Do you really believe you can have what you want? Or do you tend to operate with your feet in two camps -- one that says, 'I'm going out there and pursue my dream' and another that says, 'I'll also hedge my bets by doing something I don't love that much, just in case the dream thing doesn't work out.' This is called indirectness and I am here to say it doesn't work.
I spent a lot of time earlier in life hedging my bets under the mistaken illusion that this is mature, business-like behavior. The real irony is that seldom have these supposedly businesslike ideas ever produced income or other results that I thought for sure they would.
The urge to hedge your bets often runs contrary to everything your gut instincts scream at you to do. Your instinct says 'Quit the job! Go get licensed! Be a teacher kids never forget!"
Meanwhile, you hedge your bets by continuing to do work that doesn't feed your soul, and taking a course here and there that never really moves you any closer to the dream. You justify your lack of action by insisting you can't afford to quit your job, or deciding you don't want to change your lifestyle and live on a teacher's salary.
And yet ... what do you want? Do you want a life that's half-way, but never all the way, to the dream? Do you want the excuses, or do you want the results? For a lot of us, the excuses, and the half-baked life are all we think we deserve.
We don't focus on getting what we want because somewhere along the way, we decided we don't deserve that much happiness and fulfillment. I trace my own inclination to think that way back to a pivotal lunch with my mother back in my senior year in high school, when she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. As I was about to answer, 'Be a singer or a writer,' she pointed a finger at me and announced triumphantly, 'Communications! You're going to be GREAT in communications!" Whereupon I promptly burst into tears, and went on to spend 18 years in advertising, 'communicating' and hating myself all the while.
Seeds get planted that shouldn't be allowed to grow; ideas get listened to that should have been ignored. We cast about looking for anyone else but ourselves to give us direction -- and yet, WE are the only ones who can give us the permission to really, truly, honestly create what we want in life.
We can do what we want, but only if we are brave enough to seize the initiative, even if it means not listening to Mom and going it alone. The urge to not provide ourselves with what we need in life is a sort of Creative Anorexia, deprivation that is all about a distorted picture of who we are and what we deserve. The real irony is that seldom do the contingency plans and hedged bets work out.
During my entire career in advertising I never made half the salary that my other, more eager co-workers made. The simple fact was that I didn't want to be there, nor should I have been.
Perhaps the road to what you want won't be easy or lined with gold, but it will be one hundred percent honest. And that provides riches you can't even begin to count. So get out there, make a plan you can stick to, and begin to do what you want. I'm here to say that you do, indeed, deserve it.
During our Writer's Spa in Taos last week, Jennifer Louden (my co-leader), the group, and I came up with a list we call 'Hallmarks of Creative Souls". This came out of a discussion about being eccentric as a creative person, and how important it is to court those eccentricities and allow yourself to really claim your own particular creative 'weirdness'.
Read this list and do your own mental assessment: are you a creative soul? And if so, do you honor your eccentricities?
Creative souls tend to:
Be confident about their uniqueness/'weirdness'
Have multiple talents
Hear voices or see visions
Have a shifting focus or ADD (not all; some)
Enjoy freedom of dress
Notice more around themselves
Seek a calm environment to create in
Are sensitive to psychic energy
See things differently
Are driven to create, even beyond safety, pain or politeness
Can be both extroverted and introverted at the same time
Can be high maintenance
Are troubled sometimes; can be addicts
Tend to be experimental; into alternative lifestyles
Overflow with ideas
Interestingly, a scholarly study of 1000 eccentrics in both the US and the UK found they tend to live longer. This study describes these eccentrics as "nonconforming; creative; strongly motivated by curiosity; idealistic: he wants to make the world a better place and the people in it happier; happily obsessed with one or more hobbyhorses (usually five or six); aware from early childhood that he is different; intelligent; opinionated and outspoken, convinced that he is right and that the rest of the world is out of step." Eccentrics also tend to exhibit less stress, and enjoy better general health.
Is it a seasonal thing? An annual longing to return to myself somehow? I'm happy to report that while I was out in Taos at our annual Writer's Spa, I got back in touch with that verdant, wise, knowing spiritual voice in my head.
It happened because it always happens when I go to Taos to different degrees. And this time I was ready, standing at the precipice of a great Spiritual freefall into my next creative endeavors. I've learned over the decades that this is where my best and truest instruction lies on what to do next … and so I do my best to tap into that vein before I begin such work
It also helped that I had a reading with a well known psychic in Taos, Rhonda Flemming. Rhonda came to our evening council one night and led our group in a gentle psychic connect within the group - giving everyone some sweet guidance on how to tune into each other and provide helpful information.
Anyway, Rhonda came up to my room the next day and did a wonderful interpretation of a spread of Tarot and angel cards - what she calls Soul Readings. It wasn't fortune telling, but more an exploration of what's next for me and what I need to focus on to continue delivering my Soul Purpose work in this lifetime. It was tremendously fun.
Here's what rang true for both of us: " I'm being guided to do my biggest work to date now - most likely my Serenity Hawkfire project that I've been chipping away for several years " I'm eclectic; I have a lot of talents and interests and it's OK to do several simultaneously. In fact, it's what my spiritual development requires " I'm here to teach others, and work daily with meditation, checking in with my guides, to see just how to do that. " I'm coming into my own as a sharer of information and the best is definitely yet to come.
Hey! I mean, I'd die happy if I went tomorrow … this all just seems like more joy than I can stand! But who says there's a limit?
Did you know that song is one of the more common ways people get rid of stress? Think about it. When you're really beginning to relax, you may begin to hum along with the radio or sing a song that's on your mind without even realizing it.
In fact, a singing teacher I used to have, often spoke of how we sing the songs in these moment that really reflect what's going on in our subconscious. For instance, I always found myself humming the Beatle's 'I'm So Tired" when I was an exhausted, under-rested teenager with too much fun stuff to do.
Now a song coach, Linda Dessau, has an interesting offer. She writes:
I want to know how YOU sing out your stress! I'm compiling a list of the most inspirational, encouraging, relaxing and enjoyable songs - who knows, your choice could make the Top 10 list AND it might even make it's way into a Sing Out Your Stress lesson! Enter your song title to receive the list once it's complete. You'll also receive periodic updates about the Sing Out Your Stress program, and access to a FREE video lesson when the program launches.
A reader named Christine wrote me about my Get Known Now course she purchased during our recent sale. Her thoughts echo that of many of my readers, especially because she is a stay at home Mom who really needs some relief and space to follow her dreams.
If you identify here, worry not. Help is at hand Christine wrote: "Dear Suzanne,
I took the plunge and ordered your course. It was just what I hoped it would be. I need focus and I feel such a sense of relief now that I have something concrete to follow.
I really wanted to make an investment in myself and my dream. I am a SAHM with two small children. It is so easy to lose your sense of self. I've been struggling for six years with my website and my dreams of research and writing. I had the feeling that if I could only figure out what my dream was, I would be great at it!
Well, my vision is getting clearer already, thanks to you. I did download the copy of How Much Joy Can You Stand? as well. Once I finished crying for my lost "old" self that I rediscovered (buried deep -- and I mean deep) once I started reading, I got to work. Thank you for sharing so freely of yourself and your work. For me, it has enabled me to locate someone that I forgot I knew -- me."
Want to download your own copy of How Much Joy Can You Stand? It's gloriously free … and it's already touched more than 100,000 people!