Showing Up for Yourself

Bloom (C) Open Hearted All Rights Reserved

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

I’m so not in the mood to write anything at all right now.  Pretty ironic since I want to write about the importance of showing up for yourself.  I got a very nice reminder about how achieving your dreams is really up to you, it’s not magic. It came in the form of a post from Positively Present.  (It’s hard not to link to that blog in every single post I write…)

I find myself feeling envious when I watch other people quit their day jobs, to pursue full-time writing, or land an amazing book deal.  I get this strange feeling that there’s not enough room for me to be successful, that there are “enough” writers out there already.  I’m not sure where that feeling comes from. I know truthfully that the idea is just plain silly.  There’s plenty of room for me to succeed too, if I really work hard at it.

If I show up for myself, then my dreams are in my reach.  Making it real, making it happen is up to me.  The universe will meet me halfway, but I need to figure out how to get across my half.

Part of it is moving out of my comfort zone.  When people ask me what I do, for example, I’ll try owning that I am a writer.  I’m also incredibly fearful about sharing my work with other people, making up any excuse to revise to avoid showing it.  I’m afraid of sending it out into the world, with my name attached to it.   To tackle that fear, I’ve outlined some baby steps for submitting my work over the next month. Taking new risks will help get me there.  Starting this blog and keeping it up has been one of those risks that feels pretty good on the other side.

Expecting more from myself is another thing I’m working on.  I’m possibly the world’s best procrastinator.  I can come up with an excuse for anything.  I’ve started trying to develop new habits with Creative Recovery.  Through the process I’m hoping to remove some the of creative blocks I’ve developed.

Most importantly I’m trying to shift my attitude.  When I procrastinate I can get stuck in this self-defeating cycle.  Say I’m watching TV instead of writing.  When I realize I should be writing, this super negative, critical voice comes up.  It points out that I’m lazy, and worthless, making me.  I feel more depressed, and get more and more stuck on the couch.  I’m trying to change my attitude. When I realize I’m berating myself, I’m trying to shift to a more gentle, nurturing, encouraging voice.   That’s the only thing that really gets me off the couch.

Reminding myself that my dreams are important, and that the little things I do add up puts those dreams back in reach again.  I owe it myself to honor those hopes, wishes and desires.  Well here I am showing up today.

Side note: The quote above might seem a little out of place.  I included it though because this whole process of showing up, feels a little like blooming.

A Weekend in a Dream

View from the Cabin

A few weekends ago I had a chance to live a weekend from my dream life, the life I would lead if I had no responsibilities and could do as my heart desired each moment of the day.  Ahh I wish.

I work for an environmental organization that helps protect beautiful open spaces.  My husband and I got to spend a weekend at a cabin on one of those preserves, on the coast of Northern California.  It was built in the 1950s or 1960 by a man who was a sailor and then later a writer.

Chunked into the side of a cliff, the little place is surrounded on three sides by oceans views.  It was simply stunning.  The cabin was pretty much a wooden shack, with two walls of plexiglass windows. We had the bare necessities to get by over the weekend, galley kitchen, closet bathroom, fireplace and cot.  That was all we needed.

The sun was shining, it was warm for February and the whole place was simply gorgeous.  H and I couldn’t stop smiling at each other, we were so overcome with giddiness. “This is ours, for the whole weekend?”

The original owner’s presence was definitely there.  His books lined the bookshelves, not a splinter had been changed since he built the place.  It was a nice feeling, not a sinister one.  Kind of like a pushy notion to remember that life is short.  (He died suddenly in his sixties while working on what he felt would be his best book.)  I stayed up late that night scribbing away in my notebook, writing more than I had in the past two months combined.  It was magic.  All of the sudden it felt like my dreams were in reach again. That yes, if I actually did something, made some moevement towards what I wanted, it was possible.

It’s amazing what a change in your every day scenery can do.  If only I could live in the cabin every day… I’m trying to find little ways to recapture some of that joy and freedom I felt – taking a walk outside in the sun, trying to notice small details around me and be very present.  It’s tough to get back to the grind of everyday and maintain any of that creativity.  It was a kick in the pants reminding me that I need to take action, do something. Intention is great and all, but you’ve got to make a move towards what you want.