Following the Inner Compass – my story

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

Even since I discovered the guitar,I have dreamed about becoming a rock star.  It wasn’t fame that I wanted, although I wouldn’t have minded the fortune.  What really drew me to it was the ability to be creative for a living and spread a message that could help open others’ minds.

As the number of musical prospects in and around my hometown was dismal, I knew that change was needed.  My inner compass told me that it was time to leave and move to the big city, so I did.  I was far from home, without a job, without a friend, but nevertheless, full of hope.  This one act of courage in my early twenties sparked a chain reaction that led me in unimagined directions.

The big city
Having little work experience, my first job in the city was waiting tables.  I auditioned for bands as much as possible, but soon realized that my own creativity would be limited by joining someone else’s band.  Unfortunately, my paycheck didn’t afford me the ability to start and promote my own band, so I wrote songs on my own.

When not working or involved with music, the city allowed me to reconnect with the interest in self-development & spirituality that began in my hometown.  It led me to try yoga, various forms of meditation, attend interesting lectures, speak with psychics, and meet all types of interesting people.  In fact, one of them told me about an out-of-body experience he had, a subject with which I was vaguely familiar.  Being curious, I accepted his invitation to a spiritual educational center, one of the best decisions of my life.

New directions
As I started to explore astral projection and self-development further, I found myself very engaged and engrossed with these subjects.  The things that I was learning and experiencing brought questions, answers, more questions, understanding, knowledge and much intrigue.  I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be in my life; I was in line with my inner compass!  Ironically, music was my vehicle there.

I soon became a volunteer at the spiritual center, helping out in whatever ways I could.  While volunteering, a few events occurred that took my life in new directions.  The first occurred when picking up something from the workplace of another volunteer.

New work
I was delighted to show up at a start-up internet company in the middle of an office party.  Appreciating the laid-back work environment, I nonchalantly asked this volunteer if her company was hiring.  Lo and behold, they were looking to fill an entry-level position.  Four months of back and forth later, I got the job, assisting this volunteer directly and getting on the internet for the first time.

A few months later, I was laid off after the company was bought out by a competitor.  Fortunately, I inherited stock options which were worth a pretty penny when I sold my shares!  This afforded me the opportunity to take a summer off and learn a more exciting and creative skill – building websites.  Having been creative long before I discovered music, this was an exciting opportunity.

After building a few websites pro bono for experience, it was time to look for work again.  Once again, I happened to meet someone through the spiritual center who got me a job where I could begin applying my new skills.  Coincidentally enough, it took about four months to get this job too, despite efforts to speed up the process.

While I wasn’t building websites in my new role, I was working my way towards that while gaining valuable experience.  Within one year, I had more than doubled my salary following my career change and was managing a small team that rebuilt our website.  But despite the step up from the restaurant business, I found that I still wasn’t happy or fulfilled by my work.  Looking at my inner compass, I realized that I had veered off course to some degree.  I got caught up in climbing a corporate ladder that I vowed to never get on in the first place.

Change, of course
After much thought and reflection, I quit my job and left for Brazil at the height of the dot-com bubble.  The spiritual center I volunteered for was based there, so it was a mission to go to its source while getting a much needed change in scenery and lifestyle.

Brazil immediately felt like home.  It afforded me new opportunities, friendships and a glimpse of the workings of this center.  But, I found Brazil’s beauty and laid-back lifestyle comfortable but stagnant.  It didn’t help that work was hard to come by either.  My inner compass was trying to tell me something again.

I realized that I was still the same person, bringing my deep-seated problems with me overseas.  Although intellectually I knew this would occur, it was another thing to experience it.  After more self-reflection, I remembered something important.  My interest in spirituality had been borne of an interest in psychology.

Returning home
Having taken a few psychology courses in the past, I was drawn to ideas about personality, dreams, personal growth, etc., having read books on these subjects for pleasure.  Never having finished my college education, I decided that it was time to return home and go back to school.

I dreamed of having my own practice where I could help people all day, feel good about what I was doing and get paid for it, knowing that I did something really meaningful while making a difference in people’s lives.  My excitement remained with me throughout college.  There, all of my teachers knew me by name, even in large lecture halls.  I graduated with an almost perfect grade point average.

After working in the field to gain experience and confirming that the direction I was heading in properly aligned with my inner compass, I went back to school again, enrolling in a social work program at the most competitive graduate school in the country.  Upon graduating and gaining valuable work experience, I obtained a clinical license, completed a life coaching training program and eventually started a private practice.

When I look back at what I’ve accomplished in my life, I’m very pleased with myself.  Even when I veered of track, I’ve always managed to correct course.  My inner compass has always been strong, guiding me throughout my life.  Fortunately, I have always listened to it, following my intuition and watching opportunities unfold before me when I was in synch with my compass.

I believe that everyone has an inner compass that can steer them through life.  It tells us when we’re on the right path through intuitions, synchronicities, a feeling of satisfaction, etc.  An inner compass also sounds an alarm when we’ve strayed from our ideal path through feelings of unfulfillment or dissatisfaction, negative synchronicities, accidents, etc.

How well are you able to tune into your inner compass?


jack grabon
Jack Grabon, LCSW-R, CPC is a holistic therapist and life coach who helps those on a spiritual path to resolve deep-seated issues and live happier, more meaningful lives. He offers in-person sessions in New York City, as well as phone and Skype sessions. Contact him now for a free consultation.
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