I can only summarize the last seven days as life responding to my callings.
There’s the lull of uneasy, sometimes sickening silence that happens after you’ve yelled out to the world, “Here I am, world! This is me. This is what I have to offer.” You put yourself out there and you’re waiting to see how the world will respond. You wonder if it will even respond at all.
Then, out of nowhere, someone hears your call. Then another person notices. It’s as if life says, “Okay! You asked for it. Let’s see what you got.”
This is exactly what happened for me this week. Times ten. I’ve put myself out there, and the response is teetering on the side of overwhelming.
On May 10th, I casually replied to two Craigslist posts asking for artists to participate in upcoming art shows. Being the first time I’ve ever tried to show my art for purchase, I honestly didn’t expect either of them to get back to me. By May 16th, both had written back to say they like my work and want me to submit multiple pieces to their shows. For the next several weeks, I will be painting for hours and hours and hours. I told the world I’m an artist, and it’s telling me to effing prove it.
On May 15th, I found out that my blog has been nominated as the ‘Most Feel Good Blog’ in the Badass Blog Awards 2013, hosted by one of my favorite new magazines, The Indie Chicks (vote here!). I’m a finalist and couldn’t be prouder of this recognition. Seven months ago, Courage Love Intensity was just an idea. My personal creative outlet. Now it’s my connection with a world of passionate people and driven seekers who also want to live a fuller, more powerful life.
On May 16th, I heard back from an amazing, innovative company who I’d sent my resume to the day before. I found a job opening on their website that reads like it was made for me, immediately applied, and was asked to interview with them this week. I gushed over their message back for ten minutes, smiling from ear to ear while shimmying, much like I would have if the man of my dreams had just professed his undying love for me and whisked me off on a surprise romantic getaway.
These are just a few examples of life responding to me this week. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so heard and wanted by the universe in my whole life, and the weekend only got sweeter. Picture a couple of old college girlfriends driving down the Oregon coast, our dogs in the back seat, delighting in the sunsets and miles of mountains that fill our view. We spent our weekend crabbing in the beautiful bay, running into freezing cold waves in our underwear squealing like little girls, and enjoying fresh home-cooked meals with a group of 10 other fantastic people. It was one of those experiences that I couldn’t stop saying ‘thank you’ to that unknown force in the sky, over and over again. I’ve finally found a place that feels like home.
In our beach house, I tucked myself in the corner of the living room for an hour, scribbling out all the lessons I’ve learned this week at record speed, as if I’d lose them if I didn’t write them fast enough. Here are the wisdoms that stand out:
- “We get the love we think we deserve.” We get the work we think we deserve, too. A year ago, never would I have had the audacity to enter myself in an art show, to launch a blog to hundreds of readers, to accept an offer to become a dance instructor. I’d make excuses as to why I couldn’t share my talents with the world, not least of which was that I was ‘too busy.’ Those days may just be over, folks.
- Courage isn’t just showing yourself to the world. It’s the strength you show from the world’s reactions. It’s not just asking for what you want. It’s having the guts to face what you actually get. I read this beautiful advice from Melissa Joy Kong in her post here and connected with it big time.
- Focus on where you are now, instead of where you’re going. I slack lined for the first time this week at a local climbing gym. Whenever I got on the rope feeling impatient with myself, I’d barely manage to take a step or two before falling. However, when I put all my focus on one step at a time, I seriously felt an inner peace take over. Despite all the people and activity around me, I was able to walk seven or eight steps with a quiet mind.
- Be proactive about doing things you love to do. It may sound silly, but I spent one night writing down a list of pactions (passion-filled actions) to take that were in line with my values, with time stamps next to each item. I woke up at 5:30am so that I could spend time with my roommate before she left for work. We walked the dogs and ate breakfast together. Then, following my schedule diligently, I meditated for 10 minutes, threw on some running gear, and ran 4 miles. I spent the next couple hours painting and writing, and by noon I had already accomplished quite a bit. I felt so good by the end of the day, that I did the same thing the next day. This time though, I went to a local coffee shop to apply for the dream job mentioned above.
- People lead to opportunities. As my friend Andrew so wisely tweeted, “Never be afraid to talk to anyone. You never know where it might lead.” When you can, offer your talents and share your passions with people. Before I moved, I reached out to a spa owner via email to share my vision of working in a spa and ask if she’d like a hand drumming up more business. She told me that she loved my proactive approach, and we made arrangements to meet. She shared fantastic insight on the skin care industry and traded me facials and holistic skin care products for a couple hours of my social network management and web design help. Pretty sweet, right?
The thing that’s happened since I moved to Portland and started a completely new life, since I left an unfulfilling job and started listening to my heart, is I’ve started to believe that I am worthy. Worthy of a satisfying career. Worthy of affectionate love. Worthy of a wonderful life.
And so are you. So tell me, what things are you holding yourself back from? What are those deep desires you hide in your heart instead of sharing with the world? Speak up. The world is listening.
With courage, love, and intensity,