Your Quest2016 Prompt today:
Would they miss you if you were gone?
What would have to change for that question to lead to a better answer?
When I first read this prompt at 6:30 AM when I intended to begin my writing day, I saw that it was very nearly the same question Seth Godin, verbose, erudite and prolific Seth Godin asked us last year. Dang, I thought to myself, (because who else, really, do I think to?) I was hoping for a new, more daring question from Seth, because he is a firebrand, a brainiac with humor and audacity. “Would they miss me if I were gone?” To me, the potent part of this question is the “they.” Who THEY are is key to me.
So instead of responding to the prompt, I tottered on to read other things that feed the teaching I will do tomorrow at the final Sunday of Sacred Refuge Sundays. The next set of those classes will open up here on the Solstice, when my brand new site launches. There are four seats open for Sacred Refuge Sundays. You can read all about that here.
First, I read this:
“Beginning well involves clearing away of the crass, the irrelevant and the complicated to find the beautiful, often hidden lineaments of the essential and the necessary.”
which gave me immense courage because tomorrow, while I am ending one class, I am also test driving my soon to be unveiled Powder Keg Online Writing Workshop tomorrow night and
clearing away the crass
is exactly how I had plan to open that class. Without having read David’s instructive words, I asked my test students to bring dust clothes to their desks for the workshop because I believe we need to actually DO the thing that we think will help us clear the decks and prepare to engage with what is, as David writes, essential and necessary.
Then I read this:
“Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into the realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.”
and this was even more comforting because I am massively immersed in the realm of the uncertain right now and fearing some steps that I feel compelled and driven and drawn to take. Like stepping out closer to the edge of cliff to get a fuller view, I am stepping more completely in to sharing my work online. My brand new and really fancier website is about to launch. It will allow you to see more of my work, learn more about my teaching and hopefully, provide you with a deeper look at what happens when women live out loud with fully engaged voices. My blog will still be here, BTW.
Having read David and Elizabeth, and then a little Rumi and Mark Nepo, and it still being nearly dark and very early, I poured a hot cup of lemony ginger tea and returned to my meditation pillow to do my daily practice. Okay, I fooled around with laundry in there too, but not for long. Because, I know, that daily practice is just that, daily. If I continue to show up, things will change. Not like old Seth’s prompt. That didn’t change. No sir.
So, here I sat.
And while I sat, the question floated through me, about would they miss me when I was gone and who THEY are. Often when I meditate, things like this happen in my head, “okay, you set the timer for 15 minutes, do ya think you could steal a peek to see how much time has passed yet?….then I repeat a mantra that I love from Thich Nhat Hanh which washes away my thoughts about time…for a few seconds…then….my nose itches…..mantra mantra…then a sentence that sounds true that I might could use, say in a post like this….mantra mantra…then I recall what Susan Piver, whose meditation book I study daily, remember the daily thing? Susan says she has pesky thoughts like this that she entertains for only 12 seconds, then she returns to her breath, OH HER BREATH….I can do that. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Mantra. Mantra. Mantra…” and then, as if the flickering candle writes on the inside of my heart, I hear this:
“You want to know who would miss you if you were gone? I would. Me. Your awareness, what you kindle with this daily practice, that which you so fruitfully return to every single day and good on you for that. If you did not appear on this pillow in the soft dark or out on the road for a Zen walking practice, I, this greater bigger knowing I that you take in to your creative practice, I would not be here. I would miss this. And then all the ways you manifest this inner life in to form and draw others to tend to their inner lives would not happen. This act you call creative practice, this time, this way, would miss you. Very much.”
That was longer than the 12 seconds in which I am supposed to be entertaining thoughts.
But, I listen.
My awareness has its say.
It would miss me if I did not show up.
What had to change in order for a better answer to arrive was my own attitude.
And if I did not show up on this pillow, or on this page or in my journal or in my workshops and classes, or even, in my soon to be launched website, my creative expression, my unique brand of wonderment, would be lost on the world.
And maybe this unique brand that is me does not solve global warming or house refugees, but it does provide something meaningful in the world. I trust this. Entirely and with my whole being.
As usually happens in meditation, the thorny peevish stuff that was bugging me reforms in to a new question or opportunity for more meaningful and direct action. I am soothed. I embody joy without effort. Joy just rests here, within me.
I know you, my beloved readers of Laundry Line Divine would miss me if I did not show up here once in awhile. Believe me when I say, I am ardently tending to this blog in the upgrade you are about to experience so as not to put you off in any way. I am making a bigger basket for us here. If you’d like to read last year’s response to Seth’s prompt last year, it was one of the most commented upon posts this website has ever experienced. And those comments very much informed the work I have done in 2015.
So, on the day after the new moon, when the dark is darkest and the stars here in the Berkshires blaze brightly, I ask you to consider how you are showing up and who would miss you if you didn’t. It is a poignant question. Last night around a fire with some of my Circle, joined by my girl Catherine, we sang for the many we know who have recently died or are very very ill. Showing up is on my mind big time. And approaching the holidays, the absence of loved ones is impossible to avoid.
In closing, I dare you to show up for yourself this season. Take better than usual care of yourself. Sidestep the open maws of guilt and shame that yawn in our direction. Keep on your path towards simple beauty and connection. Be truthful where you haven’t yet found the courage to be so. Open your journals and then write. Let yourself enjoy solitude if that is what is calling you. Sit under the stars with your people and feel the magnitude and the gift of this dark time. And then, send some love to someone else on the planet.
Here is all my love to you.
Another long-assed post, I know.
But, that is how I show up.
Thank you for staying with me.
Your loyalty means the world to me.
On this New Moon, empty your cup. Allow your mind to become open. Release all judgments. Let go of what you know. When the mind is empty, it fills with the expanse of every possibility. Opportunities for growth and increased autonomy easily flow your way. Listen to your intuition, and take inspired action. Plant seeds today for your next quest. It is time to be free!
-Virginia Rosenberg from Qoya blog
I found that quote in a very good post about the New Moon here by Rochelle on Qoya with a New Moon ritual that will have you up on your feet.
Tracking Wonder’s Quest 2016 is still open, if you want to join that pack of business artists
Seth Godin is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin (2011), Tribes (2008), The Dip (2007), Purple Cow (2009), and The Icarus Deception (2012), published by Portfolio. His latest, What To Do When It’s Your Turn (Do You Zoom, Inc. 2014), is an urgent call to do the work we’re hiding from, a manifesto about living with things that might not work, and embracing tension when doing your art.