This book was one of five on the recommended reading list for my non-fiction writing class. Fortunately for me this was the only book available at Barnes and Noble on Thursday evening. Once I began reading I could not put it down. I highly recommend this book to anyone who procrastinates, makes excuses for why they aren’t succeeding or pursuing their dreams, and especially for anyone who blames others for their inability to create.
When my two older children were in high school one of the words in our home that floated in the air on a daily basis was procrastination. They both despised that word. I on the other hand didn’t have time for their procrastination because I was working three part-time jobs while attending school full-time and raising a family on my own. If they procrastinated and tried to cram something in at the last-minute like fund-raisers they knew about for a month and let me know about the day before money was due or items they needed for their class and decided the night before to let me know they needed an $85 calculator. I would ask where I was to get this $85 – out of thin air. So that was life in our home.
Today I must share that my son is so dedicated to his craft that he devotes all of his free time to painting. He has a dedication and love for painting that I envy. It was procrastination but also resistance that I was fighting all those years. I wasn’t smart enough, didn’t have the money, time, education, courage, I was a single Mom . . . You get the picture – victimization was my friend.
When I look back it amazes me that I was able to show up to my part-time jobs, pay the bills, keep the house clean, bake cookies, make real meals, purchase groceries, and play with my children. We even went cross-country skiing in the winter, sleigh riding, hiking in the summer and had additional children over night. All this while moving up the ranks in the Army National Guard, receiving an ASS in Human Services, BA in Sociology, and an MA in Liberal Studies with a focus in Women and Public Policy. I was a success – why didn’t I see it.
I didn’t see it because my focus was on what I didn’t have, that’s why. I wanted to draw, learn how to dance, write a novel but I resisted because I didn’t think I had what it took to accomplish such lofty goals. There are single parents writing a chapter a week while their children sleep and the laundry is in the washer, or recording themselves while in the car driving to and from the grocery store. It wasn’t my children, my parents, siblings – it was my own choices and where I wanted to place my focus.
Today, I don’t read the news, surf the web, play computer games (well once in a while), watch television, or keep a spotless house. I say no thank you when I don’t want to take the time to attend birthday parties, family celebrations, or work get-togethers. Idly sitting around gossiping drives me crazy especially when nothing is resolved and I would rather be writing or taking photos with my new camera. Being able to say no and not feel guilty is something I am working on myself. We are all a work in progress. If you are anything like me there is this guilt that lies right over the surface of everything – always there ready to pounce. This is not mine – it belongs to my mother and father, my siblings – not me. So I am letting it go. Saying “No” is not a bad thing, it allows you the freedom to be the creative person that has been waiting for release from the confines of the guilt, victimization, and anything else that holds us back.
Resistance is there due to our fear. Fear of what others will think, fear of our success, fear of failure, ridicule, fear of not being in with the now – whatever the mood of the day is. Fear of knowing that as we change others won’t understand and will take it personally – that we may lose friends and hurt our families. If we waited for fear to leave we would never move forward, never try new things, venture out and experience the world around us. Maybe it is time to move on from our friends if they are holding us back. Being alone is not a bad thing for a creative person. It doesn’t mean we can’t still be in relationships, the relationships we develop will be with people who are interested in creating as well. They will be the people who understand, form groups with you to brainstorm and share your craft. Those people in our life today who may not understand might just be afraid of pursuing their dreams for the same reasons and your moving out of the norm might just be the trigger needed to free them as well. Then they will come along for the ride with you – not directing but standing next to you.
What are you resisting? What have you always wanted to do but felt you didn’t have time to pursue? If you are a parent, wouldn’t you be a better parent if you show your children how to pursue their dreams, how to continuously grow and learn. Imagine how you can shine and show the way to your nieces, nephews and other adults and children in your life.
Take the first step today. If you want to write, grab a piece of paper and start writing or sit at your computer and start typing. If you want to draw, grab a paper and pencil, markers, paint – whatever medium you feel comfortable with. Bring out the magazines and start cutting out pictures that inspire you, speak to you, bring you to that peaceful place within. Grab an instrument and start playing, watch a YouTube video on how to play. Get some old pieces of wood and start sculpting, sawing, cutting and make something. Take a class at the local school, community college – or better yet why not teach something you know. The ideas and possibilities are endless.
Then tell everyone that you meet “I am a writer” – painter – dancer – singer – carpenter – jewelry maker – fill in whatever it is you want to pursue. Share it on your blog, Facebook page or whatever other source you use. Even if you are not perfect today – it’s not about perfections – share what you are working on and become your dream of yourself. Visualize yourself writing that book, signing books at your book sales, dancing on stage, setting up your art show, selling your jewelry, creating beautiful wooden cabinets. Whatever it is, be IT and act as if IT already exists.
I would love to hear what you are working on and how it makes you feel. As for me, right now I am pursuing writing, photography, and learning how to start a coaching business. Everyday I take one step toward learning and growing in the area of my dream life. This morning it was a business building conference call with a group of like-minded individuals and after the call writing a business plan. Tonight I will write a couple of pages for my writing class. I know that everyday I am one step closer to a successful coaching business and published book that will help motivate and educate others who are interested in pursuing their own life purpose so they can be true to themselves and find peace in their lives.
Love and Light!