Collage by Lani from morning pages and photo from friends on http://alteredbits.ning.com/.I had a delightful conversation over on facebook. (I sometimes go over there, if a sibling or friend has left a message, and sometimes I get caught up in a silly game, but mostly I stare at this prompt: "What's on your mind?" So on impulse I typed out "I used to have a life filled with drama. Now I study happiness." I was thinking that might be a really nice, short autobiography. Two sentences. Anyway my friend Nicole Brandstrup left a message.
"How did you make the change? What benefits have you noticed? What was key to let go of? Did you need to change the way you make a living, if so, how? i have always been interested in your journey...."
So I answered:
It's a process. I suspect working in mental health helped create a lot of drama. Going from a precariously funded large mental health agency in Manhattan to private practice in Canada and workshops where ever they are needed, was a big shift away from drama. At some point I was googling endorphin release and creativity and stumbled upon the field of positive psychology. That was a real eye opener. People were actually studying our positive emotions and what we can do to encourage them. Makes very good sense. As for changing the way I make a living, yes, that had to change. Becoming my own boss, although not as secure, freed me up from lots and lots of drama.
I've talked with many artists who have taken this plunge into the unknown, and started living by their art and wits, and NONE of them regretted the move at all.
That would make some fun research. Talk to people who have made a choice towards simplicity and freedom, and ask them if they have any regrets!
Nicole answered back:
very very helpful. i think i am in the transitional space between agency work and being self-employed. i usually hold tight to pragmatism and yet, i am finding that something is not fitting. i am for sure in the "what is next phase" where do i go from here? how do i get there? your snippet is helpful. and I like the idea of interviewing others. thanks for the boost.
So I've thought about this a little more, and I wandered over to Kindness Girl's blog (Patience Salgado), oh my, what a fantastic inspiration! The perfect way to continue this conversation. I'd scrolled down to George, the farm and living your values... where I read about a baker of flatbread who lives his values in Vermont. Wonderful to read. I immediately wanted to pack my bag for a road trip. Here's some of what she wrote:
I ate his flatbread, I slept in his inn (in a room named Kindness), I talked to his staff and friends, and I soaked in all of his values…and I was blessed and renewed. It reminded me that I too can hold to what is most important to me. There is no rush and each time I follow what I know to be true, I can create something beautiful. I wake each morning with a new day inviting me to create, to listen to myself and the world, to speak and be heard, to act in grace, kindness and love.
I came home and thought of all the places and tiny ways we fall away from living the life and way we want. And I asked, What Would George Do? He would probably write a little note telling himself and the world what is most important to him. So I’m writing mine now…signed by P. You can write one too. Let’s trade tomorrow, shall we?
OK, so here's mine:
I once had a life filled with drama. Now I study happiness. It feels free and simple.
Collage by Lani from morning pages and photo from friends on http://alteredbits.ning.com/.