action · clarity · faith · purpose · recovery · vision

“Just What I Needed.”

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I was just telling my co-worker that nearly every item in my
apartment came off the street or handed down. What typically happens for me is
I notice a need in the apartment, say, I want a new waste-paper basket for my
bathroom. And, more often than not, within a week or so, I’ll pass the perfect
one on the street.
Most of the items in my house happened this way. Including
the new kitchen table I just acquired and am typing on today. Because as point
of fact, I’d just been saying and thinking how I want a new, less rickety
kitchen table. And lo, yesterday, I ran into an upstairs neighbor who is moving
and getting rid of things, and I asked to see what she had left, and there’s
that Ikea table I’d admired but didn’t want to buy. And now, it’s here, in my
home.
The reason I bring it up today is that I have recognized
that when I have clarity of vision, I tend to get what it is I want. The
perfect semi-matching bedside table, the pull-out couch that nestles perfectly
in the alcove, a set of new colorful bowls and plates to replace the staid gray
ones I’d bought at Goodwill.
Each of these I envisioned before they appeared. And so, I
feel, will the job.
I do know how I want to structure and spend my day. I do
know the kind of routine I want and the kind of impact I want to have.
And yet. It’s the waiting, the focusing, the action, the
getting there, the pause.
With each newly acquired piece in my home, I am reinforcing
the belief and faith and trust that if I dream it, it will come. If I am
particular and specific, it will come.
It’s time once again to write a job ideal, and perhaps a
relationship ideal while I’m at it, as I continue to release relationships that
don’t serve me.
In fact, I’ve noticed as I look at my list of relationships
to amend (people I’ve fallen out of touch with for self-preservation [but feel guilty about it], men I
intrigue with even though there’s no possibility or desire for more, and the
third category, my job that I haven’t wanted that’s been the same one dressed
in different clothes for decades), each of these categories can be boiled down
to: Molly staying in relationships she doesn’t want to be in.
Molly staying for the crumbs, the guilt, the fear of
emptiness. Molly staying because it’s the “right” and “good” thing to do. Molly
staying because she believes she can’t have what she really wants.
Each of these amends boils down to believing I’m worth
attaining what I really want.
It’s so easy to believe and reinforce this when it comes to
kitchen furniture! it’s harder to believe I can have what I want when it comes
to people.
It is a sad and lonely habit to continue to hang on to
relationships that don’t work, that aren’t fulfilling, that aren’t meeting my
needs because of a belief that something is better than nothing.
It’s funny. My voice teacher had me practice “As long as he
needs me” from Oliver the other week.
Did I know the song, he asked? Yes. Yes, I know the song. I live the song.
I will stay on as long as he, she, they, it needs me. No
matter how it’s hurting because “if you’ve been lonely, then you will know,
when someone needs you, you love them so.”
So, I guess I should correct it to say I have lived the song. But I don’t really anymore, or I don’t
want to anymore. I don’t want to settle, I don’t want to stay small, I don’t
want to be scared of what may or may not come to me.
I want to believe, that just as I knew my kitchen table
would arrive when it was supposed to, that my job and my healthy relationship
will as well.
With a little visioning, of course. And perhaps a new theme song.

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avoidance · community · connection · courage · disconnection · fear · laughter · life · love · meaning · messiness · purpose · vulnerability

"Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it. I would punch your life in the face." Scott Pilgrim Vol 4

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As those of you who follow (or haven’t yet hidden) my
Facebook know by now, I’m actively looking for work. I have been, but some dam broke
this week, and I’ve pulled out more of the stops – those stops tend to look
like “fear of looking bad, desperate, needy.” However, SURPRISE! I feel those
things, so I guess if I look that way, then I’m just looking honest, huh?
I’ve been reading back into some of Brene Brown’s work
lately. I have her book The Gifts of Imperfection, and have been reading through the Amazon previews of her other two
books, most especially,
Daring Greatly, because it’s got her own biographical story at the beginning that includes the following exchange: 

      Therapist: What does it [vulnerability] feel like?
      Brene Brown: Like I’m coming out of my skin. Like I need to fix whatever’s happening and make it better.
      Th: And if you can’t?
      BB: Then I feel like punching someone in the face.
Nonetheless, what she goes on to discuss is the virulent necessity to
be vulnerable in order to achieve anything of worth, mainly love, connection,
and compassion.
People have commented to me often that what I write here is “so
honest.” Which I guess is another way of saying I allow myself to be vulnerable
here. Partly I do this because this is a protected forum. There are many layers
to getting here: You have to be my Facebook friend (or somehow have the link),
and then you have to click on it.
Well, two layers
then!
So, this is a bit of a more private club than public. And I
suppose that I feel brave enough to share this all with those of you who have
leaped those two “massive” hurdles toward connection with me. If you’re this
interested, or amused, then why shouldn’t
you get to see some of me? Which this blog always is: some of me. – It’s honest, but it’s
not my diary, nor my therapist. (Aren’t you grateful!)
I suppose that mostly what I feel about sharing here, and why I feel it’s “safe” vulnerability, is that
you’ve probably felt this way, too. I have heard that feedback many times from people from wildly different arenas of my life and backgrounds and
circumstances.
We all feel the same
way at times. Have felt that way, or simply “get” what it feels like to do so.
In short, we are an empathetic and compassionate community
just by my writing and your reading. We create connection, however zero’d and
one’d it is, in this exchange of ideas.
I suppose I write all this today to say– No, to remind myself that
I have great capacity for courage, authenticity and vulnerability. I don’t mind
telling you about the depths because you’ve been there, and can relate. I don’t
mind sharing my journey into and out of the chaos of my brain, because,
surprise, you all have brains, too!
In this time when things for me feel uncertain and
uncharted, this blog is a constant and a place for me where I know that I can do and
be well. Even when I’m vomiting on this page, and raging into and at it, I know
you’re here, smiling, waiting for me to pull through. Or nodding and saying, Me
too.
And. (Point):
If I have the balls to be as vulnerable and honest as I am
here behind these hurdles, then there is a significantly greater chance that I
can own my authenticity out in the “real” world.
Which I’m pretty sure is what all this mind-fucking job/meaning of life search is about, anyway. 

balance · change · direction · happiness · life · love · purpose · success · vision

MyHead Revisited

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I can’t even remember who it was now, but recently a friend
told me that she is consistently revisiting and reevaluating her goals. What
seemed like the best and truest goal two years ago may no longer hold the sway,
and so, daily almost, but certainly every while or so, we must revisit what
we’d thought we were heading toward – like recalibrating our compass.
I’d come up with this vision a few years ago, maybe 2 or 3
now, of my ideal daily schedule. The early morning, of course, is inner work
like I already do (journaling, meditating, blogging); the rest of the
morning hours would be spent in working on my craft, in a detached studio in
the backyard that would be half an art studio and half a music studio.
Couches, light, friends to jam or visit.
In the afternoon, I would go out “into the world,” and do
*something* of which I’m still unsure having to do with the community — being
involved, helping others, maybe working after school with kids, or facilitating
my workshop, or some kind of public speaking. Unknown task, but known purpose:
to help, to connect, to be in community.
The evening would be play time. Either I’d be in theater
productions, performing with my band, out at art shows or readings. That would
be my friend, fun, out, “On” time.
And that’s my day. All seen from a white kitchen, where I
stand, maybe 50 years old, chopping something at the island block, the art studio visible from a
door to the backyard.
Not a bad vision, eh?!
But. It’s also time to revisit it. And my thoughts and goals
in general. Are these intentions still relevant, powered, intended? Are these
my values? Dunno. I’ll have to sit with them for a while.
What I surprised me this morning, however, is that several
of my intentions have become realized. Though I know I am unfulfilled in my
employment, as I remember where I was when I discovered the above vision a few
years ago (also unfulfilled in my employment), I recognize I am no longer looking at this vision from a place of Yeah Sure,
Right. As a completely foreign land.
I guess I’m being vague.
To drill down: This morning, I’m boarding a bus, to a train,
to a plane that will carry me across the land to visit a girl friend and her
new baby. Three years ago, this would be impossible.
And that’s what I’m trying to get at here: Something that
was impossible, is now utterly completely possible, and it’s happening. In 4 hours. It is. There is no waiting, no longing, no hemming, no
envy. I
am doing what I’ve wanted
to be able to do because I
am
able to do it.
Perhaps this all sounds quite bent this morning, perhaps
having not packed yet is making me anxious to put all this down and get onto
that plane.
But, I hope you get my meaning.
Because even as few as 2 weeks ago, I was as depressed and
lost-feeling as Tom Hanks without Wilson. Despite the mantra of my friend that,
This too shall pass, it didn’t feel that way, and I had no idea how that could
happen. Nothing can really change, can it? It’s all the same Groundhog Day,
isn’t it?
But, Bill Murray wakes up in the end to a new future,
doesn’t he?
What looks like the continuation of a road going nowhere,
long and desperate and desolate… well, this morning at least, I see that it’s
not.
It doesn’t solve my
life. It doesn’t offer clarity or freedom or a path lit up like the exit lines
in a plane. But, in some ways, my recognition of my being here
does fucking solve it.
The fact that this is
enough. That I am
happy – that I
allowed myself to take a vacation, to visit a friend, to take action toward
something that was valuable to me. … Actually, that
does solve my life.
To look up from my navel-gazing and my despair and my
coordinate-less destination, to remember (oh forgive me) that the journey is
happening right now, and that I am
(FINALLY) participating in it and NOTICE that I am participating in it:
Well, it feels like Alice in the ‘50s cartoon version of her
story, walking along a path through the woods when a dog with a push-broom nose
comes along behind her, and erases the path from which she came, cuts around in
front of her, and continues to sweep away the path toward which she’s going, so
that finally, all she’s left with is one illuminated square.
But for me, I’m seeing today (and this all may change tomorrow!) that this is pretty good
square. 

community · direction · doubt · faith · inspiration · leadership · life · purpose · spirituality

“What’s the use in clapping if Tinkerbell’s just gonna die anyway?”

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Yesterday at rehearsal, I was changing into my costume in
the women’s stall and overheard two of the other actors reciting lines from
their monologue class last semester. This was the line.
It sounded so maudlin, purple, dramatic – and hilarious.
It’s nice when these kinds of pessimistic, nihilistic
phrases sound like humor to me instead of like truth. Depending on the day, it
could go either way.
But for right now, it sounds funny to me.
Because it’s a question I pique to. It’s a question I (and
we) have to answer for ourselves every single day. What is the use in trying,
living, loving, exploring, creating, learning, sharing, expressing, including,
communicating, if it’s all gonna turn to rat turds anyway?
I think it’s a question we are also privileged to be able to
ask ourselves. In many economic circumstances, in many not so small corners and
countries of the world, there isn’t the option to see the breadth of life and
question why we engage in it—there’s only “do what’s in front of you to keep on
living;” there’s only survive.
Therefore, it is a gift (and a curse) to have the opportunity to ask ourselves why we
should keep on keepin’ on. And we can choose to take the opportunity, or not.
If we forget the finality of mortality, we are (I am) apt to
waste time. To plod along, to not question, and not look up to see what
direction we’re going. Which is what yesterday’s blog was about.
I won’t repeat what I wrote around Cancer Time, about the
crazy-making imperative clock that then
can begin to sound when you start noting the temporality of things, which makes
you question if you’re allowed to sit on the couch and watch Netflix – or if
because of the finite nature of things, you’re only allowed to participate in activities that move the
needle of your life and humanity forward.
That kind of extremity can lead to paralyzation. We all need
a mind break.
But, what when that mind break goes on too long? When again
you begin to feel what Martha Graham called, “a queer divine dissatisfaction, a
blessed unrest”?
I have that divine dissatisfaction; it’s part of what keeps
most artists (and mathematicians and inventors)  tinkering at their “finished” work – there’s always something to
do, to improve, to make divine itself. But there is a quagmire when that divine
dissatisfaction is coupled with absence of direction or intention or
consistency.
Then it is only failure. And you’re back to paralyzation
again.
My dear aunt wrote me in response to my blog about courage
the other day. She was galled. She asked, in essence, if I, Molly, am not
courageous, if I am not a warrior goddess, than what on earth am I?
I agree with her (sometimes), that I am a warrior goddess.
Not that I’m unique or special in that; many of us are. But, I wrote a blog while sick that was
called, “What’s
the use of being a Shaman Warrior if you don’t get paid for it?
I asked myself in the car yesterday, driving to rehearsal,
what a warrior goddess does for a living? I thought about Gandhi and Mother
Theresa (if I may be so bold as to compare). And I answered, She teaches others
how to be warrior goddesses, too.
What that will look like, I wish I had more ideas. But, I
will continue to clap for Tinkerbell – because the “use anyway” is that I (and we
all) have been given the chance to touch and enhance the world around us and
within us. The use is that every time that we exchange a
moment of compassion and joy and true connection we illuminate the world. The use
is that every one of us is a beacon for everyone else, if we’re bold enough to
shine.
As you can see, I have the blessed unrest – if I could only
have the blessed roadmap, we’d be in business.