On my birthday last Saturday I wrote myself an email on futureme.org. If you have never used this site, you’re missing out. You write yourself (or someone else) an email that you’ll get in the future. I usually will do a year in advance, but you can do much longer spans of time, and shorter ones, too, just not something for next week, as they say they’re not a reminder/calendar service.
Anyway, in the email I wrote my intentions for the next year, which is fine and all, but I realized I’m not going to be able to see what I wrote until my 35th birthday, so how am I supposed to check in to see if I’m sticking to my goals? Then, in the middle of the night at some point when I was awake, I came up with an easy, three word goal to keep me on track with my intentions for this year:
A few weeks ago I read this short blog post from Martha Beck. Martha and I go way back, as I took the life coach training provided by her company (she does some of the training, too) back in 2009. The blog involves Koelle Simpson, whom I also met in 2009 when I was at a coaching conference in which she taught a workshop. She had a magical, calming energy.
The article is about taming wild mustangs, and this part of it stuck out to me: “Today, look upon your life, your bank account, your family, each person you meet, as a wild horse. If a problem looks difficult, relax. If it looks impossible, relax even more.” I have been noticing, over and over, that worrying does nothing. It never, ever helps. Earlier this year I was telling myself something along the lines of “remaining calm will improve my outcome,” but I wasn’t consistent with it. This article reminded me to relax. To deal with problems by relaxing into them, not letting them get me all bent out of shape, letting their size and grow in my mind.
Meditating might be relaxing, but this is a separate thing from relaxing entirely for me. I especially want to practice “wordlessness,” which is basically the same thing, as discussed by Martha Beck (surprise!) in her book “Finding Your Way in a Wild New World.” Here is a blog post by another coach that discusses it, along with a link to a recording of Martha leading a wordlessness exercise from the book.
After wordlessness comes “oneness,” and ever since watching the documentary “I Am” by Tom Shadyac, I have been very into the idea that we are all connected, and noticing how much damage we are doing to ourselves, each other, and our planet, by not believing or understanding this. I am not very far on this journey, but this is important to me, especially now that I am going to be a parent. I feel there is a poison or a sickness in our society that is being created by our disconnection from one another, and what is happening because of that. I plan to write more about this in the future, but at this point my ideas are still percolating.
I’ve talked about the two books I’m reading, “Creative Girl” and “The War of Art,” and one point both authors make is the same: You have to do it. You can’t just talk about writing, or dancing, or starting your own business, or painting, you have to do it. You have to do it after work and on weekends if you’re working full time. You have to turn off the TV and sit down with your craft. You cannot have excuses. You have to fight Resistance (as it is called by Steven Pressfield in tWoA).
I have had plenty of creative, interesting ideas over the years, and sometimes I even start working on them. However, in the past I lacked follow through. I have lacked dedication and perseverance. I have let fear, or the call of the easy way, derail me. I don’t want to do that anymore.
I realize that about 5 months into age 34 I’m going to become a mom. I know some of these intentions might fly out the window after that baby comes into my life. However, I’m going to do my best to stick with my intentions. Relaxing can only be good for my life and my mothering skills, and meditation, when I am awake enough to do it, should also be beneficial. As far as creating, I know that I won’t have the energy or brain power at first, but it is not going to become an excuse for the long term, I won’t let it.