It feels scary. It feels irresponsible and vulnerable. But what if it is the most “sane” thing I have ever done? What if?
My whole life I’ve worked hard and for the most part, taken great pleasure in doing so. I’ve acquired multitasking superpowers, able to fit more into a single day than humanly possible...and still, somehow, it is never enough.
When I am productive, when I am creating, accomplishing, doing...lots...a clean house, happy children, menu planning, cooking, organizing, bill paying, errand running, pushing, striving, worrying, and don’t forget running my small business on the side...when I am busy doing...I have value.
And I’m so very tired. I’ve been tired for years. The grind. So many of us unconsciously subscribe to it...every day. I’m no exception...yet! 😁
But here’s the funny thing. I keep justifying it. You know, “I’m working hard trying to make a life for myself (and my family) that I don’t need to take a vacation from.” And that obviously requires work...hard work...right?
Oh and that little thing called my intuition...those little nudges I keep feeling to stop, to rest, to just do it all a little differently, from a place of joy rather than a place of duty or fear or habit?...I keep ignoring...it’s just not a good time....you know?
It’s SO hard to break habits we’ve spent a lifetime perfecting.
Sooo, when I made the decision to drop my “day job” in June and take on Soulflower full time, the "work" that energizes me and fills me with a sense of purpose and joy...what did I do?
Day 1: Launch right in to figuring out a business plan including a social media content schedule. Sort out financing for a new deck printing. Design a daily pick page for my website and hire a programmer to work on it. And so on. And so on.
You get the idea right? I want Soulflower to be successful. To support me and my family. I’ve taken a huge risk dropping my secure income stream and I have to prove myself...and soon! Better get going in the productivity department!!!
Daylily is swaying back and forth in the breeze and catches my attention. I drift off for a moment enjoying their little dance, their beautiful orange color so delicious, so absorbing, so satisfying...it draws me in.
How the heck do they do that? The plants? Always making their presence known at exactly the right time. And how is it that I can so easily swing into autopilot, repeating and perpetuating old patterns of behavior, despite my so called “self awareness.”
Wham! All the dots connect. Fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being able to pay the bills, and not forgetting a heaping dose of self judgement to go with it. Gah! How hard is it to reprogram ourselves? To let go of all the pushing and attempts to control that have been programmed into our psyche from a very early age, and for generations.
“Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called ‘All the things that could go wrong.’” ~ Marianne Williamson
Daylily says it takes self awareness, AND it also takes practice. Lots of practice. Every day in fact. Practice pausing the busyness, the responsibilities, the to-do list. Consciously pausing, breathing, becoming present and aware of all that is truly going on in the moment, without all the stories and filters and dialogue the diligent narrator of our mind creates.
Because, really, what do we have if we don’t have the present moment? If our minds are constantly rehashing the past or worrying about the future?
Remember that impulse, that whisper of my heart, that encouraged me to follow a new path? I can only hear that when I’m quiet, when I am present.
Centering is becoming aware of an inner stillness. Becoming quiet. Taking an intermission from the daily grind in whatever form. So, with every breath the doing secedes and I become aware of my physical body. How it takes up space. How it feels — heavy, achy, tired and there’s a mosquito bite on my arm that is itching. I tune into my “feeling” sense and become aware of my breath...in...out.
My awareness expands to include sounds—background music, the clinking of dishes and voices in another room, a car going by. Breathing in...breathing out.
And then I see not only the gorgeous orange of the daylilies, but also the sunlight, and shadows dancing across the leaves, and the busy pollinators flitting around in the air around me.
Taking it all in. Just for a few minutes. Just being. Not doing. Fully embodied. Fully present. Centered...
And then all the thoughts rush back in—but their power is diminished—no longer all consuming. And my heart says, “What if I take a longer break? What if I allow myself some time to rest. To integrate all I have learned, have become aware of, and accomplished so far on my journey? What if?”
And so I stopped my doing. I stopped my rush to produce within my business, and I even took a two week vacation...without my computer...*gasp!
I’ve been powering on for nearly 30 years now since I left school, trying to “make it” in this world. Trying to find myself and where I fit in. But I really can’t do that anymore. It’s not sustainable and the truth is... I don’t want to!!!
So this past few weeks has been an even greater intermission for me. And it marks the break between my past, of trying to fit myself within a framework and paradigm that was not supportive, and what is yet to be come.
I want to create a different way of being and doing. An Earth honoring, heart supporting, nourishing, feminine way to be productive. To live and work and play in a way that respects and honors my cycles of creativity, my energy levels, my body, my self. Something new, something different.
It is scary, doing something different. And maybe it’s a bit irresponsible in the eyes of my family and society, and maybe I fear their judgment (and my own) and fear failure and worry about the bills. But when I’m centered and quiet enough to hear the whispers of my heart I know the truth without a shadow of a doubt. And the truth is that I’m heading in the right direction.
One moment at a time. Standing on the edge of creation, swaying in the breeze like the gorgeous Daylily, in joy.
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On our metaphorical dance floor that is life, we are faced with many choices every moment about what steps to take next. Lady’s Slipper asks if our steps come from within, guided by our connection with our higher selves, or if are they choreographed by others?