A year ago I was miserable. Unemployed, lost, angry and sad all at once. I had been a music therapist for 15 years and worked for the Scottsdale school district for 10 when I was laid off. I was applying for jobs but not getting interviews so I was substitute teaching. I was ready to change my profession – the one that I felt was my vocation. All of my issues with grief and loss were coming at me like a torrential downpour.

Fast forward a year…I have two ongoing projects and a new 5 year contract starting in January. I have been networking like crazy and have some potential projects in the works. My blog is online and my book is published and available for sale.

So, what was the catalyst? On Dec. 22, 2010, I was in a car accident. I had gone out to do some (very minimal) Christmas shopping and was in my car crossing the street between two parking lots when a guy in a sports car came around the corner. I didn’t see him in time and he hit my SUV on the right front wheel – he had been going so fast that the impact bent the axle! Of course it was my fault as I was the one crossing traffic, but I wasn’t cited because it was private property. The other guy had a broken foot and I had a serious whiplash. Both cars were totaled but both of us knew that it could have been much worse.

I couldn’t sub for a while due to the pain and headaches. The headaches were so severe that I had a hard time reading. I don’t like watching TV very much but the sound made the headaches worse so that was ruled out too. So I started playing Facebook games, I mean, doesn’t everyone? The depression had hit in a big way. My husband and daughters were frustrated with me and I was bored and frustrated with myself.

Before the accident I had read a book by Dan Miller called 48 Days to the Work You Love. I had signed up for his newsletter and I read some of the articles. One day something caught my attention and I read the article and listened to a couple of podcasts. It got me thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life. In losing my job I felt like I lost a part of myself and I needed to find “me” again.

One of the suggestions on the Dan Miller site was to do research and see what others in my profession were doing. So I started by looking for other music therapists on FaceBook. I found Kat Fulton’s blog and started reading. Then through her site I found Rachel Rambach, Kimberly Sena Moore and a few others. I started reading blogs and watching videos and I realized that I LOVE MUSIC THERAPY! I could find another job (maybe) but I wouldn’t be happy until I was a working music therapist again.

Once I made that commitment I was able to start making plans. I had so many dreams and plans for my future but they had all been based around my job at the school district. So the challenge was to reformulate, reconfigure and redevelop my professional identity. Can I still be “Music Debi” outside of Scottsdale Schools?

The answer of course is a resounding YES! Not only am I still “Music Debi” I am also “Mind-Full Music Therapy Services” and I am sharing my passion for music therapy and helping to teach others how to make every day more musical.

This is not the first time I have had to make a major change and I am sure it won’t be the last. It’s called living and we all do it. What was a catalyst for change in your life? Comment below and let me know.

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