Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Free Falling into the Future

How does one decide how to spend the rest of one's life?  Joseph Campbell said "If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.  Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."  Well, it doesn't feel like that when you are taking that leap of faith.  It feels darn right scary.

I often jump into the abysses.  I must enjoy the thrill of the dark cave, the unknown space I am constantly falling into.  This is what usually happens--I get a great idea and things begin to go well. I might be writing, opening an art gallery, I might be having lots of clients, funerals to perform.  Then there is a dry spell and I think "Oh, my-- I better get a job.  How will I pay my bills?  I spend hours on end searching for a "job" (as we all find ourselves doing at some point.)  Finally that "job" comes through and I am relieve, a relief that is short lived.  Not long after business (whatever business idea I was working on at the time) starts to pick up.  People are calling and suddenly I have too many clients.  I can't fit them all in because--I have a "job."  I have to punch the time clock--I race to keep up with it all and nothing works.  I can't keep up and I make myself crazy trying.

By the time I make the decision to jump, leave the job behind and follow my bliss, everything has fallen apart and I must start all over again.  Of course, I do start all over again with another idea. I have great ideas. They come to me in the night, maybe through a dream and some come when I first wake up. From where I sleep I can look out the window in the morning and see squirrels dancing through the branches as if playing tag with each other and I watch the red glow of the new born sun spread across the sky and I think I should be dancing through the branches-- that's when it happens another great idea that I must follow is born.  I have had great ideas that have taken me to many experiences I never would have had if I didn't follow them as far as I dared.  But I am left wondering where would they have lead me if I had not panicked? If I had dared to dare.

I remember years ago a young woman told me that she only wanted to be with her horses; she raised race horses and dreamed of breeding a winner that would take the Kentucky Derby by storm.  She told me that every now and again she has a deep ingrained fear that hunts her down and stops her in her tracks.  She said she feared that if she didn't get a real job there would be a time when no one would ever hire her and she would be destitute.  So there she was applying for a temporary bank job just to keep her fear from overwhelming her.

There are lots of things that I'd love to do, lots of  creative ideas that keep whispering to me--so I have decided to follow my bliss--all the way off the cliff and this time I will not reach for a branch or cling to a clump of grass before the fall.  I will stand outside myself and watch want happens as I free fall into the unknown, that dark cave.  As I write this already I can feel a sinking feeling in my belly. But it doesn't matter because this time I have decided to find out what really happens when  the doors won't open and fear crawls up the back of your neck like a "shadow mirroring  your every move and you are sure that no one will ever hire you again if you don't get a real "job" and you know the bills are piling up.  This time I will not succumb.  I will dare to dare.

"We're in a free fall into the future. We don't know where we're going.  Things are changing so fast and always when you're going through a long tunnel anxiety comes along.  And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act.  It's a very interesting shift of perspective and that's all it is... joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes."   ~~Joseph Campbell, Sukhavati

Feel free to join me as I explore what this journey is really all about but only if you are willing to dare to dare.


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