Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Unfolding

Forest path The Unfolding

It is easy to give up on dreams that have not fashioned themselves into clear images. The vagueness of my dreams was a deterrent and I walked around that foggy patch in my pathway for years though I could sense that a part of me lived within that fog. I kept coming upon it as I traveled. I knew that within the fog was writing, so I wrote. I wrote personal essays, fiction, and completed a novel. Some of it was publishable and was published. My novel still sits within a drawer and though with a lot more work I believe it could be made publishable, I have lost my desire to see it published. Or I should say, I have lost the desire to do the work to make it publishable and then to do the work to get it published. The time I put toward writing was consumed by other interest and I felt myself begin to leave the relationship I had developed with my writing.

About that time, two men came into my life, on the surface in a inconsequential fashion. Both men had mentioned to me, after they heard about my writing, that they too had once written. Both men had given up entirely on their writing and I knew without a word of confirmation from them that they had given up on a dream. Deep within our short interaction, a haunting fear embedded itself into my relationship to my writing.

I shuddered as they spoke because I knew I was about to abandon my writing. It had all become too painful. There were so many books out there. The publishing world had changed drastically with the publishing houses promoting a few of their golden children and leaving the rest to market themselves. If a writer could sell five thousand copies on her own, then maybe the house would get behind the book. Writers have to be willing to write the book, promote the book and hope that their second or third books make enough money to live on.

I was born into a culture that views the arts solely as a way to make money. If you sing, write, or paint, the question or statement quickly turns to what will be DONE with that talent as there is money to be HAD. Go to Nashville, get published, have a money-making art show as this is the true path of an artist. It took me years to untangle my culture’s view of writing and publishing in order to examine my relationship to my writing. But this examination was par with all my other hard-looks at what truths I had unquestionably accepted from my culture without my authentic self having an opinion on the matter. I was frightened by what I might find. I was peering into the fog of my dream and I was not certain I would discover a need to write or a need to be validated as a person.

Motives are tricky and I did not want to pursue a dream if that dream was about finding something outside myself to fill up the inside of me. I had already been down that road for a great portion of my life and had learned that those outside gains are short-lived and a heavy price is to be paid in their attainment. If I was going to go after a dream, then at least let it be real. So I discovered, much to my relief that getting published is nice, I love seeing my name in print as a validation of my talents, but it is not why I write. So some of the fog cleared with this self-realization and I was closer then to claiming a me that had a dream to be a writer no matter the outcome of my writing. In this scary peering into my intentions another step was taken back into the authentic path of myself. As it turns out, my dream to write is a real desire and a part of my dream and not a way to placate a damaged self or offer sacrifices to ego-god.

The Path of the Most Resistance

blog 2Riding within the peloton -Lance Armstrong

The peloton travels as an integrated unit, like birds formation flying in formation, each rider making slight adjustments in response to the riders around him (or her) particularly the one in front of each. When developed, riders at the front are exposed to higher loads, and will tend to slip off the front in order to rejoin the pack further back. In some cases, with sufficient room to maneuver, this will develop into a fluid situation where the center of the peloton appears to be pushing through its own leading edge. Wikpedia

Quitting my job was the first step that gave my dream permission to reveal itself. Before I walked out that door though, in my private step toward destiny, I learned some surprising things about the dreams people harbor within them. I was actually startled by how many people suddenly came to me with stories of their own long-ago wish to live beyond the box of their small lives. They offered support and applause for my adventure and courage but would wistfully shake their head while explaining why, they, themselves could never do what I was doing. I learned of their fears of pursuing those dreams. I learned the reasons they gave up on their attachment to their dreams. I learned there is a sadness in a lot of people who suspect they prematurely gave up on their potential for reaching those dreams.
The reasons, not surprisingly were mostly about practicalities, like having children to care for: “How can I quit my job when I have mouths to feed and a house to pay for?”
Or, “I am too old.” And the one that really surprised me was, “I do not have the talents that you have.” There were many more but these are the ones that are coming to my mind as I think back on those days, not too long , before I left my job to fulfill my own still-nameless dreams.

Their words made sense. I could see their point. After all, you can not let your child go without, just so you can fulfill some fancy life you have yearned for since you were six. Your mortgage is not going to get paid while you chase after some phantom possibility you can not name but had tasted on the tip of your tongue a long time ago. The artist in them was abandoned, the guitar player forsaken, the writer given up on, and the adventurer poo pooed into submission.

The one thing that I felt each and every time someone gave me reasons for their inability to seek their potential in their own dreams was resistance. They resisted even the idea of their dream. I discovered, by listening between the lines of their words that giving up on their dreams had been a silent death way back when and risking that pain again was not an option. It made me realize that there are a lot of people walking around with dead dreams living inside of them. Yes, dead dreams living inside of them.

I had nearly allowed my dream of writing to die. And my other passions for videotaping life experiences as a healing tool, and my desire to inspire others toward their own strengths and creativity were a blur of desire that overwhelmed me. We live in a world that does not support the internal life of spirit and creativity as the world and humans as a group are generally too afraid to nurture the promptings of positive energy from the unseen and unknown. However, we seem very capable at this point in our spiritual evolution to feed the negative energy of: “What if I fail?” And “What if I succeed?” becomes another haunting mantra that lurks beneath waters of our resistance. But that is changing. The peloton is changing.

When Dreams Refuse to Stay Quiet

Forest path
Follow the dream-journey of one woman who wants it all and wants others to reclaim their own dreams. You may find within this story a seed for your life’s dream or remember a dream you forgot you had.

I quit my State job on April 2nd 2009. I somehow did this while living in the worst economic “downturn” since the “Great Depression,” and right after Mary and I had just finished building a house.

I had come to a place in my life-journey when the very things I carried in my backpack for survival, a job with health insurance, a regular paycheck and the deep comfort of familiarity, had become the very things that had whispered me into a dreamless sleep. I slowly woke up and when I did I was mad and I was sad. And I did not see a way out. My anger came from a very deep place because I had worked too hard and fought for a long time with a clawing diligence for a life of creative and healing work to now sit in an office moving paper from one side of my desk to the other. I drove to work everyday, got there and worked my eight to five, had my 15 minute breaks, tried to ignore office gossip and keep myself out of the maelstrom office drama and my spirit sighed every single day. I wanted to live fully and my spirit yearned for the freedom of its potential. I said this to my partner, my friends, co-workers and myself more times than I realized and it is only in retrospect that I see how patient they all were as I groaned my feelings of entrapment and confusion.

Comfort and safety of health insurance, a consistent paycheck and the most powerful sleep drug of them, all-familiarity had almost lulled me asleep. But a small spark of rebellion and hope slowly burned me awake until I could not bear another day. Some jobs feed the spirit and others can suck the juice out of a rock. In a movement like the flight of moths in Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Prodigal Summer, I moved, “in zig-zags toward the source” not really knowing what that source was then to discover it is the source within me that had remained loyal for my return. I zig-zagged in the unaccustomed flight of someone who had too often moved in the world reaction and fear toward a peace that spoke in just the right tone of voice for me to hear the instruction to move toward the exit sign of that office building Those three giants, health insurance, a consistent paycheck and familiarity, lost their powerful grip on my destiny.

I had a dream a inside of me. And as strange as it sounds, I had the added burden of not knowing what the dream really was. It was formless on the day I walked out of that office building, but within the core center of its formlessness was a passion for four things: writing, using video as a form documenting our lives, assisting humans on a journey of reclamation and for being a witness to that reclamation. after years of seeking, finding, forgetting, remembering, learning, and prayer, my time had come to allow those passions to live. I had worked for twenty years to rediscover MYSELF, the SELF I had long ago abandoned and I had a desire and passion to assist others in their journey toward their own self-reclamation. I knew the expansion of a life lived with a reclaimed me and knew others hungered for that freedom as well. There was a “Yes” living vibrant along the edges of that passion to make all of this come together and all I had to do was agree to that yes. More later…

I am learning

Heal the Past - Create the Future

Heal the Past - Create the Future

Hope springs eternal.