Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Losing the path of shoulds

The last of four workshops aimed at creative entrepreneurs ended yesterday. I discovered the series serendipitously, signing up last-minute. Something spoke to me. Possibly that as I sort and move my studio, I am sorting myself. Clearly, I see this as a period of endings, beginnings and re-shaping.

Branding expert Darla Kirchner suggested several times that we name or hone our mission, define our ideal client, look at our target audience and ways to connect. And then she dove in deep to collaborating live, virtually and via social media. She really de-mystified it for me. Much of her charm is that she has learned this the old-fashioned way: by doing it herself.

©Tad Barney photograph/www.tadbarney.com
While I have been exploring my business, I have also been probing myself. It has become quite apparent that before I can connect, I really to need to know who I am in this moment and where I intend to head. When I showed Darla my crazy map of all the projects I have in the works, she said "Pick one – the one that's in your heart."

So, after the last workshop, I took my notebook, map and computer and plunked down outside with an iced coffee to do just that.

A rather large grant, due next week, has been hanging over my head. I am discerning if I really want to do the project attached to the grant or am only doing it because it can draw funding. I really have been attempting to distance myself from what seems projected on me (by myself and others)  and listening to my heart. That's not so easy in normal, everyday, busy life.

In the past, when I felt this way, I scheduled a retreat in a quiet, safe place. Those have always been so productive. I don't feel the urge right now.  I am supposed to do this work in the here and now, in my normal, busy, everyday life. Somehow, organizing, packing and pitching is meditative and offering a shift in perspective. As If I can take the longer view.

A recent re-birthing with my shaman is very much a part of this. I have released the anxiety of not knowing what's next and giving myself the space to be prayerful and discern my path through Spirit. I have many pieces, but no clear picture of how they fit. The workshop has been a tool to help me piece them together; especially Darla's advice to look deep within.

I read Richard Rohr's meditation today about the Desert Mothers and Fathers and their apart-ness that allowed them to live in solitude and silence. Rohr writes:
"They recognized that they had to find inner freedom from the system before they could return to it with true love, wisdom, and helpfulness."
How true is that? Very, I believe. I am tasked with locating that inner freedom while living alongside the system, much like being in the world and not of it. I have never really understood how to do that, until now. Making peace with the word, for me, is necessary. Unwounding myself, such as in the rebirth process, is key. Through all of this, I have been painfully aware that I am confronting my real self. Rohr spoke to that today:
"Solitude is a courageous encounter with our naked, most raw and real self, in the presence of pure love."
Barely a handful of very precious times, Spirit has let me see myself through her eyes. I traveled there again during my re-birthing. In a flash, I experienced myself at birth, my daughters and a car accident I have let over-define who I am. I learned that I am filled with light, as are my daughters and all children of God. Also that the accident changed my path, my course in life and I should be joyful, not angry.

I am joyful that I am privileged to live out of the mainstream, yet alongside it. I am grateful to Darla for showing me how to look into my heart in a practical way to allow me to be more of how I am and show more of that light-filled self to the world.

I am ok living in the cloud of unknowing.

• When have I disassembled myself?
• What were the results?
• What helpers surfaced?
• How can I live apart from the world?
• What spiritual practices support me?

I've been
the path of

as if I

by a code
that has
fit me

to measure
up, while
my real

when I let
the heart lead,
instead of the

I get back
on course


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