Find Your Updraft

Have you watched a hot air balloon suddenly be caught in a gust of air and soar up higher? Look for that updraft in your life, too.

Have you watched a hot air balloon suddenly be caught in a gust of air and soar up higher? Look for that updraft in your life, too.

Part four of the New Beginnings Series.

And How I Became A Gemologist!

So you’ve been working diligently to understand your deepest desire, gotten infrastructure in place to support a move, and watched for open doors. Perhaps you’ve just stepped through one and aren’t sure what to do next. That’s the key moment to look for an updraft, a shift coming your way to accelerate your change in direction.

What is an updraft?

Have you every watched a hot air balloon suddenly go very high in the air, as an invisible current of air brought it to new heights? That’s an updraft. And with some hope and a prayer, keep your eyes open for one at a critical juncture in following your dreams.

We live in a part of the world in San Diego where almost every night, during certain times of the year, hot air balloons fly overhead, sometimes nearly grazing our roof. Often we can to yell “hello” to people on a tour. It’s the strangest sensation to be cooking on the grill and hear the “cshhhhhh” as they let in more heat to rise higher. It’s interesting to watch as they master different air currents, and sometimes are caught by surprise by a sudden updraft that lifts them way too high and the driver must compensate.

An updraft may seem miraculous. Don’t fight it!

I remember when I had to stop writing full-time due to an injury. I was devastated. It was time for a major “do-over” requiring going back to school. After absorbing the shock and taking time to say goodbye to my old career, I made a decision. In the second chapter of my work life, I was going to do something with my creative side. So after some soul-searching, I decided to look into being a museum curator. I interviewed at several museums and was dismayed to have many closed doors in a poor economy at the time.

Right in that darkest moment, with another closed door and interview at the Palace Legion of Honor in San Francisco, I was attending a workshop my mother that included a luncheon. We were in a beautiful glassed-in room with surrounded by gorgeous gardens, and tall trees outside. We ordered our lunch and sat at a large round table. Soon a group of women asked if we could share some seats.

They were very outgoing and obviously all friends. Being courteous, they asked what I did for a living, and I had to answer I was in transition. And, as of that morning, being a curator wasn’t going to work out. They asked if I knew what Gemology was and went around introducing themselves to me. The whole table was filled with gemologists! One worked for Tiffany and Co., another traveled often with a suitcase of rare gems handcuffed to her, another was retired and did appraisals at her home, the next was a designer, and one more worked for a high-end family-owned jeweler. That one caught my eye, and I related how I’d actively studied geology for years but never thought of making a career out of loving rocks or gems!

Right at the darkest moment, I was surrounded by possibility! Intrigued, I interviewed and found the industry to be in a growth pattern. I studied at the Gemological Institute of America and became a Graduate Gemologist and worked for a wonderful high-end jeweler in Dallas, Texas. But I never would have considered that career without a divine push toward possibility. That was a significant “updraft” in my life, and I often think of it as a miracle, too.

Have you looked for a new avenue or direction and found something amazing right around the corner?

One thing: you won’t find it sitting still.

Take note that I didn’t find my path while just waiting around. I was actively seeking direction when the right answer was put right in front of me. So after listening to your heart’s inner push, ask yourself what you can do to take action and try out a new direction. I’m hoping an updraft will come your way this week to make a difference. And I’d love to hear about it, too!

Image courtesy of pat138241 at


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