Dear Dr. Norquist:
I’ve been re-thinking my career, and not knowing what to do. I’m good at what I do and I keep getting offers that entice me to stay. I know that if I leave this field and start anew, I may not immediately earn enough to support myself. With this in mind, I’ve been putting some money aside every month for the past year. It’s hard to leave my job (as an investment banker).
My dad is a successful banker and he has been so proud that I followed in his footsteps. I feel guilty letting him down, but I’m not happy. What really interests me is art. I’d also love to have a gallery and to showcase others paintings. This has been my dream for years now. In fact, during grad school what kept me sane was my weekly painting class. I’m having trouble switching gears. Any advice?
Dr. Norquist responds:
It’s common knowledge that to maintain health our bodies need the proper nutrition. Our soul’s need for the proper nourishment is just as vital for our overall health – yet this is not yet widely recognized. It appears that your current job is lacking in nourishment for your soul. The outer world offers praise and rewards and approval for your competence in this arena – but your soul is not thriving in this environment. You are wise to listen to your inner dis-content. Continuing to follow these outer world enticements will lead you further and further from an alignment with what truly feeds your soul. This can lead to a spiritual health crisis – which is often accompanied by concurrent mental and/or physical ill-health.
What is exciting about your letter is that you already know wherein the nourishment lies for you. You know that the visual arts feed your soul. In fact, you fed your soul during the college years of your life through weekly painting. You have the clarity to know that the yearning to create, appreciate and showcase art really excites you.
I want to encourage you to move towards feeding this yearning in your soul. I believe this will lead you to create a delightfully enjoyable life that allows you to feel deeply satisfied and alive. You can do this step by step if you’d like, gradually re-introducing art into your weekly life. This will energize you to develop a plan for leaving or reducing the amount of time and energy that you spend in your role as an investment banker. Let me know how it goes.
Check out Dr. Norquist’s new blog GrowingThroughParenting.com
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.) Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. Ó 2019 Chaitanya Counseling Services