I find it interesting to look at interactions as dancing. Different partners enter and leave; each is different. The energies, perspectives and changes they bring create the dance. I learn to dance with each one. Using this metaphor allows me keep a rhythm to my work. As I improve at dancing, things progress. I move more efficiently and change does not set me back. I realize that I must lead at times and follow in others. I can also discern when the dance is not working. Dance is movement. Movement never goes away in my work. Better to dance than stumble through it.
Archive for July, 2007
“The negative is one of the closest friends of your destiny. In Ireland we were raised to see difficulties, obstacles and barriers as precious. We were taught that the thing you pushed against helped to define you.” –John O’Donohue
In the last several years I have experienced hardships and, at times, it took all I had to overcome them. As I look back, I see the wisdom in John O’Donohue’s words. When I moved to the desert in 2000, my husband and I found ourselves in a solitude we were unaccustomed to. My parents became ill in New York, so I traveled back and forth for 2 years, actually living there for 3 months in 2001. That left my husband alone and me running to and from hospitals trying to keep life together. After my parents passed on, I returned to the desert–new place, new business community and lots of silence. I resisted at times. I returned to Los Angeles to maintain business, driving long distances and trying to be part of a community I had left. It wasn’t working — we were alone, my income fell precipitously and we had lost community. I could not understand it. I saw no value in the change. Gradually, I started acclimating to my life. The move to the desert has now become precious. My husband and I have become stronger having endured and accepted the change. We love the solitude now and it has resulted in a deeper knowledge of ourselves. We are surrounded by natural beauty. The heat of the desert and, at times, its harshness are part of its beauty. In certain ways, the move shaped our destiny. I began writing and it is a passion for me. My husband continued his writing and deepened his spiritual search. Both of us have brought these changes into our work. We are wiser now and on a path we did not see before. I wish for joy to fill our lives and, at the same time, honor hardship for bringing us here.
How do you define risk? Do you consider it a risk to speak up at work, for fear of being fired? Do you consider it a risk to venture into something new, for fear of failure? What is really going on? Is there a part of you that does not want to move beyond the ordinary?
The ability to take risks involves boldness, belief in yourself, trust, and skill. When you take a risk, you are putting yourself in a place that is unknown to you. With that comes fear. Risk means accepting uncertainty. You leave your comfort zone and walk away from something that you know.
If you do not take risks, you keep yourself in a state of suspension. Your life will begin to stagnate. Taking risks brings vitality and movement to your life. Allowing yourself to take risks opens new vistas and possibilities.
Identify a small risk you have wanted to take. Identify what you need in order to take it. Make a plan and complete the action by the end of August.
There’s some open space in my work life right now. I have an impulse to fill up my time, but I am consciously allowing open space. I am doing this because I want to be open to what’s next without imposing my will. Sometimes timing is involved in finding a new direction. Sometimes guidance comes in whispers. My next step may come from unexpected places. To remain open, I have to resist fear. It’s easy for me to go there — what will I do; what should I be doing now to find my next step.
My intent is strong to maintain open space. Already some new opportunities, that I did not anticipate, have come to me. The unknown can be uncomfortable, but good things come from it.
I recently read an interview in Sun Magazine with John O’Donohue that was filled with insights. You may be hearing more about it over my next few posts. In the interview O’Donohue said “Solitude is a sense of space that is nourishing. What usually happens with solitude is that people equate it with loneliness, which frightens them.”
Solitude has been a major component of my life over the last several years. Being a New Yorker, born in Manhattan, solitude was not easy for me to adjust to. I thought it was failure. I was not connecting socially or in my business. Something seemed wrong. But, solitude was part of my life whether I liked it or not. I live in a rural area and when we moved here, we did not know many people. What I realize now is that there was a grander design to my solitude. As I got used to being alone, I quieted. I became more comfortable with stillness. My solitude opened a space for me to write and to ponder. I began to change inside and out for the better. My life went in a new direction. Solitude is highly valued in my life now. It is my source of inspiration and sustains me. It required courage to embrace it, but there was nothing to be afraid of. Its blessings far outweigh its risks.