be

living like a lily.

5 Nov 2013

oh lord, here we go again. what is wrong with me? why can’t i just trust the process? here i am, finding myself without my 40 day blog project, and feeling panicky. again. a clear case of the “i don’t know what to do next” blues. of course, i also know that everything always works out, even better than i usually plan or imagine. so, i’m actually beating myself up about feeling panicky because i know that there is NO NEED to feel panicky. everything is always fine.

and, i mean, hey. i’ve still got my newspaper gig, which gives me an article to do every 3 weeks or so, but i need more. but, what more could a girl ask for at this point? i mean, my dreams keep coming true. so, why am i complaining? well, i’m irritated at my restless worry that has popped up immediately when i have a little down time or transition time. really i am pissed at myself for knowing the lessons learned, but not being able to trust them. gaaaahhh, i irritate myself.

or i feel guilty. perhaps that’s it. the question is, is it legitimate guilt or is it just societal pressures and me falling prey to conforming? today i am feeling pressure to be practical and not dreamy. and that’s so not me. aaaaand, if i remember correctly, i learned that the last time i freaked out and tried to make practicality my main thing, it blew up in my face and i learned a great lesson – or so i thought. if i learned my lesson, why am i back here again? fighting the same old fight. practicality vs purpose.

one thing i do know for sure is that over the past few months i’ve learned that the wind doesn’t necessarily just take you wherever you are supposed to be, not even for a free spirit like myself. you (i) have to make things happen as well. it’s a crazy balance between being free and open, and being active and determined.

that would be all well & great with me right now, if i had something that was motivating me. some “new project” to focus on and chase. but, i don’t know what that is. what comes next? that’s the big question. i created a purpose for myself and suddenly that purpose is gone. and i’m feeling all restless and nervous.

i know exactly what i am supposed to do, though. it’s time to refocus on who i am called to be, and to separate the soul from the societal, cultural expectations. good lord. i exhaust myself.

so, i started this new yoga/meditation series on gratitude yesterday. i listen to a guided meditation and looked at beautiful nature videos. sounds cheesy, but my brain needs the guidance right now. silent meditation just doesn’t work – my mind goes everywhere. non-stop. so, i’m being guided. and yesterday’s time was really great, and appropriately all about purpose, finding and living our purpose in life. perfect. good.

today’s meditation. not. so. much. do you know what?! i clicked on “day 2” and saw that there was only an audio part. the video part was missing, or so i thought. nooooot. i just happened to see some comments at the bottom of the page where people were expressing their disgust at discovering exactly what i had just discovered: in order to watch the videos for the rest of the 21 day period, you have to pay. UGH. now, as if my own irritation at myself wasn’t enough, i was supremely irritated with this money-grubbing scam. oh, how nice that they “let” us see the video for free on the first day, without even so much as  alerting us that we would have to pay for every other day. sneaky and sucky.

i shut down my computer and decided that i would do this meditation thing all on my own anyway – wandering mind and all. my mind did wander. it was a really short time of meditation (like 3 minutes) and then i was up and wondering what i would do next. unable to come up with a “project” or purpose, and still feeling guilty for not having come up with anything. unable to think of a new project or of any thanksgiving stories to pitch to the newspaper, i did what any good wife would do… i cleaned. i cleaned the whole apartment. even vacuumed, which i loathe. just to get my mind off all my restless guilt. (and the apartment needed cleaning).

after cleaning, i got dressed and planned to head out to vote and do some wifely grocery errands, when suddenly my phone plinged with an email. my editor sent a story suggestion for me. wait, what?! a story assignment?! YES! she asked if i could do a quick turn around story and have it to her by monday about a gluten free bakery that employes & teaches homeless & at-risk youth to be published in the thanksgiving issue of the paper. hell yeah, i could do it!  thanksgiving, community service, bakery goodies, at-risk/homeless  youth, and a female buddhist monk (yes she calls herself a monk!) running it all? hell yeah times two!

so, here i am. late afternoon. email sent to try to meet these amazing people and get started on my story tomorrow. ready to make dinner soon. and feeling….

peace.

this time, it feels like the wind did just blow me in the direction in needed to go.

you know, all this has gotten me thinking. about what we need. we need to be needed. we need to have a purpose. but, it’s not some secret thing that some big god in the sky knows and we have to figure it out. i don’t believe that there is this grand plan and a big book with our name on it, and we are supposed to spend our lives figuring out what it is we are supposed to do, what’s written in that book – like some crazy destiny puzzle. fuck that. that’s too much damn pressure. and just down right mean.

no, instead, i think that it’s much more about our souls. about knowing who we are on the inside. about what makes our soul sing. what makes us want to wake up every day. what gives us chills and touches us to the depths of our inner being, so much so that we feel like we either might burst or cry, or both. it’s being aware of those moments that take our breath away, that just are… perfect – and we cross some threshold, or have some vision or feeling that this is it. this is who i am.

because, in the end, it’s much, much more about who we are, than what we do. when we are true to who we are, everything we do will be a gift to this world, everything we do will make a difference. because everything we do will be bubbling up from our soul and we will be living into who we were created to be, not what we think what we must do.

there is a passage from the bible that just popped into my head (to be honest, that hasn’t happened in a while). it is found in two different books (matthew & luke, in the new testament). and it’s about lilies in a field and what they do. guess what those lilies do… they do nothing. they just are. just being the flowers that they are supposed to be. and from that being, that authentic way of living, they grow. they become the flowers they were created to be, offering fragrance and beauty to the world.

oh, what we can learn from those lilies! imagine how much beauty and joy and fragrance we can give to the world, simply by being who we are, by being true to ourselves. by not seeking to be what others think or wish we would be, but by just being… who we are.

what we’ve gotta do – what i’ve gotta do – is trust ourselves and trust the process. we have got to dig deep and find the courage to let go of the fear of being who we are, even if that takes us down a road that seems so different from everyone else’s road. if we simply sit with ourselves and listen to our souls, we will discover and know who we are created to be.

yeah. i have made that journey. i have walked that road of getting to know who i am. that’s the first step. but, now that i know, do i have the courage to just be? do i have the strength to just live as i am, be who i am, and let all the other expectations fall by the wayside? can i fight the urge to do the practical thing and simple rest in who i am?

you know what, i do. i can. i will. even when i have crazy, restless, guilty moments in the future, i will remember (as i have done now) what the truth is. i will remember what is true is that each of us are created uniquely, in the image of something sacred, with a divine spark inside us, making us who we are: connected to each other & this entire world, and yet, fiercely independent and amazing as ourselves. i will remember these things once again, the next time that i feel all freaked out and scared. and with each day that passes, i will know that i am becoming more and more the person, the individual, the part of this world that i am meant to be…. fully me.

you see, being true to who i am, who i feel called to be (a writer, mentor, theologian) will allow me to make a greater difference than trying to fit myself into some preconceived box that seems acceptable to the world. so what that my life is different? so what that i live a little bit more crazily than society deems practical? if i, if we, don’t follow our dreams and listen to our soul, then we miss out. and, for me, my wife, my family, my friends, and the world misses out on me and you being as beautiful and as fragrant as we are meant to be.

so, that’s it. lesson learned. again. time to live like a lily.

peace and love.

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  • Reply lserf13 5 Nov 2013 at 21:06

    I read this and thought you must have been experiencing the same thing I did today. I had a very, very similar experience during my in between time trying desperately to just be in the moment and in the flow and not to worry so much about what’s next, or when, or who, or how things will come together. Building a life coaching business has some wonderful stride moments and lulls and when I hit that lull, I freak out. I certainly couldn’t have written my experience as beautifully as you described yours, but I totally get it. I am living it. And while I haven’t yet found that calm peace, I am getting there, because really all the action in the world isn’t going to bring me whatever is next and I know that. I’ve learned it time and time again. I just want to embrace “living like a lily” as fully as possible.

    Thank you for writing what I couldn’t put into words. It is so good to know I am not alone in my in between time and lessons upon lessons.

    • Reply liz 6 Nov 2013 at 09:44

      Oh, it is so nice to know that there is another out there, struggling with those down times as much as I am. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment and for sharing the joys and frustrations of trying to live like a lily. How wonderful is it that we can understand each other?

      • Reply lserf13 7 Nov 2013 at 10:00

        Yes it is nice to know there are others that understand us. I am coming out of my cloud of confusion a bit more today and while there isn’t a clear vision of what is coming next, I have finally reach a point of peace. I might just have to go back and re-read your post to remind myself that this happens to more than just me. 🙂

        Oh, and I was going to see if you had tried the Calm app for meditation. It has some guided and non-guided meditations that are free and a variety of background sounds to go with it. I use it almost daily!

  • Reply Barb 5 Nov 2013 at 21:21

    Thanks for the fantastic reminder of the importance of being who we are.

    • Reply liz 6 Nov 2013 at 09:44

      Thank you, as always, for faithfully reading Barb.

  • Reply yogaleigh 6 Nov 2013 at 02:48

    I got a kick out of the self-talk at the beginning– sounded like me talking to me…I think it’s a big part of the learning for those of us who have decided to step off the mainstream path and forge our own way through the forest — how to stay calm when we can’t see the way ahead…

    • Reply liz 6 Nov 2013 at 09:45

      That’s totally it. Learning to stay calm. It’s so hard for me and sometimes I don’t get why it’s so hard. Things always seem to work out. Haha. I did completely talk to myself, didn’t I? 🙂 xx

  • Reply Holly 6 Nov 2013 at 05:22

    How many times have I read you write trust the process – so… trust it! Perfectly timed wind blowing moment – ah, I love that!
    It’s hard to live a different type of life – it’s hard when time off, money, seeing people, all of it is different. But, sometimes, it’s how we must live, to enjoy the now, and to set us up for the next!

    • Reply liz 6 Nov 2013 at 09:50

      I know, right?! I am so frustrating and stubbornly slow in trusting, huh? And that wind swooped in just when I needed it.
      You are so right about living a different kind of life – thank you for reminding me that the process is always underway, even when I don’t see or understanding. Love ya, girl! xx

  • Reply lanie belluz 7 Nov 2013 at 15:25

    I loved this post. I felt so low yesterday and I read this and I felt lighter. I read part of it to Charlie last night when we were on our date – this part: “you know, all this has gotten me thinking. about what we need. we need to be needed. we need to have a purpose. but, it’s not some secret thing that some big god in the sky knows and we have to figure it out. i don’t believe that there is this grand plan and a big book with our name on it, and we are supposed to spend our lives figuring out what it is we are supposed to do, what’s written in that book – like some crazy destiny puzzle. fuck that. that’s too much damn pressure. and just down right mean.”
    I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for that!

  • Reply Laura4NYC 17 Nov 2013 at 19:13

    I have the feeling that’s just how it goes with newspapers: One day your assignments are over and you have all this time on your hand and then the next thing you know they call you to do a spontaneous gig. Gotta love it or hate. It probably would help to have a semi-consistent gig on the side, just for money purposes, though.

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