Live the whole iceberg

I’m living in transition mode at the moment, which I know is the time for me to open up, be aware and listen…listen hard. If I don’t, this transition won’t mean anything. I’ll take some step to the left or right, but likely it won’t be significant enough for my feet to be on a new path. I’ll still be going in the same direction, like when one lane of the highway is closed and you need to veer left, but you’re still on the same road, going in the same direction, heading for the same place. Not good enough. It’s got to be more than that. It’s got to be a deliberate change in direction.

So, as I’ve been working on this opening and listening, I’ve been digging deep and really trying to hear what my gut is telling me. What is at my core. What God/the universe/my soul are saying about where I need to go next. Believe me, it freaks me out a bit because I’m not sure what I’m going to be told, and I have to let go of all of my shit, but when I finally stop and trust, the result is beautiful and uplifting. Because the more I dig deep,  the more I actually trust myself. The more sure I am of me. And can I tell you, that is a glorious feeling!

In so doing, then, I’ve been looking around and am struck by how few of us actually ever dig deep. We’re walking around  living on the surface, wrapped up in the petty, every day-ness of life.  Our attention focused on dumb little things that completely distract us from hearing what’s really being told to us, like one person’s remarks that you could have done better, or someone who takes that wicked parking spot, or how your husband puts his dishes on the counter above the dishwasher, not just directly into it (did I say that out loud again :)) These distractions become obsessive and take so much of our energy. They suck the life out of us. Based on one of my last posts, clearly that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for a number of months. Let’s be real, it’s been pretty sucky.

All this living on the surface means that we’re missing out on all of the beauty that lies beneath.

iceberg

Just look at what’s glowing below the water.

Like an iceberg, we can marvel in its tip, but if we don’t dive below the water’s surface, we miss its full expanse below. There is so much to behold and yet, it goes unseen, unexperienced. We may feel safe hanging out on the tip, but the truth is, the wonder and awe of life exists much deeper.

As I let Ariadne back in (yay me!), it’s becoming clear to me that the majority of us live in such small, limited spaces. We create tiny worlds for ourselves, and somehow feel okay with it because we so easily rationalize and justify that it’s enough. And as I reflect on that, I think, “That’s crap!”

Everyone of us is worth so much and have so much to give to the world, it’s astounding, but we’re so fucking afraid to stand up and stand out (me included).

Come on. We’re all better than this! We are. We think way too small and count ourselves out before we’ve even begun. It’s stupid. Truly.

We shouldn’t ever feel comfortable with what we know right now. It’s too infinitesimal. It’s too minute, like the bits of feather dust that fly off a newly-pulled tissue. You can only detect them when light streams, but that feather dust exists in such a vast space…as do we. What we know right now is simply not enough. It can never be enough.

So, here’s my simple desire for all of us…

Live the whole iceberg!

Let’s take the pathetic time wasted lying to ourselves that we’re living to our full potential and instead break down the ridiculous walls that confine us. Let’s redirect our energy to dive down and burst open who we can be. In that way, we will let others in. We will begin to trust ourselves, and we will move closer to who we can be.

Let’s do that. Let’s do that together and then we’ll see how awesome this world can really be!

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Reflections on friendship, possibility and change

Every once in a while we meet someone who shifts our world a little bit. Someone who sees us in a way not many others can. Someone who accepts us more willingly and openly than most. And when we are blessed to come across such a person, our load becomes lighter and we see new possibility in our lives to which we had previously been blind.

I’ve been blessed over the past couple of years or so to have had such a person in my life. A colleague who quickly became a friend because of her generous, warm spirit. On days that were dull and tedious, she brought light and purpose. On days that were stressful and heavy, she brought laughter and levity. On days that were joyous and fun, she delighted in the moment.

I am writing about her today, because as of yesterday, my friend is starting a new journey in her life in her well-deserved retirement. A new journey she’s not sure she is completely ready for, but one I know will see her fly in ways she never thought possible.

Starting a new phase in life can be terrifying – whether it’s retiring, becoming a new parent, starting a new career. The fear of the unknown is daunting, but it is precisely in these moments of great change when the greatest discovery of self takes place. It is precisely at the time when our carefully crafted foundations are rocked that we discover more deeply who we are, more clearly what we are capable of and can stand more firm in our new knowing.

Change is powerful because it forces us out of our comfortable selves where we tend to settle for less than who we are and shows us what could be. It breaks down the constrained definitions we have of life, and shines light in the dark corners we worked hard to conceal. But what is funny is that on the other end of a significant change, when we get past the initial denial, anger, and resistance, finally stop fighting and learn the lessons the change has taught us, what was once the unknown becomes familiar and we begin to settle again.

So instead of hiding from change and the unknown, let’s seek it out. Instead of fearing the uncomfortable, let’s embrace it. Instead of holding back from new possibility let’s boldly walk toward it.

I desire this for my friend as she walks this new path. I desire this for myself when I am faced with the unexpected, and I desire this for anyone who seeks to be more than they are right now.

As I read back these reflections, I recognize they are not so simple desires. I know I will not always be able to live up to what I hope for myself and for those around me. I can only continue to seek and try, and when I come up short – as I very often will – I can only hope that I will remember the gifts from my friend, the lessons she taught me, and the simple desires she inspired today.