Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A New Love

Most of us like new things.

I've always loved going new places, meeting new people, and learning new information.

Children especially love new things, a new toy, a new playground or a new friend.  And when it comes to new things (with the exception of vegetables and homework), most children are fearless and disregard "doing it wrong" or making mistakes.

Likewise, I'm sure this is one of the child-like aspects of my personality that has kept me young-at-heart, spiritually open and committed to mindful peace.

And then there's that other kind of fear, the fear that creeps in as we grow older.  Unlike a child, we often fear new things because we've come to understand we cannot control everything - and because we cannot control everything - we fear we may make mistakes - and of course, each one of us will - at sometime make a mistake.

Unfortunately, and more than I care to admit, I'm noticing how uncomfortable I'm becoming when it comes to new things, things out of my control, things I fear threaten that which I treasure - peace.  

Case and point, there is one area of my life where "fear of the new" makes the strongest imposition...the new job process.  These days like many people, finding and getting a job has truly become a process; Internet classifieds (literally thousands to sift through), online applications (before you even interview), phone interviews (before you get the interview), Recruiters (pushing for high commission at your expense) and of course the lack of jobs (jobs that pay enough to help you pay off those student loans that were supposed to help you get a "good" job).  Indeed the new job process is a challenge most of us would rather forgo. 

And then there's the job itself; once you've been hired and start work at your new job, the fear of making a mistake can be overwhelming, frustrating and downright stressful (exasperated by the fear of losing the new job because there are literally hundreds of applicants who would gladly replace you because there are so few jobs).  Indeed, fear can loom large for me in a new job where the fear of making mistakes can outweigh the excitement of the new job (partly because I'm finally ready to find a job I can settle into - and mostly because I don't want to go through that new job process again). 

I'm an Introvert. And as you might imagine, being an Introvert in a new (social) environment is like a neon sign blinking: "Timid New Person Who Replaces the Old 'New Person' from being New Person who gets the brunt of all jokes" - and the new job is no exception to the rule. As an Introvert in a new job, one is a prime target for not-so-funny jokes at your expense, is the new the person to point the finger at when something goes wrong and as the new person on the job - one becomes the main candidate forced to listen to the resident complainer who has become disillusioned and disgusted at the old job (which was at one time a new job).  And thus begins my frustration, worry and stress with this new thing – essentially my surrender of peace. 

Perhaps one does not have to be an Introvert to experience this kind of stress in a new job setting.  Perhaps, that's just being able to adjust to something new.  Or perhaps, I make too much of a little thing like a new job. 

So there I stood in the shower, thinking about getting ready for another day at the still new job and I realized how uncomfortable I was with this new thing in my life.  Strange, I thought, because you were always so gong-ho for new places and new people.  What’s the matter with you?  Why so stressed and emeshed in the muck and mire of this new job process; its just one more new thing in your life, that may someday - all too soon - feel so old and familiar – you wish it were new.  Snap out of it, step aside and let the new the new thing. 

It was time to get out of the shower - get dry - get dressed and get on with my day at the new job - remembering a favorite quote I keep on my "sacred table" at the entrance of my home:

                              It does mean to be in a place where there is 
                              no noise, trouble or hard work.
                              It means to be in the midst of all those things 
                             and still be calm in your heart.
 Maybe the shower is not the most sacred place to connect with Spirit, however, water has always been a sacred space for me. So believe there, that morning, experiencing the renewing energy of water, I knew it was the grace of God, showering me in wellness, washing away stress and cleansing me of the fear.  My life/living is restored to peace.
Write on Love a conscious, engaged and creative way to help me remember that no matter what is outside of me - or how stressed  - or distressed I may become, I must always "write" and I must always "love" - and if it seems too hard to love - remember God's grace which is love and a cornerstone for that which I treasure - peace.  

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:19

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Most of All Fear...

Its been a thousand years since I've written...anything.  I do mean anything; since I've written a chapter (in the ongoing-10-year-seeming-never-to-finish novel), its been forever since I'd written an essay (my favorite form of writing), its been years since I've written a blog post (I think the last here was 2012), its been too long since I've written a letter (not an email) and last but not least...its been an eternity since I've written in my journal (I don't even own a journal to write in).

None of this is good; and yet, I haven't done much about it...even less to change it.

And that bothers me - a lot

So today I promised myself - no matter what!  I will write something (in this blog).

And as it turns out, there really is something I feel "worth" writing about:  fear.

I don't know how one determines whether a "interesting incident" is coincidence or conscious-raising.

This comes to mind because this weekend, I had an "interesting incident" with fear; it falls in the "coincidence or conscious-raising" circle because the concept of fear or more accurately...the discussion of "fearless" came to me on the same day - with hours of each other.

One was an article I was reading on the train ride to a meeting; and the next time was when I arrived to the meeting and  the speaker's subject was being "faithful or fear"; posing the question to the group, "What would you do if your faith was greater than your fear?" And "What would you do if you had no fear" (or had less fear).

In the article people talked about taking a world-wide trip, quitting one's job to do the thing you love; taking the first step to meet a mate and even writing; yes...writing.  As I read this last "what would I do..." comment, I was "fascinated" (perhaps not the best word) that someone else - a "successful" person (according to the article) needed to be(come) "fearless" in order to write.  

How could such a comment not affect me? I, who had not written anything in a million years because...I presumed...I had little to nothing to say (write) that would impress anyone, that anyone would want to hear or that anyone else hadn't already said.  "Why keep writing the same stuff - like everybody else...because these days everybody writes?"  So why bother?  Why bother?

Chocolate Chip Cookies..that's why.

There are at least a hundred brand-name, types, favors, mixtures, variations, different ways to make Chocolate Chip Cookies that line the supermarket aisles - and yet people with more faith and less fear...continue to make Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This is the answer I would give others when they wanted to quit doing what they love, when a friend was contemplating giving up a dream, or growing tired of being patient for a desired outcome or when someone told me they were not pursuing their "love, life and laughter" because they had "fear" about doing so.  

And yet, as I sat listening to the speaker talk about "faith or fear" (being fearless) and replayed the words of the article about being "fearless" - I realized the way to do know whether an "interesting incident" is "coincidence or conscious-raising" is listen to one's heart; because Spirit will speak to us if we are willing to listen.

So I knew this double dose of being "fearless" was not a coincidence; instead what spoke to my heart was a reminder, a wake call and conscious-raising message that "most of all fear" is a lack of faith.

And sometimes, I was being reminded...all we need is just a little more faith to manifest less fear to come up with the next Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Or in my starting writing (again).