#1, to Mark (and the beneficiaries of his program). Jimmy and I were late, but we made it, and we were very happy to make the donation. Mark is someone who is in action, and I really admire that. I have such a hard time following through on my dreams and ideas, and that’s really what I entered Basic to change. Yes, I’ve manifested a lot for myself — a loving husband who’s a wonderful partner for me, a new job that’s a much better fit, etc. But there’s still that crazy stuff — that stuff that makes people raise their eyebrows and say, “you want to do what…?” That stuff I still am not going for in the way I’d like to. I know a lot of us aren’t into the New Years’ resolution thing, especially if we’ve done the work — you can declare a new life in the next moment, who needs an arbitrary date we as a society have decided is significant for reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future? But the romantic in me believes there IS power in the new year.
So my declaration is this: relentless pursuit of my most impossible dreams, no holds barred, failure be damned.
#2, to Jimmy. He made a very powerful choice that I’ve been waiting for him to make for a long time. He told me he didn’t want to return to his store job. It wasn’t serving him mentally, and it was a senseless use of his efforts and time. He would, instead, go do or die on the business, and otherwise invest in a job that was more worthy of who he is.
I may have imagined this, but as he said that, the heavens, like, opened up, and this bright, bright light shined down — and then I heard this loud chorus of angels (their voices beautifully harmonized) singing “Haaaaaaallelujah!”
It’s a risky choice, and it puts everything at stake.
Which is why it’s perfect. He told me he reached the decision based on a mixture of things, and conversations, and happenstance encounters, all of which he felt were “signs from the Universe” to go for it. I told him they weren’t exactly signs so much as the Universe clubbing him in the head with that message.
Which leads me to ask YOU a question (yep, you): what is the Universe clubbing YOU over the head with? What message do you keep getting, again and again — in encounters with strangers, conversations with friends, requests for support, shows you’re watching, articles you’re reading? Are you receiving it? Are you even paying attention?
These are the questions that came to mind, and as I thought about them, I started to realize there were a lot of signs I was ignoring. Yes, I’ve talked about the multitude of signs I’ve gotten over the years to be a writer — I’ve been clubbed in the head so many times it’s a miracle my skull is still intact.
But, it’s more than that. I’ll tell a brief story to make my point (well, a story, we’ll see if it’s brief).
Jimmy and I were walking by a Christmas tree stand on the corner by CVS. Because Christmas is drawing nearer, many of the trees have been bought up already, so there were very few left. I mused to him: “I wonder if the trees who didn’t get picked are sad.”
Just a silly thought, right? Then I told him that maybe I would write a children’s book about a Christmas tree that doesn’t get picked. He liked the idea quite a bit, and has brought it up again to me a few times since.
So, why not write the book? Do I need more of a “sign” than that? I got the idea, right? It visited me for a reason. I got immediate support for the idea. Why isn’t that enough?
Am I paying attention?
On my commute this morning, I started writing it. And I kind of like what I’ve come up with.
I’m not going to let ideas pass me by anymore. I’m just going to DO them. I’m going to write the book, and submit it places, and get rejected (or not). And another idea I had — I could ask my sister to illustrate it. She is SO GOOD at drawing comics/cartoons. She started off by doodling in school — on the margins of her notebook, on top of her math homework, on napkins, on every blank (or not) scrap of paper that she encountered. She’s done it so much that she’s developed her own, signature, distinct STYLE — that NO ONE else has. But, like many of us, she shoves it down — it’s just a silly habit of hers. It’s not anything real.
BUT – if I presented her with the finished book, and she read it, and she liked it, and I asked her to illustrate it for me – I bet she’d do it. It’d be an excuse to draw and it would be a “favor” for me, for my little book that will probably never see the light of day, and not like she was actually doing anything “real” with it.
I’m enjoying writing my ideas in here, by the way — I can feel my manifestation energy gaining steam as I do it.
Anyway, my contribution to Jimmy (woo, I go on tangents a lot) was that I was there to receive his declaration. I received it with understanding and support, while also being authentic about my concerns. It was a simple, quiet conversation — and an equally simple, quiet moment when he called the store and told them he wouldn’t be coming back. But damn, it felt powerful. In the next moment, I saw him differently. The “defeated” energy he’s struggled with that’s been dragging on him for the last few months was gone.
#3, to me! I (finally) executed the stretch Jill had given me. I played in the subway — two holiday songs and “The Rose.” The best part about it was getting to experience my progress. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m making any progress at all — like I’ve hit my ceiling as an artist. This is it. This is as far as you can go. But, in the effort of learning the songs, and practicing, and then following through on the stretch, I experienced how different it was from the last time I’d done it. The process was faster. I had more know-how around it. I was still really nervous, but, I had learned how to stop the nerves from so greatly affecting the quality of my voice.
By the same token, though, I could feel how far I’ve got to go before I can start consistently giving compelling performances that draw people in. It’s a long road, and I’ve made progress, but there are miles and miles to go. That’s okay, though. I am determined to enjoy the journey, wherever it leads.