June 19, 2009

Risky but Right

Big decisions scare me. I pause and second guess and imagine the worst before making them. It was a big decision to unveil myself through a website. I was going public with the secret, creative life I’d been living and I knew once it was out there, there could be no take-backs (to use my daughter’s term). I was making a commitment -- to practice art for more than recreation, to make myself open to criticism, to take on clients with expectations while trying to mother young children, and quite possibly to fail. Loudly. You would not believe how many times I took that little arrow off the word “UPLOAD.” But something was asking me to think beyond my fear and I finally listened.

 Here I am with new clients and crazy deadlines and kids who have mixed feelings when I say “mommy’s gotta work.” It’s a delicate walk and there are going to be consequences. The kids might have to show a little initiative if they want clean clothes. The couscous might not have pine nuts. The birthday cakes might come from a bakery. I’m going to try to “first do no harm,” but I’m going to keep reaching for this thing that’s begging me to follow. I feel like my spirit and my body are aligned for the first time. It’s a peaceful kind of restlessness, like I’m on the verge of something risky but right. I can only see the beginning and I’m sacrificing the safe, same ground I used to walk on. But this time I’m going to trust my soul’s longings.

 I found a piece of poetry by John O’Donohue that I just have to share with you -- all of you who are courageously risking something right now for an end you can’t see.

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

-- John O’Donohue