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Why is it that my mind goes blank every time I open up a new post, yet a blank page in my journal eventually gets a few lines written? I suppose I’m a bit of a romantic when it comes to paper and pen…

Originally when I started this blog it was more of an open notebook to keep quotes and articles that inspire me to be better. I’d leave out the pain and the angst because I wanted this to be something positive if someone were to stumble upon it.

Also, I know that my writing isn’t perfect. Sometimes it’s too verbose and I have this annoying habit of repeating myself. Funny enough, it’s so predictable that I find it pretty quickly after doing a review, whether it’s personal or professional in subject. Obviously, I also tend to go off in tangents due to random changes in thought.. which annoys myself and may also do the same to an unassuming reader.

Then, of course, I cringe at the thought of anyone I know figuring out that this blog is created by me… especially with how honest I would like to be about what is really going on. Even more so, to imagine it being discovered down the road when I have somehow turned my life into the success that I feel is inside of me.

So I sit here on my patio in the morning sun, with my cup of joe and a cig, as I listen to the zany squirrels chasing eachother around the tree and think, who really cares?? And no one is going to figure it out. What’s the worst that could happen if they did? The Internet is clogged with people spilling their souls out for better or worse.

Hence the title of this post, here it goes, this blog will now represent the transformation of a life, from one of angst to one that is beautiful, happy, healthy and fulfilling. Typos and all. Grammatical errors in abundance I’m sure. This is going to be about me. All of me.

I was watching the show Mad Men the other day and for the longest time I’ve been pausing my Tivo to take down the bits and pieces of writing that make me feel alive. Here’s one from the other night that feels appropriate for my life at this point:

“Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting.”

Yes, it is great to visit blogs and sites that are purely dedicated to those on an upswing but I have yet to encounter one that also touches on the nitty gritty of depression, addictive behavior, self-sabotage, insecurity, ACOA and a less than perfect pursuit of a dream. Sometimes, it can be inspirational to see the pain that leads up to life-changing realizations. To see the struggle and the background that is all part of being human and flawed.

No matter where my life ends up, I know that my self-defeating tendencies will not disappear. It will forever be a balancing act and I will always be a work in progress. Just as anyone in a (healthy) relationship will tell you, it is work. And so is the relationship we have with ourselves.

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The bottom is an interesting place to find yourself. All of the sudden, the dust begins to settle and you look around, absorbing the state of your world. Everything is so clear when your life falls apart. You are given this amazing opportunity to rebuild and make incredible changes in yourself. Chaos is the perfect time for lasting change. I’ve finally reached a point where I can no longer go on living like this. I suppose it’s partly disgust, mixed with shame and confusion.

I thought I was doing everything right, or at least trying to. But here’s the thing, I now realize that no matter what I bring into my life, it’s all going to slip between my fingers if I don’t fix myself at the core.

I don’t need to recreate my external world. As I get older, I can see that I’ve gone that route too many times. It’s time to take a hard look at myself and figure out why life has never gotten better no matter where my home is. It’s not easy to do, and I know now that I can’t do it on my own.

I’m so fortunate to have the friends that I do, they’re my family. But it’s gotten to the point where I can see the pain in their eyes as they watch me self-destruct. My personal problems have now permeated everything and everyone around me. Co-dependency, self-medicating and escapism have been my downfall.

No matter how many times I’ve felt my heart ache in these past few months, I know I’ve arrived at this point for a reason. All of this pain that I am going through is necessary to become the person I want to be. Every last drop.

I’m not going to let this city turn me away. Because guess what? It’s not the city, it’s me. The only thing I am running from, is myself… and I’m too logical to keep planning an escape when I keep returning to the same place.

If I leave, it’s going to be on my terms and not based off of delusional fear. My personal faults cannot be masked as external factors any longer… it’s as if I’ve been chasing my own shadow.

I created this situation and I am the only one who can pick up the pieces. I feel like I’m finally taking the right path to become the person I know I’m capable of being. Big things are about to happen.

 

“Man looks into the abyss
There’s nothing staring back at him
At that moment, man finds his character
And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.”

– G.G. in Wall Street

Balance, clarity, clear direction… these are ongoing challenges that I have accepted to be a part of life. I know that I’m not alone in this. I think it depends on how self-aware a person chooses to be. I use the word choose, because clarity doesn’t necessary present itself if you are in an environment that is too chaotic. It’s too easy to get caught up in the flow of life, and sometimes we need a little reminder to take a minute to reconnect with ourselves. The article below was refreshing and insightful, so I contacted Tama Kieves and she was kind enough to give her blessing to repost.

 

Discover Diamonds In The Mud: Clarity, Creativity, or Genius

By Tama J. Kieves

 

Here’s a little secret. You can’t force clarity, creativity, or genius.

Yes, it’s maddening when you don’t know what you want–and no one else knows–because it’s your life.
Years ago, I felt very confused about a relationship issue. I journaled about it, cried about it, meditated about it, and clamored for certainty. And all I ever got when I asked my inner guidance was “you’ll know when you know.” Now that’s the kind of guidance that makes you want to shriek and join a cult or something where someone just tells you what beverage to drink, what thoughts to think, and what to wear, and things are nice and clear cut. But I already had a Jewish mother, so I resisted that urge. Instead, I hunkered down in the mud, cried, made myself comfortable, and mucked around until I claimed my diamonds.

Okay that’s the short version. In truth, I resisted, complained, obsessed and eventually decided I was going to have to live with confusion. And of course, when I accepted confusion, it evaporated wisp by wisp. Self-love cleared the fog.

So I thought I might offer you some tips on how to invite clarity when you’re feeling stuck and confused.

1. Take Out the Garbage and the Garbage will Clear
Do the task at hand and the vistas will emerge. Nurture the seedling and the tree will grow. Sometimes the Universe has given you an answer. It’s right in front of you. Work with the client you have. Clean out your garage and create that studio. Water the marigold seeds in the pot on the porch. Love the people who come through your front door. Take care of what’s in your midst so that you’re free to take the next step and move on. Don’t wait for the next thing to come before you tend to the work that you’ve already been given.

2. Definition without Experimentation is Limitation
Sometimes you want an answer so bad that you’ll squeeze into an ill fitting box or label just to end the search. But of course that’s not certainty, that’s insanity, and just delays the pain. Dare to ask until you have a true answer. Experience will answer you if you give experience a chance. Become a researcher collecting data. Let go of your concepts of your self and become aware of this beautiful, new emerging identity. See what this self prefers.

I’ve worked with a good deal of writers who need to try on different styles before they commit to a direction. They often feel frustration because they want to get started. Experimentation is how you get started. We want to finish before we even know what we want to create.

3. Invite Every Answer to the Party
It’s hard to let insights in, if we’ve dead bolted the doors. Sometimes we are begging for clarity, just as long as it’s a nice, tidy, respectable answer and preferably one that doesn’t really require us to change much at all.

Secretly, I’m looking for guidance that tells me that nothing has to change and I will get everything I want. I really don’t want to hear anything else. I certainly don’t want to hear how I might have to grow or do something different or open my mind to a new possibility. Really, I’m not looking for guidance. I’m looking to give guidance, as in give my script to the Universe. Meanwhile, my beloved Self is waiting for me to open my mind and heart so that it can flood me with kindness, direction, and magic beyond compare. It’s a loving standoff.

In my book This Time I Dance! I said, “The heart speaks with closure to the open mind.” When we’re ready for any answer, we’ll receive the one jewel we know is ours.

4. Become Attentive, not Obsessive
I’ve never met anyone who finds an answer by staring at the question, intently having to know. Desperation clouds your investigation. Keep tickling yourself with questions, gradually unbridling the knots in your heart and mind. Learn about yourself with fascination. You don’t need to become a stalker. Your truth knows how to speak to you. By all means, do focus on your situation. But don’t make it the focus of your life. Stay conscious, not rigid. The more you relax, the more you connect to yourself and that’s when the heavens shower us with diamonds.

5. When Answers come Knocking at the Door, There has to be Someone Home
Sometimes I don’t know an answer because I can’t feel. I’m numb, tired, exhausted, whacked out, hyper, fearful and haven’t exactly been in my body in at least a decade, or so it seems. In other words, nobody’s home. If I’m not really there, then even if I’m surrounded by guidance, I won’t know it.

Feel your feelings. Slow down, check in, cry, be uncomfortable, resist the temptation to avoid the hollowness. An opulence awaits you beneath the veil of hollowness. You are not empty. You may simply be tired and out of touch with your nerve endings. Slow down. Take a hot bath. Journal. Walk. Just be with your precious self–even in the heavy-hearted haze.

Sometimes truth hurts. If you’re avoiding pain, then you’re avoiding realization. The cost of escapism is no escape. Pretty Zen, huh?

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I want you to know that you will know what is right for you. Be gentle. Stay conscious. You can’t help but grow. Giving birth and healing is a subtle business. I’ll leave you with my love and this thought from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “Nothing can get done abruptly. The real changes are slow and invisible.”

Copyright Tama J. Kieves, All rights reserved.

Author’s Bio

Tama J. Kieves is the best-selling author of THIS TIME I DANCE! Creating the Work You Love/How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All to Have It All! She is also a sought-after speaker and career coach who has helped thousands world-wide to discover and live their creative dreams. Learn more about Tama’s workshops and coaching or sign up to receive FREE monthly inspiration and tools for your creative life journey at www.AwakeningArtistry.com