You are getting something right. You are actually probably doing a lot right! And that is where you start. Then choose the next thing. An area that you feel needs work, something to be deliberate about. Standing on the solid ground of what you do well, begin to work on the area that needs to change. But most of all, make your relationships your priority.
When I read Ginny Sheller’s thoughts earlier today, I smiled. It was good to be reminded that I am probably getting a few things right. Don’t we need that encouragement sometimes? I know I do. It makes me ask myself: “What’s working here, what are the things I’m doing that are really producing growth, that make a difference? When I get to the end of the day, what are the things I feel good about?” These are important questions. I often come to the evening with a sense of frustration over all the undone things, especially the things that relate to writing. I have so many plans and dreams, and there are days where no matter how good my intentions are, the plans get derailed. That’s okay sometimes, but if I don’t make some conscious choices to prioritise, days can turn into weeks which turn into months. Momentum and inspiration are lost and I get discouraged and settle into a kind of comfortable mediocrity. I tell myself that one day I’ll have uninterrupted time and energy and focus; then I’ll really get into all those wonderful projects buzzing around in my head. But what if, as Ginny says, I choose “something to be deliberate about”? David Whyte speaks about this: “…I was going to do at least one thing every day toward my future life as a poet. I calculated that no matter how small a step I took each day, over a year that would come to a grand total of 365 actions toward the life I wanted. One thing a day is a powerful multiplier.” One thing a day. I can do that, in my writing and my riding and my relationships.
I can look at what’s settled and sure, the places I feel safety and a growing sense of accomplishment, and I can build on them. Some of the steps I take will be easy and some won’t. I’ve felt sometimes like I’m jumping off the edge of a cliff and I have to tell myself that even if I don’t fly, it’s alright. Falling is all part of the journey, as long as I learn from it and move on. I can’t control the process, but I can be open to the lessons it brings. And there are often unexpected gifts.
I like what she says about relationships. About their value and importance. I enjoy ticking things off my list, and relationships don’t fit neatly into lists… It’s so important to be present to the people in our lives and to give ourselves to shaping connections that are deep and real. Such connections have sustained and nurtured me, and provided much needed encouragement and support in the pursuit of all my dreams and goals.
Progress is often so much slower than I would like. I wonder some days how I manage to get so little done. But I am moving forward, step by step. And that is what matters.