This image jumped out at me (no pun intended:) this morning and I knew it was calling on me to write about the concept. It showed up right after I had finished a conversation with a friend about what it takes to rise to the occasion, to do what needed to be done in the midst of a major shift in my life in 1998.
It actually began decades before, with an interesting juxtaposition of actions and beliefs. I was raised by parents with a ‘do what it takes, where there’s a will, there’s a way’ attitude. They modeled it daily, going steadily along with jobs and upkeep of our home, by volunteering in the community, by taking care of elderly parents until they passed, (both grandmothers lived with us at one time or another until I was 13 or so); when my father experienced job lay-offs, he always found other work temporarily until he was called back to his original job. Although I was not raised in financial wealth (emotional and spiritual wealth, most certainly), we always seemed to have enough.
As a student and an athlete (competitive swimmer from age 11-18 and then coached from 18-21), I lived by the idea that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to ‘do my homework’ and put my backbone where my wishbone was. Somewhere along the line, I lost sight of doing what needed to be done, while in business. I had no frame of reference for what it meant to own my own biz and while immersed in it, there were times when I didn’t step up and there were repercussions; many of them eroded away at my belief in my abilities. Was it a catch-22 in which I lacked self assurance, so I didn’t follow through, or was it about missing the mark and receiving negative feedback that I internalized? The reality is, the woman I am now would have been willing and able to get the job done.
Back to 1998. That was the year that my husband began the downward spiral that eventually led to his transition. He had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1992 and it became a crisis 6 years later. In November, 1998, he entered the ICU in a coma and 5 1/2 weeks later, he succumbed to the disease. That period of time brought with it, all manner of valauble life lessons even in the midst of pain and sorrow. Afterward, when I had time to collect my thoughts, it occurred to me in a moment of blessed relief, that I really was able to rise to the occasion and do what needed to be done. Gone was the luxury of just coasting by, since I needed to take over the running of our business until we sold it earlier that year. I became a single parent of a then 11 year old (now 24 year old) son. As I look back, I consider that I have been able to keep us in this house by working full time and doing my other consulting work. I am doing what many others have done before me, in even more dire circumstances, but there are times when I forget that it is quite something to feel good about.
The image above came from the inspiring and dynamic John Assaraf with whose work I became familiar by watching the movie The Secret. His vision board segment reinforced my certainty that imagery helps me embody what it is I desire to call into my life. I have created several of them and with delight, I can see that so many of the wishes illustrated, have manifested, including the interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and publishing my book. I assist others in doing the same thing with their dreams and desires, as a result.
What I value about John’s work is that it is portable and immediately applicable in my life. I have discovered that most people don’t do the best they can. They do the best they are willing to do. By utilizing the ideas he and many other teachers of the same spirit offer, I have been able to experience checking items off my goals/intentions list. Not only is it fun, but reinforcing of what I know to be so, that putting legs under my desires will enable me to move from being a ‘big fish in a little pond (or bowl:), to swimming freely in the river of life.