Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Perfect Comes a Step at a Time

Some friends are at the stage that they are wondering, "What now? What's next?" A couple have been fretting on this for a long time but only looking under the odd rock to see if their life purpose could be hiding there.

As my dad once told me, "You'll never figure out what you want to do sitting in that chair. You've got to get out and try things, see what you love and hate, and go from there."

Or as a fashion editor shared when I showed up with a modeling book, a design portfolio, a photography portfolio, and an illustration book hoping she'd help me choose my path, "I won't tell you which to pick, but I can tell you to choose one. Do it till it's not fun anymore, then pick the next thing." She went on, "I'm 35. I've already had 5 careers and hope to have 5 more before I stop." Great advice. I'm doing NONE of those things now--although I've explored them all.

In the same way, it's hard to extend your self knowledge if you are looking each day at the same artifacts of who you are. Get off the chair, go try something. Get into motion. You never know what you'll find. Like Doon Wilkins says, "Get stumbling." Expecting to KNOW FOR CERTAIN before exploring, is unrealistic. As Sun Tzu says, if you don't know yourself, it doesn't matter if you know the terrain and the opponent, you'll lose every time. In this "battle" for purpose for your life, you must know your Self. See him/her through different lenses by thinking AND doing.

Don't wait until you can find "The Perfect Thing". Get in motion toward Some Thing. That way your muscles will be strong and ready to spring when you see the Next Thing. Along the way, you may just find Your Thing.

Watch for Signs

Reading Doon Wilkin's book Stumbling Toward Enlightenment, I'm reminded that there is not one path towards enlightenment. But as Coelho says, there are many clues that you are on the right path. Watch for omens--or signs that you are heading toward your destiny. For example, I had hoped that I might meet Doon one day. His book and life inspire me. I have/had many questions for him about my path and career and hoped that Canmore, the town we both live in, was small enough that we might meet.

The universe made that happen within a month or two. I joined the Toastmasters group newly formed in town, and who is a club mentor? Doon. Now he's my mentor, I'm helping him with some stuff and we are collaborating on a workshop. How cool is that? It pays to pay attention.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Snuggling into bed last night with the Alchemist, I reread where Coelho says, "The universe conspires to bring you what you want." I nodded, Turned off my light and smiled in the dark.

I had just enjoyed a weekend at Lake Louise celebrating a friend's birthday. People had flown from all over the world to be there, including some of my most beloved gal pals. As with big gatherings, it was impossible to get any one-on-one time where we could talk about our aches and triumphs. I longed for more intimate time/space with them to share.

On the final run of the final day, doesn't the chairlift stop! Suspended 5 metres off the ground with 3 of the best women I know, it took an hour for me/us to notice we were going nowhere. The sun hung high enough above the mountain that we had plenty of warmth for our bodies, our souls soaked up each others' stories. And if that wasn't enough of a gift, we got to ski down an empty mountain into the arms of others who loved us enough to wait 4 hours for our descent. What a feeling!