A self portrait of my volatile feelings, from this morning in my journal.
I started by saying, OUT LOUD AND EVERYTHING because I am really ready to do this:
"Once and for all I want to work through why I am scared to do this thing." Like really. Why do I keep SAYING I am doing the thing, but not doing the thing? Why do I keep making plans, and then not following through on them?
I mean I know - pandemic and world events have all been a lot and things take the time they take and PATIENCE is an essential ingredient for any dream...
BUT ALSO I know I am not doing my best to show up.
And this fact keeps colliding with my excitement to do this thing and that collision sets off a lot of uncomfortable stuff.
And, here I am now, ready to really, REALLY, deal with this stuff in me that keeps me from showing up the way I want to.
So. Hello Fear. Let's talk.
Fear immediately shows up as a monster. At least 30 feet tall. Lots of brown fur and sharp teeth.
We're in a clearing in the woods, near the entrance to a rock cave. I put a picnic blanket down and invite the monster to join me.
There is tension in my shoulders which turned into actual sharp pain in my left shoulder.
The monster just makes a face. I sit down on the blanket and stretch out my legs. Monster aside, it is a gorgeous day.
I say "I really want to understand what it is you are so afraid of here."
Then I realise - ok it's TWO things, not the ONE thing I was first thinking of. There are two projects I am working on that have the monster riled up.
THEN I realize that these two projects may have been stuck partially BECAUSE I am trying to get both started at once when I DO NOT have the energy for two big scary things right now.
But back to the monster.
"I really want to understand what it is you are so afraid of here."
Me? Afraid? No. I am here to scare YOU! Why would a monster be afraid?
That feels like deflection. But ok. Why do you want to scare me?
Monster appears confused.
"You don't want to scare me just to scare me, do you?"
I want... I mean. I want...
"You don't seem scary right now"
I know! But I am! I AM SCARY! YOU SHOULD BE SCARED!
"Oh, I am. Scared. Frustrated. Angry. Anxious. Terrified. My feelings are very volatile right now. And I am asking you - WHY do you want me to be scared?"
Because you stop working on those things when you're afraid.
"Right. So why don't you want me to do those things?"
Because they're scary. Scarier than me. Real-World Scary.
I lay back on the picnic blanket and look up at the clouds and wonder...
Is it true that it's just scarier right now to pursue our dreams and goals, to put new projects out into the world? That feels likely.
Should I pick one project or the other to fully focus on? That feels very stressful. Lots of fear of picking the wrong thing and sabotaging everything.
"Ok monster, I am thinking of just focusing on one of these projects for now. What do you think of that?"
Monster goes silent.
Oh right. Monster doesn't need to scare me about that, because I already feel so scared of choosing the wrong one and sabotaging everything. Which doesn't mean this is the wrong move to make.
What if I did give everything to one project? What would that look like?
Oh wow. I CAN'T DO THAT BECAUSE I DON'T FULLY TRUST EITHER PROJECT.
I am doing both, or rather trying to do both, in the hopes that it doubles my chance of success.
But what it does is split my energy.
I mean I used to be able to do two projects like this at once but the world was different then and I was different then and...
WHAT IF I TRUSTED MYSELF TO SUCEED? WHICH PROJECT WOULD I CHOOSE THEN?
"Ok Monster. Did you hear that? I am going to work on trusting myself to succeed."
Monster bursts into tears and sits down beside me on the blanket.
I put my arm around the monster as it shrinks down to my size.
"What's going on, buddy?"
It's so terrible. To realize that you didn't trust yourself. I didn't mean to make you not trust yourself! I just wanted to try to keep your dreams smaller so you'd be safe. I mean, even I know how misguided that idea is, but it's all I've got. Your dreams are so scary to me.
But you can see, that I need to be able to trust myself, right? That THIS is how we create safety.
Yes, of course. Trusting yourself is crucial.
So, what now?
The monster is now a comic character of a nerd - and he's got charts and computers and books and all sorts of things.
I'm going to help you DO THIS. We ARE going to pick that one project to focus on.
And we are going to NOT get all "but I've tried so many ways and it hasn't worked" because guess what?! That's another monster hiding in there. That's not true or relevant to anything.
We are going to be more methodological. We are going through ALL of the plans and notes you have written about the ways you've tried this and pick up ALL of the threads you abandoned because I made it hard for you to continue.
We are going to do all of the things that help you be optimistic and connected.
And yes you can work on that other project as a side thing. ONLY when this project doesn't need your creativity and focus.
I stretch out and check in with my body.
Still a little tense, but I don't feel all of those volatile feelings anymore.
I feel less like everything is impossible and more ready to pick myself up and keep going.
Then I have a nice calming meditation, releasing stress in my body, giving my feelings some space and it comes to me:
I can give the first 2 hours of each day to this project. Those 2 hours are my BEST 2 hours, give them to this project. Then do my other stuff after.
Now I feel possibility and trust in my body.
PS: The last two years have made things really hard for dreamers.
It's really easy right now to zoom over into spiritual bypass, or to fall into despair.
Neither of these approaches are going to help you create what you want in your life.
Because this is all such a challenge right now, I am offering extra classes in Dream Book.
On March 11 we're doing HABITS UPGRADE:
Without judging any of the habits you've got going on right now how can we shift towards more helpful habits? Or even - TRANSFORMATIVE habits? Healing habits? Up-leveling habits?
We'll create habits that make your heart sing. Habits that are a DELIGHT to actually do. Habits that make everything better right now AND move you along the path to a better future.
Then Creative With Money is happening March 15:
We’ll do a deep dive into your relationship with money and re-wire it to make more space for whatever it is you need right now.
There will be ah-hahs and shifts and the glowing sense of feeling more free inside your life.
The vibe is: YOUR CREATIVE GENIUS IS BIGGER THAN ALL OF THE OBSTACLES - EVEN CAPITALISM.
These are both a part of your Dream Book membership for March.