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Paying Attention To Life Clues

by | Mindset

Editor’s Note: Today’s feature is a guest article from Bryn Mooth of Writes4Food.

About four months ago, I left a longtime (long, as in 20 years) job in publishing to pursue a second career as an independent journalist and writer under the banner of In many ways, this was an immensely difficult decision: I loved my job as editor and brand steward for HOW, a multiplatform publishing brand serving creative professionals. I worked with an amazing team of talented women, we got along well, and collectively produced work I was proud of.

But in other ways, it was an easy decision. The turning point came when my thinking 180-ed from “How can I do this?” to “How can I not?” That shift happened because I started paying attention.

Let me backtrack a little bit…

The seeds of were sown in July 2010, when I started a food blog as a creative outlet through which I could share recipes, kitchen wisdom and little culinary discoveries. I began posting and pointing people to the blog through my Facebook network. And a funny thing happened: My friends and contacts started commenting that my food writing seemed so natural, like such a passion, that I should consider making something more of it. I paid attention to those comments and started thinking, “What if?”

Over the fall and winter, I happened to land a couple of unexpected freelance food writing projects. One of my fitness instructors has a day job as editor of, an incredibly popular fitness and weight-loss website with more than 7 million members. Knowing I was also in publishing, she asked me if I knew any local writers who could contribute articles to the site. Rather than opening my Rolodex, I told her I’d be interested. Projects with a local food magazine landed in similar fashion, because I was paying attention to opportunity instead of brushing it aside.

Soon, I began thinking of myself as a food writer. I started talking about my work and thinking about what this second career might look like. And in spring of 2011, I made the leap.

Here’s my lesson from this experience: Once you open your heart and your head to the possibility of something different—whatever that may be for you—then you begin to pay attention to the subtle signs that the universe sends to guide you toward change. You become conscious of feedback you’d ordinarily ignore, opportunities you’d otherwise miss, connections you’d usually overlook.

The risk, of course, is that you keep waiting for the heavens to part, revealing a definitive sign that “You. Must. Make. That. Change. Now.” You still have to arrive at that decision yourself, in your own time. But when you open your mind to possibility, you’ll find that it was there all along.

Have you ever changed course because you were paying attention to the clues around you?

Share your story here.


Image credit: Julio Cesar Cerletti Garcia

Bryn Mooth

Bryn Mooth

Bryn Mooth is an experienced, energetic and creative writer/editor focused on inspiring people to eat locally, cook simply and enjoy healthy lifestyles. She writes the Midwest-based food blog, which shares recipes and kitchen wisdom and explores regional foods and producers. represents Bryn’s second career: Previously, she spent 20 years writing about design, business and creativity for HOW magazine, a leading publication for the graphic design field.

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  1. AngelG

    Inspiring story… thanks for sharing it. I’m going through something similar myself at this very moment. First of all, trying to understand and clarify the clues, because change is always an important part of growth. 


  2. Sarah Treanor

    Wonderful story! I think I am at the start of a new direction myself – and although it’s not concrete as to where it will go yet, for the first time in my life I’m finding myself less concerned with planning every last detail out and more interested in just experiencing the journey that is happening right now and thinking “this could end up being something!”. It’s a pretty great feeling.

    Congrats to you on making the leap! How exciting! Thanks for sharing your inspiring passion! =)

    • Bryn

      Thanks for your comments, Sarah. I completely relate to the feelings of both panic and excitement that come when you let go of the control and planning, and just let things unfold. It’s a real opportunity for personal growth. Good luck to you!!

  3. Peleg Top

    I appreciate your post Bryn.

    I, too, have made a big career change about four years ago from design firm owner and a designer to a professional mentor and coach helping people (many in the same creative industry) reach their high-growth.

    I had many signs along the way that this was the natural next step for me take. I had a business that was doing well but I wasn’t doing as well. My heart was not in it anymore. It was time for a big change. Frankly, I wish I took the big leap earlier, but I guess I wasn’t ready yet. It happened when it did. Those signs along the way made me look, pay attention and realize that life is best when we follow our desires. Let your passion lead the way and you will not regret it.

    • Bryn

      Peleg, I appreciate your comment about being ready. Looking back after you’ve made a big change like you did, you think, “What took me so long to do this?” But you’re right: You have to be ready. You and I talked as I was contemplating my own change, and I think you saw much earlier than I did that I was ready. I just needed to come to that myself. Cheers to you!

  4. Andrea Lewicki

    Hi Bryn,

    Yes, I have absolutely changed course. More than once, and I don’t regret any of it. In one instance, I quit my engineering job to go to art school. It was so amazing to experience life from this other perspective! I’m embarking on my latest course change and it’s something I would have never thought possible. But I’m doing it, staying open to the possibility of what could be next.

    Thanks for your post here!

    • Bryn

      Andrea, how cool that you went back to school! I’ve just started a 10-week series of Master Gardener training classes (certainly not as impactful as earning a degree), but after just 1 class, I’m finding immense joy in learning. I think in our careers and lives, we focus so much on the outputs—the work, the results—and it feels great to have an opportunity for inputs, for learning. Good for you!

  5. Tracy

    Was a public school teacher for 12 years.  Enjoyed it, but unsure if I liked the idea of working until my retirement days doing that.  My passion has always been painting, but it’s not like I could be a professional artist….. or could I?  Issues at school and small successes in local painting served as flags from the Universe to take a leap.

    Trained in a second flexible career as a massage therapist.  Took a safe leave-of-absence from education to try art/massage as a means of supporting myself.  After finding a financial groove where I feel fairly certain I won’t foreclose on my house and I could still feed myself and my animals, the art has had the opportunity to grow.

    Here I am 10 yrs post-leap.  My art has grown so much (not just popularity, but in my skills and creative maturation), and I simply love what I’m doing.  I now regard myself as a professional artist. Not only talk the talk, but can now walk the walk. (I have a bigger house now, too!) 

    Still trying to do less massage and more art, but getting closer every month. Once I got clearer in my head what the life of an artist entails, and began to expect that I could fulfill that, the Universe started to open up. I imagine they were there before, but my ability to see them has improved. Have never looked back.

    Thanks Bryn for telling your story. I concur: imagine it’s possible. Follow your muse!!!!


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