A few months ago, about 11 to be precise, I started a list. A list of things that I wanted to do for the year of 2012. Each time, I crossed something off, I tried to remember why I had placed it on there and noted what I felt after its completion. The lesson was usually completely different. Where I thought I would simply try something new, I would find a new point of view on something entirely different. And slowly, my mind began to crack open. And then…things began to happen. I began to see things. The world began to stain me with different angles, stories, and ideas.
There were a great deal of tasks on the list that I needed to do; things that were perhaps overdue. By writing them down, I acknowledged that they needed to be worked on; fears, habits, and things that I had been brushing under the table. By writing them down I recognized that there were things I could change if I wanted to; if I mustered the will or courage to work on them, they carried in them a “cross-off” potential.
So a portion of my list was of things that gave me a bit of a stomach-ache. You know what I’m talking about… The things that you look back at months later (after the whole new year’s resolution thing fades) and feel bad about not changing.
Those are the scary ones because if you don’t do what you say you’ll do, it creates this weight in your heart that you can’t. By mid-Feb, you haven’t started so you shrug your shoulders, and say, “I guess I’m just like that. Oh well.” And you just give up. You end up letting the desire fizzle and rot.
So that was half of my list. The scary stuff. Except this time, I asked myself why I hadn’t done it before and I realized that the guilt would get in the way. So I gave myself permission to work on it all year. I didn’t place a deadline. I didn’t tell anyone about the “better me,” I just recognized that I wanted to work on it eventually, and I let that sit there. I promised myself the patience to achieve each of these slowly. I even gave myself the luxury of falling behind. This guilt-free attitude made me feel different about my goals. I wasn’t focused on the 50 things I said I would do, all year. Instead, I allocated a degree of passion to each, when the time came. In time, each thing on my list was given its own time. Its own effort. I let it jump out at me when it was time. When the stalling had reached its limit.
The other half of my list were things that I dreamt about, but I never thought I would do. Not because I was skeptical, but because a great deal of them are left to chance. I would work for them, but I knew that if things didn’t pan out, the playing around and “trying” would be an adventure in itself.
And so, the year went on. Month after month, I would open the book and to my surprise, I had tackled some of the most random things by accident, by chance. As though the universe had been keeping an eye out for me while I had been busy.
Some of the things that I had placed on there would change me. I had known that; that’s why they were there, but others I had placed because…hell, why not? What’s funny is that they all came together to write a story for me. Together, they shaped the perfect year for me creating a world of accidental adventurous and under-the-table lessons that woke me up in the middle of storm.
The exhibit that’s been on display since October 2012 was a project that I thought I would never see come to life, but did. For my own amusement, I placed a goal of selling one photograph. Just one. It didn’t matter which one, it didn’t matter how much; the goal was to sell one. It was more of a joke, really.
My reasoning was… I’ve been offered the opportunity to exhibit my work. I have no control over who likes it. All I can do is work on my work. All I can do is present and aim to present it beautifully. The rest is out of my hands. The rest is chance. I guess a part of me thought, maybe this will be a good lesson for me to understand. Do things for the right reason. Enjoy the adventure. Frame your life passionately and then…let go. Trust that the universe will do the rest.
I did in fact sell a photograph from my exhibit this year, which was #6 on my list. To my surprise, it happened just as I had hoped it would and it’s a lesson that I hope to never forget: Give it all you got, love your art (or work) for what it was in your hands, and then let go. Let the world place it where it wants. The important part has been done.
For anyone who is lost in life, in work, and in love… I think this applies. Work on yourself, on your art, on your mind, on your heart, and I swear the pieces will fall where they need to.
So, before this new year begins, make a list of things you never thought possible, but are fun to dream. Mix it up with things that you know you’ve been wanting to change. They will feel like a burden, but remember that it’s not magic and it won’t be resolved quickly. Promise yourself patience next year. Be excited about the growth that will come. But most importantly, look forward to work & not being responsible for the outcome.
We can only workout, we cannot get in our own skin and make things change. We can only pray, we cannot move the world around to make it happen. We can only invite clarity into our lives, we do not paint the mind blank. We work to set the stage for it; the journey is the effort.
Besides, you’ll find the universe is much better at story endings than you are. So, brace yourself for some good work next year. Brace yourself, for I suspect that there is a new world (and a new you) to discover behind the things you will be listing.
Maybe that’s what life is about…constantly discovering the new worlds…inside of this one.
Besos, mis aventureros,