I can attest that following my inner guidance as to how I should move through my life has added an enormous amount of depth and richness to my existence.
By Ileana Rontea
What feisty dream is waiting to be born in YOUR life?
… pursuing such dreams and heart desires is essential to a joyful and fulfilling life.
Have you ever thought of making a big change in your life, but were hesitant because you didn’t quite know if you should or not? What feisty dream do you have? Is it writing a book, a play, a movie script, a song (or an album!), poetry, painting, drawing, sculpting, or any other artistic endeavour that would express your soul and showcase your beautiful light? Or, maybe it’s a career change from something that is just paying the bills, to something that will feed your spirit? Perhaps you want to move to another city/country/continent—a place where you feel alive and exuberant?
How about considering taking a year off and just travelling, experiencing and being, exploring the world and tasting its many delights? Might you be contemplating following the entrepreneurial path and starting your own business, something you are deeply passionate about? Could it be that you are near/at retirement and yearning to be involved in a venture/organization/community that makes a difference in the world? Or better yet: maybe you want to create such an enterprise yourself and leave a lasting legacy behind?
These are just some of the options that often fire us up. I am here to tell you that pursuing such dreams and heart desires is essential to a joyful and fulfilling life. I have lived some of these possibilities and I can attest that following my inner guidance as to how I should move through my life has added an enormous amount of depth and richness to my existence.
The world needs our lights to shine—brightly!
Where would our world be without those who chose to risk so that they could express themselves fully, thereby enriching the world with their vision?
This is the most important time in our history to follow this path of inner knowing and self-empowerment. Given the turmoil and uncertainty flowing around us like a river, we are invited to go within and connect to the gift that is waiting to be born. Too many of us have allowed others to dictate our path instead of following our intuitions and talents. Where would our world be without those who chose to risk so that they could express themselves fully, thereby enriching the world with their vision?
I believe that we live in a world that needs the divine feminine energy to rise again from the cinders of marginalization and oppression. A counter-balance to the patriarchal male energy is sorely needed and it each of us can contribute to this emergent energy. We do so by connecting to our deepest inner voice and manifesting our highest calling into the world, instead of hiding our talents, abilities and light under the basket of mediocrity.
How following my own path and inner guidance worked for me
I have been blessed with a life that has followed mostly a non-conventional trajectory.
Let me tell you of some moments of my own life to illustrate what I am writing about. I have been called a free spirit, world traveller and life-long learner by those who know me well. Adventurous, loving, a passionate speaker, nature and animal-lover, lightworker and an inspiring role model have also been descriptions used by others when talking about me. I have lived in twelve countries to date, and explored many more, through my work and solo travels.
I have been blessed with a life that has followed mostly a non-conventional trajectory. Born in an eastern bloc country, my parents and I were lucky enough to escape the clutches of communism when I was nine years old. After a long and circuitous road, we finally arrived in Canada as new immigrants. By the age of 12, I had lived in four different cultures already, which meant an enormous amount of adaptation, reinvention, creating new social networks, and constant learning! These aspects became life-long themes, which propelled me ever forward into new and uncharted territories.
Reinvention # 1: Divorce and solo travel to Australia
Through group therapy, personal therapy, intense journaling, and reading every self-help and spiritual book I could find, a new vision of myself and my life slowly emerged.
Although after finishing university I followed a more traditional path of matrimony, after a number of years of a roller-coaster relationship, I began my first reinvention as a divorced woman. This time period launched a journey of inner exploration, as I tried to understand why I had “failed” at the most important relationship in my life. Through group therapy, personal therapy, intense journaling, and reading every self-help and spiritual book I could find, a new vision of myself and my life slowly emerged.
I eventually came to the awareness that despite what I had first thought, I was not a victim of my circumstances and that I could create a new and more empowered existence. My journey into spirituality has continued throughout my life, with new insights and profound results manifesting in my outer reality.
As I rose up out of the ashes of my former life, I came to believe in myself more and more, redefining myself as a strong and capable woman. I began to travel alone, and saw that it was not so bad! My first solo trip was in 2001, when I spent the entire month of December touring Australia. This had been a life-long dream of mine and I was very grateful I had the funds and the time off work to explore this unique and stunning continent. Planning and experiencing this “maiden voyage” of mine, taught me that I was resourceful, resilient and fully adept at dealing with any challenges that might arise.
Reinvention # 2: Transforming a layoff into entrepreneurship and major personal growth
The challenges were constant, but they pushed me forward to overcome my fears and self-limiting beliefs.
Upon returning from my Australia jaunt, I was promptly laid off from yet another job (due to the 9/11 crash). After some research, exploration, deep thinking, and having my full astrological chart done, I decided to open my own business. For the next few years, I was in constant learning and expansion mode, being “pushed” to not only raise my own personal game but to become a business-person. I founded a marketing company that worked with coaches and holistic practitioners, assisting them in creating a congruent image, riveting copy, and consistent marketing messages.
The challenges were constant, but they pushed me forward to overcome my fears and self-limiting beliefs. With help from a voice and presentation coach, I overcame my nervousness regarding speaking in public, which resulted in being contacted by a new company that was launching a program to train people how to start their own business. One of the owners heard me speak at a Chamber of Commerce gig and approached me to work with them as their first trainer, even though I had no formal prior training experience. He told me that my passion, charisma, and message were more important than anything I could learn in a course.
And so, I expanded my “life toolkit”, and began training others in what I had done myself. More invitations to speak followed, television appearances as a business coach, as well as published articles on marketing and entrepreneurship. I eventually convinced my associates that a specific program was needed for women entrepreneurs, who had additional challenges to their male counterparts. This program was launched and was greatly appreciated by the female entrepreneurs who attended.
Reinvention # 3: The start of a new career path and eventual manager—on cruise ships!
December 2, 2005 was my second rebirth from the ashes, when I embarked on the Monarch of the Seas, an elderly and now decommissioned Royal Caribbean ship.
…I grew exponentially as a person and as a mentor and guide.
Just when things were beginning to take off, a personal tragedy struck which left me unable to continue my business as I plunged into deep depression and despair. This acute emotional struggle caused me to lose interest in my business, as I hunkered down in survival mode. Nevertheless, even in the darkest hour, the universe always speaks to us, and if we listen carefully, we will hear it. After more therapy, advice from a friend, and profound soul-searching, I pivoted again and dramatically changed my life by accepting a contract position on a cruise ship.
December 2, 2005 was my second rebirth from the ashes, when I embarked on the Monarch of the Seas, an elderly and now decommissioned Royal Caribbean ship, for my first administrative/logistics position in the industry. While working on this ship, I met some amazing people who are still good friends to this day and I saw many, many beautiful ports of call, which I would have never seen had I not taken that risk at the age of 41.
Just shy of two years after my first day working on cruise ships, I was hired by another cruise line as a Human Resources Manager. I had applied for a Corporate Trainer role, but the woman who was to become my boss saw the potential I had to work in a more senior capacity. I worked in this role for three cruise lines, on and off for the next few years. The job was demanding and took everything out of me, being a combination of counsellor, priest, psychologist, cheerleader, as well as what my actual title said. Despite all of that, it was also a time when I grew exponentially as a person and as a mentor and guide.
Reinvention # 4: Fulfilling a dream of living in Europe and circling back to entrepreneurship
…sometimes your inner voice cannot be ignored and going against its insistent whispering is inconceivable.
After my mom passed away, I embarked on yet another rebirth. I had wanted to relocate to Europe for some time and I felt it was finally time to make my move. My father eventually agreed to go into a retirement home, where he is very well taken care of and very happy. After clearing and selling the family home (which took a lot of emotional resilience, as well as physical stamina), I made my move to Malaga, Spain. By this time, I was suffering from burnout and adrenal depletion, which took a couple of years to get through. During this time, I learned the importance of self-love and self-care, and allowed myself the time I needed to heal. Malaga will always have a special place in my heart.
Many of us are called to embark on different journeys at various times in our lives. I am currently living in Malta, and just recently, after listening to my soul’s calling, I launched my own business, again. You might think this is quite mad as we are in the middle of a global crisis and the very foundations of our world are shifting. However, sometimes your inner voice cannot be ignored and going against its insistent whispering is inconceivable.
This enterprise is a culmination of my prior work and life experiences, forged into an inspirational and transforming tool. I called it Phoenix on the Rise as a symbol of the many times I have reinvented myself and rose up from the ashes of my prior life.
My goal is to empower women to realize their own magnificence, potential and abilities, and assist each and every woman who is willing to shine the light of her own brilliance in the world. This energetic shift will automatically bring in the divine feminine like a healing wave, which is so needed right now. We will thus empower ourselves to recreate the cultural milieu necessary for the feminine to balance the masculine in a societal pattern that has obscured and denigrated the importance of intuition and heart-wisdom.
I wish you love, light and courage!
About the author, Ileana Rontea
Ileana A. Rontea is the Founder of https://phoenixontherise.com/. Through one-on-one sessions, she mentors and guides women to create richer and more fulfilling lives by connecting to the Higher Self and rewriting their stories of drama, self-doubt and negative self-talk. Sign up to her mailing list and receive a free gift of “33 Loving Messages from Source”, a compilation of reflective “word bites” that will uplift and imbue your days with more meaning and light.