I haven’t posted for a while because I have been thinking.
*several people of my close acquaintance drop spoons in astonishment*
One could point out that I might think upon the page, allowing my kind readers in upon my musings, but I have felt at times so weary and disconnected, my thoughts so jumbled and fragmented that it was impossible to write them down without it becoming some kind of belching confessional.
That is not really my style.
On the whole I prefer to restrict myself to the odd fragrant burp of personal angst delicately released during a light meal of charming anecdote.
Also, like a cat, I prefer to hide away when I don’t feel at my best, returning when my strength does the same and only then admitting to difficulties once I am safely on the road to return.
I had resolved over the last few weeks quite seriously to make some changes. I had been talking about it for some time and saying that I would, but I had not quite actually done anything, taken any action, stepped out of my comfort zone in order to make things happen.
I was getting rather sick of myself.
And of course of everyone around me.
Funny how that happens, isn’t it?
Finally, a few weeks ago I asked a friend to give me some business referrals in San Francisco and he very generously did. I then spent a week staring at the numbers feeling paralysed, getting annoyed with everyone, especially myself and being absolutely terrified of picking up the phone.
Yes, that’s right. Me, terrified of the phone.
I, who have traveled the world, performed in front of literally hundreds of thousands of people, built businesses from the ground up, intimidated captains of industry, me.
I am afraid of picking up the phone and asking to speak to somebody I don’t know.
But anyway, because I was so sick of life being the same old thing day after day after day, I did anyway and amazingly enough they wanted to see me and one even had a project that just happened to be perfect for me right now.
It was a sign, I was sure of it. A sign that I was doing the right thing.
I had long planned to visit San Francisco – one of my favourite cities ever – with the children this last weekend, but now I suddenly had some meetings on Friday and Five had no school because of some holiday that nobody except the public schools observe so this threw a spanner in the works. I asked Husband to come with me thinking he could watch the children that day and we’d spend the weekend together, but he felt he couldn’t take the time off and so suggested I go up alone.
A long weekend in San Francisco on my own?
Staying with one of my oldest friends?
I thought I could manage that.
And her husband was out of town, too. How very convenient.
On the drive up I listened to an audiobook (oh my, I am getting old) by a poet who was talking about his own metaphysical path and his spiritual life as guided by poetry which was actually extremely interesting. It was also very long and intense so I would drift in and out of concentration, sometimes picking up a pertinent piece of information and sometimes wondering about what I would wear to my meetings or how many desserts my friend and I could squeeze into three days.
However one thing really stood out.
He spoke of exhaustion. Not just physical exhaustion, but the kind of exhaustion I was feeling – where life had just sucked the energy right out of you and there was nothing left at the end of the day but an empty husk.
This is what he said that really struck me:
The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest: It is wholeheartedness.
When you are no longer enjoying that which you feel you ought to do, not giving love and your whole heart to your existence, this is a sign that it is time to do something else, or address what you do with a different perspective. You need to use your whole heart for your life’s purpose, live authentically or you will be exhausted.
I found this fascinating as I had just been discussing with Husband the absolute necessity of being authentic and oneself in all matters of business as well as personal relationships. I had sometimes been exhausted by the sheer effort of appearing to be ‘a businesswoman’ when I started my company in London eight years ago. I was always trying to conceal the fact that I was really a composer, an artist, a singer because I thought it made me seem less professional, less serious. I felt that at any given minute someone might jump out of a closet and say
“Ya big PHONY! You don’t know how to do a real grown up job! You can’t even order the Business Woman’s Lunch Special!”
Husband had insisted that in my line of work I should be absolutely up front about how I got where I did because everyone else I was dealing with knew about the business world and how to operate in it and were therefore not looking to be impressed by that, they wanted to talk to someone who knew how to do something they didn’t know how to do and that was me. That made absolute sense in terms of being one’s authentic self. I could agree wholeheartedly.
That word again.
It was wonderful to see my old friend, and I astonished her that evening outside her house with my instant Parking Karma which continued to manifest unfailingly all weekend. I have a knack for that particularly when I am in a good metaphysical space. As I approach my destination I affirm out loud that I believe in parking angels and a gap usually appears right outside the place I wish to park.
This even works in central London – bizarre, isn’t it? Try it sometime. It really works if you keep the belief it will in your head.
I went into my meetings with my guard down and an open mind and decided to just be exactly who I am and keep in my mind the thought that people will want to work with me because I am me, not because I am important, or flashy, or am extra good at bullshit.
They went extremely well. And oddly enough the MD of one company asked me how I had come to own my company and I told her my story of being a musician first and then the journey to here and she said wonderingly
“Why ever did you want to do business? I would do anything just to write music!”
So Husband was right!
I wondered how much of my feeling that my meetings were good was because I had felt so at ease with myself and this, ultimately, is all we ever have to go on. I know when I am ill-at-ease I tend to see others as more aggravating even when, objectively speaking, they may not be. I am just less tolerant and I do not see people in the same rosy glow.
When we are in love we see everyone and everything through a rose tinted lens. That is partly what is so alluring about that time in our lives and why we long to have it again and again, or recapture it long after the first flushes have past. But isn’t it really just how someone else has allowed us to feel about our selves? Shown us our very best selves in our soul’s mirror?
It’s as if we are shown our selves and then love ourselves with our whole hearts. And then for those precious weeks, months, or if we’re lucky, years, we live wholeheartedly.
And then we stop.
I don’t want to stop. I want to start.
This last weekend I saw a film, I ate at new restaurants, I laughed a lot, I looked at a large, ramshackle old house with paintings on the wall that told me a story I wanted to write down. I walked around unfamiliar streets and spoke to people I didn’t already know. I suddenly saw some things that I wanted to do, to be.
I understood the power of positive intention. Again. I say again because I always knew but I just forgot because I was in a bad mood for quite a long time. I decided to stop being angry and resentful. I forgave those who stood in my way because, actually, they don’t.
Nobody and nothing can stand in my way.
For as long as I walk (and park) upon this earth, I want to live and love with my whole heart.