"Our ability to grow is directly proportional to an ability to entertain the uncomfortable." ~Twyla Tharp
As 2009 winds down and I get to enjoy a happy flurry of holiday activity - wrapping presents, shipping packages, decorating our tree and even making hand-knit garland - my thoughts have been occupied by a number of creative and entrepreneurial ideas. The businesswoman in me has ideas, as does the teacher, the artist, the writer, the networker, the leader and the follower. Part of me has visions of creating an inspiring empire of my own and another part of me dreams of existing in the background as a pillar of support for the empire of someone else I respect and believe in. I have ideas for websites and workshops, for stationery and books. Through this constant parade of brainstorms, I feel like a kid in Wonka's workshop, with so many choices and possibilities before me, all there for the taking should I simply make the commitment to dive in and do the work.
And then a new question came flooding into my brain yesterday like a wide stream of sunlight through the clouds after a storm: What if I simply continued to live the life I am living? What if
there is nothing for me to "fix", create, or dive into, at least
for a little while longer?
In that stream of sunlight, I was reminded once again of how deeply uncomfortable I am without a plan, a project or a goal. I like to think of myself as someone who Makes Things Happen, who Dreams Big and then gets to work. When I take the time to examine that desire, I wonder why I am so attached to this - this idea of being the one that will go the extra mile and make the extra effort. Because what it really amounts to most of the time is feeling like I'm not doing enough. That I need to keep doing more, no matter how much I've done, because if I dare to give myself a break, I will no longer be worthy of the waterfall of blessings that showers me every single day.
I enjoy working hard and creating beauty, but I also enjoy the idea of a certain persona - that of the Do-er, the Mover, the Shaker, the Go-Getter. That is how I want to be seen, and when I am brutally honest with myself I have to admit I am fearful of losing that part of my identity. So fearful that I worry I'll lose my Go-Getter status in the space of barely one month.
In a word: Fascinating.
I sit here smiling at the wonder of it all, at these funny little quirks and fears and things that motivate me into action, that compel me to do what I feel like I need to do in order to make my life meaningful.
Perhaps the deeper question is what it means to me to live a meaningful life, and when I look at that, all these silly worries of mine melt away. Because it's not about the Big Things, it is about right here, right now, with my house in holiday disarray and a fresh pot of coffee about to be poured. It is about sitting still in my discomfort with stillness, about trusting that my next goal, project or dream will unfold organically, in its own time, in its own unpredictable way.