It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Not because I haven’t had anything to say but because I’ve been allowing myself to operate from a place of Fear rather than a place of Love.
Both the great energies of Fear and Love are equally crucial. Our free will gives us the option to choose at any time which to tap into. It has been my experience the best use of Fear is as an instrument of survival but nothing grows there. Love is the energy from which all things flourish but you need to make yourself vulnerable first. I don’t like that…but the alternative is no better.
Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore. ~~ dorothy bryant
We’ve all seen the images of the Gold Rush prospectors heading into the uncharted territory of the American West based upon the rumors that “There’s GOLD in them thar hills!” It was hard, back-breaking labor but the prospectors thought it would be life-changing if they could discover these valuable, shiny bits.
As I am now a middle-aged woman –goodness that’s painful to say — I find the plunders of the Gold Rush prospectors to be a lot like life. Mine anyway.
Since striking out in my own at 19 into the unknown territory of adulthood based on the rumors of a better life, I’ve spent a great deal of time on and off of therapists’ couches. Each time I dipped my hile-punched tin pan into the muddy waters of my mind in the hopes of finding golden nuggets. I always did. At times there was so much muck that they were nearly impossible to see. If only relying on my eyes, I would have stopped searching. There was no shiny objects to see there. But like the Gold Rush prospectors, in my gut told me it was worth it to keep digging. It was.
Now the mud is still there. In abundance. The gold is too. In less quantity for sure…but isn’t that what makes it infinitely more valuable?
Dig deep in your soul. Don’t give up. You are sure to create your own personal Gold Rush.
I believe that true identity is found…in creative activity springing from within. It is found, paradoxically, when one loses oneself.
~~ anne morrow lindbergh
When I immerse myself in words, there are times I feel as if I am drowning. As I put pen to the page, the flood gates are opened. All the thoughts I’ve kept inside all day so I can wear the face and walk the walk my roles in the civilized world dictate wash over me.
But when I am alone in my quiet place and allow myself to float downstream on the waves of recollection of events, I feel the swell of the waves of emotion. At times it’s overwhelming…but it is always a thrill.
My words become a surfboard. Sometimes I keep my balance and ride the waves. Sometimes I wipe out. Sometimes I dig the wipeout more than riding in the barrel. It makes me feel alive. It makes me feel closer to me. It makes me better equiped to deal with real life’s dry land.
Find your creative outlet. Build your surfboard. Get lost in the tidal wave so you can find yourself.
While time is infinite, each of is mortal. During our finite time on earth, we each want to make our mark.
Mercifully, humans are built to push the thought of our impending mortality to the back of our minds in order to allow us to experience the joy of the present. However, we humans also tend to swaddle ourselves in the blanket of complacency. When the alarm sounds to take the actions needed to achieve goals, we all too often hit the snooze bar and roll over for just a little more time in the comfort zone.
But just like when we hit that button once too many times in the morning we are left scrambling, sacrificing and putting off until tomorrow what we couldn’t accomplish today.
Inevitably, though, someday tomorrow will not arrive.
And then the question becomes…What are you comfortable leaving undone when you depart this place for the next?
Today…rip off that blanket, pick up that guitar and learn to make your music with it…reconnect with that old friend and tell her how much you miss talking to her…take one of those ideas bouncing around your brain and write that f*ckin novel already!
Here for a limted time only…YOU! Make it a big deal.
Setbacks suck. They especially suck when you are blindsided. They especially, especially suck when you are blindsided while you are already in the midst of another crisis. You feel as though the Universe itself is conspiring against you. The truth is, nobody is so important that the Universe will collect its entire force to inflict misery upon any solitary person. Still, that’s how we feel in those dark moments.
Last week, my chapter of the board of REALTORS hosted an event filled with relaxation and self-protection. We learned some basic tai chi (shake that tree to make the stress fall away). We also learned some very, very basic martial arts. The senseis performed a demo for us. One acted as the attacker and threw his fist at the other. They paused just as they were about to connect. The sensei being attacked said that it is often instinctive to see the fist coming and put up your arms to absorb the blow of the hit as best as you can. This can be somewhat effective but the attacker remains in charge and you are victim to the event, albeit to a lesser degree than intended. A more effective response is to put your arms up to defend but instead of absorbing the hit, divert the attacker’s energy by using your arms to deflect the attacker’s fists downward. This way, you take charge of the energy — even if for a moment — but a moment is all you need to derail the attack, remove yourself from the situation and alter the outcome. This is not something that requires a lot of physical strength. Rather, it is about maintaining presence of mind, even while in crisis.
It is during this week’s ill-timed, blindsiding setback that I find myself at a crossroad and reflecting on what I learned from the sensei. I can absorb the hit and allow myself to get struck down. I can plunge deeper into the identity of “victim of circumstance.” I can lay there in the calm of the aftermath but soon I will fall into a downward spiral, gaining momentum that will eventually become to powerful to resist and impossible to rise against. Or I can maintain my presence of mind during the crisis and redirect the damning energy into a productive force to help me not only out of this event but to use that momentum to defeat prior negative circumstances.
One of those paths at the crossroad is infinitely more appealing. One person is in charge of making that choice. I need to have faith in her…and faith has a way of only showing up when one is being tested.