Monthly Archives: January 2013

Love, Actually

I created three New Year’s Intentions for 2013.

The first: to launch my 365 Days of Delight project, reminding myself that each day and moment matters, regardless of what’s going on around me. (See January entries here).

The second: to develop a career plan, a roadmap of sorts, that I can put into action by June 2013 at the latest.

The third—the most elusive and tricky, but encompassing all three Intentions: to fall in love.

041I’ve managed to get this far in life without ever falling in love. Or rather, without ever allowing myself to fall in love. Lust, infatuation, admiration, longing—yes. Love—no.

And I’m not just referring to romantic love.

Well, that was my intention at first. But being of the more inquisitive and probing sort, I of course began to think more deeply about it. Why do you want to fall in love? Why now? Why haven’t you allowed love to touch your life thus far? In what ways do you shut it out? What impact has this avoidance had on your life? What are you committed to doing now to turn this around?

I’ve kind of tiptoed around love, I think. Chosen not to give my whole heart to any deserving person or thing for fear that I would be found lacking and be burned at the stake for it. I see it in action now, when I consider certain career choices: I’m afraid to commit fully, to fall in love with any of these choices because…what if I don’t like it? What if it doesn’t like me? What if I turn out to be an utter failure? And goodness gracious—what if I turn out to be a success?? So I reign in my natural excitement and enthusiasm. Tell myself sternly to settle down, to shackle all love impulses.

But I want love in my life. I really do. In all its manifestations.

Love is passion. Love is risk. Love is commitment. Love is embracing possibility even when satisfaction is not guaranteed. Love is taking a leap of faith. Love is reveling in one moment of joy even when anxiety lurks around the corner. Love is saying, “Why not me?” Love makes room for fear, failure and rejection, and then transforms them into powerful allies. Love is an open heart.

This Intention, then, is about falling in love with my life as it is today (the 365 Days of Delight project).

It’s about falling in love with all the myriad ways my career and calling may manifest (my career roadmap).

And it’s about falling in love in a traditional, romantic sense (maintaining an open heart and mind). I’ll be sure to let you know when this part happens!

Out of the Belly of the Whale

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I’ve been coming to terms lately with the fact that I have big dreams. So big that I don’t even fully understand them. My spirit senses the bigness of my dreams, has always sensed it, but my mind tends to shy away from it.

Instead, I spend a great deal of time in avoidance mode. I seek jobs and opportunities that are far too narrow in scope and vision. I make myself smaller in order to fit the status quo, to conform to other people’s expectations. I downplay my accomplishments so as not to draw too much attention to myself. When glimpses of these big dreams flash in my mind, a powerful NO rises up to chase them away. I allow impossibility to call the shots.

I’m a little like the biblical Jonah, in that I keep trying to hide away inside the belly of a whale to avoid embracing a larger vision. But Jonah’s calling and purpose were larger than his fear, and the whale eventually had no choice but to vomit him out. In the same way, my big dreams are calling to me, and my whale knows I can’t languish in its belly any longer. It’s time to spit me out.

I don’t yet have the words to describe these dreams. I still don’t understand in my mind what my spirit knows to be true. For now I’m learning to curb my instinct to run from them, and to just let them rise up and take form without judgment or admonition.

Delightful Days Ahead

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2013: A brand new day. A brand new beginning.

I was really struck the last few weeks by the sense that the first half of my life has come to a close. 2012 was an intermission of sorts, a time to rest, reflect and release. A time—mixing metaphors here—to turn over the soil in preparation for new growth.

The curtain now rises on the second half, and it’s as if I’m born again, starting over, beginning anew.

That’s why I’m launching “The Mindful Misfit: 365 Days of Delight” on this blog (on a separate page–see menu bar above), as a way to “launch” my life’s second half. It’s a daily reminder to myself to pay attention: to notice those moments that trigger a sense of peace, wonder, gratitude, joy, laughter. Every day is full of them, if we take the time to pay attention. Even on days where darkness won’t let go of its painful grip. So I’m going to record these moments with a photo and a brief written description, and I’m going to record them and post them every single day in 2013.

That’s 365 days. 365 meaningful moments, regardless of what else might be going on in my life. A reflection of and commitment to the way I want to live my life going forward.