People have asked me this question, some with a tinge of anxiety, some with tears in their eyes.
They explain how much they appreciate their family, their friends, their home and their work, but they still feel a sense of longing; they feel there is something else.
Their choices thus far have been typical - school, job, kids….the questions were laid out and the decisions were clear. But now they are here and they feel unsettled, like something is missing.
I have felt this feeling, too and I know it can be uncomfortable. But I can tell you confidently that the question is just a necessary step; an indicator that another part of your life is just beginning.
We are not always fully conscious of what we really want. Many of our life decisions are based on what society dictates or what is expected by family or friends. But when the question, what else arises, we are reminded to wake up and find our joy.
This is when you decide what feels right to you. This is when you really tap into what excites you or what experiences or hobbies are calling to you.
The question may take you back as far as childhood, the time when you knew for sure what you loved to do.
Did you draw? Did you write? Did you sing or dance? Did you spend time in nature? Did you travel? Did you love animals? Did you take pictures? Did you live to make people laugh? These may be soul passions or dreams that are still calling you.
You may attempt to find a new career path through this process, but you don't have to - this time you can just focus on enjoyment. You don't have to explain yourself or compete with anyone, you can just explore. You are now free to do the things you have always wanted to do without the pressure to perform or be the best.
I know - life is already full of "things". So maybe it's time to let go of some "things" that don't nurture or fulfill you. Maybe its time to say no when someone asks you to do something you don't want to do. Maybe its time to let go of obligations that no longer serve you.
This can be difficult, but it's the only way to create space for you. It's the only way to create space for what else.
What else is the best kind of wake-up call - it's a realization that you are living part of your life, but not all of it. It doesn't mean you are ungrateful, or that you don't love your children, spouse, friends, or current job. It just means there is a part of you that is still calling, a part that is still waiting to be seen or heard.
So try not to be afraid of the question, just embrace it. Think about it, feel it in your heart, talk about it and process it through.
Another part of you is ready to come alive. How great is that?
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.