As a young woman, I struggled to find myself and my place in the world. I dropped in and out of college, held more jobs than I can remember, and moved to and from various exotic locals. I tried marriage—and divorce. Mostly, I lived in a whirl of confusion about who I was and how I would make my way—and I worried a lot about ending up a failure.
Nothing I attempted seemed to satisfy me. I watched my friends successfully pursing their ambitions, while I languished in feelings of inadequacy for the better part of a decade. At the time, I could not know that my experience with failure would give me exactly what I needed to eventually succeed. Not only did that protracted period of frustration inspire me to create something entirely new, suffering the pain of repeated failures helped to humanize me, maturing my capacity for compassion. More
Last month, in the space of one week, I received sad news about the deaths of two friends. At the funeral of one of those friends I ran into Susan. Two weeks later her husband died suddenly of a brain embolism. Sometime in the coming weeks I expect another friend to die, after losing her courageous battle with ovarian cancer. And just last week, I found out that two more people I know have been diagnosed with breast cancer. More
This is Part 2 of a two-part series about the challenges inherent in creative beginnings. You can read “Beginnings, Part 1” here.
1. Trust your intuition.
Be receptive to your own rhythms and visions. There’s lots of free advice out there about most anything you’d like to begin. Saturate yourself with as much research as you can. Then adapt what works. Create an approach that honors your idiosyncratic style of accomplishing things. More
Even though I have been writing for over twenty-five years, in some ways I feel like a beginner as I prepare to launch this website and blog. In opening myself to a wider world of possibilities, I feel the excitement, the hope, and the fear that accompanies all new beginnings.
I hope you will feel inspired, supported, and challenged by what you read, and alongside that hope hovers my fear that these musings will fail to capture your interest. Of course, I am not alone in this regard. Most creators fight searing feelings of inadequacy even as their passions drive them to risk reinventing themselves and their work again and again. More
This is Part 2 in a two-part series about making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. You can read Part 1, “I Resolve Again, and Again” here.
- Be honest with yourself. What change do you seek and why is it necessary at this time? What character strengths and weaknesses will help or hurt your chances for success? If you have tried to make this change in the past, why didn’t it work before? What can you do differently this time?
- Look deeper. What is really driving your habits? Is there an old story that needs telling? Are you angry, sad, hurt, frustrated, lonely? Use a journal to record your feelings of loss and joy as you slowly let go of old habits and make way for the new.
Did you find yourself staring into the mirror on January 1st and once again proclaiming: “This year will be different!”?
The beginning of a new year is a popular time to wipe the slate clean and think about starting fresh. With fierce determination and sincerity of heart we assure ourselves that we really do mean it this time. We really mean to become healthier; more fiscally responsible; treat ourselves or our partners more kindly. Or, perhaps we vow to improve ourselves by starting therapy, taking a class, or going back to school to complete that degree.
But no matter how great our resolve, most of us unconsciously set ourselves up for failure because we expect our initial enthusiasm to carry us the entire length of the journey. By misunderstanding the true nature of change, we are not prepared to respond constructively when our old habits and tendencies rise up in protest to oppose the new order. Even when our desire to change is entirely self-generated, we must contend with our fears of the unknown as well as the sacrifices and discomforts inherent in giving up familiar ways of being. More
Welcome to the first post in my all-new blog, Wild Ideas … musings for the mind, food for the soul. After taking a long break from writing a monthly column, Wild Ideas has been reborn as a blog AND a book.
If you’re a new reader, I invite you to search this site and make yourself at home. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. For those of you who have been long-time supporters, it will come as big news that my book Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out is now available for order on Amazon. More