D is for disappointment.
I woke up today and disappointment was my guest. A sadness, an ache, an ouch at my heart. So I invited it to stay for a while, made us both some strong black coffee, and leaned in. I am learning how to lean in more, how to stay with what arises, to become more intimate with those places within me that are a part of the tender layers, like the finest filo pastry, of the realm of vulnerability.
Full disclosure folks. My ‘guest’ arose as a reaction to having to cancel my workshop today. Yep. There weren’t enough bookings to run the day, and in the name of truth and transparency, there was actually only one dear woman who had claimed a place. This happens sometimes. And the thing is, no one really talks about it. The times when ‘it’ doesn’t work.
A part of social media’s shiny sing song is that it can be a beacon of fabulousness, of exotic and tempting events and ripe and flourishing activities to choose from. This is true. We really are living in extraordinary times of so much choice. I applaud this and partake in such platters on a regular basis. I am also aware of how extremely blessed we are, lucky, graced in fact, to even have the freedom to play out at all and dare to feed deeper parts of ourselves.
We, us solo creative geniuses, living on a wing and a prayer, and a deep, deep, internal compass of truth, freedom and beauty, take a risk each and every time we put something that we have created out into the world. It doesn’t matter what that may be: a poem, a song, a pot, a painting, a story, a workshop etc. It was given to us as a seedling of spirit’s spittle, and we turned it and churned it, into art, into an offering to others. This takes courage. This takes guts and sweat and often, quite often, a lil shake and the odd roll of a tear!
It’s terrifying putting ourselves out there, but, and for those of you who understand where I’m coming from, there is no choice. We have no choice. Something bigger than us, something that has a greater force, a stronger urgency, moves us into inspiration and action, and all that we can do is to bow to this and do its bidding. The holy moly dance between human and divine!
Yes, life is a dance, a constant shuffle this way and that, the occasional stumble, the surprising moments of winged feet, and the important moments when we stand still silent for the next gust of fancy footwork to move through us.
Sometimes I feel that life is a two steps forwards, one step back kinda foxtrot, a little like the tide when I think about it, rolling in to crash with might upon the shore here I am here I am, and then the same force dragging the waters with fierceness back, back, back, under, down, away, until the whole wave begins again. Which it does, because it has to. It’s its nature.
It’s our nature too.
Now I’m not saying I feel like I’m being dragged backwards with lungs full of water gasping and in frenzied chaos. Not today anyways thank god!! ;-) What I’m saying is that as artists, as creators, as those who dare to live at the edge called ‘make it up and improvise!’ each time we dare to offer we do so with the knowing that not all will reach the shore. Some will be pulled by spirit’s invisible current long before the force gains momentum. And this can leave us, if we care, if we have put our love into said offering, open to the wondrous and tender place of vulnerability. Open, not knowing, here, engaged, and alive. It’s this tenderness that gets touched upon occasion when we are disappointed. When something hasn’t lived up to what we wanted it to be, what we had dreams of it becoming, what we had expected to happen.
Now there’s nothing wrong with expectation. We hang so many of our finest, furry and fancy dreamings on to the hooks of expectation don’t we? It’s human. We hope and dream and want and desire and place this on to something outside of ourselves. A lover. A project. A promotion. A holiday. The weather. A day off. To be honest we bloody well sprinkle this shit on to everything!! Bless us!
Because at some level, at some place, we still have a small nudge of thinking that we are the ones in control! Isn’t that the fuckin’ truth??!! I’m smiling as I write this my loves. We all want to have control. We all want to place the pieces like a giant game of dominoes, oh so artfully and carefully, and watch with pride and relief as the pieces fall in exactly the way we had set them up to.
Spoiler alert. Life don’t be ahappening quite like that!!
You see, we can place our pieces wherever we want to. We can spend time and energy and focus on preparing and learning and creating and crafting, forming the moulds for life to move within and around us. This is important. We are the co-creators and God needs us to roll up our sleeves and do the work too. And hopefully this ‘work’ is fun, is what we are passionate about, believe in, trust, love, are turned on by, is our gift to the world, and is part of our living in service, in love.
But then. But then we have to let it go. We have to let go of the outcome. We do our best and show up, and then we have to give it up to spirit, to the mystery, and as prayer. At that point we empty our hands, we empty our hearts of expectation (tis tricky! ;-)), and we continue on, responding and living and loving life and each other.
As my teacher says, ‘It’s nothing to do with us. What happens is none of our business’. And you know what? There is so much freedom and space and breath and life in that knowing.
It takes practice though. My disappointment today is a gift. I’m disappointed for several reasons. I have let someone down. I was taking a chance to offer something new, something I believe passionately in, a new direction I intend to, and would love to travel with, more deeply (that of storytelling and performance and fairy tales! :-)). And again, in absolute full truth, I was hoping, wanting, to make some money towards heading to Spain again to go on retreat. I’m just being honest. I had, I realised, a few balls of expectation that I had been juggling with behind the wizard’s curtain! Does that make my disappointment Toto?!!
And all of this is ok. My guest has moved on now, and I have swallowed down some of its tender medicine, grateful, as always, to do so. I took a risk, like so many of us do that put out our events and then are not able to run them. No one talks of this. I wanted to speak of this today.
Sometimes we fail and sometimes we fall. Sometimes we stumble and we dance seemingly backwards. Sometimes there’s a spanner thrown in to the works of our unintended, unconscious control box. And sometimes we forget, we forget, that spirit knows best. Spirit knows best.
I trust in spirit and in the beautiful dance of my life and its glorious and, these days for sure, more unknown unravelling. I trust in the timing of all things. I trust in the medicine of disappointment’s gift. I trust in the fact that if I’m completely honest I was feeling rather full from a fabulous week and maybe, just maybe, my foot wasn’t fully on the ‘Yes, Go!’ pedal for today. I trust in the beauty of other’s understanding. I trust in the ridiculousness of our human endeavouring, and in all the absolute incredulous and moving beauty that we offer and pour out enriching everything. And I trust in the continuous urge, force, impulse, god given sap, that always, always, shows up, again and again, whispering excitedly in our ears, at our heart, with the words, ‘Ooooh, I’ve got a great idea!' ;-) :-).
Keep on keeping on folks. And thank you for reading thus far. Forever towards truth and freedom. Aho xxx
Hey lovely creative genius, let me know if you resonate with any part of this musing :-) And if you would like a lil assistance with shaking up your creative juju, then head over here to receive your FREE pdf book “10 ways to awaken your creative genius”. In gratitude, grace and freedom, HH
C is for comfort zone.
The edge of our known world. The edge of reason. The edge.
We all know our comfort zone. For most of us its the place we live in day in day out. It’s familiar, safe, furnished to our liking, and of course, mighty comfortable.
Or is it?!
Gabrielle Roth says ‘if we are not living on the edge then we’re taking up too much room.’ OK then love. OK.
The thing about our comfort zone is exactly that, it’s not so challenging or life giving or dynamic. Its daily turning can sometimes leave us slightly uneasy. As our heads touch the pillow at the end of another day we might find some voice within us imploring ‘is this it??’.
Now don’t get me wrong. If your comfort zone is working out all tickety boo for you then great. Don’t fuck about with the status quo. And as they say, if it ain’t broke…
But what if there is a gnawing within? What if there’s a part of you that drifts off into dreaming of a life that looks rather different? And what if you know full well that mamma be parked her car in the zone for far far too long it all gone goddamn rusted!!?? ;-) :-)
Within our creative life there will come a point where we will meet the edge of this zone. To be frank if you’re an artist then it’s likely that you’ve met it already, a thousand and one times before. Indeed you might be there now, feet planted firm on terra cognito, nose peering out into the void, heart beating, palms clammy, and your mind racing a million miles to find the how to step in.
Stop. Stop right now. No my dear, I wasn’t talking to you I was addressing your mind. You see the thing is about stepping outta ones comfort zone is that we do not, cannot, and will not, know what happens next. It’s impossible. It’s the very nature of it all. It’s the whole fuckin point!
Ironically, it’s not the stepping outta the comfort zone that’s the problem. We’ve just made it that way with our if’s and but’s. In fact to even think that we are stepping is a falsity as what we are really doing is expanding into, or responding to, this supposed edge. This unknown.
It’s not a new place with a different postal code and temperate climate. It’s still our life, only bigger, with more of it available, a broader and wider and deeper perspective one might say.
Let’s see if we can connect the dots a lil more shall we?
Take a moment to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Put down any ideas on how or what and just quieten into just this moment now. Feet on the floor if possible or at least be aware of your bottom on your chair. Good. Now I’d like for you to picture yourself in the life you are peering all telescope at, the one ‘over the edge’. Really see yourself in it. Use all your senses. How is it once you’ve written your script, completed that series of paintings, taken a bow at the end of your performance’s first night? Really go into how it feels. Allow yourself to feel elated, satisfied, joyous, peaceful…Notice too what else is in there. Maybe a little resistance? Is there any fear? Anxiety? Numbness? Embarrassment? Doubt?
Find these in your body. Are there any beliefs or thoughts that wanna sabotage or dampen or even destroy this possibility, this place?
Be totally honest with yourself here, as in all truth, because you are most decidedly and defiantly human, there will be both. The joy and the doubt. The peacefulness and the anxiety. The elation and the fear. All a hodgepodge of human feeling and emotion. Same with your thoughts darling. You may well have the ‘look what I created!’, with the ‘what the fuck did you do you stupid talentless idiot!’ running side by side.
OK. Good. Let it all be there, the good, the bad, and the ugly! ;-)
You see here’s the magic key. It’s in our ability not to run for the hills or bury our heads under the duvet. It’s in our superhero power of simply staying with. Staying with. In feeling and allowing all of what arises to be here. Yes it will fly up and slap us vehemently across the face, whip us into a fretful frenzy, and pull at the strands of our hair in all the directions of the compass. And yet. And yet.
And yet if you choose to stay, to feel, to allow, to even say ‘hey you fuckers bring your worst!!!’, something begins to happen. After a while they begin to calm down, to settle, to slow and become quieter. They may not go away all together, and they probably won’t. But they’ll calm and as they do you will notice that you’re still there, or ‘here’ really. You’ve not been blown away. And as the dust settles you realise that you are still at this edge but now, but now, you are not so at the mercy of all your mind made lunatic possibilities. And this my dear even includes the ‘good’ ones because, hells bells, we really don’t know how we’ll feel or what kind of impact our creative work will have, but we will have done it. We will have stepped outta our comfort zone and grown!
Choices. Make a choice. Do it anyways despite the gabbling lunatic voices? Do it anyways not knowing if it will all be crap? Do it anyways even though we may be laughed at? Do it anyways despite not having a fuckin clue what happens next? And do it anyways even if so aquiver with fear that you be shakin’ and vibratin’ like nobody’s business hon??! ;-)
Yes. And yes again. And one more time just in case you’re still dithering, yes!
Don’t wait til you got it all sorted out. Don’t wait until you’re perfect and coiffed and fixed. Don’t wait until you’ve got the new safety harness figured out. Because paradoxically the more you live like this the more you realise that our safe and familiar comfort zones are in actual fact, our prison. They’re not safe at all. They need a lot of controlling and tweaking and managing. They are in fact quite surprisingly exhausting. And what we also find, in this place of freedom, that the fear, doubt and anxiety that we had associated with ‘the edge’, were really practically what we we’re living on in maintaining our comfort zone! Go figure!!!
Meet your edge. Every day if necessary. Choose life and the unknown. Live in the not knowing. Grow up and in and out, all wings and roots. Create and go for it because it’s in the making remember, it’s in the making that we are affirmed and alive and in joy. It’s in the moment by moment action and breath and craft. It’s never really about over there is it!? But you never know, you may look up one day and realise that you are in that place you once dreamt of, the one over the edge, the edge that seems so insignificant and small now, that you laugh at the beautiful and amazingly human being that you are. And maybe, just maybe, you find yourself dreaming and itching and facing a brand new edge. Keep dissolving that edge of comfort darling one. It’s the only way.
P.S. Disclaimer. Sometimes, often, just chilling in our comfort zone is exactly where we choose and need to be. It’s duvet days and devouring Netflix and box sets. It’s faffing and procrastinating and going over n’ over n’ over the same old questions. It’s sad days and flat days and human days. It’s life and living and all of it, every damn moment.It’s all, oh so stupendously, ours.
Hey lovely creative genius, let me know if you resonate with any part of this musing :-) And if you would like a lil assistance with shifting that creative stuckness that be cloggin’ up your creative flow, then click here sign up to receive your FREE pdf book “10 ways to awaken your creative genius”. In gratitude, grace and freedom, HH
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.