My friend Garry said to me on the phone the other day, “It seems like writing comes very easily to you.”
I cackled and nearly fell off the couch. But it did get me thinking that, from the outside, our perception of everything is very different than the reality of it for those involved.
There are times when I work all day and scrap what I’m doing in its entirety. And trust me, you should thank me for that. But there are times I can be so engrossed and energized by what I’m working on that eight straight hours have gone by before I realize I’m starving. (By the way, I have to be really, really, really engrossed not to realize I’m hungry.)
This past week has been sort of a mind blowing one for me. I watched 3 singer/songwriters I know perform on The Tonight Show, and their appearance carried with it a multitude of thoughts and a range of emotions I’m sure not only for me, but for them as well, and for all of us who at one time or another have harbored that same particular dream.
While I don’t know how they procured their spot there with Jay Leno, I do know that I would never say it came easily, because I know that it was preceded by years of work, by dreams and desire, by heartache and disappointments, by passion and purpose, by unflinching hope and maybe even by more than a few prayers.
It is an amazing thing to bear witness to people’s dream fulfillment (especially if you like them). But not everybody revels in the experience, because watching others fulfill their dreams does one of two things: it either depresses the hell out of you, because you don’t see yourself living your dreams, or it inspires and reinvigorates you to pursue the desires of your own heart with new purpose.
But I think maybe it also does a third thing – it begs the question of our basic life philosophy: Is there enough to go around? Is anything at all, no matter how outrageous, really possible? I mean, we say it is all the time. But what do we really believe?
I’ll be honest with you, in the not-too-distant past, I would have only been able to muster about as much excitement as an agnostic at a revival meeting. Oh, I really wanted to believe, but on some level, I just didn’t. And the profound truth is that you can’t receive a gift – even if it’s offered to you on a silver platter and even if it’s everything you said you ever wanted – if you do not believe you are worthy of that gift at your core.
(Wow, I had no idea I was gonna go here when I sat down to write this, but since I just went there, I’m gonna keep on going, cause what the hell, I’m on a roll.)
We have a million ways to distract ourselves from the bigger questions. We drown out our unhappiness with TV and video games, iPods, the internet, gadgets and gizmo's galore, because God forbid we should be alone with our own thoughts. But somewhere in the silence we don’t allow ourselves, lies the answer, if we’re willing to ask. And knowing the answers, it is impossible not to act on them. And once acted upon, you can’t help but get different results. And then, funny thing, our lives change for the better.
Trust. Ease. Unstoppable. This is my mantra for this year. And while I’d like to tell you that I have been the model embodiment of these three words, it turns out that trust, much like tap dancing, requires practice in order to get proficient at it. So I’m reminded that there’s a difference between work and struggle, and I happily withdraw my participation from the latter. And I know that ease is a state of alignment and not of laziness, and that energy in motion, whether in unseen thought or visible action, is unstoppable.
This week, before I tuned in to watch Thursday’s Tonight Show, I’d had an inordinate number of happy “coincidences,” unexpected opportunities, and new people crossing my path, so much so that I knew something big had begun to shift on the inside of me.
So as I watched these three amazingly talented and nice people known as Blue Sky Riders sing their hearts out about “Feelin’ Brave” on The Tonight Show, I bore witness with the fervor of a true believer in the good and unending possibilities that abound for us all. It felt like I was watching my team score the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl in the last seconds of the game. Ah, sweet victory.
Does it come easily? I’m not sure that matters as long as you love what you’re doing. I read this great quote today attributed to Nelson Mandela:
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
So here’s to us all passionately living the lives we are capable of, and knowing that what we are capable of is anything we choose.
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