This weekend I am going to do something that makes me quiver and quake just to think about it. Wondering what it is? Here are some clues.
It will take more adrenaline than it takes to climb up onto rooftops of structures that are burning down below–with a chainsaw in hand–to cut 4×4 or 4×8 foot ventilation holes in roofs that are getting hotter by the minute, and climb off, before any part of the roof burns through or collapses.
It will feel like more pressure than being the point person on the hydraulic powered extrication tools, cutting through a crumpled up vehicle to extricate folks who are hanging upside down, by their seatbelts, out from their over-turned car.
It will definitely be way scarier than repelling down the nine-story tall Dumbarton Bridge that spans the San Francisco Bay. (That, in fact, was a thrill.)
And it will be even more heart-stopping than being crouched down on my knees in the hallway of one of the hottest fires I’ve ever felt, as the fire flashed over us on the ceiling. A breeze, compared to this!
So what could this worrisome event be?
This weekend, I will step out in front of a live audience on a small stage and declare myself a writer, and talk about who I am.
I am part of group of thirteen artists who has devoted one year of their life to their art. This artist’s immersion group is made up of a unique mix of writers, jewelers, visual artists, musicians, and a filmmaker. And this weekend we are having a mid-year progress showing, in which we will publicly share our art and our journeys.
And, yes, the irony is not lost on me—that for someone who lives for 24-hour shifts at a time doing seemingly frightening, adrenaline pumping activities, talking about myself in front of people is my big hang up?!
Who Are We Really?
Maybe it’s because it seems difficult to define myself succinctly and accurately in my humanness to one or two roles or aspects of who I am. Perhaps it is because I have come to know over time, that I am an ever evolving and expanding being–in every single moment.
In fact, I have found that like you, I am a many-faceted being. Like you, there are many roles that I play in this lifetime and many aspects to who I am.
And so, my writing and my artist’s journey is really about cultivating the art of self-discovery and embracing the journey to authentic becoming. Who are we really? Even beyond our many roles and the many aspects of our selves.
Morphing into Roles and Aspects
It is evident to me that we are all such uniquely amazing creatures, wandering through our adventures, sometimes with a wide awake consciousness, and sometimes fast asleep–trying on our roles, changing our costumes—each one of us an incredible individual. As I walk by people on the street, I often wonder about their stories, each one a walking book of curiosity.
What costumes are you trying on in this lifetime? Some might fit better than others. And we can even completely alter them or refine our layered selves whenever we want.
As I explore my own personal authentic becoming, a few of my favorite aspects come to mind.
One of my favorite roles I choose to play in this lifetime is the role of Mom. In this role I find myself experiencing a great variety of aspects of myself. My Mom-self challenges me to find balance between overload and overwhelm and Trust with a capital “T.” My Mom-self dares me to drop the planner and to instead, stay awake, and in the gift of the present moment. My Mom-self has also humbly realized the paradoxical costume change of parent as student and child as teacher.
Sometimes we evolve into new thinking, drop old constructs, and emerge into roles we might have never expected. Such was my experience in becoming a firefighter. As I ditched my heels along with my rational and conditioned mind, and followed the pull of my heart, I became the empowered creator of my life, instead of the victim of my discontent. My Firefighter-self has developed a fierce inner courage and strength that stays her course on her ever-evolving path of self-discovery.
And then, how often do we let our roles bind and cage us? If I am firefighter, can I still let my freedom-loving dancer emerge? When I finally found her, my Inner Dancer, and let her out onto the dance floor, she cried, in heaving weeping waves, because she knew she was finally home. On the dance floor, she is free to experience herself at the deepest levels of her soul. On the hardwood dance floor she has discovered that she can accept herself–and others–exactly as they are. On the honey-colored finish, she has discovered that we are all One in the same.
Finally there is the Writer , who knew at the age of ten, that she wanted to write a book. She did not know why she wanted to write a book, and she did not know what she would write; but the mysterious pull within her was something that she knew was big and real.
And now many moons and many decades later, here she is. Delicate, unsure, yet emerging. She’ll make it through her stage fright.
She is the one who has seen the greater picture, beyond all the other roles and aspects; and she attempts to weave them into some kind of cohesive sense. She is the one that is rather a mystic and wonders who we are beneath our many human layers. It is she, The Writer, who is fascinated with this journey of our self-discovery and authentic becoming.
And so……Here is her invitation to you. It is an invitation to cultivate the art of your own self-discovery.
Who are you in this varied and amazing human experience?
Come, join me, in the adventure of your own authentic becoming.