Sometimes a solo trip to seek spiritual guidance is required to decipher the chatter between your mind, your ego, and your heart. This was my reality as I approached my fortieth birthday.

My career and life, to date, had typical twists and turns filled with triumphs and lessons with what seemed like a forward motion. However, what I did not anticipate or plan for was the development of my internal tug for something more.

The Journey Begins

After fifteen years in tech, two IPOs, hundreds of plane trips, my first book, the launch of Tech Savvy Women, two kids and marriage, my heart began tugging more fiercely.

In parallel to these unresolved feelings, I was promoted for the third time to a premier leadership role in a fantastic Silicon Valley-based software company. The career goals I had set in my early twenties seemed within reach.

Since the creation of Tech Savvy Women, my conversations with working women had changed and fostered my first book, The Working Woman’s GPS: When the Plan to Have it All Has Led You Astray. Looking back, these activities awakened a dormant desire.

An Awakening

With most life decisions, my internal dialog took the lead, cultivating a constant chatter as my mind, ego, and heart battled out my next physical move. Most days, I could override my noisy interior to focus on the external demands of life and work but, in the quieter moments, it became apparent that I had to find a way to address the sprouting purpose from within.

I found myself searching the web for forums, retreats, and discussions that promised to quiet my internal engine. Although I was eager to participate in something, the realities of my life could not accommodate another demand for my time. My color-coded schedule was numbing, and my two children were under five years old. My family was already adapting weekly to my business travel and late night conference calls. Asking for more time away, seemed unrealistic. I carried an overwhelming sense of guilt which, volleyed between my family and my job.

An Opportunity Presents Itself

Still working to avoid the internal chatter, I pushed through my to-do list daily. One night after everyone was asleep; I found myself revisiting a prior search request that led me to a unique offering in Sedona, Az. I clicked around for a few minutes and then felt the guilt creep-in which flooded into my fingers and closed my browser.

As my fortieth birthday approached, and after a few more late night website visits, I mustered up enough nerve to ask my husband, if I could go to Sedona for my birthday. I remember “the ask” as though it was yesterday. It reminded me of a time years ago when I asked my parents for the car to drive to a party I was not allowed to attend.

He paused. As I waited for his response, I could feel that guilt explode throughout my body, flooding every limb. I clench my fists to distract my mind from answering on his behalf. He then said, “I am not sure we can get childcare for the weekend, but I can ask one of my sisters.”

It was at the moment that I realized this was going to be a double-whammy. It was quickly apparent that he thought I was asking for a couple’s weekend to celebrate my birthday, but I was quite sure that I needed to do this alone. The guilt was overwhelming, but I pushed through it as I knew it was time for some self-discovery.

The Journey of Self Discovery Begins

A few weeks later, I reviewed my goals with an assigned Spiritual Guide. Yes, the solo trip to Sedona was booked with one goal in mind, clarity. My mind, ego, and heart had been going at it too long, and my traditional approaches were not working.

I suspected some spiritual clarity would have been an enormous step for me had I not grown up visiting Lily Dale, New York (a meeting place for Spiritualists and Freethinkers). I am an offspring of women, my Grandmother, Mother and Aunts, who turned to spiritual guidance as a source of untapped information to help make earthy decisions. In regards to this new sprouting purpose, I had put into practice everything I learned from journaling to praying, to reading, to visualizing, and I was out of options.

A week later I exited the Phoenix airport in my rental car. I could feel a wave of excitement ripple through my body. I was nervous and excited, scared and also feeling guilty. Although I would like to say, I listened to Carole King or another empowering artist while I felt the wind in my hair, all the way up to Sedona, this was not the case. My day was filled with parking lot conference calls, and coffee shop stops to send time-sensitive emails. Absurd, I know, but my job was demanding, and I was operating with the mindset that if I got these tasks done now, I would be able to protect my hours in Sedona, free of disruptions.

As I approached the majestic horizon of red rock and a beautiful sunset, I remember feeling calm yet enthusiastic about the days ahead. I should have known the universe was awaiting my arrival.

Putting the Lessons into Action

As my plane lifted away from the Arizona ground, I sunk into my airplane seat with ease. It was evident throughout each session and discussion that I had been called home to regroup, realign and reconnect with what was next.

My internal chatter did not disappear, in fact, at times it grew louder as my mind and ego tried to create importance on external metrics to override my emerging purpose. It was no doubt that my mind and ego would put up a good fight but, my visit to Sedona reassured me that I had the tools and spiritual support to empower my heart and soul.

My life did not change overnight; in fact, it has taken years to align my physical state. With each step comes lessons, milestones, and surprises required for me to immerse in this stage of my life. The internal chatter that manifested to an undeniable level was perfectly orchestrated as it drove me to SEEK.

Years later, I am still seeking! I make time (without asking for permission from anyone but myself) for the “solo trip” to communicate my commitment to myself, my soul and the universe that I am open to receiving, exploring, and contributing in new ways.

I look forward to sharing my spiritual journey with you. Stay-tuned for future posts!

JJ DiGeronimo, Tech Savvy Women President and Author of two books for Professional Women