“What’s next for you?” used to be a simple question to answer. If it wasn’t simple, it at least prompted reflection and discussion about a wide array of possibilities.
In reading blog posts for “The Ultimate Blog Challenge” yesterday, I discovered a missed a prompt that six months ago would have made me smile and rush off into a menu of ideas and plans. With delight I would open a new calendar and jot notes in pencil because I knew at least some of them would be bound to be erased.
The question asked about “The Future” and my view of it, especially in relationship to my writing, my blog, my creativity coaching business.
There are unique nuances about “the future” since we are living in a time of this Covid19 global pandemic. Most of us realize what were once certainties no longer are and a more day-by-day approach usually serves us better.
This doesn’t mean I like it. It means I am attempting to be an optimistic realist who knows there is no end in sight and I will remain high risk. I think back to a conversation years ago in a restaurant in Union Station in Los Angeles with a friend I met on line from Australia. He had built a multi-million dollar business while bedridden because he asked the question, “What can I do while my body heals using the resources I have?”
For years my work – whether on this blog or in the workshops I teach or the groups I facilitate or in individual or group coaching or creating social media content – one overarching theme has been continual since the very beginning.
I want the messages I offer and the work I do to have a positive impact on people. I want my messages to matter to people. I most desire to have a transforming impact on the people who read my words, who participate in my workshops, classes and coaching.
One of my favorite stories from recent years is when I gave a gentleman a ride when I was working for a ride-sharing company. We had a thirty-minute friendship. The magical energy started when I spoke of the beauty of the overgrown cotton field we passed, the way the golden light was hitting it at the precise moment we were there.
He insisted I turn down the radio so he could hear everything I was saying. He wanted me to say more. I narrated the drive. I spoke of the beauty of the fields we were passing, the homes to our north. We discussed our children, some fully grown and my youngest, still in process. We talked about the future. About what might be next in our lives.
When he left my car, he gave me one of the largest tips I ever received and thanked me earnestly for reminding him to slow down. To notice the world around him. To appreciate the seemingly small things which are actually rather glorious.
It is true whether I am engaging the world as an activist, as a mother, as a teacher, in a portrayal of a scripted character onstage or doing a livestream video and in that earlier moment as a ride-share driver on a randomly selected drive.
What is the same is always this space in my heart for forward movement in a world that is often hurting – and hurting badly.
Sometimes I lament the experiences I have had, complaining there has been too much loss, too much fear, not enough wide swaths of sweet satisfaction. In writing tonight, I realize more than ever why that is actually a good thing.
Last night amidst too many illegal fireworks I felt my heart acting in an unusual manner. One of the outcomes from near death- one of those life experiences I would rather not have had – is I know my body much better than I did before I almost died.
I know if my lungs hurt – that what is hurting is a particular spot on my lungs that still hasn’t healed. If I feel in the space above my heart a flutter, flapping, like a group of birds dancing in my chest – that is my heart working through a possible “afib” or irregular heartbeat episode.
These moments where my body reminds me she has been in battle and she has stayed the course and I must, too. I must stay the course, continue doing this work that so compels me in whatever form reaches into the hearts, breath and action of others.
In answer to the original blog prompt question, don’t know what the future holds in a larger “when will I be able to live like I once did?”
I know there is social unrest here in the United States and systemic racism that needs a lot of attention and healing. I know there are military tensions on the border of India and China. I know there are countless other areas in the world and households in my neighborhood where fear reigns supreme.
Amidst all the chaos, my future today and as long as I have to go is provide the world with fuel for creativity and making, context for intentional connection and purposeful passion – and to do so one step at a time, one project at a time and as many people at a time who are ready and willing to step up together, with love.
This blog is a part of the continual and infinite stepping up together.
Doesn’t that feel good?
This week I will begin to lead a group of intrepid people through something I am calling #Refresh2020, a 3 week Pop-Up Experience primarily facilitated in an existing facebook group usually used to reflect at the end of the year as we step into the coming year.
“In these uncertain times” it is important to have a place for conscious, creative and large-hearted people to gather and bring their vulnerable, whole-hearted selves in a place where they may speak to what has been happening and where they may place their “now” and “future” vision safely.
We will be holding space for the unknowing and aiming for our best, even if we don’t know what that best is. If that compels you, consider spending the next month or so with us. Click the image below to connect or ask me any questions you may have in the comments.
Join the conversation in our private Bridge to the New Year Facebook Group