Recently, I was reading something in my horoscope that encouraged me to find peace in the small pauses, because my life was going to be full of activity, to the point of overwhelm at times.
Lord, isn’t that the truth!?!
Between finishing up an insurance claim for a bicycle accident, working with new clients, developing my business, editing my book and the holiday madness, I’m struggling to find a moment to breath. It’s not bad, just busy.
Like a bee, I'm trying to make something sweet with all the work I do.
So, I made a list of things I can do that refresh me that take 15-20 minutes. Here’s what I have so far:
15 minute yoga (Love this one but am open to suggestions)
Knit a round on Fran the Afghan (yes, I named my knitting)
In the past few weeks I’ve known a few people who’ve lost their dogs. My heart goes out to them. It’s like losing a member of the family as far as I’m concerned. One posted a status update about it to which one of their friends commented, “I have to put mine down too. But I just don’t have the courage to do it.”
I’ll excuse the status-jacking because it brought something to the front of my mind at the same time I had the power of the Internet at my fingertips. Y’see, the theme of courage has been running rampant through my head for months now.
It started with my reading of Suze Orman’s Women & Money. She writes that every wealthy woman has several qualities, one of which is courage. There were others that struck me first, like harmony and honesty, but lately courage has been the one on my mind. (By the way, I highly recommend that book to any woman. What an empowering, helpful set of instructions and encouragement!)
But another book brought forward this concept to me recently, and that’s The Artist’s Way. So I’ve been sort of inundated with this idea and it kinda made me uncomfortable.
When I think of courage, I can’t help but think of the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz. Poor thing was afraid of his shadow.
I’ve always associated courage with a lack of fear. And if you look it up in m-w.com, my favorite dictionary, you’ll find a similar definitionthat deals a lot with fear.
It’s not that I don’t think courage has anything to do with fear. It just seems like the definition is focusing on the wrong thing.
Anyone who tries new things and takes risks, who embodies courage, will tell you that you cannot escape fear. It’s part of the package. So why should courage really focus on your ability to do something despite that?
The beauty of the Internet is that there’s usually more than one source. I’m not the biggest fan of Dictionary.com, but it did offer me this tasty, albeit obsolete, definition of courage: the heart as the source of emotion.
OK, now this I get. I’ve been trying to approach courage from a logical perspective, but this isn’t a job for logic. Logic tells us to stay in our job when the economy is bad, even if it is draining our soul. Reasonable people don’t jump out of airplanes with parachutes strapped on their backs.
The desires of our hearts are what drive us forward, and pursuing those dreams feeds the soul. But to follow those dreams often runs counter to what’s logical. And that’s where courage comes in.
It takes courage to act from the heart and not the brain. It runs counter to what our culture and often times our families are telling us. But we know it to be the right thing to do, even if we can’t quite justify it or quantify it.
I’ve been focusing on listening to what my heart wants and then following through. I believe and trust that the Universe will support me if I have courage and follow my dreams. And I’m blessed to have a husband and friends who supports me in that as well.
I encourage you to listen to your heart and start exercising your courage, even in little ways. Dance to the elevator music. Sing while you’re walking the dog.
Listen to that little kid inside you that wants to skip down the sidewalk. The more often your courage is exercised, the stronger it will become. And suddenly that big leap you’ve secretly been wanting to take looks more like a puddle jump.
Last weekend I took my nephews rollerskating for the first time. They are about 3 and 5, so it seemed like a good time to learn. Plus it was a good opportunity to just be a kid, one of the things I try to do as part of my work with the Artist’s Way.
(Jolene Van Laar/Flickr)
First I have to say my nephew Zeke definitely comes from a biking family. He took one look at the roller rink and said, “There aren’t even any berms on it.”
But after one time around, he was pretty happy there wasn’t. He and his brother crawled slowly along the wall, falling every few feet, with me and their mom, Kelly, to pick them up.
Kelly said, “Look at everyone falling. That’s how you learn.”
All I could think was How do they keep getting up and trying? I would have probably given up by now. Seriously, it was exhausting to watch them.
It made me realize that I’ve gotten pretty lazy when it comes to learning something new. When I was younger I picked up all sorts of things: ice skating, diving, piano, trumpet, calculus.
Now I’m ready to give up my knitting after the fourth time of messing up a pattern. Four times? If I would’ve done that with writing, I wouldn’t have a journalism degree, a blog or a business. I’m guessing that if Einstein only tried four times, one of my favorite physics theories would not exist.
So what happened? Why am I suddenly so lazy? I think it’s because I’ve been doing things I’m good at for too long. I’ve forgotten what falling down feels like.
It’s like when you stop playing guitar for a long time and your calluses go away: it hurts to play for too long until you develop those calluses again.
I need to develop my failure callus again. Falling down (failure) is necessary and inevitable. But it’s only temporary unless you decide to just stay there. And then inevitably someone will roll over your finger, adding insult to injury.
So I’ve started my knitting for the fifth time. And I’m about to try selling my services to another business after the last one said no. It gets easier, I’ve heard. I believe it.
Actually I should say I know it. I said those exact words to my nephew as I spun around on my skates.
Earlier this week an older gentleman at the grocery store stopped me to tell me about how good life was. Well, first he asked how I was doing, and I said that life was rad.
He stopped and said, “I know. Things have just been going so well. Y’know how when things just always go right and you’re like ‘yeah.’” His head was nodding and he had the biggest smile on his face.
He told me he just couldn’t explain it really. The reason he stopped me was that he could see I was putting out the same vibe (I love Santa Cruz). I was thinking, Man you need a writer to explain that. Only later did it dawn on me that I was that writer.
I’ve discovered something so life-changing in the past week that everything has shifted. It started with synchronicity, which I’ve been keeping track of as part of my work with The Artist’s Way. But as I’ve noticed more and more synchronistic events, life has started to look different, almost like I’m in an alternate dimension.
Up is not down in this dimension, nor is black white or anything that extreme. Everything looks physically the same, although some things are shinier and others flat and superficial. The main thing about this alternate dimension is that everything just works out.
I arrive on time for things even when I don’t leave when I “should.” My wallet wasn’t in my basket after our bike ride downtown for Halloween; it turns out I left it at home. And I still got to grab a drink even though every bar was carding at the door.
Because lord knows, Miss One Percent needs her evening cocktail.
When I started noticing this shift, something in my brain said to me: “You’ve walked through the portal. You’re in the dimension where everything works out now.”
I’ve dreamed about this portal and I’ve stumbled into this dimension before, but only accidentally and only for a short time. It’s frickin’ paradise. And let me tell you what I think the portal is: Trust.
Oh, there’s some mindfulness involved too, but trust is key. Trust your intuition. Listen to your heart. Trust the Universe. Trust the people around you. Once you know that every person, every aspect of your life has got your back, things just fall into place and work out.
Now this isn’t happily ever after. I’m not saying that everything will be utopian. We’ve all still gotta be smart and use common sense.
What I mean is that as you learn to trust, the bigger picture becomes easier to digest, you become less attached to outcomes and life is lived fully. And that’s when you’re most open to big opportunities.
So what do you say? Wanna join me and the gentleman from the grocery store on the other side of the curtain? Take a leap through your portal and experience the world the way it was meant to be seen!