We don’t hang out in the shallows, we dive deep!” That’s what I say about the online classes I create. When I came up with this tagline, I had no idea how truly on target it would be. First of all, ‘creating’ is work, and it is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had, but also the most satisfying of all of them. In the process of writing one novel over a period of fifteen years and now the second one, which is moving along much faster, and creating and teaching online classes, I’ve learned a thing or two that I would like to share with you.
All of this ‘creating’ for others’ consumption is not only a lot of work, but it is the best teacher I have ever had. After a time of dreaming or manifesting a project, the real work, the ‘getting down in the trenches,’ so to speak and bringing it to life, comes into play. The process has been like a research project, but as I scoured books, and others’ research on different subjects, I found I was digging deeper into myself, finding out more about what made me tick at the rate I tick.
I used to be all over the place, and even up until these last couple of months I had entertained the idea of having a tea house, and a bookstore, and write novels and memoirs, and be a restaurant consultant (I figured that was the only way to get these restaurants to clean up their acts and give us ‘real’ food and loose leaf tea instead of those damn teabags,) and a teacher. I wanted to be and do all of these things, but I’ve already done so many different things. How much of me was left, I wondered.
Then, along came Feng Shui and the Nature of our Muse. While creating this online class, I started to notice how deep things were getting. I became my own student, learning more about myself as I went. I studied at the Western School of Feng Shui several years ago, but, like a photograph of a sunset, it reflects only what the photographer sees, the sensing – the feeling isn’t within the frame, and I had stashed that part of me away somewhere. Oh yes, I knew how Feng Shui worked, and had experienced its power when I arrived back home from the Feng Shui school and tried to put it all into being. It was then that I discovered how out of balance I was, and things began to change. So I got a glimpse then, and started to lose interest in my ‘job’ at the time, but where was I going? I had one foot in one world and one hanging back in the other. I then went off to care for my elderly parents. Immediately, instead of nurturing that side of ‘self’ – I got a full-time job and went to graduate school and earned my MFA, all while caring for mom and dad. I was busy, and I needed to be busy. That glimpse of a deeper self I experienced with my Feng Shui, I had now pushed to the back again.
But these past couple of months, as I settled into the quiet while creating this class, my life’s screen came before me. I watched as I bounced from one project to the next, one career to another, and I paid close attention to how I buried myself in the specific work of choice of the time. I flew around in a whirlwind, gathering momentum as I went. I watched as things and thoughts flew by me. I remembered how I just had to keep going, and when I felt as if I were to drop from the workload that I had laid upon myself, or felt bored because there wasn’t enough work to keep me moving, I would quit and move on to another more exciting place or position. There must be something else to all of this, I kept thinking.
Sitting in my silence, my life’s screen moved forward at a fast clip, but the story seemed to be the same. The jobs changed, but the spent energy on things that had no meaning kept pace. What am I missing? Thinking again of those options, all of which would keep me very busy, I realized I was running, running from my center, my passion. Had I ever really explored my passions? Sure, I would pull on some of my creativity to redecorate a lodge, or create new foods for the menu, but what lay deepest within me, that passion, I kept stuffed deep down. Was I afraid to explore something that I couldn’t really put my finger on?
Now, as I write this, knowing my passion for exploring ‘beneath the chaos and beneath the prejudices,’ whether it be in my teaching, on the Mexican border with the immigration issue, or on a Native American reservation, my purpose on this planet has been defined. I want to get beneath the chaos and explore the spirituality and the peaceful hearts of the people in this world. My passions can best be served through my writing and teaching, and it allows me to accept my work as my business, which is important. This is my job. I have to have a job. I feel relieved knowing it has been defined and I can quit this mad search.
Calling it a business creates new challenges, but facing these will be no different than any new business faces. Always my challenges will be how best to enlighten my readers as to the ‘realness’ behind the headlines, that which lies beneath the prejudices. To always be aware of my words, knowing they are there to help others see the light. It takes work, but when it’s my passion in life, I have noticed a new bounce in my step already.
It’s like holding an umbrella up in a driving rain. What parts can I hold ‘close to my center’ or ‘close to the vest’ and keep them healthy and strong, and dry? Sure, I could open up a bookstore and tea house combined, and have writing classes on property and do all these things, but it leaves me no time for what I have found at my core, the power within myself to write and teach. Knowing the type of person I am, I would be working and accommodating others at least 17 hours per day. If I tried to pull all these things in under my umbrella, those close to the edge would not get the care and attention they would need, and, it would undoubtedly be my writing.
Oprah, when asked in an interview if she ever got nervous about expanding out into different business ventures, said that she doesn’t get nervous because she stays in her own lane. In other words, all she creates is a part of her inner core. I used to use an analogy a lot about never stopping at a restaurant that advertises they have American, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Italian foods. Right there, the patron should know if someone is trying to be everything, they aren’t good at anything. It is all out of a box and deep fried. That’s not what I want to be known for, so I will stay in my lane, and move somewhere where they have a great tea house, a fabulous bookstore and lots of restaurants with great, vegetarian/vegan foods. Thanks to Feng Shui and the Nature of our Muse, I’m focused and working towards my passions. Are you?