Throughout life, I’ve had this vague vision of how I want to be in the world. To create beauty. Help others. To explore.
A multitude of varied and seemingly unrelated experiences, both personal and professional are amalgamating into something wondrous. Something that feels like home.
This video is an expression of that, in a way. I might be doing it sideways, but I’ve never been known to do things in the expected way. It’s a leap of faith. One of my Oh s**t moments. A commitment to keep moving forward, step by step. Do the next right thing, however small it may be.
It almost didn’t happen. I could see it in my mind almost immediately, in it’s entirety. I started getting bogged down in what I thought were practicalities. How would I film it? Release waivers? And on and on.
Then I wondered about free public domain images. And found some. Created some music. Taught myself a little editing, and released it out into the world.
All of this so I can walk with you as you explore your own way of being in the world, and continue to explore my own.
I can hardly wait to see what happens. For this. For you.
I recently made a committment to myself to do a blog post every week. It’s part of my resolve to get myself out there- to inspire others to join me on this grand adventure of discovery called life.
I didn’t feel words come through me the way I often do, so I looked through old writing of mine. Much of it good, but not the message I want to carry currently.
And sat here some more. Brain bouncing all over the place- flitting from concept to concept like a butterfly. Landing for a bit on light and shadow. Deciding that’s a topic for another time.
It came to me that a good part of being, regardless of what we are doing, is about showing up. Being present with What Is, even when it’s not always what we hope or expect. Being open to what might be waiting to be heard, or done, or felt.
It might not be our best work, or even feel like we’ve done The Thing, but we show up, nonetheless. We sit. We let the mind meander on its own journey. Thoughts surface. Some of them are merely shuffling together of information. Some are seeds to be planted and nurtured for the future. Some are distractions.
And here it is. I showed up. I learned that I can honour a commitment with the best I have to offer in this moment. Sometimes the best we can do is the next right thing.
As I lay in bed this morning I realized, my good ol’ buddy imposter syndrome was there. Whispering. I listened, for awhile.. I’m scared (but, more truthfully, scare-cited). That this new venture of mine will go nowhere, and that what we are now calling seasons and we used to call chapters or golden years will turn into another good Lord I don’t know why because I’ve had more moth years than golden ones.
And then I told my self. Whoa whoa whoa… just a minute. who’s that talking anyway? Is is family figures who have told me time and time again out of love, with a good frosting of fear, to do something ordinary, stable and safe? The jealous ones who could smell uncertainty on me like I’d spilled a bottle of cheap perfume at the drug store and thankyouverymuch, I’ll just show myself out and never come back?
I knew I had to get up and RUN to the keyboard, or all of this was going to fly off to a different conduit. Before I even had coffee!! (I wish I could remember the author who first described writing as flying on the wind, looking for a place to land. It was so powerful, and has stayed with me over the years.)
Or is it me, knowing I will have to continually evolve, be WILLING to step up out of my comfort zone every time my level up gets comfortable? I mean, isn’t that what I so often write about, tell people in conversation? That evolution, becoming, growing, whatever trendy term is out there- involves loss sometimes as well as growth.
I know I’m standing on the precipice of Big Change. Something I’ve seen and dreamt of for so long, and it scares the bleep out of me. Steve Farber in his book. “The Radical Leap “calls it the “oh shit moment”. How taking that leap is like standing on top of a snowy hill with a small cookie sheet for a sled, looking waaay down, saying “Oh shit!”, grabbing that cookie sheet as if your life depended on it, flying down that hill, and then jumping up, saying “wooooo!!! That was great! I wanna do it again!” The point where you commit.
I went to hear a speaker the first time I considered doing something that was emerging called life coaching. I mean waaaay back.. in the 90’s. Back then it was still more corporately oriented, and he talked so much more about making money, gaining followers, building your business.
And I thought.. No.. wait a minute! I want to work with people in a way that’s going to help them become more fully who they are. Not counseling, but helping them find tools that will help them be more fully who they were meant to be on the planet. And have fun while they are doing it.
I thought of my own radical leaps.
Of all the conversations I’ve had with friends and strangers alike that have been life affirming.
Of leaving a marriage for which I was never suited.
Of talking my way out of being mugged at gunpoint by staying calm and rational. That was many many many years ago, and I don’t recommend it. I don’t think that would have ended the same way today.
Of moving West to literally run away to join the circus. That let to a moderately successful career as a costume designer and fabricator, my work published in Vogue Italia and Kerrang!, and meeting then-President and First Lady Obama not once, but four times.
Of taking on a retail job I didn’t want but had to in a big box store because it meant survival- pushing monster carts of product, folding t-shirts like I was on a game show and the buzzer was going off at any minute, and feeling like the ground was going to open up and swallow me every time I went “up front” to work the registers. That one became so much more, because there I learned to meet people where they were, with grace. That many people were there for connection, as much if not more than for toothpaste. How to observe and roll with a management style that would constantly call people out for not being enough with one hand, and give performance awards to the same people with the other.
Of being brave enough to leave that job, for so many reasons, without something else solid in place. Talk about an Oh Shit Moment! (and Dear Universe, please bring something that will provide me resources soon)
Of going to a conference outside my realm and coming back with a complete download of what I want to do going forward (this adventure in blogging and podcasting is part of it). I’d in part gone to observe the presenters, and I figured if an EXPERT can be nervous presenting, than so can I!
Of this past couple of years, like for so many of us, taking pause. Reassess. Circle back to where my true heart is.
Of putting my music out there. I cried recently the day I saw one of my songs had been listened to 1,000 times in less than a year. That step of bravery has shown me, if I don’t step up and step out, people will never know.
Of getting certified as a meditation guide, so I can enhance what I’ve been calling sound experiences.
Of learning to take critiques as learning opportunities, and not announcements of failure.
It’s about daring greatly, a term popularized by Brene Brown in her talk and book by that name.
Here’s the quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
It’s about deciding to commit, once and for all, as Alan Seale says in his book “Creating a World that Works”. Once, and for all beings in addition to oneself.
It’s about making meaning and living your values, as Eric Maisel writes in his teachings.
The above people I count among my mentors. I have learned, and continue to learn so much from them.
And you, who are reading or listening. You’re my mentors too, and a HUGE reason why I keep keeping on. I have written something, maybe a bit meandering like this is, and have someone say it was what they needed that day, or that it changed their life direction.
Words have so much power. And I’m a conduit, not The Source. I hope I never lose sight of that.
I hope I never lose sight of how I’m now, finally, in this season/chapter/stage of life, ready to pack up and toss out the beliefs drilled into me of “you can’t. You won’t. You will never.”