Sunday, January 25, 2009

Following Your Fascinations

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain." ~ Paul Atreides, Frank Herbert's Dune

We have now progressed to Chapter Three of 'Twelve Secrets of Highly Creative Women' by Gail McMeekin. I have really enjoyed being a part of this online book club led by Jamie Riddler - it is great reading what other smart thoughtful women are thinking! And a blessing to see that so many of us have the same hurdles and insecurities to conquer. Not a blessing that we have the issues of course! But that we are truly not alone. The gremlins need a beating!

I posted the photo above as I mentioned in my last book club post about snapping a poor dead snake because I felt he was beautiful and met my 'blue' criteria for the day's shooting, and someone wanted to see it. Sorry if you popped in expecting something else and have a fear of snakes. I prefer the image of snakes as one of growth and rebirth, fertility, the circle of life. Almost all non Judeo-Christian cultures revere them, rather than revile them. But they are to be respected either way, and a good image for a post about risk and fear I believe.

This secret, Following Your Fascinations, is all about risk.

Wise risk as well as dangerous risk. And that, in turn, brings to mind fear.

Here are the keys...

Taking Courageous Risks: I do not see myself as a risk taker. I can't think of one thing particularly courageous to share with you. I talk about this with my friend Irene a lot. We share the feeling that as women, you often need to just keep moving, getting things done, working through pain, getting up each day and doing what you have to in order to keep your family healthy, provided for, and intact. We do not see these things as optional, or courageous - just necessary. I often don't plan out where I'm headed - I just do. In these areas there is no time for fear.... But in it's insidious way, it filters in.

If I respect myself and love myself, it is time to start living with intention. Calculating positive risks. Taking action.

Intuiting New Pathways: I have managed to find my way to where I am today almost completely by accident. Maybe that isn't true. I know the odds were against me as a single mother. I finished school, was recruited by The Dow Chemical Company, and raised my son to be a responsible successful adult (of course he could still turn out to be an axe murderer, but he has promised not to. At least not to use an axe in his theoretically imminent crime spree.) But I never sought out doors. They opened in front of me and I stepped through. My job with Dow came by a campus recruiter. My job with Nestlé came by a canvas of about 50 local labs and other science related firms after a layoff. I got a job from a cold call letter. That is not suppose to happen. In between I took positions that were awful, but I didn't leave until I was either pushed out or offered other opportunities.

Developing Staying Power: I have trouble with follow through. I'm proud to say that I have marvelous creative ideas. Over 99% of them never see the light if day. I'm not talking about building skyscrapers here, I'm talking making a graduation card for a friend. Scrapbook pages. Simple, easy things. I need to develop a new attitude. Christine Kane (whose blog I love) suggests telling ourselves "this is just what I do" when presented with a challenge where we would normally procrastinate or stumble in some way. I suppose it reflects back on being the change you wish to see. I also suggest reading her post on her "proportional theory of dread". The greater our fear of a thing, often the greater our relief - and pride? when completed. Food for thought.

Heeding Your Heart: I'm ready to make some changes. The path of least resistance isn't all that smooth and rose filled. Sometimes though, I feel that at age 43 I've walked too far down it to turn around and start back. That is probably pretty foolish. I was amazed at how many women in the book didn't hit their stride until after 40. Plenty of time! But I'd better quit screwing around! I'm grabbing my machete and hacking through the brush to another path.

Jamie's Challenge for us: Take one brave step toward your dreams. This week I will officially apply for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies online program at Bowling Green State University. I will arrange to have my transcripts sent and begin to check any other boxes needing checked.

Wish me luck!

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7 comments:

Jessie said...

I'm wishing you luck! That's a BIG BRAVE step! :) Good for you. ;)

Kavindra said...

Good luck, that's a huge step.

I wonder if some of us in the bookgroup are so fearless that they don't have to think about risk taking, they just do the next right thing without worry and fuss. I am scared of everything but I notice you and some others are doing what I would consider knee quaking, without even a second thought ... and then saying you're not risk-takers. (When I went back to school at 36, I had to go to THERAPY to get myself to do it, it was so scary. You're just like, oh, lala!)

Have fun with that machete (but if your son does turn out to be a criminal, keep the machete away from him, lol)

And I was one of the people who requested to see the snake. When it downloaded I was so pleased. He is gorgeous - I can't believe he has blue coloring. Neat.

Jamie said...

Congratulations! I know you asked for wishes of luck but in my experience when you "say it out loud" it tends to come true. So I'm saying congratulations to you because going back to school can be tough but I bet it'll be so worth it.

dieadjustormigrate said...

are you in my brain? i so connect with all that you said in your post. sending you positive risk taking vibes as you take your leap into applying for school. you can do it!!!

olwyn

martie said...

I am wishing you luck, but I have a feeling you won't be needing it! Now that you have made the decision, the rest of it will come easier. And you know what? It's NEVER to late to change your life path. I'm glad you found the courage to do this.

magicalmuse said...

I lost my breath for a second with the photo! I am scared of snakes! I don't know why either but maybe I need to work on that. Maybe they are symbolic of something else that's not obvious? And good luck and good energy to you. :)

Becci said...

I enjoyed you post for this chapter, Thanks for sharing.

YOU GO GIRL!

Have a great hair day! Becci