It’s hard to start something new.
Some struggle with initial ideas.
Others with setting or meeting timelines.
Some can work out the action plan, but find procrastination jumps up and ambushes even the simplest of first steps.
Personally, ideas have never eluded me.
My heart and mind produce an overflowing reservoir of new possibilities and options for creation – all.the.time.
But implementing them can be a challenge.
We all know why.
‘There’s not enough time.
I’ve got too many other things to do.
This crisis or that drama has arisen and I need to dive in and save the situation.
I don’t have the money, the resources, the space, the Childcare’.
All valid, but sitting on the surface.
Lurking just a little below, we find some less superficial supporters of the above symptoms.
‘I tried it once before and failed – I don’t want to feel that way again.
I used to be scolded for daydreaming, doodling in my school books, not paying attention – those things are not worthy or useful to a practical or successful life.
I might have to alter my routine, try something new, make an effort and get uncomfortable.’
All true at some level.
All possible, painful side effects of making a new commitment or choice.
But if we look even closer, we might find a variety of our old voices and values growing healthy like vegetables in the garden beds of our deep beliefs.
These beds are surprisingly well tended, and their crops, deeply rooted and well established. They have been keeping us fed for a long time.
We can head to this garden anytime we want, and fill our basket with handfuls of judgements and assumptions like,
‘I’m just not good at …
People who do those types of things are/ are not …
It will never pay the bills…’
The soil we pull this produce from is rich and dark. We shake it off but it’s still part of the plant we eat.
The parts that say
‘Stay small, don’t rock the boat.
It might be ok for others, but not for you.
As if you’d be good enough to ever be successful or creative or worthy.’
So we fill our baskets and take them back home, where we wash the veggies, cook and swallow them down.
Meal after meal.
Year after year.
At some level, they keep us nourished and alive. But they can also, slowly poison us.
Polluting our bodies, our brain and our potential with their old and limiting beliefs.
Leeching their lacklustre and longing into every corner of our desire deprived lives.
I have started anew so many times.
Projects, relationships, countries, jobs.
Not because I’m unstable or unable to hold onto things. But because I’ve chosen to live a full and varied life.
I’ve said, and still say,
when intuition arises.
I agree to listen when logic lays down and life’s big, unruly, unreasonable requests take over.
I’ve also chosen to say “No” when my heart says so.
Not every time.
I’ve felt the slow dimming of my self worth when I’ve allowed others’ views to erode or erase my vision. I have lost my light and hope when the darkness of deep loss and grief overwhelmed. I have fled in fear when my greatness appeared and I didn’t believe I was good enough to go forward.
But there is some thing I’ve found that underlies the rich loam of lovelessness, ‘bad luck’ and lack.
It is a firm, yet flexible, fathomless faith.
I don’t know where it comes from.
For me it’s not religious or relegated to any rigid belief system or set of rules.
It is a trust and truth that lays deep below my garden. It is a secret kept in the bedrock and at my core. It moves in me, like molten lava, boiling deep beneath the ocean floor.
It is the thing that stopped me twisting the steering wheel towards the oncoming truck. It’s been the ballast that kept me afloat in the years of brokenness and betrayal. It is the unseen advisor that sits behind every dream I’ve ever had (‘buy the air ticket, share your poem, make that call’).
It knows not to beat me with a stick, or to shout or intimidate me – I’ll just retreat, further shy away.
But I have learned to listen now, to lean in, as she whispers gently
‘Just try. Just give it a try.’
And I do.
And then the next.
And then the next.
And so I find myself here again, on the threshold, being asked, listening hard, saying yes.
To a big new birth and set of beautiful and brave beginnings as I launch my new business into the world.
It’s like having a child – all the love and struggle and tears. All the unknown quantities, the unknowable outcomes.
And the fears that accompany them.
Because even though I have faith, fear remains.
I used to believe one would simply negate the other. Now I know they can coexist. I just have to decide, which one I give more of my attention, more of my focus, more of my power.
But even with my lengthy track record, of fearlessness and action, it still arises – often reflected back, in the comments of those who care about me the most.
This week, I felt nervous as I walked into the office. I wanted to share my news with a dear senior colleague.
She was congratulatory and curious, but I saw a shadow of caution flick across her face.
“Chandu”, she said
“What if it’s not successful?”
And I paused.
And I thought about her question.
And the reasons why she would have asked – she didn’t want me to fail, to lose out, to feel more pain.
And I tallied up all the responsibilities I have, and all the things that require my effort, energy and income to support them.
And I felt the gravity and the weight of possible failure land heavily on my heart.
And I deeply appreciated her question. For arising in me, with crystalline clarity, came a truth I had never before known.
I looked up at her and replied.
“Linda, I will do what I have always done.
I will reach into my chest and scoop out my heart.
And I will hold it, dripping, while it beats.
And I will throw it out onto the path in front of me.
And I will walk up to it
and I will pick it up from the dust.
And I will throw it forward with all my might, with all my love
and walk towards it again.
And I will do it because I have to. Because this is me.
Because I have my heart in this world.
Because I trust where it leads me.
Because I am faith-full”.
And we smiled, with wet eyes.
And we hugged.
And we both knew in that moment, that we are not measured by our external achievements, that our success lies in our inner ability to surrender to the greater Yes.
It is not about reaching the goal or the end – because they are transient, the parameters and paradigms grow and change as we do.
It is instead found in the honouring of our vision and our dream.
It lives in the stepping up, stepping out and trusting.
Performing despite procrastination, forward moving despite the feelings of fear.
It is, for me, and those with whom I work and love, a deep continual forgiveness for the times when we fall into our small-self thoughts.
It is a gentle, long term cultivation, nourishment and feeding of ourselves from and upon our own unique version success.
It is the inner sweetness and satiation we feel, when belly and heart-full, we have been brave enough to believe.
Fearless enough to feel.
to follow our heart
(c) Chandu Bickford 2018