“Pay attention, that’s all,” Eliza said. “Notice things. Connect what you’ve noticed. Connect it into a picture. Think of how the picture might be changed; and act to change it. Some of your acts may turn out to have been foolish, but others will reward you in surprising ways; and in the meantime, simply by being active instead of passive, you have a kind of immunity that’s hard to explain–”
– The Confusion, Neil Stephenson
I’m launching into this new endeavor on my 57th birthday because all my intuition, the signs and portents, won’t leave me alone. I’ve been in this practice of re-inventing self for a lifetime already and there is a pattern. Great chunks of reality start falling off the edifices around me, waking me up to paying close attention. Then, things and people that I depended on for some sense of stability become undependable. Mostly not intentionally or maliciously, they are just dealing with the cracking up of reality too, in their own way. Then, I have to assess which of my own creations, relationships, etc. are no longer alive and relevant for me (and perhaps even holding me back from seeing what needs to be born). And I have to let go of some or all of them. The next part always brings me a sense of awe because it really is magical. As soon as I voluntarily surrender what’s just been taking up space, a flood of insight and creative ideas pours into that empty space. Often, I know just what to take action on.
Quirky Auntie’s “Sustainable Living” Room was such a gift from the universe (or wherever creativity springs from).
Ever since I left my last corporate job in 2002, I have been downsizing my material life, focusing on surfacing and putting into practice my deeply held values, and releasing my wild, creative self from all constraints (breaking through shell after shell after shell). Whew! Challenging and worthy work. A couple of weeks ago, I realized I was in a breakdown-before-breakthrough place, everything felt weird and out of kilter making me very scared. I was reading Thomas Berry’s The Great Work and found direction – my life choices and daily work needed to get fully aligned with The Great Work, “the task of moving modern industrial civilization from its present devastating influence on the Earth to a more benign mode of presence.”
So what would that look like? I started making a list. I want to bring joy, wisdom and practical action in these times where the old structures and ways are crumbling. I want to support people who are “right sizing” their finances and lifestyles, and especially those who are engaged in building a new, more sustainable world. Even though I drive a hybrid, I want to travel and pollute less. I want the excellent quality creative coaching I provide to be affordable and accessible. I want to be valued and economically self-sufficient. I want to feel delight in my work daily.
OK – off to make it so. Need to do a business plan, invent a business model, determine a financial structure, and build a website.