A day later, and another level of understanding appears – for yesterday’s post was not even close to the entire truth. The entire truth of course can never be captured here in writing for all to see, but there’s another level of understanding which must be laid out to properly and more fully answer the questions.
So let me introduce some familiar terms for us former life marketers – tactics and strategy. Stepping up and stepping in was all about tactics, really: a list of some of the things I’ve done. Here’s the truth – the strategy is by far the more interesting part. The bad news – it also just happens to be the scariest.
The Shedding Skin Strategy
What would happen if you just let yourself pursue all the things you were interested in? Joanna Paterson asked.
What happened for me is that I first needed to deconstruct, break down, disown, throw out and stop most of the things I was already doing. For me that mostly meant quitting my job. Even when I didn’t really know why. Even when we couldn’t afford it. Even when I felt like I was performing a betrayal.
This all happened the year I turned 40 – it turns out I’m a cliché! By more conventional thinking, I would have been labelled as having a mid-life crisis. For me it was to be the start of a beautiful journey.
Spending time indulging in creative pursuits I’d ignored for 20 years became most important. First I was a crochet specialist. Actually, I’m turning into a poet. Strike that, I’m rediscovering painting. It turns out I’m actually a baker. You know, this dreamboarding lark is what I love. I’ve decided, I’m going to dedicate my life to yoga! Creative therapy is where it’s at. No, what it is really is over 50 books about natural health – that’s what I do. And then there’s photography – I want to take great pictures!
Every couple of weeks brought something new and with it, the constant background noise that is worry – what have I got to give? How can I make money from it? What will I do instead of being a hi-tech marketing professional? I don’t know enough about anything. I’m no expert in anything. I’ve spent 20 years being a marketing professional – how can I turn a month of interesting learning into a new career? And how can I decide which it is to be?
So meantime, I’d stop and start my many business ideas. Not committing to anything for more than days at a time. Then came the declaration – I don’t want a new career. For the first time since I was 14 I didn’t want to earn any money. What I’d do is play and learn and have fun, shedding the skin of who I had learned to be for the past 20 odd years and … discover who I am. Nothing new there, you’d think – but hang on – at this point I wasn’t at all aware that I didn’t know who I was!
Only a few months in and I was a little worried about it. Which of these skills should I focus on? I asked a group of special support angels, their wings supporting me as I was falling. And dear Joanna – you were the one who said to me something I’d never been told before, “Julie, you are talented in many things.”
Bring on the harps and the illumination – this was an angelic choral proclamation in my head! What? You mean I’m not shallow after all? This fatal flaw in my personality did not after all mean I was a woman of little expertise – it meant I am a woman of many talents. See how that’s different?
And this is where my talents and who I am merge… they merge into the rich tapestry of me, the exotic and sensual love of patterns and colours, the melange of textures, sounds and smells. The pleasure in being alive and learning from nature. The zen of just being. It’s all part of my beautiful life – a wonderful breadth of experience, not a shallow depth of knowledge.
And through all of this and the tactics employed, the rituals carved and crafted, the beliefs and policies firmed up I have stepped fully into me and am ready to serve. It even involves a business plan, albeit the most creative, right-brained piece of planning I’ve ever approached. And it involves each and every and all of the things I’m interested in.
That is what happens if …
p.s. And according to Mooji, I might just be saving the planet, too (this is a link to a video by Mooji – if you are worried about our planet, please watch this. If you are wondering how best you can serve this planet, please watch this – you probably already are.)
Wow Julie I love how you are exploring this, or rather, sharing different layers of your exploration.
Here are a few things I’ve found that might resonate:
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” (Wendell Berry)
Heroes – in myth, literature, and real life – take journeys, confront dragons (ie problems) and discover the treasure of their true selves. Although they may feel very alone during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community; with themselves, with other people, and with the earth ~ Carol Pearson
and this heart thumping essay on living in the world
“The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”
Resonate and some!
especially “Eternity is a dimension of here and now.
The divine lives within you. Live from your own center.”
Thanks as always Joanna for these prompts and questions, and answers 🙂 x
Resonating over here too from both of you, thank you. It’s the not knowing who we are and then finding that we just are and who and what that is, is already enough. I don’t think I could have deconstructed as beautifully as you have Julie, but trust me, I can feel it humming through me! I love the Carol Pearson quote Joanna, thank you.