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The Year of Sleeping Dangerously

August 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under Purpose and Passion

Every act of creation begins with an act of destruction.”
~Pablo Piccasso

Well, you are getting results already.

Two minutes after you make your grand entrance into a bold new life, don’t be surprised if passion and anticipation give way to a divine sludge. It’s like the second you fly the coop, you land in this vat of emotional pea soup. Now home and alone, litheness slows to listlessness, a maddening drop in energy. Should this happen to you, know that you are not crazy or alone. You have just entered the transition zone. Congratulations. Collapse is progress.

After I walked out of my high-paced, breathless career, I functioned at what seemed to be two notches above the living dead line. I waited tables, bought groceries and fed my cat. But I slept for what seemed to be unnatural numbers of hours. My mind revved up like an eager sports car engine racing with the need to create a new and improved life. But I found my physical self dragging around the apartment in slow motion in my underwear in the middle of the day and then taking naps to recuperate. I felt like a beached whale hungering for the sea. I ate bagels and cream cheese and leftovers and lunchmeats instead. Guilt took finky little notes about my attraction to the refrigerator and read them over in my head.

It didn’t take long before I found myself haunted by rattling questions and rude images of wasting away in oblivion while the rest of the world drank lattes to go. Would I just exist in limbo now? Was gazing at my walls for hours “following my bliss”? Just how much could I eat anyway? And how would I pursue “the hero’s journey,” if it took me three hours to get up and brush my teeth? Oh, this is great, I thought, I’ve wrecked a Rolls Royce career so that I could grow as wide as a Buddha and contemplate the daisies on my quilt.

I think we experience a form of higher-powered paralysis to protect us from getting in our own clever way.

I think most of us would skip soul searching, and start job searching and that is not the purpose of this time out of ordinary time. You did not leave a job to find a job, but to find yourself, the queen you locked away, while you served lesser things and others’ kings. So in this slow down, melt down phase of your journey, you have the opportunity to sort through the layers of your self and decide which ones travel on and which ones to shelve. The fire we seek will burn through old roles. We will lose our well-told stories to find our whispering soul.

I slept because I mourned the death or loss of an identity.

My Leaning Tower of Pisa had finally crashed. And while I wanted to be positive and enthusiastic and all that, all I could see was dust and ash. Then, too, I slept because the process of excavating the real me out of the rubble required emotional devotion and concentration. Each week when I trudged to therapy, I’d learn more about that creative little girl whose dreams hadn’t fit the dreams of an emphatic and pragmatic family. Surprisingly, her tears of alienation still waited within me. They had waited while I marched off to law school, and then worked a maniacal career and said, “Not now dear, not now.”

Well, now had come with a drum roll, a violin, a toll, and a vengeance. The world doesn’t approve when we cry. Pain embarrasses our efficient society. So I hid in bed, my own private retreat center in the middle of the city. I had my cat for on-call healing sessions and I burned rain-scented incense and candles. It wasn’t quite an executive spa, but I figured it was better than an institution.

But every moment I “rested,” I never felt more restless. I yearned to plunge into another career, a definition, live my life’s purpose, turn into an Action Jackson, and assume my place in the in the busy, dizzy world I saw outside my window. I hadn’t wanted to just leave something, but to leave for something. But the “something” remained mysterious. I could not pierce the veil. I could barely read the mail.

When friends or family called and asked, “So what are you doing these days?” I did not have the knowledge to know that I was undoing.

This undoing process works like painting the interior of an old house. First, you clean the walls, sand them down, and patch them up, or else you paint over the old infirmities, the same warps and clumps of history. If I’d run out and grabbed another career without delving into where I had betrayed myself the first time, I’d have ended up with a new color of wet paint over the same pattern of bumps and desperately limited opinions about myself, my dreams, and reality. So as much as I wanted to get started on a new career, all I could do was get started on a new philosophy or mythology of who I was and who I was to be.

In retrospect I can tell you that the “doing” of our chosen work comes easy. It is this time of undoing that requires every ounce of strength, vision, and persistence. It is meeting the dream-slashing and faith-bashing denouncer, and journaling, praying, and processing your way back to your true-heartedness, the part of you that dreams your dream and knows the shortest path to the quickest stream. Every belief that ever held you back from your desires will now come forth and stand before your door. This is what this time is for. It will make you stand in your strength like you never have before.

You might think this psychic showdown slows you down. But that’s because in the old way of doing things that created lives we did not want, we insisted that actions furthered us more than feeling our way through healing.

But it’s different on this inside-out, inspired path to true work.

The relationship we have with ourselves is more important than anything else. There is nothing else. All work we love comes from the love we give ourselves.

Months down the road, my grieving and self-exploration gave way to curiosity and wonder. The naps with a life force of their own ended. Stabs at creativity and expression began. The juice returned and the breath-stealing adventure before me unfurled its shapely red cape. I have almost never felt as small or lost since.

Today I speak in front of crowds of people, but that doesn’t take near as much fortitude as undoing an intact identity, deciding to die midstream to a life you’ve always known. I know who the real hero is. I owe every triumph I experience to a tender part of myself who, years ago, got under flowered quilts, yawned, and surrendered to a process that didn’t look like progress. It took that kind of inner revolution, maddening and frightening, for me to discover a unified self that moved with love and prowess.

Copyright © Tama Kieves  All rights reserved.

Tama J. Kieves is the bestselling author of THIS TIME I DANCE! Creating the Work You Love (How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All to Have It All!) and is a sought-after speaker and career coach who has helped thousands world-wide to discover and live their true work in the world. Visit her at www.ThisTimeIDance and sign up for free inspiration and support through her monthly e-newsletter or download her Free Transformational Report on “Finding Your Calling Now.”

Julian Kalmar and Rick Beneteau want to know if you've got what it takes to step up and be a leader in the new world transformation. CLICK HERE to find out.

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