I’m recovering from what has felt like a pretty crazy time lately. As I release commitments and attachments I am starting to settle down to a clearer and simpler reality. Life is starting to settle down.
But there’s still a lot of work to do. It’s like I’m right at the beginning, but the way has become clearer. But what a relief that is.
I have been licking my wounds a bit after losing five blog posts that came from a flurry of inspiration and activity in January and February and were part of me reaching a state of clarity about my purpose and focus. And there were no saves of these posts so it has felt like a huge loss. Plus I lost the whole Circles of Life page I’d created and was finally at peace about. It was like I’d made all these steps .. and then bam .. back to square one .. like a rug was swept from under me and I was up in the air. And it put me in a rather disjointed state. But perhaps the good thing about getting disjointed is that things can come back together and realign in a fresh and more conscious way.
I’ve updated my About page but the Circles of Life page still taunts me. Maybe today.
So I will attempt a summary of what I was coming to with those final posts before everything came crashing down ..
Jan 25: A new adventure
Jan 26: Presenting the present as a present
Feb 02: A fresh start
Feb 15: Words of intention
Feb 17: Getting ready
Okay .. so .. I was clearing the path for this adventure which is simply my life, as I create it. It was the adventure of this fresh new year .. fresh with intentions. I made some vague commitment to creating and sharing with some accountability built in .. but that is now passe. I was contemplating my word for this year and explored a range of words before coming, in a very clear way, to the word Presence. I have been shifting my experience of the world for some time now, and it is perhaps now at tipping point. Many things are coming to a head at once. Clarity is arriving in all different ways. I explored the way that words, and intentions can impact our lives in a positive way. I need to explore that same topic again. I have a fear losing thoughts and not getting them back .. but I need to trust that I will find the words for saying what needs to be said.
So, I was ‘Getting ready’ on Feb 17 and it’s now three weeks on. I guess I’m back to before where I was at at that point in some ways. So I’m still ‘Getting ready’ .. but perhaps I’m ‘Getting closer’.
And talking about ‘getting closer’ .. this could allude to intimacy, which has been part of this blog journey .. because I am sharing my experience of life (some of it at least) with the world. And that is really the biggest breakthrough for me .. to do that and be with the vulnerability of it .. me who feels overly self conscious to even ‘like’ something on Facebook, let alone write comments.
Instagram has been another place I’ve forced myself to open up and that breakthrough is just as huge as this blog. Even moreso in a way since photos are very revealing.
I love how, through this website, I’m able to share myself and feel some control over what and how it is shared. The lack of control over how information is shared unnerves me with Facebook. Except the recent crashing of my site felt like a total loss of control. I even felt like I ‘lost myself’ – like I’d put myself out there, and got taken down and wiped out. It made me feel like maybe I should stick to solidity rather than data. But the answer now seems to be that I need to lick my wounds, recalibrate and then continue to grow. Perhaps evidence of weakness and crumbling of work is an opportunity to rebuild foundations with retrospective clarity.
Actually, right now I am writing this like I’m writing to a friend ,, or to myself maybe. Same difference. I’m being experimental right now so I’ll go with it. My main challenge is simply to stay in action and not get caught up in thinking about things ,,
I also want to write some poetry .. and to create some images .. and make some videos .. and make some music .. and it’s nice to have the consolidating foundation of this website to anchor it all. Except I don’t want it to all collapse again. I need to find out how I can protect myself against that happening. This website is essentially my base for exploration. Some things I plan to explore are:
– the journey and creation of Cloudscape
– organic concepts and creations
– sacred symbols
– ‘the journey’
In fact, what I’ve been clear about all along with this blog is that it’s intention hasn’t been to inspire people and land in their inbox each week. It has been solely a challenge to me to express myself in public, and to share my journey toward clarity. It has helped me to release fears around opening up and speaking up, and allowed me to feel clarity and groundedness. Moving forward .. if I’m to stretch myself that bit more, and turn up in people’s inboxes, with something inspirational or useful to say .. how would I do that?
Here are the thoughts that come to me off the bat:
I’d keep on writing these ‘sharing my truth’ posts .. writing as I would to a friend. But rather than have these posts turn up in people’s inboxes (too scary), I could send out emails exploring an inspirational piece of art, plus write either an opinion or research piece on a topic I’m exploring, and include links to what I’ve written on my blog and perhaps an occasional summary of where my current projects are at.
Art, Exploration, Progress.
My life is starting to align so nicely at the moment. I am creating my life around building a business that invites exploration and creation of public art and expression. And in alignment with that is exploration of sacred symbols, the journey, circles, aikido, spirit, life, building, creation, energy, psychology, art, meaning, movement, connection, transformation … and it’s all connected.
Though I’ve been turning a corner at speed for what feels like a long time, I am close to reaching the straight.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
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
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.
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.
Has anything I’ve said resonated? Please comment below.