How To Stick To Your Path When Friends & Family Just Don't Get It

Written by Tara Mullarkey

If you'd asked me when I was 25 years old what my life plan was, it was this: to marry my then boyfriend, buy a house in my hometown in Connecticut, have babies, finish my MBA, and work my way up the corporate ladder. If you'd told me that instead, I’d leave my Manhattan finance job to study yoga while traveling the world and wind up living by the Caribbean in Mexico, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But a series of life events encouraged me to take a long hard look at my life and I found out that while I was on my way to my “plan,” I wasn’t happy. I was working and commuting long hours, my relationships were failing, and my mind was a hysterical mess.

Maybe you, too, got a glimpse that those societal “check-marks” and “things” don’t guarantee happiness. That what you’re really after is spiritual connectedness and peace in your heart. That a life of freedom, love and service is your highest intention.

Of course with that life of freedom, love and service, you still want financial abundance, an amazing partner and babies, and to live in a place that fuels your creativity. In other words, you want it ALL, and why the hell not?

The issue with this can be when most of the people around you don’t understand it. When you start to live in a “unusual” way, like traveling or living abroad, starting your own business, and following your heart, it’s just too risky of a lifestyle for the stable kinds. They don’t understand it. They fear for you. (And they secretly envy you, too.)

But the problem is that their fear can rub off on you and you may start to doubt the path of following your heart. You doubt whether you can “make it” doing what you love, where you love to be, and with whom you love.

So, how do you stay off the beaten path and forge your own way? Here are some tips I learned along the road less traveled:

1. Commit to a daily spiritual practice like yoga, meditation, prayer, and ritual.

Make time to connect inside as often as possible so that you consistently hear your intuition, your heart and soul, and that voice becomes louder than the naysaying voice of the outer world.

2. Build community of like-minded people.

Spend more time with people who get it, who are forging their own creative path as well. Begin to limit your time with family and friends who don’t support your vision.

3. Stay strong. Stay fearless and faithful. Be a badass god or goddess. 

Know that you are a Divine being and you have a unique offering to share with the world that nobody else has. The world needs your gift.

To find out more about my journey from corporate analyst to my spiritual sabbatical around the world and my current life in Tulum Mexico, visit me at

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