“Is the life I’m living the life that wants to live in me?” – Parker Palmer
(I’ve not been posting very regularly. That’s not new for me. I don’t subscribe to the “rule” that one must post to their blog at least four times a week. After a full morning of journaling, meditation and a hike, there’s not often time for me to write the kind of posts I like to write. And, this month something more is up for me.)
In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the Tarot Pilgrimage I attended in January. It’s a day-long event with Pamela Eakins of Lightning Spiral Mystery School where we go through an intuitive process and draw one card for each month of the upcoming year. My card for October is a very special card called The Secret Card.
I’m also studying the Tarot seven cards this month. So, I asked Pamela for guidance in working with both of these at the same time. She advised me to create a vision quest for myself.
Then I met with friend and colleague, Robin Jones of Success Becomes You who is assisting me with my marketing plan development. His first assignment was to review the vision story I wrote for my original plan in early 2004.
OK – I get the message: Vision Quest!
Visioning and imagination are gifts of mine. It’s not hard for me to imagine a wide range of possibilities and fill in each and every one of them with a finely focused vision. Where I have trouble making distinctions is between what I can see and what I really want. After a day of working on a vision story, I will find myself crawling into bed with the thought, “Do I really want that? Wait…what about…?”
I pulled out my old vision story from 2004. It was delightful and tough to read. The people included in it have completely disappeared from my life. While I’ve grieved the loss, I also know that it was meant to be. I’ve achieved some of my goals and dropped others entirely. I have changed and so has my focus.
What surprised me most was the wording; how small I was holding myself while supposedly “dreaming big.”
For example I wrote: “I have achieved a balance of working for enough income to support my lifestyle, which is comfortable and not extravagant and time to work on my own creative projects, some of which produce income and some of which do not have to produce anything other than satisfaction of self-expression.”
You might ask, “What’s wrong with that?” Here’s what I notice.
- It implies work and living my life are separate entities to be put upon a scale so as to get equal attention.
- It assumes work is less pleasurable than and something other than living.
- It assumes there is no freedom in working.
- It exposes a belief that I can only expect to make so much money as a payoff for this balance and puts an unspoken ceiling on the amount.
- It also strives to protect my creative output from being work or anything other than self-expression.
- It exposes my belief that my creative activities cannot support me on their own (starving artist with a day-job syndrome).
Bottom line: it says, “Don’t expect too much.” It’s a hedge against disappointment and, I suspect, since we did this in a group workshop, a hedge against looking like a failure if I don’t achieve my goals or looking like an idiot for thinking I could achieve more; that I might have that much to offer.
Writing a vision story is a brave and vulnerable act. We are saying to ourselves and the world, out loud and in print what we really, really want from the bottom of our all too often scarred and hurting heart.
We are saying, “This is what I love to do, the passion that calls to me and the beauty, the love, the joy, the fulfillment I want to experience every day. Here’s the meaning, the inspiration, the laughter I want to bring to others and my life and I want to be paid for it. I get to have full faith that I will have a roof over my head and food on the table. I dare to dream that doing what I love is not a sacrificial act upon the altar of food stamps and welfare. I am declaring out loud that what means the most to me is valuable and that the pursuit of that life I’m dreaming is not only possible; it is a birthright. I dare to believe that following my bliss is my greatest legacy.”
In other words, we are saying: I matter.
When I can say I matter, then I have to own responsibility for my impact.
When I own responsibility for my impact, I can stop reaching for control or a sense of false power with manipulation. I can stop blaming others and circumstances for my reality.
I get to start PLAYING.
This is huge …read it again.
I get to start PLAYING in the mystery, because everything now is just feedback. It’s not about me being worthy or unworthy, good or bad, better than less than.
When I become responsible for my impact and I am playing in the mystery and everything is just feedback, then I am ever more consciously creating my reality. I say consciously because we are creating our reality all the time and a lot of it unconsciously.
So here’s the jist of my vision story. It’s called evolution, because it changes as I grow. I don’t know what the end looks like. I only get this picture of doorway after doorway opening up and the hallway I’m traversing is in the midst of some huge galaxy in the middle of an ever expanding universe.
The balance I am looking for is mindfulness and checking in with myself now and now and now each step of the way. What matters to me as I travel is whether or not I am in alignment with my bliss and how I am relating to my fellow travelers; am I honoring, loving and valuing myself and extending that same generosity and compassion to all living creatures?
That’s the starting point for my vision quest and my vision story.
copyright(c) October 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved