It starts with a burst of an idea, coming out of nowhere… and yet at the same time emerging from everything you’ve ever been, everything you’ve ever thought, every person you’ve ever met. A fully formed thought that says “this is what it all means… this is what those years of practice have prepared you for.”
The practical, hard working side of you says… “it couldn’t be that easy. No-one will pay attention to something that showed up so noiselessly, so seemingly without effort or agony.” The doubting, fearful side of you says… “you won’t possibly succeed at this – why bother trying?” At the same time, though, you know that this gift is one that you have to pay attention to. The muse is calling and this time, you know you have to listen.
The seed of an idea grows and before you even say it out loud to anyone, people who cross your path begin to tell you of their deep longings, of their precious guarded gifts, of the ways that your words and paintings have inspired them, and even of the way they’ve used you as a positive example of creativity and dream-seeking in a counseling session with a client. Each of these stories feels like a little bit of magic, because each thing you hear is directly in alignment with the gift you feel called to offer up to the world.
You begin to take baby steps. You tell a few people and they applaud with their eyes and their hearts. A friend looks deep in your eyes and says “this will succeed. I have visions of you telling this story on Oprah,” and you blush, because you’ve never dared to imagine quite what she’s imagining. Your brother affirms you before you even tell him, just by reserving the webpage you’re dreaming of building for this new venture.
A friend whom you’ve never met but who feels connected to your soul in a long thin line across a border sends you an email and you feel your hands begin to shake because she is whispering your dream in your ear even though she has no inkling that you dreamed it a few days earlier. (Thank you Vicki!!)
Like they so often seem to do, a book appears in your life at just the right time (shortly after you turn 43 and write a blog post about being half way through life) and you read, “At the midstage of life, the impatience of our inner reserve begins to make itself felt in various ways: the sense that we have brought to our present work all that we can and it is time for a new challenge; a vague but pervasive feeling of discontent with the configuration of activities and relationships in our life; a growing desire to step out and allow a recurring fantasy to become reality.”
You close your eyes, clench your fists and say “okay god, I’m ready.” Your fingers relax as you let go of the net and watch it drift out across the water.
Note: I’m taking a little time away from my day job next week to spend a little time working on that net. I’ll tell you more soon.