I recently received a wonderful piece of mail that said this, “Your perspective is unique in the way it resonates and God has put you in this place at this time to change and affect lives.”
This reader went on to share a story about his health and he had written to cheer me on in my efforts regarding my recent blog post Life in the Hypertensive Zone. His issues with cholesterol were similar to mine with blood pressure.
This kindness from a stranger reminded me of several things about life. One, it is hard to keep track of all the people we might be touching, especially if we’re writers in this age of the world wide web. My goodness, what a privilege to have someone tell me I’m affecting lives.
Two, our stories are important because even though sometimes we feel like we’re telling them and no one is listening or caring, they are. They’re listening with rapt attention. They’re caring enough to write and share their own stories. That kind of connection is such a big part of why I do this.
I suppose that’s also why I’m moved to share that I’m in a major state of flux right now. It is filled with big ideas, endless possibility, uncertainty, lean living, physical pain, surges of confidence, groundedness, much introspection and mad bouts of writing. This is a summer of sequestration of sorts. I have no feeling of deprivation around that. It feels peaceful and I’m vicariously enjoying others’ getaways and such via social media.
Sometimes when I ask my life coaching clients what they’re willing to do (sacrifice?) to have that thing they say they want, this is kind of what I mean. I’m one who’s willing to hunker down and say no to dining out and skip a vacation if it means I can make my next vision come to fruition. There is something so primal and cool about scaling way back. The simplest pleasures take front and center. No, I can’t make that dinner at that trendy restaurant, but how about a walk? We can catch up that way.
I see it as temporary. I used to see it as a terrifying failure, a reason to beat myself up for falling short somehow. Now I’m unsure of how this is all going to go, but there’s an underlying joy and purpose and a certainty that it will all work out. In fact, more than work out. Hard to explain, but clearly all the work on self I’ve done up to now is rising to the surface. And this is part of the ebb and flow of being a writer who actually takes the gift seriously.
In the very near future I will be unveiling Unfettered50.com, a venture (website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) born of a feeling I had last year when I was new to hitting age 50. I’m so excited about it and have been pouring lots of energy and time into making it shine. Simultaneously, I have clarified some questions I had around a book I’ve been writing that was dormant for a long time and I’m now working on it voraciously. That baby is ready to be born. It wants out.
It’s a special kind of challenge to create on different levels and that’s new to me. Blogging here, generating content for Unfettered50.com and writing for A Day Well Lived on current topics. Going deep into a memoir manuscript that spans a decade I’ve already lived to chronicle past experiences. In an interesting twist, as I’m rereading my own chapters I’m finding it valuable to apply those lessons learned to my life now. What a kick.
In between the writing moments, I’m getting immense satisfaction from clients who are clearing clutter – physical and emotional — to let in new possibilities, revamping resumes to invite new opportunities, proudly honoring their own creativity and working through loss to make life-altering decisions. It’s heady when I actually pause to appreciate it.
In a previous post I spoke of talking to a woman in my community who suggested I learn more about Paul the Apostle. I have borrowed books and even watched a film on him since she gave me that nudge. Last week I watched a documentary about Buddha on PBS and a theme emerged. These men – Paul and Siddhartha — forged their own path, spread their message with little care about mainstream reaction. They did what they were compelled to do – learn, keep the faith, teach.
That feels very right in the life of this coach/writer. I’m so glad I’ve learned to pay attention when others make suggestions and when my gut directs me to something. I get to learn and share and maybe affect some lives.
I’m all in.