I woke up this morning with a general feeling of malaise. (Ha. If you know me by now, you know that is not an infrequent occurence.)
No matter. It just IS.
And I did the dishes, watered the plants, took out the garbage and recycling, but I couldn't shake the angsty-ness going on inside me.
I wondered where it came from...but I also knew.
When I woke up this morning (still in my bed and fresh from a dream about a magical University of Texas football extravaganza that ended with shopping in a mall-like student bookstore), my mind suddenly traveled to a situation a few years ago where I felt like I had been out of integrity, taken advantage of and ultimately felt both stupid and icky after the fact. So this morning remembering that incident, I felt stupid and icky and it was barely 6:15 am!
I think that's what started the malaise, but then it bled into, "What if my new business ideas don't work? What if no one wants them/me? Maybe I should just hang it up and stop trying. Perhaps I'm not cut out for this entrepreshizzle stuff."
And that felt gross too.
Then I remembered an interesting conversation I had yesterday with a potential client. He kept telling me how he really wanted to create a business (his own hedge fund) but that he felt uncertain and unsure and that he couldn't go raise money if he lacked confidence. (True.) He also wasn't sure he even wanted to be in the hedge fund space. He identified that he really enjoyed handling his own funds, but that maybe he didn't want to do it for a living.
In our conversation was pure gold.
Here's what I saw in the mirror: that I sometimes move forward so quickly and unconsciously that I forget about what I really want to create.
I thought back to a time a few years ago when I lost sight of my actual goals.
For me this looked like running around the country/world, taking tons of courses and forgetting that I used to say, "When I make $xx I'm going to write and do yoga and paint more and walk outside."
So when the magical dollar amount came into my life you'd think that I would take some time to have the life I kept saying (in the past) that I wanted. After all, didn't I pine for the day when my ideal life would come to pass?
But that's not what happened. I suddenly had mad cash, but I was fearful, anxious and ultimately let my angst about maintaining my specific income take over what I had previously identified was my ideal life (time to both work and play, to write, paint and do yoga).
Essentially, God gave me what I wanted, and instead of saying thank you and enjoying it, I flipped out, dissipated the money and didn't even do what I thought I'd do given that situation. At the end I felt stupid and gross and a little taken advantage of. (Hmmm. Interesting pattern no?)
This pattern reminds me of a lottery winner or the woman who desperately wants to lose weight before she starts dating.
In both cases, there's an assumption that Life Will Be Different after the lottery or after the weight loss.
The movie Revolutionary Road captures this debilitating longing by showing an aspiring couple who want to save money and move to France. They spend so much time and effort dreaming of the perfect life in France that when Leonardo Di Caprio's character wants to take a raise and continue climbing the ranks at his white collar job, his wife (Kate Winslet) cannot bear the thought of bringing another child into their bland middle class American existence. She dies after an at-home abortion attempt.
My guess is that had they moved to France, she still might have died or been unbearably depressed.
Because everywhere we go, there we are.
Because how we do anything is how we do everything.
Because we're either Now Here or nowhere.
Because Life Will Be
Different after some of our circumstances change.
If we put off til tomorrow what we really desire then we cut ourselves off from the preparation for and growth into the journey towards what we term our ideal lives.
(And I don't mean desire like we desire a piece of chocolate cake. I mean desire as in what fuels our purpose here on earth. What gives us the shivers because we're a part of creating something. That kind of desire.)
So my point here is:
What do you say you want? Do you really want it? Why? And are you willing to make that desire a priority in your life now?
If I say that I want to do more yoga and write more and have a relaxed life style, great. But if I then constantly book meetings during yoga, ignore my writing and skip out on my meditation practice, then I'm not keeping my own promises to myself.
I'm eroding my own trustworthiness and ultimately letting the fear of Not Enough fuel my decisions reactively instead of proactively embarking on the step-by-step journey towards my ideal. (NB it's Ideal Life, not Perfect Life. And as a woman I reserve the right to change the elements of my ideal life at any time.)
The step-by-step journey towards contentment, gratitude, ease, love, yoga/writing/meditation and being More Than Enough requires keeping my commitments to myself and holding fast to the vision for the life/relationships/career/home I desire to create. Over and over. Even when (and especially when) I don't feel like it.
This morning before I ran my errands, I thought (guiltily) that I'd read just one article in my new Vogue magazine. Of course I wanted to flip right to the Katy Perry interview!
Writer Vicki Woods paints an endearing portrait of a pop megastar boss lady who is attracted to damaged men (broken birds, aw), is a prolific and talented artist, and who still occasionally questions her own worth.
Let me repeat that: Katy Perry doubts her talent and worthiness.
No one, no matter their level of success, is immune.
It's a truth. But we don't have to let the Not Enough run our lives.
So today I invite you to take a few minutes and examine your own true desires, your own deeply held longings. Let them bloom and flourish in your mind's eye or on a blank page.
Then bring some element of your desires into your daily round today. Your change need not need massive. Just make a small promise to yourself and keep it.
Brick by brick we build a monument. Moment by moment we build a life. What will yours look like?