Some of you are aware I’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling over the past several years. Many of those trips have been to New York City. NYC has always called to me from my first visit there over 20 years ago. Since then, I would return every so often to visit friends and extended family. The energy of the city is incomparable. It is one of a handful of cities I refer to as my “soul city,” because it seems to deliver a sense of inspiration and restoration every time I am there.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to apply for a professional license in NY; embarking on a personal and professional expansion. It was a long process and a bit painstaking, in first-world standards 😉, especially preparing for another board exam after all these years. The support from my family, friends, and colleagues has been invaluable every step of the way. A few weeks ago, my credentials finally posted! I am happy to declare, I’m officially a licensed psychotherapist in the states of Wisconsin and New York.

There are no limits to the things one can achieve with faith, clarity, and determination. We learn so much about ourselves when we take some risks, go outside of our comfort zone, and trust the process. There were many times in the past couple of years, I experienced what felt like setbacks. I’d become frustrated in those vulnerable moments, questioning if I was doing the “right” thing, not only for myself but for my family. Building a life part-time in NY, occasionally put me out of my comfort zone. I was dependent on the generosity of those who shared their home and their time, so I could minimize my travel costs. Being away from my immediate family and my “other” life, sometimes felt isolating. There were times, I felt I wasn’t fully present or participatory in either life. But being clear about one’s values helps keep the questioning from progressing to doubt. And doubt is invasive; it can swallow us whole. It can cause us to question decisions or simply avoid making them. It can lead to dis-empowerment and unhealthy dependencies, as we look to others to make decisions and take action for us. But defining our values keeps us aligned with what is most important in our lives. And when we know what’s most important, we are better equipped to make informed and productive decisions for ourselves.

Living by one’s values isn’t always easy in this world of instant gratification. Someone very close to me once said, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission,” and sadly, he was right. This seems to be the creed of modern society. Integrity, patience, and persistence are work and most times we want the faster route. The route that causes the least amount of discomfort. And that route often leads us to nowhere.

Clarity brings peace. It provides a freedom and security that can only come from a place that is grounded in truth and rooted in love. I am so very thankful for all the people in my life that believe in who I am and continue to support my journey of growth and expansion. This blog post is for all of you. It’s also for the rest of you wishing to embark upon a journey of personal truth and clarification. The benefits are limitless…

In deepest gratitude, Iman.

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