Welcome back to the 11 day Odyssey of Interviews called “Destiny Discoverers”
These are people that I have personally invited to play because I sense their big heart, open mind, and ability to succeed on their path of Purpose…..today we are talking with Colleen Mcgunnigle- someone I have been aware of via social media for a few years, and always wanted to know better. And then as fate would have it, our paths crossed more personally during a group coaching program on “accessing higher consciousness.” I jumped at the chance to interview her, and I know you will see the shining bright light that I do after reading her interview.
What were the stepping stones that allowed you to step into your True Purpose/Destiny?
Stepping Stone #1: “Everything is do-able. Embrace new experiences.”
In 1989, when my very first big client asked me to design and generate color separations for a national ad for Vanity Fair, I could have easily passed on it saying, “I’ve never done that before.” Which would have been true! Local ads, sure! I’d done that. But something on this grand scale? Uhh, nope.
Instead of saying “no,” I chose to sit down with a color separator, explain my intentions, and find out what each of the terms meant and how a project like that was brought to fruition. Although brand new to me, creating national ads turned out to be well within my capacity and I went on to do them for many years.
Remember, nothing is impossible. Opportunities to learn and grow abound. Something that feels too grand may just be a new friend you have not yet met!
Stepping Stone #2: “Listen to your inner voice. Be mindful to when something feels like a yes or a no.”
At the start of my business, I would wake up nightly to the feeling that I should be doing something “good” (aka “helpful to others”). When I brought this up to my friend Holly, a social worker, she said, “Well Col, not everyone can be a social worker. There must be teachers and doctors and grocery store clerks. You can be a good (kind/compassionate/helpful) graphic designer.” Which made sense. And I wove this theme into my business.
Yet the feeling persisted. Without knowing what I was doing, I opened to hints and road signs and listened to my gut for what felt like a “yes/go” or a “no/stop.” A “yes” feels expansive and light and fun and your heart sings … a “no” feels dark and heavy.
Follow your inner yes’s.
What did you have to let go of in order to truly follow your path?
Aaah, perfect timing for …
Stepping Stone #3: “Love the twists and turns. Be willing to let go. Of EVERYTHING.”
“To everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven … A time to build up, a time to break down. A time to dance, a time to mourn. A time to cast away stones. A time to gather stones together.” — Pete Seeger, The Byrds, and of course, Ecclesiastes!
At first, people would say to me, “With your skills, you should be working for a high-end design firm in New York City rather than working for yourself! You would be making SO much money!”
Yet when I envisioned doing that, somehow it just didn’t feel right.
I thought, “No way! Someone who’s built up her business for 5 years (Ha! Now that sounds like a drop in the bucket but at the time, 5 years felt substantial!) … Someone who’s been working so hard to build something should never just abandon her business like that!”
5 years later, I let go of any and every pre-conceived notion of what a person living in this five-sense-reality world “should” do. Know why? Because I was listening to my inner voice and willing to let go.
When the opportunity to do something which felt like an inner “HELL YES!” arose, I left behind everything that felt normal, everything that was filled with all sorts of “shoulds” … and stepped directly into a brand new line of work. Anna, a little girl who has autism, needed me. This was the “good” work I had been looking for. A sort of Mission in Life.
And so I let go. When something feels like an inner “yes” … be willing to let go of all of your former “yes’s.”
What did you say yes to?
This would be a good time to share …
Stepping Stone #4: “Follow the breadcrumbs. Open to opportunities to follow inspired action.”
Working with Anna did not come in a direct line. It came in a weaving path, Hansel and Gretel style. And I said yes to thing after thing after thing along that path. Anything that felt like a clear match to the energy I was following … the energy of “good and helpful to others.”
First, there was working for a few hours after doing my design work, at an after school program. (I adore kids. When you adore something, there’s your first clue. You’re probably onto a breadcrumb there.)
Next, I met and completely connected with a new friend’s son, who has autism. So when I saw the ad about working part time with Anna, it just leapt off the page at me. (Leaping off the page: Big sign. Breadcrumb.)
A year later, when Anna’s parents asked me to come with her to a new school and work with her full time, the answer was a no-brainer. What had formerly felt unthinkable (leaving my business) now felt completely natural and utterly obvious. Of course I would do that. Duh!
(Of course, after making sure that all of my clients were taken care of by another designer. Y’gotta be respectful, mindful and responsible, even while following breadcrumbs!)
Follow inspired action step by step. Each time something feels good and yes-like, take a step. Even when you don’t know where it’s leading.
What were the key actions you took to start creating the destiny you wanted to experience for yourself?
Getting super-clear on what works for me / what I would truly love to be doing.
This was a very important key action for me. Getting clear.
Not about the specific, controlled-outcome details (for example, “Working in a school with a little girl who has autism”) but the feeling of it … the energy of it … (like, “Connecting with someone. Making a difference in their life.”)
Writing your story.
When I first came back to graphic design (yes, I came back in 2007, when Anna no longer needed me and coming back felt like a “yes!”) … I wrote down all of the juicy details of what I so love about design:
The clients I adore … the way we connect on this soul level … the way I create something for them and they are filled with glee, as if I channeled it from the depths of their heart … the laughter we share … the beautiful, radiant results we see before us in the artwork of their logo and web site.
I wrote more than that but you get the picture.
Here’s where you say, “But Col! I thought you said ‘not the specific details’!” I know, I know. It’s a delicate balance, you see. In writing the story, it’s great to swim around in details. In fact, it’s fantastic. As long as that feels good.
Then … let go of the details and open to whatever your next inspired action may look like. I have news —it so often looks entirely different than what you had expected. (Usually better.)
To sum up (cuz I love it when people do that!) … The two key actions I took were getting super-clear on what emotions I was wanting, writing the juicy-detailed story, then letting go of the juicy-detailed story, saying “this or something better.”
What is one key nugget of wisdom you wish to share from your journey?
Embrace new experiences, listen to your inner voice and fall in love with the twists and turns. Follow your breadcrumbs and open to the abundance that is all around you. Open to all of the ways that what you desire deep in your heart may flow in to you.
About Destiny Discoverer Colleen McGunnigle
Colleen (Col) McGunnigle is a graphic designer specializing in the art of attraction, helping others draw in their ideal clients through imagery that sings to the soul and inspires action. Her signature Muse Infusion sessions jump start the process with remarkable results. Download a complimentary The Art of Attraction: How to draw in YOUR ideal clients and customers (from the inside out) audio and worksheet at DesignByMuse.com/IdealClient.
***Michelle L. Casto is The Destiny Diva, Success Catalyst and Prolific Author. Read her latest book upon which the series was created The Destiny Discovery: Find Your Soul’s Path to Success.