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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud

was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin

 

Some things I have learnt:

 

– if we don’t get a lesson the Universe will keep sending it to us

– Everything is relative

– We are all connected

– I am not alone

– There is a flip-side to everything .. nothing is all good or all bad

– pushing something into the shadow, trying to hide it, gives it power

– the answer to Life and How to Live is … Breath

 

Moving on ..

 

Enough philosophising for today.

I realise I need to keep it simple.  My mind does a grand job of complicating things.  It takes me on journeys of wonder and beauty as well as nightmarish despair.

For months I’ve been playing with ideas, writing tomes, but little has made it to the public eye.

 

The challenge of self expression ..

 

Public expression .. is my biggest challenge.  And such is the irony .. that what I’m desiring to create is so very public.

Cloudscape .. a vision that has been swimming in my head for too many years.

Just recently I discovered a sketch I did in 2008

 

An exploration of the 'cloud' concept from 2008

An exploration of the ‘cloud’ concept from 2008

 

It reminded me how long this concept has been swimming around in my head.  And I could keep on thinking about it and continue to hide away .. or I can bring it to life and learn the lessons and develop the concept in reality – and in connection with other people .. which after all is a big part of the concept!

 

The Kickstarter challenge

 

The September 2015 deadline I have set for the Kickstarter campaign is fast approaching .. and the pressure of that deadline, and the accompanying onslaught of so many competing demands and distractions is taking its toll.  But despite all that, I need a deadline to narrow down my focus which tends to want to scatter far and wide into every possible crevice of life.  The original goal was a September 1-30 campaign .. this then shifted to a September 15-30 campaign .. and right now my new goal is September 30 – October 31 .. Halloween might be a fitting end to the campaign.

I am in the process of creating the 1:20 scale model .. which is taking longer than expected (I tend to be optimistic about how long things will take .. which is one of my downfalls).  I am also in the process of creating an explanatory video for the Kickstarter campaign, plus the Kickstarter campaign itself.

 

This morning’s breakthrough idea

 

And in the meantime .. there is the rest of life.  I am pushing forward (too slowly) on an application to council for someone wanting to develop an empty block of land into their dream home, plus getting a bundle of presents ready to send to lots of people, since I’m generally hopeless when it comes to presents and this is a backlog going back years (I could write a blog post on that!), and .. I could go on with my smothering to do list and the efforts I have been taking in harnessing my attentions .. but I would just start rambling (more than I already am).  But I will say that publishing this blog post .. regardless of how I feel about it .. is bound to give me a rush of energy since it has been on my ‘to do’ list since the beginning of this year.  This morning I had the sort of breakthrough thought that comes from intense pressure and despair.  I decided I would write straight into this WordPress site .. rather than into yet another Word or OmmWriter document.  And taking a nudge and a glimpse of possibility from an email I received yesterday from Brian Johnson of Philosophers Notes asking ‘What is your keystone habit?’ (that being “a habit that, when we change it, will have the greatest positive impact on our lives”) .. I am here committing (eek!) to regular (weekly?) blogging as a habit.  One bonus of doing this is that it can free me from my tendency to get stuck in the thinking process.  There is always more thought that can be given to any topic .. but sometimes, as I know much too well, action is more important that perfection .. and overthinking can lead to less clarity not more.  I know that I will do far better at clarifying my thoughts and improving my writing by putting them out than in keeping them to myself.  And while it used to be other people’s responses that I feared .. I feel ready to deal with whatever may entail.

 

Taking action and stretching my comfort zone

 

I feel like I’ve written too much already .. but since I’m on a bit of a roll I will share some of the journey I’ve been on this year.  In order to break out of my shell I have made a point of forcing myself, by all sorts of trickery, out of my head and into action.  This has meant speaking where I normally would stay quiet, agreeing to do things I’d normally hold back on, doing things rather than just thinking about them.  And so I have been pushing against my comfort zones, moving forward .. in baby steps.  It has been quite a journey .. a roller coaster really.  In taking actions that are against my natural proclivity .. such as opening up and sharing my reality with others, pushing myself into connection, and accepting support – my experience has been that the Universe responds in kind.  And slowly – so slowly I’ve often berated myself and felt discouraged – each small action builds upon itself, the cogs start turning, and I have been able to see some progress.

 

The journey toward writing this post

 

I will share some actions I have taken that led to this post being written today (and to perhaps explain how momentous this simple post is for me..).  It may give some indication of the sort of pressure it takes for me put myself in the public eye.  It started with a trip to Santa Cruz, California in February, with funds scraped together by borrowing from my son’s bank account.  It says something about how desperate I was feeling to escape from the prison of my personality, as much for his sake as for mine, that I deemed this necessary.  This trip was for the purpose of a deep dive into the Enneagram and exploring my personality type.  On my return, having seen with some clarity how my not expressing myself was like a slow and painful death, I had the fortitude to push forward on my ‘sculpture for play’ vision enough to crystallise my thinking and submit an entry into Sculpture by the Sea. Miraculously, my proposal was accepted for the 2016 exhibition.  My next big push was a grant submission to the World Domination Summit Foundation, asking for help to support me in the journey toward the creation of the prototype of Cloudscape.  This grant submission wasn’t successful, but the process forced further clarity, and prompted a friend who was present while I put it together to offer to loan me the money so I could get to the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon in July (Thank you Victor!).  My first day back in Bellingen after that magical journey of connection, a meet up of the Bellingen Co-Working group was organised (my joining that group is another step I’ve taken this year).  On this day the organiser, Thea, had organised an ‘offer and needs market’.  Buoyed up from the trip and crystal clear on the need to connect with others, I announced my offer and need as a desire to create a ‘mastermind’ group for support, accountability and brainstorming.  Two people showed interest.  This blog post is much thanks to that group .. since I committed to publishing a blog post at our last meeting.  And so, with the big steps just shared and a number of baby steps in between, I am slowly getting more comfortable with putting my thoughts and ideas into the world.

 

What do I have to offer?

 

For years I have pondered and puzzled, stressed over and felt quite defeated by the question of what I have to offer the world.  What gift or offering I have that does not weaken or destroy me in the process .. that has meaning and value enough to sustain me, that allows me to stretch my mind and connect with others in a way that I feel makes a real difference, that allows me the solitude and space I need to feel strong .. and that allows me to be supported financially.  My response to this, for the most part, has been a lifelong practice of minimising needs while working just enough to scrape by.  But of course this response has serious limitations.  And while the answer is yet to come .. this has been a year of climbing out of the hole I dug for myself .. of coming back into the world.  And a big inspiration in this journey back into the world has come from my discovery of the Enneagram and the clarity and realisations that have come from my deep dive into this powerful and illuminating tool.

 

 

Cloudscape – a tool for transformation

 

For now, Cloudscape, is the tool I am using to make my difference in the world .. both in the journey toward its creation and by the piece when it is realised.  On so many levels Cloudscape is about connection to others, connection to ourselves, connection to spirit, opening up to new possibilities, breaking out of ‘everyday life’, exploring and taking risks, and shifting our experience of the world.

 

Next steps

 

As I move toward making this vision a reality, my next steps include finishing the model and fine-tuning the design, obtaining official approval from Bellingen Shire Council, developing the Kickstarter campaign, promoting it far and wide, raising the funds, settling on a strategy for building it, bringing together a team to build it, building it and then .. releasing it.

I feel like I could write forever.  But I don’t need to cover everything in a single post .. so I will stop for now.  But never fear .. you will hear from me again shortly .. and having now declared it to the world .. I will continue toward the realisation of this long held dream .. of creating magical spaces for exploring and experiencing the world.

Your thoughts?

 

Has anything I’ve said resonated?  Please comment below.

With gratitude,

Charmaine