Sometimes I hear from some people the statement “My career story is not a straight line” in an apologetical tone. I personally love variety and appreciate the career stories where people found different ways to make use of their skills in various fields. This shows me the creativity, resourcefulness and the bravery of the individual.
My guest in this episode Diane F. Wyzga is one of these creative, resourceful, brave people. Her career steps involve nursing, navy, law, risk management, working in the field, story teller, speaker, teacher, consultant and now podcaster . This last stop is where I met her. I met her at The Podcasting Fellowship (You will hear us talking about it in this episode as TPF4) and was touched by her beautiful use of language, after learning her career journey, I needed to talk to her deeply.
I asked her to give me a short bio of herself to post here and she gave me the following beautiful words:
"Remember the first time you rode a bike and took your hands off the handlebars? And then because it felt fun and daring you did it again - and again - riding down a hill with the wind in your face, arms up over your head screaming, “Look, ma! No hands!” You showed up, you did it.
The arc of my professional career stretches from working inside as nurse, corporate woman, lawyer, to becoming a solo-preneur, and scuba diving the Continental Shelf, flying a plane, parachuting, walking the Camino de Santiago, and more. Over my lifetime I've been letting go of the handle bars but just as often having my fingers pried off when I’ve been most afraid. At some of the darkest moments in my life where the true way was wholly lost to me, a person or opportunity beckoned and I said yes. That’s the place where the story changed."
I am so grateful that she also said yes to this podcast!
Our conversation started with the career direction and evolved into a spacious deep conversation about life. Well, career is part of life. And it can be a contributor to your and others’ livelihood!
What I took away from our conversation
Diane’s walk (well her drive) brought her to a field where she worked in a vegetable stand. And she learned so much working from there.
During our walk in life, we meet people, who know other people who know other people. We get access to a bigger reserve of knowledge through the people we meet. That is how we get to learn the existence of new jobs and career directions we’ve never heard of.
“I think that when you're in places like that, not knowing which way to turn, not knowing what to do next, not knowing how you can be of service to somebody,not having any confidence in yourself and the faith in yourself, what really happens if you open your heart wider is people show up. People show up and opportunities show up.”
- Diane F. Wyzga -
Diane met a lady who invited her to speak in a women’s meetup as a keynote speaker. She found confidence having done that and offered to give story telling lessons in the local university. There she met two lawyers who told “You know, you can be very helpful to lawyers, they need to be able to tell a story”. Through them she attended a focus group and shared her observations with the organiser who told her “You Know, there is a litigators meet up” where they invite consultants to help them improve their stories. Through connections’ connections’ connections she learned a new job which was litigation consultant and she became one. She built herself into a nationally recognised one!
Diane reminded me that when we are open, we listen and see what the life wants to tell us, we will meet people as they are also looking for us. That requires a bit of silence - so we can hear.
“Truth whispers but everything else shouts so you have to sit and be quiet and listen for the whispers because, they are just like your angels. They're there.”
In addition to listening, we also need to be out there, to be seen, to open the door when people come to ring our bell.
I was confused about the being seen and having silence, I felt being seen’s prerequisites are already disputing with the silence. Diane reminded me of the balance. What is the balance? The balance of doing and being? Balance of giving and taking?
What is the middle way?
She shared with me what serves her:
Diane F. Wyzga
Breathing mindfully, being mindful and aware of the way I'm living my life allows me to then have that space that more clearly identifies, illuminates, articulates what it is that I want or need. And in that place, thoughts become things. The more negative thoughts, we think the more opportunities we have to run up against negative events. The more positive thoughts we think, the more opportunities we have to run up against positive events, positive people. So to me breathing and being aware of who is out there, what is out there, how can I call them into my life? They must be looking for me just as much as I'm looking for them. We have this opportunity to come together and be useful to each other. So that serves me.
I am so grateful all the things she thought me in this conversation.
3:09 - 14:06 Diane’s career steps
15:55- 24:38 Diane’s story of finding her last career step and the newest one - the podcasting
27:30 - 30:30 How Diane asks life
33:30 - 41:30 Diane’s practice of mindful breathing, walking and awareness
If you’d like to get to know more about Diane you can visit her website http://www.quartermoonstoryarts.net/
You can listen to her podcast Stories From Women Who Walk also on her website or any podcasting platform.
In our conversation Diane mentioned TPF 4 which is the abbreviation for The Podcasting Fellowship (4 is the cohort we were part of), The Freelancer’s Workshop and The Story Skills Workshop which are all offerings of Seth Godin’s Akimbo workshops.
Diane talked about Thich Nhat Hanh as her teacher and Deer Park Monastery where she got her trainings. If you are interested in mindfulness and the teachings of Tich Nhat Hanh, he has written many many books. I had read Anger: Wisdom for Cooling The Flames and highly recommend it.
I hope you enjoyed this episode, I am repeating my wish - inspired by Diane- here also in the written form:
I am wishing you mindful times with yourself so that you will clear the way to meet people and things that are looking for you as much as you are looking for them.
Talk to you in the next episode!