It’s a tiny harvest so far, but I’ll take it
The theme for Issue #4 of Mabel Magazine is “what’s next.” Initial pitch and synopsis submissions are due June 19th. Some of the suggested prompts are:
- Are you beginning a new chapter in the current adventures of your life or work?
- Are you working on plans for a grand new endeavor that will take your work or your life in a new direction?
- Do you have a story about how you’re working through and handling a major shift in your work or life?
I’m submitting something, so as I was writing in my journal this morning I was brainstorming what I might write about. Looking back on the life rehab I’ve been undergoing for the past three+ years, I was considering what kind of advice I have for anyone hoping to do the same. Here’s just three things I know to be true when you are making a change.
1. Truth: Know what you want. When I first started to change my life, I knew in general what I wanted, but to get more specific I took all kinds of personality and “what’s your perfect job” sorts of quizzes, assessments, and tests. I spent a lot of time journaling about what I would do if money, time, other people’s feelings, etc. weren’t an issue. I wrote out what my perfect day would look like, made lists of my core values. I took ecourses and read lots of books. I had long conversations with people who understood and sometimes knew better. I wrote a mission statement for my life. I got really clear about what I wanted.
2. Truth: Show up and do the work. This is key. It’s great to spend time dreaming, planning, imagining, talking about the change, your new life, but at some point you have to stop staring at your toes and move. Don’t misunderstand me, though — this doesn’t mean a grand gesture, a big showy shift. It means taking one tiny step, doing one small thing that moves you towards your dream. For me, one way this happened was by writing and/or publishing something every day, starting this blog. Other times it was taking my camera with me and going for a long walk with the dogs. It was completing yoga teacher training. Sometimes it simply meant doing a load of laundry and feeding myself. Whatever it was, it was about not waiting for something to happen, and happening.
3. Truth: Don’t give up. This can take a really long time. It can be frustrating, disappointing, confusing. Your life won’t stop happening, be easy just so you can focus on this one thing. There will be obstacles — and if you are like me, the biggest one will be yourself. There might be layers and layers of stuff you need to work through to get yourself to your true center, to find your true north. You might need special training or certification, or just lots of practice. There might be things you need to heal or let go, and that can be hard, take time. Don’t give up.
One wish: May we know what we want, accept that we are allowed to want it. May we show up with open hearts and the wisdom to do what is necessary. May we keep the faith, hold our truth tenderly, move with courage and love, and never ever ever give up.