Some people come upon their life path quite early in life, or at least they happen upon it, but for others it isn't so easy…
Like many of us, I was a "victim" of circumstances. I had my first spinal fusion while I was in Grade 12 and that pretty much changed the course of my life… instead of going to teacher's college as I had planned, I got married and started working at a bank. When I found myself a single parent of a disabled 2-year old, I realized that I needed a much better job if I were going to make a good life for both us… so I went back to school to study accounting and finance – which led to a great job at Imperial Oil/Exxon… the best part of that job was that it found me, so I didn't have to think about what direction to set off on. In a few years I was being fast-tracked into management and trained as a systems analyst… which led to my next job as a systems consultant, which then led to a career in turnkey systems sales and marketing… When I had enough of the corporate world, I decided to strike out on my own, offering business coaching. But by then, word had gotten out that I do psychic readings. Before I knew it, I had a list of clients and realized that a whole new life path was unfolding in front of me… for the first time in my life, I was in control of my circumstances… little did I know that by "following my nose" through all those career changes, I was really setting up for the work that has now engrossed me for more than 20 years.
My brother, on the other hand, found his career path very easily, almost by accident… the story goes that he was waiting to start classes for his final year of university when his buddy suggested that he come with him to sign up for law school… and since these classes were starting a week earlier than the program he thought he wanted, and he was anxious to get going, he went along, was accepted and soon found he has a natural understanding of the law, along with a real talent for negotiating. Now his law firm takes up most of the 30th floor penthouse suite in the heart of downtown Toronto…. he had found his life work…
One of my sisters came upon her career as a psychologist after she had three children and decided that their home was big enough to take in some foster children… most of whom were quite troubled. She soon discovered that she had a way with these young people – and decided to do something about it… but this sister also had another important goal in her life path – finding her soul mate… she married him when she was 18, and it was through his support that she was able to pursue her education and later her career.
Notice that so far, "work" has been the focus in talking about Life Paths… but a Life Path has many branches – like your Tree of Life. For some people, especially young women, having a life-partner is the trunk of the tree, the whole purpose in living, so career choices often depend on whether or not they are married….these women (and some men) tend to do whatever work comes to support them while they wait for the right one to appear.
Learning about love and relationships is typically part of each of our Life Paths; but for others, it represents a focus for life – and can as easily manifest in facing a lot of challenges in relationship as it does in having a social consciouness and heading up a non-profit..
I think it is important to understand that while work/money and love appear to be destinations on our Life Path, our true paths are all about soul growth – the career, the partner, and any other goals are simply the "means to an end," adjuncts or components of the overall life plan.
Developing one's creative abilities can be a key direction in terms of your soul growth, but that doesn't necessarily translate to a career as a musician, artist or writer. In my case, as well as in my brother and sister's this desire expressed itself in finding creative ways of dealing with old problems, making personal time productive through arts, crafts, cooking, exploring as well as in our relationships, perhaps especially with our children.
My point is that most of us define our Life Paths before we are born… and that path can not only include many branches, but it also has many ways of manifesting… all depending on what experiences your soul needs. … and most significantly, it isn't necessarily a direct route. Sometimes we find our path quite by accident, sometimes we have to make certain connections, build or heal some relationships, or aquire certain skills and knowledge before a clear path will open up… and sometimes we choose to meander through life with no apparent destination in mind… in the end it doesn't really matter how we grow as souls, it only matters that we are learning, growing and loving.
That said, finding your life path is about reaching for purpose, finding meaning in your life as it is… once on the path, it is easier to relax and enjoy the journey.