Stepping into my own personal and professional development is such an important part of my practice as a Creative Coach. A willingness to face the truths of my life and do any necessary work to maintain the trajectory I’m on, is the greatest gift I can offer myself to ensure I keep living my dream.
I often reflect on something my mentor said at the end of one of the Shamanic retreats I was attending. ‘Don’t go home and quit your job, file for divorce, or move to another country,’ she told the group.
Such can be the power of insights achieved, when one steps into development work, so that we can be left thinking, ‘what on earth have I been doing with my life?!’ This can mean we take drastic action.
It's the equivalent of waking from a deep sleep, cringing at the characters and symbols from our dreams, knowing now what they represent. We leap from the bed, splash our face with cold water, vowing never to fall asleep again.
But development work is there to set us free. Making vows is simply the cage, creeping back around us in another guise.
I know this place, returning home from another mind-splitting personal development experience, suddenly able to see all the ways I've been cramping my style, understanding the fear that’s kept me in a box under the stairs and how my heart truly wants to soar in the sky.
I would be full of plans after a retreat – high and energised. Tomorrow will be the beginning of a new and fabulous life. My world feels bright, the shadows are short with the sun directly above.
And then the following morning comes. The sun has sunk a little. All the shadows have stretched. The beat in my heart, that had felt so powerful, has dimmed.
The title of this blog is taken from a book by Jack Kornfield. In essence, he looks at how we can experience moments of insight – these beautiful perspectives that can raise us from our cramped existence – and feel a reluctance to return to the everyday. We might mistake life’s ‘lows’ as proof that our shifts were only temporary: it hasn’t ‘worked’. And so, we roll along, waiting for the next chance to step into development work and find the ecstasy, once more.
The laundry is the moment of integration. We find ourselves back at our same old desks, and yet, this time, it could be different. Yes, we see how life and its routines is still there, going around us. We sense our old dance in that routine, how we seem to be drawn back into those same, boring steps. This, in itself, is different because we now know something we didn’t, which is enough. Our perspective has shifted. We only need to hold on to this perspective.
Doing the laundry, wondering how it is that we are still doing the laundry, means that we have woken up, which is a great place to start. We can smile, because we have kindled something within us, as we go about our same old daily routines. By acknowledging this, it gives the fire in our hearts a chance to gradually spill into our lives and lift those shadows. We don't need to make vows that become another set of rules to live by, we only need to remain alert.