Sometimes destiny steps in, taps you on the shoulder and everything changes.

That’s happened a few times in my life and maybe in yours, too.

This interview is about that… and a couple of other things as well.

Kelly Ruta is founder and CEO of FierceChick counseling and also hosts her own weekly radio show. She helps others find their way to a purpose-driven and empowered life. Plus she’s an awesome interviewer and has a cool Fierce Chick Guide that you can download on her website.

This is the second part of the interview: click to listen to the whole audio, or you can start with reading the first part here.


M: About 8 years later, I got my second tap on the shoulder.

This is one of those strange situations where I was doing a lot of study on intuition and I was working (literally working, for work) with Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey. And so I was really paying attention to those moments in your life where you kinda get what Joseph Campbell calls “the call” —

K: Yes.

M: The call to adventure is where you go through the process of stepping into a different way of being.

Joseph Campbell lays out a path where first you get the call and then you deny the call, you say “oh no, not me—I don’t want to do that. That’s too hard. That’s too difficult.”

K: Right.

M: And, so, I was looking for signs. It was just part of my daily being at that point. And my life started to unravel. In a gazillion little ways…a couple of jobs fell away for really strange reasons…and so finally I was like, “oh, I get it. I’m done with this phase of my life.”

So in a moment of really just divine trust, I put my house on the market.

And I sold my house. And all of a sudden it was like “Whoa. What does a person do when there’s no longer a house and no longer a job and all these things we kinda ground into?”.

K: Right.

M: And through a series of conversations and dreams and odd coincidences, I decided to go to Ireland to study herbalism.

K: Oh my gosh. So I just have to stop you right there and ask you a question about that. Because, you know, you say it almost poetically and you are telling this story beautifully but as I’m listening I’m imagining that in that space and in that time there must have been some real fear that bubbled up for you.

And I would love it if you could speak to that a little bit because in the way that I do therapy with people and in the way that I coach the women I work with and also in the topics on the show, fear is significant.

And I hear from people all the time that it is the thing that literally stops them in their tracks from becoming the women they want to be. And I’ll talk about my own life at different times and how it’s come up for me, but what I think the listeners need to hear is how you addressed that in order to take these big life-altering steps.

M: You know, Kelly: you just have to do it scared. Right? It’s not that all of sudden the fear goes away. It’s that the vision is more enticing than the fear.

K: Yeah. And that’s such a good point because I think sometimes that people don’t allow themselves that vision…I can relate to when I was younger, in pushing that vision away, because it felt a little bit indulgent or it felt like fluff or it just seemed like fantasy—so can you speak to that a little bit?

M: You know, I think that the clearest way I can speak about this is to use a little bit of a metaphor. When I was selling my house, not only was I getting rid of the house but I was getting rid of a whole lot of possessions. And I’d always loved antiques…and I had a house full of really fabulous antiques.

So, I realized that I was going to have to get rid of everything…the first yard sale, I carefully looked at the value of all my different antiques and I priced them accordingly. And so I was really looking for what I could get out of—right?—and in a strange way, I was like: what could I take with me? Not the piece itself but the worth, the value, the money…and I was holding onto things.

I had price tags that were not really allowing things to move. Because I wasn’t quite ready to let go. I was scared that if I lost that 500 dollars that I spent on the dresser that it was all going to go to hell in a hand basket and I wouldn’t be eating next month.

So the first yard sale I hardly sold anything. And then I started to get panicky…so I had a second yard sale and I lowered the prices a bit. And some things sold. But again, at the end of the day, I still had a lot of stuff.

K: Yeah. How—

M: How did it get to the third yard sale?

K: Yeah! How do you work through that? I mean, it sounds like your fear was lifting a bit and almost you were responding to the pressure of the situation, but…my question for you is (and I don’t mean to minimize it or make it sound simple) but literally how do you just show up for that third yard sale? I mean, how do you just get yourself to that point?

Because I think you made an excellent point: you know, you sometimes just do it scared. And I think people need to understand and be validated in their fear…you know, people who (well, like you, like myself) who are talking about “hey, get out there and live your life and be who you’re supposed to be” —it’s not that we do it without fear.

I tell people all the time that is what courage is about. You don’t need courage if you don’t have any fear. So it’s about calling on that and listening to the voice of your wise self and just aligning yourself with that. So how did you do that in order to get rid of your stuff and get yourself across “the pond”, as they say?

M: I think that one of the things that a lot of people don’t realize is that fear wears a lot of different faces.

K: Yeah. Absolutely.

M: Yep. For me—I don’t do the quaking-in-your-boots fear. I get angry. And I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of that in your practice. Right?

K: Oh, I’ve seen a lot of that in myself. {laughter}

M: Let me punch you in the nose before you punch me in the nose. Right? You just channel the fear into anger. And so first I got angry. I got really angry at all these people in my small town who didn’t realize the value of my fabulous antiques…

I realized that I was allowing what was really my fear about money to make my life incredibly difficult…the easiest course of action, the path of least resistance, was just to let it go.

I finally worked through the anger and got to that. And the amazing thing about the third yard sale for me was: I marked everything between fifty cents and two dollars…and then I started giving things away.

And at the point where I started giving things away, it was as if something just lifted off my shoulders…

K: Do you think that action was one of the things that primarily allowed you to then go to Ireland, follow your passion, you know, dive into your purpose, and into becoming who you are and just discovering things? Because that’s a big leap for somebody.

M: It’s a really big leap. And I think that what it has to do with—the bigger leap, the internal leap—is the decision that it is ok to give up the self that you’ve been. It’s ok…you’re still you without all that stuff.

In fact, you’re more you without all that stuff.

K: Exactly…I’m so glad that you said that, because I want the women listening to understand that it’s ok and often necessary to let all that go and that you don’t have to have the rest of it figured out yet. You just need to take the next step.


An interesting end-note: this journey into releasing what no longer serves you to reveal your true self is exactly the energetic work that this time of year demands. In Witch Camp we have been using the story of Inanna as fodder for this inner work.

Check out more about Inanna’s tale here and read the direct translation from ancient Sumerian here. Use the energy of the darkening days to release the things that are keeping you from stepping into your truest expression of yourself!