Her lips jittered as they curled up into a weak, irresolute smile. She tried to give me some reassurance but her grief was revealed by the contortion of her face into an expression too deep to completely decipher.

One thing was certain.

My mom was devastated when she found out that I no longer held a job.

I felt a bit guilty because my response to what seemed like a loss was more along the lines of …

“BOOM!!!” (Yup, I do that when I’m excited)

I know it’s hard to believe that I was happy about not having a job but I suffer from the naïve idealism that comes with unencumbered youth.

Fast forward, a bottle of wine and a grand celebration later, it dawned on me that I had just landed myself an unsolicited membership to the Young and Broke Club.

My initial state of contentment immediately dialed back into feelings of despondency.

But that state of mind was fleeting because somehow I still felt in my spirit that this job loss was about to transform into my biggest win yet.

And boy was I right!

Beyond all the broke days, late nights and even later mornings that came with unemployment, this has been my most fruitful year yet.

Here’s why losing your job is not be a total loss …

You get a fresh start

Do you know why we take the beginning of a New Year to set goals and restructure our lives?

Simple.

A New Year is a new start – a chance to begin with a bang. This new start means that you get to conceptualize, you get to create, you get to face up to the source of your dreams and the result can be spectacular.

What if we looked at every ending as a new beginning?

When you truly embrace your job loss as an opportunity for renewal, it becomes easier to let the dead things go, to resurrect unrealized dreams and to build your capacity for even bigger ideas. But if you treat this as a tragic end to your life, you will struggle to find the motivation that it takes to create the shift to move forward.

You get a blank canvas, you’re the artist and your dreams are the pigments.

What does your masterpiece look like?

You get more margin in your life

Life is all about wheeling and dealing. You give and you take.

Everything you have or choose to do is at the expense of something else. There’s no reconciling every area in your life.

Chances are if you’re working a 9-5, you’re missing out on some important moments at home or elsewhere.

Not being at work creates the space in your life to do the little things that may have come secondary to your job. You get to assign the people that deserve to come first, their rightful place in your life.

Sometimes we think our lives are so catastrophic when it is simply a matter of setting our priorities straight. No doubt, your life’s work should be assigned a measure of significance, but does it belong at the top of your list? You just may discover that there are things infinitely more important to you.

You get a story to tell

I have become so aware and appreciative of the power of hardship that the first thing I do when I encounter a problem is to ask these key questions:

“What is the story here?”

“Who can benefit from hearing the message in this story?”

“How can I turn this misfortune into a treasure chest of opportunity?”

I guarantee if you can discover the story in your loss and connect with the people who may find solace in your message, you will realize that you are sitting on a gold mine.

The lessons engraved in one person’s life story can infect the consciousness of millions and become their power source. There is no greater blessing than to get the chance to breathe fire back into a broken spirit. It only takes one idea, one step towards a mental shift, one person to inspire, to cause a life changing transformation.

You get the opportunity to order your own steps

Confession …

I’m the girl who feels like a total gangster when she enters the mall through the exit door.

So you can imagine how much of a thrill I got from making the rebellious decision to quit trying to find another boring job.

It wasn’t so much the sense of the defiance as it was the fact that I was ordering my own steps.

It wasn’t about destabilizing the existing work culture because there are professions within that culture that are noble beyond measure. It was about securing a meaningful life while forging my own way.

When you’re so busy being a slave to someone else’s dream, you lose the opportunity to be the master of your own vision.

Whether that job loss is temporary or not, you have a window of opportunity to tend to your own dreams and calculate your own route. Seize that opportunity. It could be the precipitation of something life changing.

This post was first published on Conscious Livity