the more found in less

After dealing with a rather emotionally raw summer, I decided to make last week a staycation of sorts–which is really just a break from the relentless grind of looking for new clients…and trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and my life.

I need a permanent staycation from that last part!

Specifically, my brain gets burned out by emotional upheaval–duh. And it’s been a cumulative effect. Losing two clients and a couple of love interests, all within the span of a couple of months–it all really took its toll on me.

really don’t like losing. 😏

So last week, I decided to catch up on some YouTube videos. Usually Sundays are my day to watch YouTube videos with tarot and oracle card readings for the week–which I never seem to remember but they bring comfort to me in the moment.

I decided to listen to someone I hadn’t listened to in a while.

Matt Kahn is a spiritual teacher up in Seattle, and I’ve listened to him for about three years. He says a lot of common sense things that are desperately needed to be said. And although I don’t always agree with him, his videos have been really helpful for my spiritual journey.

This video is about having less options and about having less in general. Coming across this video was a wonderful synchronicity because I had said the other night on Twitter how I wanted to be more spartan.

So earlier last week, while I was trying to deal with the anxiety of closing out a client, I went through clothes in my closet that didn’t fit right anymore and took them out. There’s probably more to give away in there. I plan on looking through my room tomorrow to start getting rid of more things.

Beyond just having that compulsion to declutter, I’ve been trying to really get a grip on how I feel about my current situation, the dissatisfaction and disappointment that has been increasing its grip around my throat.

Turning 40 last year has brought a lot of internal pressure to live a beautiful life. It’s about time! And now, time feels very short for me.

I don’t feel like I’m doing anything worthwhile, something that’s bigger than myself, something that will last longer than me.

I feel like I’m endlessly spinning my wheels, that I’m wasting my potential.

I feel underutilized and unseen.

Even writing this post today is irritating me! It stirs up all these tough feelings.

But this–the sore disappointments, the anguish, the shame–this is what has been brought to me. I’ve struggled to cope with this reality. And I’m exhausted from the struggle.

I don’t want to emotionally struggle like this anymore.

Matt’s teaching basically invited me to see this lessening in my life as a part of my soul’s growth. And although I’ve whined here enough about how it’s so tiring to hear that, Matt was able to calm those irritated nerves.

Honestly, what other choice do I have besides continued misery?

I hate to spoil the video’s message here, but since it’s almost 2 hours long, I’ll do a TL; DR version: as a spiritual sensitive being (which isn’t everyone), your journey isn’t to amass more. It is to be satisfied with what you have, even as all kind of marketing tells you that you need to have some just in case.

And yes, this is where gratitude comes in, something that comes to me in waves…

Florida has been a place of less–less money, less people, less opportunities. The longer I stay here, the smaller it becomes. There’s been very little gratitude. I’ve hated mostly every minute of this continual compression.

Even after six years of this roller coaster, I’m still amazed that this is what continues to happen. I’m not in a place of acceptance. Yet.

And sometimes–and I’ve said this before–I don’t want to see things spiritually. I don’t want it to be about me seeing the big picture. I just want my creature comforts: to have a peaceful home life, to have a prosperous business, and to feel free to do what I want so I can enjoy life.

And well, that’s not really happening yet. So the question is, how do I make do without feeling like these circumstances are permanent? I’m still squirming to find these answers.

One funny thing Matt brought up was how the ego always wants more–including trying to get the lesson out of experiences. It’s like we want to just skip the experiential part to get the lesson.

And yes, I’m like, I get it, I get it–gratitude, acceptance, surrender. Blah, blah, blah.

Can we get to the good part yet?

I’ve said over and over here that one of my big life lessons is to learn how to trust in the Universe, and yet my life’s journey has made it really hard to trust anyone (although I still do, like an idiot).

But it always comes back to trust and surrender, to the bigger picture being painted.

It doesn’t mean that by knowing what’s going on, that the losses don’t hurt less. It does mean that resisting loss can make things more difficult, can make one more tired.

I’m at this weird juncture where normally, I should feel driven by something, by some goal. My goals are so small now, which makes me feel small.

But that feeling isn’t necessarily the truth of who I am.

The alchemical thing about restriction and limitations–it can force someone to be more creative.

So what am I doing with what I have right now? Beyond being grateful in word, am I grateful in deed as well?

This year, I’ve experienced people, places, and things that I’ve wanted and then had them disappear.

So it makes me wonder…should I want different things?

The answer is…yeah!

I may have mentioned this before, but in a book I was reading about abundance (yes, I know, I’m rolling my eyes, too), it said that we should be focused on how we want to feel more than preferred outcomes (and that’s a paraphrase).

So take, for example, my desire to live in a peaceful home. That could still be in this house, although I seriously doubt it.

As of last Sunday, the house is full again and already, I have issues with the new tenant using my stuff, which I realize is an inherited trigger from my father. 🤣 And I laugh because he really didn’t like me using his stuff. *shudders*

I had to put up a passive aggressive sign, which I hope he can read (English is his second language) and remove some of my things.

But hey–I’m used to this.

Men just like to take, take, take… 🙄

I cleared it up, though, and he understands now. Phew.

Yet ideally, I feel like living alone would be the best outcome. But what if I’m guided to move out to live in some communal space where people respect other people’s property and give me the support I’m looking for? Maybe living alone wouldn’t be for my greatest and highest good.

So to live a guided life, step by step… it comes back to the place of trust and surrender.

And well…it’s something I don’t really want to do. I want to do what I want.

Yet there are bigger things being worked in me that aren’t just for some elusive, intangible soul growth–but that are just better for me, better in a way that I would enjoy and benefit from.

I have to trust that I’m truly in the right place, at the right time–even if it looks like failure.

I hope I can get curious about what’s actually happening in my life instead of focusing on what’s not happening…

bitch less SOM

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the book

2017-07-18 18.29.16I need to write a book.

So says two astrologers, a medium, and two intuitives, over the past few years.

I’ve written two books. One is my master’s thesis, which I haven’t touched in 4 years.

The other is a hopefully literary romance novel, which I I wrote during grad school and two rounds of #NaNoWriMo.

The novel needs major revisions and time. And I need to start doing that this month.

And this kind of writing is really important, to me, and to my life purpose. One intuitive told me recently that my guides said copywriting was “too mechanical.”

I agree, but…here’s the healthy fear–trying to create a living for myself.

It seems like I’m looking at a washed out bridge and being told to cross over to this land of creative writing…which I left when I graduated from grad school. I never thought of this as a viable profession.

The memoir…I don’t think I can publish that until my parents pass. I am sure that I have four years and counting of wisdom that would re-work that memoir anyway. That’s a life’s work.

I do know the steps I need to take with the romance novel. This is what I learned in grad school.

Revise, revise, revise. Start looking for an agent. Start pitching to publishers.

I don’t think I’m being told to just drop everything and start doing that, too. I still have to support myself. Eventually, supporting myself will happen.

Right now, though, supporting myself is the main priority/anxiety. And it’s consuming me–although not as much.

It’s a lot of work to connect with people and convert them into clients, especially when you need the work now now now.

Things are looking up, though. And at this point, I need to get out of the fear of screwing this up.

I need to just start doing something, like revising that romance novel this week.

This is a part of myself that I used to not be in touch with as a kid. And I met someone recently who also was really into writing as a kid, but feels like that’s all behind him now.

For his sake alone, I hope that isn’t true. In my 30s, I went back to writing, to the daydream of working with a steaming cup of coffee, in my PJs, with a typewriter. Thank goodness the typewriter doesn’t need to be a part of this dream now, but I’m pretty close to what I wanted to do.  And I have no regrets about retrieving those very precious parts of myself.

I had a conversation with an old friend last night who I had no idea was a creative. I have known her for at least a decade and that’s because we sang together at church. So I only knew about her musical side.

Specifically, in her younger years, she was into acting and dancing. She loved musical theater when she was younger but didn’t pursue it in college.

I was so excited to hear that she was getting back in touch with those creative parts of herself that she had abandoned after her mother’s death when she was a little girl.

I’ve had Lyz Lenz’s piercing essay about the importance of writing during times of despair, like what’s going on in America…like what’s going on in the world. It’s a great essay and you should read it.

I’ve journaled to make sense of ineffable pain and suffering. I’ve written to beg someone to come back to me. I’ve written introductions and conclusions. I’ve written a myriad of letters by hand. I’ve typed thousands of emails.

I’ve written about myself here and elsewhere–and rarely has that been uplifting.

But when it comes to fiction, I’ve written mainly for my own pleasure.

I realize I don’t even think about writing like this anymore, so I’m glad it’s back in my view. I should be reading The Rumpus. I should have my writing in The Rumpus.

But life has happened, over and over. That distracting little minx, LIFE.

But also, life has been asking me to write books. So I’ve been ignoring that call. Yet it’s easy to ignore when you’re just focused on trying to survive and create a copywriting business for yourself. I’m starting to see the fruits of my labor recently, too.

But dreams, little girl dreams of writing a novel. I have to feed those hungry dreams now.

But but but…it’s scary, for some reason. To start revising this novel, this means that this wasn’t some writing stunt.

I’m revising it so other people can read it. Publishing. Sending it out into the world. To share.

Unlike here, where the readership is so low, this is like writing in a diary. Although I value every little eyeball that looks at what I write.

I went to school for this. And yet. I really didn’t think I’d be doing anything really special with writing, not for a long time.

But here come these dreams, begging for nourishment.

My fears of rejection (and maybe of success) have to be pushed aside now, fear that seemed to have kept me safe.

Deep down, I’m actually a little excited. I loved the world I created and it was great respite and healing for me as I wrote those characters. It’s just strange to really take this seriously. And that may be the literary snob that has been beaten into me from earning an MFA.

But that’s the thing about writing that I love the most–the world building that ends up nourishing you. And you can only hope that other people will find the same nourishment, the same pleasure, the same solace, the same joy, the same wonder…

Writing is magical and alchemical. Even after doing this on and off since I was a 1st grader, I still don’t understand how it all works.

The connections it creates between people. The worlds that are impacted and created. The characters that we come to know and love as friends and family. The parallels that start to run through a writer’s life and the lives of their characters.

And as I think about it…it’s the creative process that mirrors the natural world, and it puts me more in tune with the earth itself. It’s something so tangible and yet something so immaterial at the same time.

And for you, reading this–I hope that if you’ve let some little children and dreams behind, for whatever reason, that you’re able to retrieve those children and bring them up as your own.

It’s never too late to find that nascent creative spark.

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