Had such a great talk with a dear friend this afternoon. It was one of those interactions that end up being a perfectly balanced dance between two people in two different places, both with concerns, both able to offer new insights from different perspectives. A wonderful surprise, especially because the date was set mostly for me. Instead, we found tender places, gathered wisdom from the last rays of a setting November sun.
I've been in the desert. Questioning my direction, my self, my career, my life - the meaning of it all. Closed to all but fear.
I feel poised on the edge of change, teetering on the peak of a wave that will carry me ... somewhere ... with power and speed and exhilaration.
Open to inspiration, it's beginning to pour in. Books on work turn out to be books about spirituality, about meaning, about authentic living. These led to poetry, to more poetry, to more thinking, feeling. Today, the book mentioned the old saying, "When a student is ready, the teacher appears." And vice versa. And that at the right moment, THAT moment, in the breath before all turns, coincidences happen. Maybe because you're paying attention for them. Listening. Focused. Open to miracles. Begging for them. And I realized I'd just experienced a moment of grace - a chance encounter with a woman who works where I'm hoping to work.
And later, talking to my friend, I realized one of the things I'm missing is confidence. More than experience, what I lack is the leap of faith it takes to try something new before you know whether you'll be good at it, before you know how steep the hill to climb, how exhilarating success will feel.
Perpetually the little sister, I constantly feel the need for more mentorship, more leadership, more ... protection. I believe I'm smart. I know I love to learn. I know I will be competent at the things I try. But managing others? Leading a project? Suddenly I falter. I lack faith. Confidence wilts.
What I'm learning from all my work books, though, is that work does not equal identity. Rather, it presents an opportunity to practice being your best self, living and acting with integrity. In the way that marriage should always be the verb and not the noun, work is the unending stream of action and intention, not a label or a product.
Perhaps easier to theorize than live, but still useful to reorient me from despair toward grace.