So my friends. It is official. I AM DYING.
It has been confirmed. And I am not sure how much time I have left, all I know is I am dying.
It is a sad and yet very real truth.
So before I say good bye, I have to say this.
My friend, YOU ARE DYING TOO!
Now before you get all, ‘dar, of course we are deush bag, you scared me there I thought you were ACTUALLY dying!!!” I just want to consider this TRUTH that we all KNOW but kinda don’t actually want to consider.
Immediately the brain will go into survival mode and us in a state of alert.
“Holy shit, I am dying. Shit. What do I do? What have I done with my life? Shit. How do I stop this from happening?”
So, lets just take a breath…no, I am serious, you and me, take a breath now! Inhale deeply into your belly and exhale all the old air out. And, if you are feeling really scared that you are dying, maybe you take another one!
I’m not minimising the absolute pain it causes when we lose someone we love deeply. I am not minimising the distress real painful death causes.
But beauty, here is the truth.
If you are not living a vibrant and expansive and growth-kind-of-life, you may as well have a terminal illness.
In my 20’s I learnt the biggest learning about life…and death. I had taken a job doing 12 hour night shifts in an oncology unit. These people were proper dying. Chemotherapy kind of dying. Bone cancer kind of dying. Brain tumour kind of dying.
I was blessed to work nights in that unit, because it was at night I could hear the sobbing. It was at night I had the time to sit with these folks. It was at night the regrets surfaced. It was at night I got schooled on life.
3 patients have stayed with me since that time on the oncology unit. I want share one of those life teachers lessons and pay homage to a woman who would never have known how much she would influence my life.
Mary. A woman in her late 60’s who had spent her entire life committed to running a corporate business. She was a passionate woman and made the decision in her 30’s to commit to her job and forgo the family life. The mainstream life. She told me of all her glorious travels. She told me of the money she had made. The safety of her role in the company she ran for over 25 years. The friends she had met.
I was captivated and loved listening to her.
We both looked forward to our chats and the reminiscing.
Mary spoke so positively about her decision to not have a family and to commit her energy to her job. I admired that. At that time I wan’t sure how I felt about having a family. I thought I’d just have dogs really. Not kids (side not, I have no dog and 3 kids).
Then one night, when I was doing my rounds, I found Mary sobbing. Proper ugly cry, snot flinging sobbing. My heart. Oh my heart. I can still remember.
When she finally caught her breath, we talked. And she shared honestly. Deeply honestly with me. And I can still remember like it was last night I was with her. I still have th journal entry about it!
She said, “I married my job. I chose that. And it is not that makes me sad. What makes me sad is that I didn’t LOVE my life. I never questioned if that is what my heart really wanted. Truth be known I was too afraid. And now, as I lay in this bed dying, I see that I have no family, no friends and the folks that I used to work with, well they are still working. Jenny, I am dying and I don’t think I mattered to anyone. Don’t ever follow anything other than your heart and create a life you love”.
Ugh……still gets me!!
You and I came here, this one time, in this unique form in this unique experience. Not ten years ago, not 120 years ago (welllll, maybe you are the oldest person alive reading this..if you are “hi”, how honoured am I?”
You came here, in this unique form, with all your unique gifts, this time around.
Don’t you think that is fucking miraculous? FUCKING miraculous.
And my beauty, how is it that you are spending your life right now?
Watching cat video’s and being pissed off in your job and bitching and moaning about grumpy people you heard talking about how many grumpy they are in the world?
I mean, really? Is this how we want to treat our one precious life.
Are you spending it all up in other peoples business, telling them what they ‘should’ be doing and you aren’t actually doing what you know you ‘should’ be doing in your own life?
Are you gossiping and poo poo-ing folks behind their backs?
Steven Pressfield in his book, “The War of Art” talks about this really, real thing called ‘resistance’ which in simplest terms is about us feeling this internal push back when we want to follow this ‘inner calling’ thing.
It’ll be the parent who suddenly says they desperately need your help (when they have been refusing it for years), just when you are about to step into a new creative direction.
It’ll be the school fees at the private school you are busting to pay for for your child so they might have a ‘better life than yours’..poor kid is going to carry that burden (don’t worry…they need something to go to therapy for”.
Then the story we make up is, “oh, see I am not meant to do that, the universe obviously doesn’t want that to happen”. Is it the universe or is it YOU?
You want to quit just like that?
Well of course you do. You are terrified of what will happen if you actually follow that calling thing.
You are afraid that you will look like a dick if it doesn’t ‘quite work out’.
You are afraid that there will be folks saying, “I told you so, you should have just stayed in that suck-arse-life-taking-piece-of-shit-job where you feel like your life is being completely vampired”!
You are afraid that all that thinking, dreaming and plotting may not turn out just like you wanted it too.
You are afraid that you will lose a shit load of money and then feel like a funk-arse failure.
You are afraid that people will be like, “oh but all of that is already done. I mean, do we really need another book/candle/pen/dance/talk/piece of food in the world (insert your thing)?
You are afraid that no one will vibe with your stuff and be like, “Oh well that was a waste of time and money wasn’t it?”
You are afraid that you will be criticised.
You are afraid folks will think you are ‘too good for yourself’ and turn their nose up at you and keep their distance like you are losing your skin and bleeding everywhere.
And I get it. I SO get it. I get is beyond getting it. I do.
I am afraid too.
No, really I am.
I am afraid that I am not going to have time in my life to create everything I want to create.
I am afraid that I will be on my own on this creative adventure.
I am afraid that people will think I know all the fucking answers to all the pain and problems in the world.
I am afraid that I am not enough. That I haven’t done enough. That I am not good enough.
I am afraid that all the money I have invested in training, and development and learning and everything is not going to produce what I want and will be a waste of money.
Yes, I am afraid.
I am afraid AND I am doing it anyway. It isn’t completely clear, it isn’t really defined. But I follow the calls. The next call. And the next.
Not because it is perfect (um, not even close to it). Not because I know exactly what I am doing but because the risk of NOT doing it FAR too great for me NOT to!
I don’t want to spend this one precious life waiting. Waiting until I feel enough. Waiting for the ‘right’ time. Waiting until someone gives me permission to follow the calling that just wont stop.
The calling is not a ‘thing’ or a job title or a particular event.
It is a calling to show up in my life.
It is a calling to do more of that stuff that just makes time pass effortlessly.
It is a calling to notice the things that feel constrictive in my body and notice the things that feel expansive.
It is a calling to create a life instead of complain about a life.
It is a calling to be curious and open and to never really ‘know’ all the answers.
It is a calling to serve.
It is calling to be fucking kind to myself, to honour myself and try stuff. And fail. And learn. And grow. And try.
It is a calling that will not quit.
AND IT IS A CALLING TO SHARE WHAT I LEARN ALONG THE WAY!
This, where I sit right now, typing to the one person (that is you) that is reading this is my calling!
To share my life adventure so that you might be reminded that you are not alone. That I too am afraid. AND that we can still do it anyway!!
To remind you of your strength in your uniqueness. And your strength in your sameness. You are strong. You ‘know’ you can do this thing, you are just afraid.
To remind you that each house in the world has a table in it, but it ins’t the SAME table, made by the SAME person. NO, there are tables made all over the place for all kinds of settings, tastes, colours, shapes. I mean…come on!
SO if you are afraid that it has already been done, it hasn’t been done your way.
If you afraid that it is going to cost you too much, start by sussing it with your friends. Talk to a trusted friend. Not a blow smoke up your arse friend, and not a friend that is a scared as you, but a friend that will give it to you straight. AND love you deeply.
Beauty, I am dying. And, when I get to the end and look back, I want to know that I have loved. I want to know that I gave it a red hot crack at creating a life that I am proud of. That I showed my kids what it is to not just talk about my dreams, but let my gifts unfold into reality. That I was SUPER kind to myself through the process.
So, can we hold each other accountable, right now? Can we commit to quit the bitching about our spouses, our friends, our bosses, and other bitch-worthy shit?
AND instead, turn our attention in and ask, “what kind of person do I want to be in this world and what do I want to create?”.
Life is precious. Life is oh so short. You just don’t know how much time you have left!
Oh and Mary, if you can hear me on the other side, know that you mattered to me more than we will ever really know!
Sending you big, big love