The last few weeks of my life involved a move to my new home and gearing up my new business. Sometime in early January, I was tiring of 16-hour work days in front of the computer, using drag and drop technology to build my website and event registration instead of reinventing the wheel and doing it all myself.
(Thank the Universe for those who build plug-ins for use via donation – you’ve saved my bacon once again for a price my new business can afford!)
And about 10 days ago, my blood pressure sky-rocketed, the excruciating pain and heart palpitations started up again and I thought,
Uh – Oh.
Now, I’m a Creative Workaholic – loosely translated, this means I go through intense periods of work-work-work and just as intense periods of I’m-so-tired-I-can’t-move-and-need-to-rest.
In the past, I silently waited for permission from those around me as to when I was allowed to rest and recoup from my latest creative period (or 36 hour work stint – your choice).
Trust me, those around you rarely, if ever, give you that permission. If they love you, they will ask you to please quit trying to save the world, pace yourself and get a boring 2-4 hours a day job that consistently brings you a paycheck.
In short, they’ll ask you to be someone other than who you are.
If they make money off your contributions, they will assure you a rest period….just as soon as you finish this and that for them…and qualify for two-weeks vacation.
Either way, even though I’ve had glimmers of the truth over the years and felt like I really tried to live my life in tune with my natural talent and personality, I never really got the message until the stroke.
Instead, I acknowledged the message with a, “Oh yes, doing what you love and works with your own personality is the way to go and just as soon as I can afford to, I’ll try it.”
Not now – post-stroke means any time I deny my body what it needs, it shuts me down and in a hurry, I might add. I cannot stray far from the path the Universe is urging me towards before I am very obviously jerked back to the reality of what my current limitations (gifts?) are.
So after a grueling month of computer grunt work (it is grunt work – necessary for what I want to do and yes, I can do it fair to middlin’ – but grunt work nonetheless….), emailing to those who said, “Let me know the minute you start your classes, so I can sign up” and hanging flyers everywhere within a 30 mile radius of my location, I waited…
and nada. No interest, no sign-ups, no glimmer of even a speck of difference in the Universe. (I forgot to mention, I’m big on what I do making a difference, even if it’s only for one person for one nano second in time…)
Then I log in to delete my old blog, reconsider and instead write 4 posts and wouldn’t ya know – more followers signed up that day than ever, got some comments and some “Likes” (thank you very much) and was in turn gently nudged over to the blogs of others who are creative and smart, which I’m gathering is the Universe’s way of getting me to come out from my hermit’s hole and try being around humans again.
Three hours of “Hey, this is fun, I could do this all day without breaking a sweat” netted more feedback, expanded horizons (new people to get to know) and glimpses of beauty (new creative blogs to follow) than weeks of intense, purposeful, “productive” work.
(“Productive work” is a phrase that sticks in my craw – anyone who uses it invariably does not understand or approve you or your work)
Yes, Universe, I’m listening – – and I vowed to take more frequent breaks, concentrate on finishing my book, blogging and let the Universe lead me where it will.
Because I chose to participate in the non-productive this morning -writing- instead of diving into website building and class presentations, the “Let’s go for coffee” phone invitation this morning was greeted with,
“Hey, that sounds good. Meet you there at 10:00?”
instead of ,
“Oh, I’d love to, but I have to* get some boring geek stuff done today.”
By noon, I’m back at home, loading up a new event registration (guess the grunt work paid off somewhat). The idea that has been brewing within me for nearly 8 years is coming to fruition, simply because I tossed it out as something I’m passionate about at my coffee date.
I’ll be giving a lecture on Rebuilding Community Resiliency on February 18th. With plans for other future lectures. And building a platform for others to lecture and share their special talents, while allowing businesses and organizations to put their real estate to profitable use when they aren’t using it themselves.
(My chatty-Kathy personality simply loves making income from talking, my sustainable heart is pleased at putting local resources to good use and I love providing opportunities for others. Could it have gotten any better?)
Thank you body and Universe for reminding me to keep on track – – and to be good to myself. To follow my own work patterns and contribute my special gifts to the community, not just offer what I can do, but don’t necessarily love.
Only took a stroke and a few close calls to train me….
*have to – If this phrase is regularly in your vocabulary, do your best to get rid of as many instances of it as you can. Of course, phrases like, “I have to roll in the dirt, because my clothes are on fire.” are exempt from deletion.