The Truck Driver:
I was ten.
It’s Friday. I sit in the bay windows of my art studio looking out towards the water, the village and our massive wood pile. It’s stunningly beautiful…even as flurries of snow swirl around in gale force winds. Gale warning is what the weather says. There are white caps out on the water. Only very experienced fisherman with the right equipment should be out there today. That’s what the weather says. We love our new home and we love where it is. We moved here…we live here…that’s what we keep saying to ourselves and to whomever will listen as if saying it out loud will make us really believe it. Every person we have met has been so nice. We’ve moved to the place we loved to come to on vacation.
I had a thought many years ago while I was here on vacation sitting down on the water. What do I love about vacation and how can I organize my real life so that it incorporates some of those things. I made a list and then adjusted my life so that it did include pieces of things that I love about vacation every day rather than just moving through my days towards the goal of a vacation.
Years later I started thinking bigger. What kind of life do I dream of? Where is it? Pull out that pen…make some lists. Do some writing.
Imagine. Set intentions. Believe. Have faith. Trust. Manifest. What you believe will happen. What do you believe…really believe? Let go and trust.
The words of stickers, Instagram posts and books.
Trust and believe are mighty big words with an even mightier opposition: fear.
I’ve been thinking about a move like this for many years…waiting for some clarity…some idea of where or what it would look like. I set intentions and wrote about my dreams and then I set them again and again every day, as if I didn’t, the universe might forget what my intentions were.
I read a Rumi quote, “ live as though you trust your God”. Bingo. I had set my intentions and my dreams …now could I just get out of the way and let things unfold.
Time passes, I meet Adam in the most perfect way. Suddenly life opened up. Potagers 20 year party clearly and overwhelming honored the work I had been doing in a way bigger than I could have imagined. I hired a chef that wanted his own restaurant and then he wanted mine. Someone made a film about my life and my business. It was an incredible ending. Adam and I fell in love with what seems to be the perfect house in the perfect place for us. My house sold within 24 hours.
Here we come! Even with all this effortless path opening….even in the face of such clarity…fear raises it’s head over and over.
The human condition…fear of the unknown. None of us knows how things will turn out or even how they’ll go on the way to turning out. Routines keep me calm…feeling safe. For me, it’s routine that keeps me grounded. I have routine practices that ground me first thing in the morning. Routines actually meant to prepare me for letting go of everything…or used to. Systems. At work there were clear systems, practices, routines…a little like managing traffic. If we all know what we’re supposed to do we won’t crash into each other. We are safe. We know what to expect. At least that’s what we believe.
We are all afraid, I think, when we don’t know how things are going to go. A fear that wears all kinds of masks and hats…presenting in as many ways as there are people and situations. I hope that I can learn to recognize it and let it go without giving it all of my attention. I want to see past it to the opportunities to grow. However, my ego likes to feel safe and safety means control. Safety means having all the players and pieces in just the right order so that I know how things are going to turn out. Planning. Organizing. In the face of fear, the ego gets mighty big. Good God. It’s exhausting. I’m learning about that. I’m looking at a lifetime of work managing people, organizing and keeping surprises at least less surprising. Taking less risk. At some point, this feels stagnant and I start dreaming a different dream. What I have learned along the way is that it isn’t just routine that makes us feel safe…it is community. I belong to the community I am in like I have never belonged before. Being held by our communities in the face of change is the only thing that gives us the real courage to jump. I do believe we need risk and change… and with those….FEAR in order to grow. We need community to lift us up, pick us up, encourage us towards our dreams and believe in our abilities.
Every single routine and system in my life has disappeared. Home, classes, business, pets, city life, community, recognition….and now I am living in a house in Maine with my husband… and get this…we have not actually lived together daily. Ever. I’ve been working hard to figure out how to get myself grounded…working hard to put some kind of order or system in place so that I feel safe. We have both been working very hard. This community seems to expand with our entrance. There is room for us and the welcome we are receiving is perfect.
Adam says give it time. Give us time. Every bit of this is new to both of us and we are both having our own struggles. In that moment there was a shift… in myself and between us. I stopped being so afraid. I stopped working so hard to create something that I was familiar with and started looking at what I actually have. I wanted this. I stepped right off into this unknown, yet my ego has been fighting like a drowning swimmer to find some footing. Suddenly, I have picked up my feet and started floating. I’m breathing again. Adam and I are laughing and playing again. We are a team. We dreamed, jumped…holy shit it is scary…and then figured out how to embrace it. In that moment it has become really beautiful….really spirit soaring beautiful.