Answering the Call
I am in LOVE with the new year and all of its raw possibility! What fun is there to be had? What’s around the next bend? What adventures can I co-create? In my last post, I wrote about my word of the year, EXPANSIVE, and how it was already beginning to show up.
It seems my experience of EXPANSIVE is still expanding. (ha!)
I’ve been rereading the book Big Magic by Liz Gilbert about creativity and how she believes this fantastical experience of inspiration and creation works. She describes ideas as “disembodied, energetic life-forms” that swirl through the cosmos looking for willing collaborators among us to bring them into form in the physical world. And says that once an idea thinks it has found a partner in one of us, it courts us and tries to make itself known.
I like to think it works the other way, as well. Let’s just say, in 2018 I’m doing a little courting of my own!
I often get my best ideas while I’m driving. My mind relaxes and frees allowing ideas big and small to sneak in. Last night while I was driving home, one such magical idea arrived:
Work with my first three clients of 2018 on a donation basis.
After the initial giggly and swimmy feelings rushed through that said, yes, Yes, YES!, my brain kicked in with the resistance of no, No, NO! I was suddenly awash in worries about logistics rather than entertaining infinite possibility. I was stuck in the muck of fear rather than surfing on the waves of joy. How would it work? Isn’t this completely over the top? Can I do this? Discomfort coursed through me, and I cracked the window for air.
Ah yes, of course! It occurred to me that the discomfort I was feeling was EXPANSIVE taking on another form. For the second time in less than a week — less than seven days into active partnership with my word of the year — I again found myself skating that exhilarating/terrifying edge of growth and opportunity.
Deep breath in; long slow out.
Then the Buddhist practice of Dana (pronounced dah-nah) came to mind — the ancient art of cultivating generosity.
I have experienced Dana firsthand in various yoga classes and meditation workshops as the act of generous giving on both the part of the giver and the receiver. The teacher freely offers instruction from their sense of dharma (divine purpose); the students freely honor the teaching and the teacher by making a monetary donation according to how they are moved and able to contribute. It is a gift from the heart.
Expansiveness in its own right! Right??!?
And there was the rub. The idea that showed up for me in response to my question of, “Hey Universe, what’s next?” was even bigger than I had imagined it might be. It felt exciting and scary.
The best ideas are like that. They are worth courting.
And then I remembered Karen’s parting wish, her call to action for all of us touched by her story…
In celebration of this life I’ve lived, as a way of keeping my memory alive, I ask that you go out into the world and be of service to someone in need. Help them out. Make them smile. Shine your light as only you can. And let that joy we create together be the light that continues to guide you home.
So in answer to the call of EXPANSIVE, in the spirit of Dana, and in honor of Karen and the play we were fortunate to experience together leading up to her death, I am choosing to partner with this idea.
If you are inspired to reach out, let’s talk. If you know of anyone who may be interested in my end of life doula services, I invite you to share my information — now’s a great time. And if you have any questions, as always, I’d love to hear. ♥