A part of me likes the order, the neatness, of finishing things, of seeing them through. The Noisemaker within me holds judgment against me for starting such a variety of things and leaving them halfway done.
But the question is whether those things I started are valuable for the finished rug in my office, for the published novel on some shelf, for the law degree framed on the wall. Or rather, are they valuable for what they brought me when they were juicy and real and in the moment: for the rhythmic latching of the wool on the needle that opens my unthinking mind and allows inspiration to come in; or the myriad gifts of connection with my grandmother as I interviewed her and the juicy excitement when my day job was over and I headed for hours of joy in the darkened library, paging through microfiche; or the painful disconnect that threatened to deaden my soul and alerted me to my responsibility to live true to my essence? I may have started a rug for the finished product, the image of it lying over the patch of ink on the floorboard of my office. I didn’t start a novel knowing that’s what it was, but when I caught on that it could be, the concept of a book of my own beckoned me on when the going felt rough and what I was learning about myself felt too heavy to hold. I definitely went to law school assuming I’d end up with a degree.
None of these things came to be. And I am not sorry for any of them. Perhaps some day they will. (Okay, there’s little chance that I will suddenly feel my interest rekindle for studying law.) It is what I received of these experiences as I found myself in them, that I value now.
So, recently, sharing what I teach with a larger audience made me feel expansive: I could contribute more joy to more people. Preparing for a new class is always exciting, rich. This time, it opened me up to deepening my awareness of concepts that had long called to me softly.
But I ignored them, because, of course, now I had to focus on the class.
And that is when I became divorced from what is alive, when I lost touch with what energizes, vitalizes, uncovers my essence to me. That’s when I forgot to check in and notice that what is calling is this small and unexpected side-path.
Letting the old idea of the class hang over me, a “should” that weighs and drags along as I move, no longer serves me. So I must let it go, put it on the shelf with the rug and the novel and the law degree, to come back to when inspiration hits me, pick it up where I left off— but only if it is nourishing to my soul, if it reminds me of my essence in that very moment. Or perhaps they have all already served their purpose.
My true task is to remember, from moment to moment, from thought to thought, to be aware of my essence, to check into my heart, to check my energy and remember my Self. Am I being true? Am I remembering who I truly am? Or am I letting the energies of other people, of the small aspects of myself, of the fragments and insertions determine what I do, where I focus my energy, the kind of energy that I carry, and who I think of myself as being?
In truth, I am recognizing that my Self requires a loyalty to change that may look like fickleness. But it is the fickleness of my essence, which sometimes shows me new directions that don’t make sense or don’t lead where I would expect.
And I am committed, first and foremost, to my Self.