and, and, and coaching and that sort of a thing. I worked it was a really great company. I reported to executive leadership and also the global director of finance. And they were wonderful people. I was respected there. I had a great setup. I was working 100% remotely. This job was pre pandemic two, and I worked remotely and that is exactly what I wanted as an introvert who hates commuting. So I had a great setup. In terms of where I worked. I had flexibility with my hours, I had some good I had a good PTO and benefits package. I was not micromanaged and I felt like I my work was valued. So you can’t really get much better than that. Right.
But for some reason, I just was starting to, like have like I’m starting to fall apart this last fall.
And then going into December it got worse like in this time. It wasn’t just my psychological stress, my mental stress my body started crapping out at me so well prior to that I had been losing a lot of hair in the shower like at an alarming rate when I would wash my hair and comb through it. I started getting like clumps of hair. And that’s very distressing probably for anybody but especially
For women, when that starts to happen, you’re like, oh my gosh, am I going to lose my hair, we identify so much with our hair. And so that was very distressing for me. But then, so that was happening in the background for quite a while, long before the mental distress. But then in December, I had this sudden onset, severe shoulder and arm pain, and it literally like I have no, I can’t pinpoint any particular cause for this pain. I just woke up one morning and was in severe pain. And like I couldn’t put on a bra without help. I mean, that’s kind of degrading when you’re 45 years old. And I couldn’t move my arm in certain ways. A lot of yoga poses were out and hurt to sleep. I couldn’t sleep through the night.
And it was really, really distressing. So finally, I went to two orthopedic surgeons at one of Chicago’s top teaching hospitals. So these are the best of the best people, right? And they look at me, they look at my X rays. And they’re like, What did you do? What can I mean? Because it’s an injury. And I was like, nothing. I went to bed, like, No, you had to have had to have done something. And I’m like, No, I did it. So they gave me a steroid injection, they prescribed physical therapy. And then on top of that, I started getting therapeutic massages. Well, none of that worked. And even before I went to the doctor, like I had a strong sense that this was a psycho somatic symptom that this was my body telling me, Look, you are not what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing in life. This is not what you’re meant to do. And you know, this, you know, this, Kristi, and we’ve been sending you signals for a long time we’ve been shedding your hair, we’ve been putting you on the verge of a mental breakdown, we’ve been giving you a disease, of dissatisfaction with where you’re at in your life and your world, with your job with everything, and you’ve ignored us. So we’re just going to create so much pain in your life that you literally can’t function at your job anymore, you’re going to have to quit. See, that’s what I believe what was happening to me.
Well, okay, and so why would this be happening when I have a good job? Why would this be happening when I have an ideal setup for work? Why would this be happening when I’m respected by my colleagues, and by management by leadership? When I’m doing good, like why I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do? You know, I’m a quote unquote, success story.
The thing is, is that I was good at what I did, I was a data analyst.
I was good at what I did. But that’s not what I was meant to be doing. So I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Gay Hendricks. But if you haven’t, please check out his book called The Big Leap. It is a fantastic book, I’ll make sure to put that in the in the notes for this episode. And if you have read it, you’ll recognize what I’m about to say. So the thing is, is that I was living in my zone of excellence, not my zone of genius. And living in your zone of excellence for your life in your vocation, is a surefire way to not feel fulfilled, and to be miserable, quite frankly. And so what that means basically, and I’m not paraphrasing Gay Hendricks here, I am just going off of pure memory. But living in my zone of excellence means I am doing what I am good at what the world use me as being good at this is something I’m good at. I’m compensated decently for it, sometimes even well. And if I were to stop doing what I’m good at and say, give it up to do something, that’s
us that doesn’t have the same metric for success in other people’s eyes, then people think you’re crazy. People think I’m crazy. And people I think were wondering what the hell I was thinking when I did end up giving my employer two weeks notice. I did this at the beginning or the very end of February of 2022.
Being in my zone of excellence, it dates back to
I don’t even know it. Well. Let me rephrase that.
I’ve been in my zone of excellence for years now. But it started when I went to college. When I went back to school. I dropped out previously, four times when I was younger, you know, post high school. If you’re curious about that backstory, it’s pretty interesting, actually. And it’s on my website. I’m not going to get into that here. But anyway, I went back to school when my daughter was five as a single mom. And I was going to go into school as a pre business major. And in order to get into the school of business, I had to take, you know, adventure prerequisites and one of them was
An intro to macroeconomics course. So I took that that was my first class I took and I had always hated economics when I was at Purdue University in the 90s. I took one econ class, I got a D in it, okay. And I was on the Dean’s list like every other class. I was great at econ I sucked at so I didn’t think I liked econ. I just had to deal with it because I’m a pre business major, right? So I take this class, and it literally flipped upside down so many things for me, and I fell in love with economics. So for example, we I used to be an activist back in the day, I joke around about being a recovering protester sometimes. And I would protest against perceived in justices. And one of them, for example, was sweatshops. You know, I don’t want to buy stuff that was made in a sweatshop and I still don’t, okay. But I watched a video that my very liberal econ Professor shared in our class that basically showed how screwed up how people lost their jobs out east because and I say east, I mean, east of the part of the world thing in Pakistan, but whatever it was, like people lost their jobs in, quote, unquote, sweatshops, because of all this pressure from the west. Those people were very, very angry. And I’m like, I want to help you. I want to protest sweatshops. I want you to get a better deal in life. And they’re like, How dare you steal our livelihood? How are we going to feed our families. And so anyway, that’s that made me fall in love with economics. I was like, wow, it shifted my perception of the world and how to go about fixing it. So sweatshops aside, I’m not proposing how to deal with that problem. But I fell in love with econ. And so I studied econ. And then I graduated the top of my class because I worked my butt off. And then I went to graduate school for economics, Applied Economics, it was a great, it was a very good, very well respected graduate program. And I struggled so badly, like undergraduate, there’s a little bit of math and, you know, basic calculus involved, but like, really basic. And there’s a little bit of statistics involved, but it’s not a lot, right. And in graduate school, was like all math, all stats, all econometrics. That’s what economists that’s it economics version of statistics. And that part was okay. But like, the math, like was so so hard for me, because I’ve never been a math person.
So I did pass all my classes, and I passed my core exam. But I couldn’t deal with it. Like, I stopped writing my thesis about two fifths of the way in, and I just, you know, I never graduated from that graduate program. But ever since then, like I am a data person now. Like, I’ve pegged myself as a data person, I’ve pegged myself as someone who can, like solve problems, data problems, right, and like, create spreadsheets to answer questions program code into, you know, different software’s. And, and so
all of my professional jobs since I left graduate school were focused around data analysis.
Well, the thing is, is that it turns out that I am not like that is it became my zone of excellence, because I did it enough. But it’s not what drives me. It didn’t energize me, it didn’t fuel me, it wasn’t what my heart wanted. My heart loved economics, because it shifted how I thought about the world. My heart didn’t love economics, because I wanted to work with data, data and crunch numbers and stuff all day long, in write research papers, and so there was a big disconnect. So working in my zone of excellence was not my zone of genius. And my zone of genius is actually trying to make the world a better place in various capacities.
And that’s a separate subject as well.
So anyway, realizing that I’m not in my zone of genius, and I’m, like, I am miserable. I am really miserable. And I don’t see an out I don’t know how I can quit my job because of my financial obligations. I have a daughter who’s in college and I’m legally responsible for some of her tuition or out of out of pocket expenses, I should say.
And then you know, I have housing costs, I have utilities like anyone else, I have a phone bill, you know, I have all these things, so I can’t just quit my job. I mean, my bank account balance pretty much mirrors my credit card payments for a business credit card. So it’s like, I am not in a position to be quitting my job, but you know what, my body was like, Screw you. You can’t do this anymore. I’m going to make you quit.
And you know, I forgot to mention it wasn’t just a shoulder pain. I was getting some severe neck pain to like everything my body just felt like it was falling apart. I felt like you know, I’m like I am 45 years old going on 85 And if I don’t change something, like I am not going to be a mobile older. Pap
The person. So I’ve gave my notice to my employer.
people know me well enough people who are close to me know me well enough to know that once I’ve made a decision, you know, it’s kind of like, I will take action. And then I will tell people that I did it. So no one I didn’t warn people that I was going to give my notice, no one had the opportunity to talk me out of it really, except for other coaches, who are like backing me up.
So I told people I gave my notice. So people are like, oh, what in the world did you just do? And, you know, I’m like, I did this for me. And yeah, I don’t have any guarantees. Like, I am not comfortable with this uncertainty. But
what’s worse, is continuing down this path where it’s not what I meant to be doing in this world. And it’s that I can’t continue down this path, because my body and my soul were conspiring to help me
live with integrity and purpose, the theme of the episode of this episode.
So that’s my story. And I’m wondering, now hearing this, I’m wondering if you can relate in any way to what I shared, is there something about your life right now that you’re getting signals, telling you that this is not aligned with who you are, this is not where you’re meant to be in this world, whether it be a job or relationship, or even how you treat somebody in line at the pharmacy. I mean, whatever, like,
there’s ways that the universe shows up, there’s ways that your body shows up, and lets you know that something is not quite aligned.
I’m thinking, I’m just trying to think of where to go with this. So do you notice any nudges from the universe or God or whatever it is that it’s time to switch the path that you’re on? Is your body rebelling in some way that has no obvious cause? And I mean, just to be clear, I’m not a medical doctor, I’m not telling you not to go to the doctor, if you have a physical complaint. I mean, obviously, that’s, that’s important that you do that. And I did that too, for myself. But I’m just saying like, if there’s some kind of nudging thing, and you can identify a physical cause for it, you know, psychosomatic zation I can’t say that word is a very real thing. You know, and I do believe strongly that some of my issues, physical issues stem from that.
For example, I might get a migraine when I’m stressed. You know, it’s, I wouldn’t get the migraine outside of that, you know. And so, are you noticing anything like that? Are you encountering synchronicities that seem to suggest something?
For example, for me,
bald eagles are very meaningful for me, I have a history with those in a very special way. And when I see them, which isn’t very often because I, especially these days, because I live in the city of Chicago. It’s like I take no, there’s something there. I feel that it’s trying to tell me so I saw when actually around the same time when I was debating whether to leave my job and one flew right outside my second floor window in my house in the city of freaking Chicago, it was so close that I could see its little yellow talons legs, whatever, like pulled up into its body. Now this is a very unusual sighting in the city of Chicago, I probably don’t have to repeat that.
And it happened around the same time that I received an email from a coach friend regarding my intentions. And my in the direction I was heading in terms of life coaching. So it was there was a synchronicity happening when I saw this eagle and you know, people write that stuff off. I don’t I pay attention to it. So if you notice something in your life, there’s that’s like a potential synchronicity like that.
That’s where I’m getting out with that. Do you notice that sort of thing.
Now, if you notice anything,
like a synchronicity, or a possible physical somatization, and you would like to explore it, there’s something you can do about that. If you don’t know what it means you don’t know how to interpret it, you can have a conversation with it. Now I’m not losing my mind. I’m totally serious. And it’s actually really simple. We do something similar in my life coach training program that I’m a student of and also I do this with clients like a variation of this. It’s it’s easier if you’re doing it with somebody else. It’s a little bit different, a little bit nuanced, but you can do this by yourself too. So if you have something like a pain or synchronicity, maybe you see there’s signs there’s some sort of sign that you want to evaluate or explore.
Get a journal or notebook and a pen. And then you’re going to find a comfortable place to sit or lay down where you won’t be distracted for No, no 1015 minutes, whatever.
And then what you’re going to do once you get to this place and don’t do it now, I’m just going to tell you what to do not walk you through it, but you’re going to close your eyes. If that feels safe for you, if it doesn’t just, you know, soften your gaze. And then you’re going to want to get grounded, calm and in tune with your body. And you can do this by taking several deep breaths. And if possible, breathe exclusively through your nose.
It’s really helpful if you focus too on extending your inhalations and exhalations and watching your belly or even your chest rise and fall and just really get into that state to get that’ll help get you calm and relaxed.
And once you’re feeling grounded, and calm, bring whatever it is that you’d like to explore into your awareness using as many of your senses as possible. So for example, if it’s a body ache, really connect with it, really try to imagine yourself experiencing at that moment.
For me, the feeling it into my arm, like my shoulder, and my neck and the base of my skull, and just really getting present with it, even though it might feel a bit unpleasant.
Or if say it’s like an unusual animal or synchronicity that seems to be trying to send you a message, try to connect with its presence, try to see it in your mind’s eye. So for my eagle that I was telling you about, I might see this eagle and just imagine connecting looking at Eagle in that in its eye and just sort of separating the distance between us becoming one with the eagle, that sort of thing. Now, once you’ve connected with it, whatever it is, you can open your eyes and then pick up your journal.
And now you’re going to ask it, so your pain or the animal or the sign whatever you’re inquiring about, ask it whether it has a message to offer you ask it what it would like you to know what its purpose here is for you.
And then you’re going to free right? You don’t think you just start writing you pick up your pen, you put it on your paper and you just start moving it you literally start moving your pen and your paper and see what happens.
You might be surprised by what presents itself. I know I sometimes um, sometimes after I’ve done exercises like this, I’m like, shocked like things flow out of me that I had no idea existed. It’s like kind of creepy, actually. But it’s really telling it really can provide some fabulous insights. And if you just couldn’t get into this exercise, you know, it’s okay. Not every tool works for everyone. Worst case scenario you just gifted yourself a few moments of delicious breathing and calm hopefully.
Okay, well that’s it. That’s all I have to share today. For this podcast. I want to thank you for being here with me for my very first episode of the Wayfinder diaries podcast. If you liked this episode, please Please subscribe and consider leaving me a review. And again,
if you are interested in learning more about me or being a guest or even working with me, please check out my website. Thank you.
Thank you for listening to this episode. Please subscribe to my channel and leave a review so that others can find it via the algorithm. If you’d like to learn more about me apply for life coaching or be a guest on a future episode. Please visit my website at kristiamdahl.com. With peace gratitude and love.