Me Changing Me

“Life shrinks or expands in direct proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Ian

Change is difficult because ‘same’ is easy. I worked really hard for a lot of years and I deserved a break. The issue has become how long a break, and after five years of retirement exactly what am I breaking away from now?

Frankly, I’m good with: No subway commute into midtown Manhattan. No financial models to prepare, no boss or staff to praise, cajole or worry about. The people I enjoyed; I’ve kept in my life. Mostly.

So, where’s the bad/hard/challenge? For me it’s re-claiming the energy of learning daily, responding to new circumstances, and managing the unexpected. I’ve known for some time I need to grow, to change, to become more of that unique expression that is from my center, not accepting any longer that excuse of putting first the I am responsible to/for: others, my house, my car, my volunteer gigs, etc. Or the all-encompassing excuse for me: I deserve a break today…. Again.

I have done good things. Still… it’s been five years!

I’m a decent photographer. I have what it takes to be really good. And to be really good in creating work that is different from what I photograph by habit. But it is so much easier to do the usual, than it is to move away from the habitual, the “I’ll do that after I __________.”

And so, I’ve started. This plan now lives written on my white board, pinned to my bulletin board, posted on the refrigerator, and stuck to the bathroom mirror:

1. I Know, Accept and Allow who I really am.
2. I clear away every thing which obstructs or diverts from #1.
3. #1 and #2 occur concurrently
4. NOW. Every day.

The primary requirement is remembering it all flows from S/spirit within, around, as, and through everything.

And yes, my spending time in stillness is absolutely required in accomplishing this.

Rev. Janis and I laugh over my addiction to “consistent & persistent.” Now, however, I know them as the practice I must maintain. Yes, persistently, consistently maintain steps 1-5 to make the following the active expression and manifestation of who I really am.

These words stay posted over my desk where I see them every time I sit down to work on anything. They seem fairly ordinary and standard, except when I don’t do them.

1. Before beginning – define why I am doing _____________ (and remind myself why when I go off- track.)
2. Focus on what I’m doing (ignoring the voice muttering “you really should be doing this not that.”)
3. Make space/time for the unexpected, unplanned to blossom.
4. When I stop, leave the project properly organized for the next session, or finished and filed in good order.
5. Always be grateful I can choose so freely who I am and what I do.

What is a Universal Human? It is one connected through the heart to the whole of life, a person awakening from within by a deep heart’s desire to express and give his or her gifts into the world.”

— Barbara Marx Hubbard Introduction to EMERGENCE

Here’s to each of us awakening, growing into, and becoming our best. That’s where the fun lives.

–Peace to all, Mariann

One comment

  • Hi Mariann – I loved your article – thank you for stating so clearly exactly what I’ve been dealing with ever since I retired. Focusing my energy, even on things that I KNOW I want – why is it so tricky now? Seems like it was easier to “sneak in” a little creative time back when I was totally overwhelmed with must-do career tasks. Now that I finally have lots of free time, I prioritize the meaningless day-to-day stuff. We should form a Society-of-retirees-holding-each-other-accountable! Your affirmation has cloned onto my mirror

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