It has been over a week since my last post as I have been waiting to have some great epiphany or master plan lined up. As they say, they didn’t build Rome in a day, but my Rome has been under construction for almost been 54 years. It is time to put all the pieces together. And all I really mean by "together" is finding contentment with my place on this earth, to feel that whatever my work, it makes a difference. To somebody.
So it has been business as usual. Looking for meaningful work, checking out areas of the country where I might possibly want to live. This is obviously more a fantasy for me than reality as evidenced by my recent browsing through an old issue of Bon Appetit. I read an article on Bucks County Pennsylvania, of course it was Christmastime and the streets were festive with lights and just the right amount of snow. I’ve never been to Pennsylvania but within minutes I was on Craigslist looking at job postings and rentals in Newtown Pennsylvania. What’s up with that? This really must be an issue of avoidance. Maybe wanting to disappear, run away from myself, to start all over. It's like a game of “Where’s Waldo” and again I hear that nagging voice reminding me that “no matter where you go, you have to take you with you.” Not my idea of a good travel buddy right now.
I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday and the conversation ended on the subject of limitations. We were both talking about how inspired we were the night before watching the Academy Awards. Which is rather strange because I usually avoid that spectacle of overindulgence, ridiculously over the top awards and gift bags that the “stars” go home with at the end of the evening. And then we are bombarded the next day by the internet, the TV news and entertainment shows to hear a few peoples opinions as to who was the best or worst dressed, how much their jewels cost, whether they were rented or owned and who should have perhaps worn eyeliner for the occasion. Yes, I know, this is all in fun, entertainment so to speak. But I still have a problem with it. Where is the praise, the awards and the designer gowns for our star teachers and nurses, the child care workers, the garbage man (whom I think you might miss much more than watching Avatar if he quit showing up at your house each week). But last night there were a few very inspirational people there, and they spoke about following your dreams and never giving up. Our conversation went on to discuss how we limit ourselves and why in the world we would do that? When is that cutoff point from when you are a little child and never doubt that you are the greatest singer, artist, prettiest princess, or the fastest race car driver? This peaks somewhere around 4 or 5 I’m guessing. Because then you go to “school” where you are taught much more than reading, writing and making hand puppets. You are exposed to your shortcomings, usually by a boy or girl sitting next to you who mentions, “You have fat arms” (or thighs or too many freckles or . . .) and your whole world becomes shrouded in doubt. Maybe you really aren’t as perfect as the people who love you have told you that you are. You actually become scared.
What this brings me to is our work in life. We put ourselves in this little box where fear and self-doubt settle in with us. At a young age (teenager) we are expected to go on to college and pick a “major” – something we will be identified by for the rest of our lives. How in the world we expect an 18 year old to make that decision is beyond me. You don’t even know what is out in the world until you get out in the world. But that really isn’t the point; the point is that once we make these decisions we feel we have to live with them, for a very long time. And then when circumstances that we didn’t see coming force us to make a change it becomes very difficult. "What else can I do? This is all I’ve ever done." We stay inside that box, with our fear and our self doubt who long ago settled into that old leather recliner with a slice of pizza and a beer and seem quite content to stay there. And the only way we seem to be able to get out of the box and up out of that chair is to surround ourselves with people or even just one person who dreams, who is willing to take risks, and who believes that we should too. They tell us our arms are beautiful, or that each freckle on our face looks like it was placed there by Michelangelo himself. We can soar with this kind of friend.
I became inspired yesterday. To do what, I’m not quite sure, but I know that I can do it if I want to. I’m working on a few Feng Shui ideas right now. A couple of workshops and I am working with one of the agents from Groupon to get one of my services offered on their site. If you haven’t signed up for Groupon yet, it is great. You pick a city that you live nearest to and about 20 times a month you will get a daily offering for a particular service (this could be a restaurant, spa treatment, oil change, you name it) that they offer for a greatly reduced price. Usually at least 50%. There are a minimum number of people who must purchase this service and if enough people sign up to buy it, then the whole group gets this deal. Check it out at http://www.groupon.com/.
The sun is out this morning and I think a walk would do wonders for me today. Or driving up to St. Helena to pick up a chocolate Babka at Dean & Deluca sounds good too. Tough choice. And if I choose option #2 I vow not to be hard on myself. This is the choice I am making today. To go easy on myself. Treat myself like I would treat my very best friend. I will build her up when she feels rotten about herself. I will actually grab her by her fat/beautiful/flabby/angelwinged/perfect arms and pull her up. Quit beating myself up for past decisions or indecisions and rest easy knowing that I am okay. Actually I am way better than okay. Listen to the Alanis Morissette song, “That I would be good” - the link is below so you just need to cut and paste it in your browser. This song was written after she had done some serious studying in India and this is a very powerful message that she came away with. No matter what, we are okay, better than okay.