With all that is going on right now in the world, the word start came into mind. I have a lot of time on my hands now that I can’t leave my house. So that voice started telling me to start cleaning your garage and throw out all the makeup items you never use. Start cleaning those closets that have been overlooked for so long. Start organizing your pictures in those boxes (in the garage) and on your computer that you know you have duplicates of but have never taken the time to delete them for fear you will delete all of them.
Wait! This is what is going on in my crazy mind when the world is fighting a pandemic virus? Are you kidding me? No, sad to say I’m not. For the other meaning to start is a sudden movement of surprise or alarm. I don’t know about you but when I am alarmed I tend to play it off and start thinking about all of the things I should be doing. I become more aware of what I’m not doing instead of what I am doing.
I am catching up on my long-overdue reading and believe me, it’s not easy. I get a newspaper every day and have two and three webinars to view on any given day. That’s not including the stack of books I am determined to read before God knows when.
I am determined to start a podcast of my writings but the second meaning becomes very clear why I haven’t. A sudden movement of surprise or alarm. More like an alarm for failing. I have been listening to Mike Dooley who has a three-part webinar entitled The Art of Performing Miracles.
Now before you think I’m going woo-woo on you he does have some very interesting and valuable things to say. When I first saw the email about it I thought, “Oh brother here we go again. Another webinar about changing your life and doing it with their $99.00 program. But it was all free and no sales pitch was attached so I thought, “Maybe this is a good place to start.”
He focused not on the journey but on the outcome. He asked to imagine the end result. To ask yourself what do I really want? He was much like William James, the father of modern psychology. He talked about not wasting time looking down but to look up to move forward. To start and take action. Give myself a deadline and follow what adventure it will take me regardless of the outcome. To just START.
Right now, it can’t be any more unsure than where we are now. I know we will get through this and on the other side. I will have chosen the first meaning of start to realize miracles are invisible until we realize they are possible. Take care of yourself. We need all the miracles we can get.
William James, the founder of psychology in the US, explains that most human feelings aren’t just in our heads. In his book “Principles of Psychology”, written in 1890, he says our emotions are “tightly bound” in our actions and bodies. Here we are in 2020 and not much has changed.
Depression seemed to embrace me in January more than usual. The first of the year always seems bright the first week and then old habits seem to sneak back in. I have notes everywhere of what I should do or feel about day to day living but never seemed to be able to carry it through.
I have to say I didn’t really feel like going out much or even getting off the couch. Work was slow and I felt my age for the first time. “The business retires you” kept going through my head and I must admit I seemed to think that was the truth. I was falling into what James writes we do… “sit all day in a moping posture, sigh, and reply to everything with a dismal voice, and your melancholy lingers.” But he’s telling us to “act differently. To do something even if it’s the last thing we want to do. Get the blood flowing. Inactivity is the enemy.”
I had not written my blog for quite a while and felt I had little to say. But in fact, I have a lot to say and refuse to let myself run off course. It is my responsibility to choose how I will let life go without having a say in it.
I leave you with this quote from William James. “We don’t laugh because we’re happy. We’re happy because we laugh. Actions do not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
I’ve always kept this blog title to one word but this is a special occasion. I am very excited to announce my friend’s beautiful book about women not only in their prime but nude. It is a beautiful representation of the strength women have at any age. But these women have lived a number of years and are here to tell the world.
It is refreshing and also incredibly brave for these women to share their beautiful bodies and stories. My friend, Angelika Buettner, a world-class photographer, has captured them in all their glory.
She told me about the project a number of years ago and I agreed to be a part of it not knowing it would turn out to be such a work of art. I was going through a lot of changes when I said yes and posing for her allowed me to free myself in many ways. Seeing it in print made me incredibly proud. I did it. I was brave enough to show myself physically and emotionally in print. I was scared and it was raw. But I am among these strong women. I am so grateful to be able to share the same pages with them.
So in this new year and a new decade, I announce that I Am! It’s been a long road but I’m determined to move through it with strength and grace.