Friday was a peculiar day, with most of my time spent at my computer trying to coordinate various internet-related tasks and having varying levels of success with each. It began with the creation of a new email newsletter...which made me want to update my website announcing workshops I'm offering this April...which made me need to re-arrange my navigation bar...which made me decide, "Why not add a video to my homepage?", and then, "How on earth do I get the video into my website?" And on it went. I felt triumphant when I got the video inserted into my website and then less than an hour later my entire address book - a personal and professional mailing list I've compiled over many years - up and vanished for no reason whatsoever.
The Olympic Games? A reality TV show?
No, just a day in my life. A day not unsimilar to the days we all experience. Ups. Downs. Frustrations. Glee. In a word: normal.
I realized that my recent efforts towards connecting all of the Things I Do - or I should say my efforts towards sharing the Things I Do in a way that expresses their interconnectedness - is not about wanting to put forth some sort of image or ideal or glamorized version of myself. If anything, I feel like I am running the risk of diluting the titles I put on things like business cards. Artist. Writer. Swirly. If anything, I am trying to create something much broader, something that conveys the fact that I do many things and have many pursuits, but they are all linked by one overriding value, which is to create a passion-fueled life. If I wanted to simply be an artist, I would create art every day and try to get it sold and exhibited. If I wanted to be a writer I would write and try to get my work published. If I wanted to be a photographer...etcetera, etcetera.
But my life is not guided by just one thing, and I do not believe it is just one thing I do that makes my life worthwhile. I am learning instead that the possibilities for my life are much wider, broader and full of possibility than I have been imagining for myself - and I've dreamed BIG, believe me. The reason I know this is because the journey I am now on has connected me to some of the most astounding human beings on the planet, people who have their own amazing, inspiring stories to tell, and somehow we have found our way to each other. These connections are becoming more frequent, more meaningful and more life-affirming. I consider each new encounter a confirmation that I am on the right path.
I am an artist, a writer, a wife, a friend, a traveler, a housekeeper, a grocery shopper, an organizer, a photographer, a daughter, a blog reader, a website designer, an entreperneur, a runner, a cyclist, and a philosopher. I am not especially confident in the kitchen, get distracted easily, love road trips, have bouts of overwhelming fear and insecurity, and love the smell of celery salt. I am just living my life, and trying to make it as meaningful as possible. I am trying to do my best and to be authentic. I am trying to operate from a place of integrity every step of the way. I am trying to be a positive force in the world, and I have written of these things before. But I think I have been missing a huge part of the landscape that is available to me, and I now see that my life isn't about a specific title or job description; it isn't about accomplishing some grand goal that the rest of the world defines as success. It is about following my own path, expressing myself, trusting my heart and sharing my journey.
I will be writing more about this I know, as I continue to try to define exactly what it is I am talking about, but for now I dare you to expand the vision you have for yourself, for your relationships, your dreams, your work, your life. Dare to know that there is tremendous abundance available to you right now...at this very moment...and that there are so many things you do that play a part in creating a life that makes your heart sparkle. It is all the little things that create the larger story, the deeper meaning, the wider vision. Dare to throw the titles you've given yourself away and instead see that all the possible monikers you might have are what actually creates the unique tapestry that is you.