This has become my new mantra. I have been at a wonderful writing workshop in Sedona, AR with Betsy Rapoport and Pam Slim. Wow! I am leaving determined to call myself a writer, and ensure that I put my butt-in-the-seat daily to write something, anything. That may not sound like a solid clear intention. But one thing I took from this weekend is that all writing counts – even the sh*t*y first, second, third or fourth drafts!
Yes, I have a story to tell. I am not that concerned, at this point, if anyone else thinks it is critical for the world of readers. This is really just for me. I have a very old belief that I am touch crazy and have been fearful of revealing that possibility to the world. Oddly, my silence and vague drops of information may have made the crazy more of a consideration than simply telling the damn story. So what the hell?!
I bought these awesome boots before I was heading off to Sedona. They were not my normal style. These were red leather, fancy cowboy style boots. I had my moments of doubt before the final purchase. Wore them around the house for three days, wondering if I should invest the money or not, fearful I was spending too much and wouldn’t wear them enough. Well, I finally decided to purchase and of course wore them the next day on the flight to Sedona.
They have now become my writing boots. I love them. In one of the many prompts we used for writing, my boots became the metaphor for finding my voice and stepping out of the crazy, quiet zone of fear and doubt. So the boots have already gotten an awesome ROI.
There are many things I could share about the weekend. However, I don’t want to reveal others or commit to more than is realistically possible for me to do. So let me just say, I am writing. I am a writer. Stay tuned. No worries – most of my crazy will never make this page. However, when I am ready to share those stories, you can count on the fact I will be wearing my red boots!!!
My word for the year is a phrase, “Leap of Faith”. I was going to simply stick with the plan, one word for the year. At first I thought Leap – however, that did not quite fit. Faith wasn’t quite right either. Then I saw this picture that I bought earlier in 2012 while taking Sooke to the vet. I love it. There’s the elder duck leading the way out of the nest up in a tree and then the little ones, look out and then finally, leap. Their wings seem so small and incapable of flight. Yet, there they go!
Sometimes I feel like those little ducks. Yet, I am much closer, may be even older than the mother duck pushing the babes out of the nest. If I reflect on my life as it is now, I do see both, and in many ways both are taking a Leap of Faith. Sure, the more physical evidence of the leap is seen in the baby ducks. However, that mom, likely has some inner angst about what is about to happen and must have tremendous faith to step out of the way. I relate to both.
This year we plan to re-launch Thrive!. This in many ways will be a Leap of Faith. We intend to bring our whole selves to this new business. This means we no longer want to have our lives compartmentalized. In the past, we had our corporate presence and we had our various more personal pursuits. The revitalized Thrive! will be designed to integrate both. We plan to maintain our work with leaders, teams and organizations, and we also will include our strong belief that business is personal. That the corporate world would greatly benefit from embracing a whole person/whole team approach. In many ways this concept is really mother bird speaking. We know this concept is a mature and vital path that works. We have been embracing it ourselves for years and have built a powerful partnership that continues to ignite and sustain our health, wealth and relationship.
The baby duck part of the leap is simply being willing to step out fully as who we each are and who we are together. Last year we started leading the Couples Alive Series couples programs up at The Haven. The Haven Institute has always been like a safe nest where I can learn and develop. So it was easy to step into leading together. We didn’t question out value or wonder about being accepted. We simply brought all we have learned through being together for over twelve years and assumed if we were open, real and curious we had lots to offer any couple – same sex or not.
Now we want to be more transparent in who we are out in the bigger world, to take the leap of faith and trust that we can fly. Sure, may be not everyone will like discovering we are not simply a business partnership. However, I believe until now our biggest doubters have been ourselves.
Aside from the work transition and re-launching, I am also leaping into the world of writing. I have been writing for years. It has been my path for integrating and revealing to myself my inner world. More recently I have stepped further out. Through my blog and writing for 406 Magazine. Yet I don’t think of myself as a writer. I don’t fully commit to that path. This year I am making the leap. I have signed up for a kick-off workshop with writers I know will challenge and encourage me to go deeper and broader.
So my phrase, Leap of Faith, fits for me. I am both mature and quite young at what I am jumping into. I have a solid foundation that I can count on and I am ready for new ground and possibilities.
Though what intrigues me most is the space between the young ducks just launching themselves out of the tree and the older duck giving the push. That space is where faith becomes something beyond leaping into the vast unknown or holding faith in that which is known for someone to step into. The space is yet another aspect to leap of faith. I believe it is that middle ground. I must leap. My wings are not young and new – my wings are scarred and older. I have known the pain of crashing into the ground and failing to fly. Yet I must still step from the tree and take the leap. Knowing I have the heart and courage of being both young and old.
So I am thrilled to take the a leap of faith into 2013.
The Bailey, aka Moose, story continues. I now understand why there are so many dog stories out there. We have yet to have our final interview before being officially allowed to adopt boxer Bailey. In the mean time we have been allowed another visit. Today’s visit was challenging.
We thought we were prepared. We were rested and ready to walk and play first thing so that Bailey could spend the rest of the morning becoming more familiar with our home. The walk went pretty well except for the part when Bailey needed to be on the leash. He’s obviously new to the leash and does just fine for brief periods until he moves in such a way that the leash catches his attention. When that happens he does one of two moves. One is the classic chewing process clearly intended to rid himself of this annoying line that is slowing down his forward progress. The second move is when the leash seems to totally surprise him and he proceeds to jump around in such a way that the leash pulls on his collar so tightly that he thrashes even harder in an effort to figure what the hell has him trapped. The second move is much more difficult to watch and even harder to sort out. Of course we know it is our job to teach him differently but we are not there yet!
Overall though, the walk went well. Back at the house it seemed he was content to wander around and finally drop down at our feet for a nap. This is part where he is the adorable puppy and isn’t it great to have him in our lives moment. Then he woke up.
We missed getting him outside fast enough so there was the little accident on the carpet. Once out he seemed confused why we were staying out when he was complete with the task. Back inside it was clear he wanted our undivided attention. Actually he really wanted Sooke’s attention and she was not into playing. After a number of play bows, some barking and a few right hooks thrown gently at Sooke’s face, she let him know she was not going to be the one to entertain him. Next he started working on us. We did give it our best shot and for a few minutes I thought we were doing okay. But the phone rang and one of us needed to cover that. You would think one of us could entertain the puppy but may be that is the problem we simply are trying to hard and he knows it. Shortly we felt quite defeated and decided we’d end our visit a bit early.
When we dropped Bailey off at his foster home we asked how she did it. We then got the chance to see Bailey with his three adult boxer buddies and realized he was getting tons of attention that was never really going to be available at our house. It was fun to watch one adult dog after the other tag team Bailey’s needs for play. I was exhausted watching!! Foster mom, Tracey, let us know that really he would settle in. Routine and knowing us would eventually help him settle into our lives. Still I left wondering if I was the best owner for Bailey.
After getting home we had another chat about our decision. I am beginning to wonder if this is why the adoption process is taking so long. The process will determine how committed we are or wear us out trying. We are not giving up on Bailey but after I write this blog I am heading to Petco for more toys and supplies. Tomorrow he is coming over for a sleepover and we are determined to be prepared.
Of course having Bailey in our lives has changed the focus of everything. Even blogging seems difficult. I wasn’t going to keep writing about Bailey but he is so BIG in the picture thus for a better writer a book becomes a easy outlet for the amazing level of focus this job requires.
I am sure any parents reading this blog are laughing. Indeed Bailey and previously Sooke are the closest thing to child rearing I have ever done. Well not totally true I did teach, and at one point, was responsible for a room full of first graders. I also have a niece and nephew who survived living with me for short periods when they were young. I don’t need to be reminded this is not the same. I know from talking to many new parents when they were exhausted and wondering, “What made me ever think I could do this?” It is not uncommon to question and even wish for a way out. It is a significant life change be it a child or a puppy – both are a handful of joy, energy and constant demands. I just hope I am up to the job or up for being honest and making the right choice. It is clear this is not an easy logical choice. This type of decision is riddled with emotions. It may seem obvious to an outside observer but for me I am not so certain.
In the mean time, I will keep giving this my best shot and likely you will keep hearing more about Bailey. He really is a cute puppy and he does deserve the effort!!
Often when I am out running I come up with amazing material for blogs, articles and even books. As I run the words flow freely and stories seem to effortlessly emerge with a beginning, middle and end. You may be thinking I run for miles and miles. However, my morning run is usually about thirty to forty minutes. I get back to the house and I try to capture the same flow at my computer. What seemed brilliant out in the woods does not often translate onto the page.
I am curious about this. I honestly believe I am a good writer while running. In my mind I have no problem developing new material or wrestling with spelling and word placement. Instead the story or subject simply unfolds. Then reality kicks in once I am back home. Suddenly I am stopped at the first big word that appears misspelled on the screen, marked by the red under line. Instead of allowing the error to wait for later correction. I stop and wrestle with the keyboard trying to sound out the word or use spell check. The story fades background and stalls.
Of course it is not always spelling that stops the flow. Sometimes the story in my mind is not nearly as interesting once written on the page. May be I have missed some of the rich content that seemed so entertaining while running or may be the idea was not as grand as in seemed out there in the woods.
I do want to write the book that has so gracefully been written over the years out on trails. The pieces have been captured in kilobytes of data storage on the various hard drives I have used trying to save and store what flowed in my mind but stalled once I sat down to share with the world.
Blogging seems a smaller bite to take along the path to a larger dream. Still even the blog seems more powerful while running. On the trail I bypass the mental chatter that censors and stalls me once back at my desk. Out there I am confident about my own creative potential.
I know I have heard this all before and I am not alone. The great singer in the shower. The screen play that came through while driving . The Oscar performance that took place in front of the mirror. Yes we all have our talents that can too often remain enjoyed and safely performed while alone.
I am indeed a great author while running. It’s time to bring the words back out of the forest and onto the page.
May be the greatness won’t be quite the same but at least I can say I am more than just a great writer while running!