Day 23 is here and this 30DaysofChange has lived up to its name, though I’ve only barely brushed up against the edges of seeing how habit keeps us locked into an invisible box. It’s no wonder our hearts always seem to want to break it wide open. There’s not a lot of room for really big dreams in everyday living mostly because the lack of free time obscures the walls of our own confinement.
The biggest gift this month has been in regaining long hours of life. But it’s not just the hours, it’s the room for perspective. I’ve located and started to push at the seams of the box.
Luck and Fate
I’m one of the most fortunate people I know. And I mean that. Despite this crazy ride, I’d say that things seem to work out. There’s an argument to be made in saying that maybe it’s because I don’t hope for too much. True.
Some of my experiences have been humbling enough to make me see that there’s a lifetime of value in our ability to truly sit in awe of the good when we see it, or to focus on the times we touch people’s minds and hearts, and more to the point, allow them to touch ours. When our daily grind leaves us heavily tasked, the richness found in those exchanges tends to fall off the radar. In that regard, being jobless is the same as the idea of ‘vacation’. It’s all just a reset of our priorities.
And yet, I’m excruciatingly aware that the way I live is on the best side of “lucky”. And I remember, on a daily basis, that there are friends, family, and people I’ve had the privilege of guiding, for whom life has not worked itself out. Bad things, and the worst things, have come to be. It hurts. They more than hurt. And the irony is not lost on me that in order for my life to become as good as it is, and for my husband to live, someone is now living through the worst of their nightmares. That sacrifice is also what has propelled this project forward and made me thankful for the reprieve from work. Four years later, it’s given me the time I need to process this inconceivable gift.
What’s becoming like crystal during this project of 30 days is that finding what I’m meant to do appears to be to connect through writing, and to just share stuff. That’s the crux and brass tacks of it. And if we’re going to put it in the context of lofty ideals like “finding my life’s work”, I can’t believe I haven’t seen this path before because it’s what has been shaping up for a lifetime. Whether or not there’s an income involved, I have spent most of my free time with people as they look at life’s questions. Even when we look at hard hurt. Even when it’s a simpler struggle of not being able to see and relax into life’s flow, or just finding the (really not so) elusive “Passion and Purpose”. Besides writing to share tools I’ve found, I want to meet with people, and I want to listen to the amazing lessons they’re offering up.
So yeah. This is the shape things appear to be taking, and have been for a long while. I just needed time to pay attention.
Patterns of Change
Breaking habits and welcoming change, I’ve been looking at the patterns which are woven into idea of what is ‘me’. And I’ve realized for four years now, that whatever it is that surrounds me, is what I “am”. It’s what the self becomes. For this reason, doing anything that does not sing with resonance means that I’m not living life with appreciation for the possibilities it offers. It’s not a matter, though, of forcing life to happen. It’s a matter of allowing old or worn habits to naturally end and be replaced with the fresh and new. The old ones will end anyway, and entirely of their own accord, but will always be replaced with newer experience. I’ve learned that we need to trust life to mend itself that way. Because even when things shatter around us, life’s foremost objective appears to be to heal by moving forward. It’s the sense of a fixed self (my life, my stuff, my plans) that grabs onto the past like roots jutting from a cliff. We can hang on for a while but eventually have to admit that we’re unbelievably tired. Too used to hanging tight, we can’t remember what it’s like to just let go.
Here’s to softer landings.
Yes, it’s hard to loosen the grip of what we were and what we believe our lives to be, but when we don’t, life unceremoniously lets go for us. I’m still working on seeing the pattern of resistance, how to stop it from grating, and shaping words and tools so that I can share that work.