On my current quest for self compassion and spiritual enlightenment (she says with a shy smile), there is a lot going on for me right now in both heart and mind. It's dizzying, really, but in a butterflies-in-the-tummy kind of way. Like the feeling you get waiting in line for a rollercoaster, or before stepping on stage in front of a live audience. The reading, researching, writing, workshopping, self reflection, meditation, networking, web browsing, podcasting. It is limitless.
Most times I am in love with the whole experience; the unknowns and the pending discoveries. The excitement wakes me up at 5am and pulls me to my journal. It helps set my intention each day. It's the driver for all the existential, "who am I" posts featured on this very blog!
But let's be clear: all of this work can also reveal some pretty scary shit. Like the fact that I can get very lost on the way to being found - or rather on my way to finding myself.
I'm studying the Enneagram right now and I don't know for sure yet which type I am. I keep hoping I end up identifying as a whimsical fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type who trusts myself and everyone around me, who embraces change and thrives with self compassion, curiosity and kindness. Maybe that's Type 10 - which doesn't exist as part of the Enneagram because, let's face it, no one encapsulates all of those qualities without being a deity of sorts - or someone who's just straight up delusional.
So suffice it to say, I've got some work to do uncovering who I am Enneagram-wise. More on that later, once I unpack and understand it all.
But if there's one thing I'm pretty sure about, it's my intrinsic need for stability and certainty. Mostly of knowing where I stand and what's coming next. (Type 6, perhaps?) And right now, that is anyone's guess. I mean, good lord. I left my job of 16 years with a well defined goal and an excruciatingly detailed plan to (drumroll please...): enjoy the process and embark on my creative rediscovery. I mean, what a laugh the printers would get putting that on a business card: "Chief Self Discovery Officer" or "Creative Exploration Ambassador".
And so the questions come:
"So what are you going to do?"
"What's next for you?"
"Where do you think you're headed next?"
(Queries typically followed by the presentation of a business card touting career coaching services.)
Of course, this being the society of products and results, I answer diplomatically with a list of projects I'm working on - you know, to prove I'm spending my time effectively. Or I explain with an air of authority that I'm not shirking my domestic responsibilities or time with my family; that I'm still getting things done for others who need me.
But the truth is, this is 100% on me. These are the stories I tell myself - all strewn with "shouds" and "could haves" - and I can either accept them or kick them to the curb. Because I doubt very much that anyone I love and trust is perplexed by my current life path. I made it all up - poof! - like some maniacal self-doubting magician. Stories about what success looks like, or how self worth comes from career or being a Super Mom.
There is no need to perpetuate these stories anymore. I'm done.
So, what am I going to do? Probably embark on a whole lot of adventure - with some starts and stops along the way, I'm sure. A good deal of psychological and spiritual contemplation. Lots of connection with new people and ideas. Loads of good times and aliveness. And maybe even a finished project or two I feel proud and fulfilled with.
Stories. We all have them. I'm going to rewrite some of mine. Will you?