I am going to pour out into this post many of the thoughts and ideas that have been running through my head .. knowing that this isn’t the proper format for a neat, concise and actionable blog post .. but also knowing that noone that I know of reads these posts anyway .. and if you do, then I’d love to hear any feedback. Because the way I get myself caught and stuck is thinking too much and getting stuck in overwhelm. And the lesson I need to keep on getting is that taking action, even misguided action, is how I get myself unstuck.
Action is the antidote to despair
So where do I start? Anywhere I suppose. I’ll start with this website and the idea of branding which I discussed with a friend recently. I could do with some outside help in this since I’m a bit too close to it all. My thinking has been that if I had a clear idea of my ‘brand’ .. of my particular ‘flavour’ that I would have an easier time with writing blog posts, because I would have a framework to hang my thinking on, and there would be some sense of thread to my thoughts that would make it easier for people who come to the website to know if they resonate with what I’m working towards.
Here are some words that came up as I brainstormed this idea:
- fresh perspectives
- the journey
A theme that resonates when I look at this list is the cyclical journey from idea to completion, which is a journey of transformation and of seeing things from different perspectives. And the quote that has been inspiring me for a while now is Joseph Campbell’s:
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure
Treating the journey as an adventure, with ups and downs, takes some of the sting out of the downs since the vision is toward something bigger. My recurring problem is finding myself totally lost to the point of losing track of what I’m moving towards.
I wrote a post a while back exploring My Why, though reading that again I see I didn’t actually get to a clear answer with that post. I think there are clues in each of my posts so maybe I would do well to read back and find the thread that links them. Certainly, journeying and adventure, and the wisdom that comes from experience are threads in my life. And this website and blog is part of my adventure, and in particular, my challenge of ‘speaking out’ and ‘finding my voice’. So in that sense, this blog post DOES represent my ‘brand’ .. it is a process of exploring in the public eye.
But all of this starts to become overrun by what seems to be an even bigger challenge in my life .. that of ‘making money’. But the two are connected, since I have tended to live a life of asceticism, borne of my tendency to withdraw and do things on my own. This has had a shrinking effect on both my finances and my life, and in turn my energy and confidence. A vicious cycle of a negative kind.
For years I have been brainstorming ideas for things I could do or create to contribute to the world and support myself in the process. I’ve been trying to find something special I can offer. Here are my favourite ideas:
- interactive sculptures for public spaces
- children’s picture books
- hand stamped ‘circle of life’ rings with inspirational words/messages/symbols
- a course / ebook / program for DIY house plans for council
- products on the theme of writing & journalling : journals, letter writing sets, rubber stamps, note pads
Years ago I came up with the ‘Why’ of:
‘Inspiring evolution with clarity in action‘.
Actually, it was my list of ‘desired feelings’ inspired by Danielle La Porte’s ‘desire mapping’ .. even though only two of the four words were even close to being ‘feelings’ (which says something) i.e. ‘inspiration’ and ‘clarity’. But looking at that now, the part that seems to have driven my life is the need for ‘evolution’ .. for a sense of moving forward, learning and growing. And that is part of journeying, and learning .. it is an opportunity to evolve. Clarity is what I’ve always strived for, and also what I’ve struggled with given I seem to have a mind that can never settle on a single answer but needs to find out every possible answer to any question. Which then leads me into a mass of confusion and inaction. Inspiration is a blessing that seems to only come from action. But my ultimate goal is to keep evolving. So long as I am learning I am generally happy. But I’ve started to see that this is a constant ‘future’ thinking rather than being in the present.
My big breakthrough this year has been an opening up to emotions. I feel like this journey started with my joining the Art of Money yearlong course with Bari Tessler Linden. Bari’s teaching has a foundation in somatic psychology, and one of the fundamental practices in the course is that of body check ins, getting present to feelings. This sparked a number of other somatic explorations, and I was woken up to how removed from feelings I had been throughout my life .. almost living a disembodied existence. That sparked an opening up and expression of feelings that lead to a rollercoaster of highs and lows. I’m still on the low but I’ve learnt about the highs, and though it has made the low harder, it certainly has opened up my world. A gift in the journey toward love and away from fear has been my discovery of a book, explaining the Isha system of meditation. The book is ‘Why walk when you can fly : soar beyond your fears and love yourself and others unconditionally’ by Isha. I’m trusting, and sensing, that this meditation practice can shift my perspective on life and in particular my lifetime practice of withdrawing from people. Things certainly seem very stirred up at the moment but perhaps that is a sign of progress.
On the topic of people, the word that jumps to my mind when I think of people is ‘obligation’ .. which for me is an offspring of ‘guilt’. I’ve been really conscious lately how much ‘guilt’ runs my life. There is a knot I need to untangle there, because it seems my natural tendency to want to spend time alone has been warped by expectations to be social as a child, and so my relations with people have become something that I feel I ‘have’ to do rather than what I ‘choose’ to do – even though of course connections with others can be fun and joyful – yet in my growing up the joy of connection got lost in my desperation to be alone, and I judged myself as though there was something wrong with me. Consequently I have a deeply ingrained need to be alone even when it isn’t the best thing for me. And a heart that has spent a long time shut down and separate.
And talking of connection brings me to the subject of mastermind groups – which is a personal passion of mine. One thing I love about mastermind groups are the deep connections formed over time and the space and focus for supporting each person’s evolution. I always struggled with superficial interactions because I saw them as a time wasting distraction, and a challenge. My warped sense of obligation meant that interactions weighed me down and exhausted me. So I liked my interactions to be quality rather than quantity. The intensity of focus and the clarity of purpose in a mastermind group that meets periodically and shares successes and challenges is really inspiring for me.
I will finish this post with a bit of where I’m at in general. The purpose of this post was to get my thoughts out in order to move forward. I have been inching forward on my 1:20 scale model of Cloudscape .. and as usually happens once I take action, I see why I have been procrastinating. The job is bigger than I had envisaged. But as I take action it is sparking ideas, and if I can let go of the timing, and keep taking baby steps, I know it will be worth it. I’ve also been in a process of sorting through a huge and oppressive number of books (hundreds) and struggling with the decision making and letting go process. I thought it would take a few days, but it is taking much longer, so I lost momentum partway through. But having written this I will keep plugging away. And one day I will be able to write a blog post having finished these two processes and my life will have moved forward to a better place.
Finally, in line with my theme of the journey of transformation, I will begin a story of a journey that I have taken to some sort of completion, with the idea that this could be a theme for future posts ..
Actually, no, instead I will make a list of possible stories:
- time in Japan
- architectural journey
- motorbike trip around Australia
- bushwalking adventures
- my journey with Ian
- journey of Vortex
- search for enlightenment
- martial arts journey
- Artistry in Play journey
- Cloudscape journey
- finding myself
And now .. I will press publish .. knowing that I can return to this later .. and life can move on .. and slowly I am moving toward a life that is more of my choosing and less of a reaction.
The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.
– Steve Maraboli
Doing ‘the dab’ .. even though I didn’t know what ‘the dab’ was ..