Open your arms and spin
until you are so dizzy
you fall to the ground in ruptures of giggles
and stare up
at the night sky
completely in love with life.
— Renee Faber
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Welcome to the Creator’s Compass. We are visiting the section of the Creator’s Compass called Droplets of Courage, which is more informal and highlights what it takes to courageously go for a dream.
Is it healthy?
I’m deeply immersed in the craft of storytelling and illustration. I work tirelessly to improve my skills, and I enjoy the process. But I’ve been considering if this hyper-focus is healthy. More specifically, I’m wondering if working towards a goal snatches my peace of the present, only to discard it to the imaginings of possible futures.
It takes a great deal of time for me to write these newsletters, let alone the novels I’ve crafted. There is no complaint. I love doing both and derive a great sense of calm and satisfaction when I am in what is referred to as the “zone”. But if I were to take away my goal of becoming a traditionally published storyteller, would I flounder? Would finding my way to the “zone” be more difficult? Would I lose purpose? Even enlightenment is a goal, for goodness sake!
My little sister, in all her wisdom, told me to enjoy not being published. It took me aback.
“Why?” I asked, rather frantically.
“Because,” she said, “your stories are all yours right now. You don’t have to compromise or share them yet, and there is a beauty to that.”
My goodness, she hit the mark. I’ve often revisited that conversation when my goal of publication becomes starkly frustrating.
Her wisdom provoke waterfalls of questions:
When I hold my first published book, will the wild flowers that are blooming on the property right now smell any sweeter?
When I see an actual payment for my writing (miracles happen), will snorkeling in crystal clear waters with my husband be any more breathtaking?
When my sister and I return to Disney World, will the roller coaster, Space Mountain, be more awesome with a book deal?
Will creating a watercolor painting carry more fulfillment when the outer world validates my artistic journey?
And most importantly, when my current goals manifest, will I love my loved ones any more?
The goal versus the path
I believe with growing conviction that fulfillment of the path to the goal fills our souls, and not the standing on the peak of the climb. Of course, without the peak, we’d not be climbing! But if we aren’t at peace during our journey, the realization of the goal, after the initial high, will leave us feeling empty and fearful.
As we work in service to our goals with Droplets of Courage, we will struggle, fail, succeed, and exalt. To expect otherwise is naïve. During our climb up the mountain, it would be wise to stay rooted in our joy and peace for what already is. It’s a practice of gratitude.
As the years unfurl, it’s more obvious to me that gratitude is the launchpad, and our goal is the rocket. To touch the stars, we need to launch with the fuel of immaterial qualities of the spiritual, such as gratitude. Not only does gratitude launch us, it helps keep our compasses pointed to our true north, so that our goals harmonize with the pillars of life; deeper connection to Source, expanding compassion, and growing wisdom.
I think it’s paramount to remind ourselves that our journey with gratitude into the heart of our goals would be dismal and miss the mark if they didn’t contain joy and a lightness of spirit. This holds true even within the hyper-focused work they entail. After all, intense focus is the portal that delivers us into the “zone”, for it quiets the obsession with the idea of ‘me’.
Dreams/goals as the opposite of selfishness
Our dreams force us through hyper-focus to lose that part of ourselves that destroy us, our self-centeredness. Total submersion into working towards realizing a dream quiets the part of the brain that focuses on ‘me’ and directs energy to the task at hand, giving us the “zone” experience. Working at something isn’t selfish. Embracing our inspirations isn’t selfish. Adding good to the world with our developing expertise isn’t selfish. What we do with our works is another story. We could dedicate our works to be of benefit to ourselves and others, or just to ourselves and no one else.
Answering my questions
Would I flounder without my current goals? Lose purpose? Not experience the “zone”? Probably, for a bit. That is, until I tapped into another inspiration waiting to be birthed. Goals are the chips that deliver the salsa. The salsa being our souls expansion into greater understanding. Goals can change. In fact, they do change as we grow. I think, reminding ourselves of this, helps us to not be attached to a specific goal and its outcome, allowing us to truly enjoy whatever current journey we are on.
My current Droplets of Courage
I have two droplets to share. The first is reaching out more to connect to new and old friends. Being happy as a lark at home, my bouts of social anxiety, and a few negative experiences these last two years, reaching out is requiring a lot of faith and the willingness to make a fool of myself as I re-learn how to forge fresh connections.
The second droplet of courage is that I’m a hot second away from sending out my novel to agents. After hours of researching agents and agencies, I’ve crafted my query letters and the dreaded synopsis. Yikes… this is a big dollop of courage for me. Wish me luck that I can stay in the “zone”, and not be attached to the outcome.
So, with collective droplets of courage, let’s go forth into the dreams our heart calls us to, and…
Open our arms and spin
until we are so dizzy
we fall to the ground in ruptures of giggles
and stare up
at the night sky
completely in love with life.
Sending light and love,
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