“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.” – Mandy Hale
I am daydreaming about the three days I will get to rediscover my own center of gravity next week. A Monday hike and a Friday-Sunday getaway. Nothing epic or fancy. In the care of others, it’s easy to forget who we really are. Sometimes getting away from what IS, is the only way to get a good visual on what could be.
Speaking of waiting, I am checking my submission to Mineral School for movement every day. And waiting. I have no idea when I’ll hear, one way or another. I can’t think too much about it or second-guess any of it. I might imagine that it has been set aside to make room for more meaningful art and more experienced artists. I might imagine the photos were terrible or I said too much in my application. Or too little. (Which would be worse ?) So I can’t linger in those thoughts. Right now I need to surround myself with those who lift me up. And if it can’t be others, it really must be me.
The thing is, putting yourself out there is the risk. Full exposure. The nakedness of who you are. Maybe not entirely naked. Maybe scantily clad. We always keep something hidden. There is always a locked door. A hidden box. A strip of cloth covering that which is most vulnerable. I don’t mind saying I’m a little afraid in this place.
But being afraid is what cushions my mind from the pinball thoughts that sometimes happen. Flashing lights, bells ringing, shiny balls careening off the sides of my brain… it can all get to be too much. A constant firing of little thought-bullets. I need to slow it down. At times I even need my own version of praying. Nothing traditional. You won’t see me on my knees or in some house of worship.
I’m more likely to have quiet conversations while I’m walking or driving. If I’m in the woods or on a mountain I always feel the presence of my higher power. That One is always listening for my ask; always there for the conversation. I could probably benefit from more consistency.
I have been trying to relax into “the middle place”. It is something I have read about. It isn’t somewhere to go, or somewhere to be. It is not left or right. Not right or wrong. It is what I imagine John Cage meant when he said “everyone is in the best seat”
I have also been thinking about IKIGAI, the Japanese secret to a happy life. The word is translated to mean “a reason to jump out of bed every morning”. I don’t have that. A suggestion is to make three lists : Your values, things you like to do and things you are good at. At the cross-section of these three lists is your IKIGAI.
This is where it gets to the down and dirty truth of a life. I’m working on those lists all the while seeing a hard truth of my own life. I sometimes feel like I couldn’t be further from that intersection. It is in this tiny epiphany that I discover my real work:
Make the lists. Tell the truth. Find the middle place.
At night, after everyone is asleep, I go into my art room and do my exercise in the dark with only the golden glow of the Himalayan salt lamp. I face the large map I have of Mount Rainier. I put silver tacks on all the places I’ve been in the Park. At night they twinkle like stars.
I remind myself that those adventures are still months away. I remind myself too, that I will need to build up my courage and endurance again as spring and summer come more clearly into view. I sit in the dark, my adventures shimmering in the reflection and I remember who I am.
Time to make those lists ♡