Life With a Purpose Comes With Life Lessons-A Cat In A Jar!

Dec 19, 2014 by     3 Comments    Posted under: Life Lesson, Life Purpose

Stuck in Life LessonI’ve been stuck, stuck and more stuck. For weeks. For months. This is not to say that I’ve been doing nothing (anything but with my full business running full blast)…it’s more that I’ve felt clogged up, stuck in the mud, pinned in place, trapped like a cat in a jar! I lost my sense of forward creative motion somewhere along the way this year and that old feeling of apathy and “what’s the point?!” crept in slowly and steadily until I felt like I just didn’t have any enthusiasm and I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Every day I’ve lain there, with my cats sprawled all over me, and pressed the “snooze” button on the alarm as many times as I could get away with before telling myself out loud, “get up! get up! you MUST get UP!” Sigh. Thank goodness I have such a stubborn thumb to use on myself, when necessary.

This is not my normal state of being…at least it hasn’t been since I found hands and started reading them so many years ago. There’s always more than I can do and so much to be excited about. Usually I wish I could clone myself so I can do all the things I want to do with hands while I am still alive and kicking here on Planet Earth. So I bought a book I came across about the nature of “mojo” and what to do to get it back when you lose it. And, nope, it didn’t help. I gave myself more time off. And, nope, it didn’t work. I treated myself to more nice little things. And, nope, that didn’t make any difference. Ack! What the h*%ll happened anyway? When things go wrong in my life the catalyst is typically some sort of running off the rails crisis, usually someone else’s or a beyond-my-control-tech-problem since I’ve learned (I hope mostly?!) not to create unnecessary negative drama for myself (geez, life has enough drama built-in already, no?!). But this time it hasn’t been a meltdown. It’s been more of a gradual cessation of movement, like a big heavy freight train that’s slowed down until it inevitably grinds down to a halt. Or like sinking in quicksand: you know it’s happening yet nothing you do stops you from sinking slowly into the goopy morass. And it’s felt impossible to get out and get rolling again.

So, here we are and the last thing I intended to do was write some kind of “end-of-year-out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new” essay. Even that seems trite and cliché and not-another-one-of-those! Bleh! Oh please! And…

…in a tutoring session a student used the phrase, “When your horse dies, get off!” in reference to the hands we were looking at and all of a sudden my inner ears perked up and said “YES! That’s just what I need to do!” Then that evening I was enjoying a re-read of one of my favorite little books called “Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils and Rewards of Artmaking” (this book is fabulous and should have a subtitle about LIFE: read it!) and there was the phrase about getting off dead horses-again.

Gotta Do Your Life Lessons to Get a Life With a Purpose

Life Lesson and Gift Marker PenaltySo, I decided to ask, “what are the dead horses in my life?” and very quickly realized that I was stuck in the blind spot of my Life Lesson and that I’d slid into it a little bit at a time until it was clogging up everything in my life. You see I have the Life Lesson of “Powerless Voice” coupled with the tiny little upper pinkie Gift Marker that can make so much running-in-circles-trouble (called the Messenger) and another one that tells me I’m required to continuously spread my message to as many people as possible or live in apathy and fear of rejection (Star of Apollo/Stand in the Spotlight)…a Delicious Dilemma indeed. And it hit me that I had some tough conversations I was avoiding on the personal side of my life. I was NOT using my powerful voice, but swallowing down what I had to say and so the Messenger in the Spotlight started running me around in apathetic afraid to speak circles (I can see myself spinning in place and drilling right down through the floor and deep into the earth where it is tight and dark and silent and there’s no air and no one can hear me and I grind to a halt and am trapped-shudder).

Mostly the conversations I need to have on the professional side don’t hang me up much these days because there is generally some kind of time limit or urgency to get it done. It simply isn’t possible to avoid it and I have good structures in place and my fabulous colleague Janet to consult to help keep me in-line. But in my personal life it can be much harder for me to let people close to me know when I’m unhappy with something or want them to do something that they might not like. I can walk around on eggshells avoiding it with great meticulous care. And just when I thought I was starting to get the hang of this life lesson stuff! Wheee! I’m hang-gliding along—I think I’ve got this!—and wham! then I make a mistake and hit the cliff…again.

So, my biggest dead horse: who do I need to have a “tough conversation” with in my life? Where am I not using my voice to express what I want? (ie. where am I falling down on my Life Lesson) That was all too easy to see…three of them needed to happen. Not just one, but THREE! Yet one of them was the hardest of all, so I put it at the top of my list and vowed: I will NOT carry this into the New Year with me! (this is where the end of the year, New Year thing came in unexpectedly as a motivating theme…)

Angry at Life LessonOnce I saw this I woke-up to the fact that I was very angry and having exhausting heated arguments in my head most of the time (even in my dreams). It had all been simmering just below the surface and suddenly the volume cranked UP! (and I was cranky, whew!) While gardening I found myself replaying my own sad and tired ancient life history. I was chewing things over and over and I became weary and even disgusted with my inner dialogue, and my outer dialogue talking to friends about it (except the one I needed to talk to, of course), and my ongoing procrastination. All I needed to do was SPEAK UP. But, it’s my Life Lesson, which is easy to talk/think about and can be so hard to do! I kept setting a day to have the hard talk I needed to have…and kept slipping myself out of it with some reason why I should do it tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. I started to live in dread of and hate “tomorrow.” Every day became poisoned. Sigh. My inner tension got so high I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin. My brain went into a fog (with the angry voices playing) and I felt paralyzed. So, the day came when I could barely sit at my desk, much less get anything done, and I told myself, “THIS IS THE DAY!”

Life Lesson FearAnd then things got even worse. That’s when the heavy fear sprang up like so many ghouls. I’ve got arch and tented arch fingerprints, which combine to show that on the downside I can procrastinate, be risk averse, and experience so much mental and physical pit-of-the-stomach-fear I became short of breath and start to feel like I truly want to run away and hide and never come out. All I could do was sit at my desk with my hands frozen on the keyboard and breathe, so that’s what I did. And suddenly the five-word, direct-to-the-point statement I needed wrote itself in my mind’s eye and I sat there and repeated it to myself over and over again like a mantra, rehearsing. Five words were all that needed to be said. Five withheld words were the cork that was holding up everything, wrapping me up like a mute mummy, circling around me and within me so that I was nailed into place unable to say anything about anything. Five silenced words were putting my life on hold, caging me, dragging me down, stopping my ability to express myself everywhere in my life, and ruining my every day and night.

So, as soon as I saw my friend I took a deep breath and said the five words, then stopped and took another deep breath. And I lived. And my friend lived. No one burst into flames. No one fainted or died on the spot. And my friend understood, even as there was sadness. And in the midst of our talking (and crying, both of us) it hit me that I’d hurt my friend more by tiptoeing around for months and keeping to myself with no explanation. This hurt my friend much more than just saying those five words. Not to mention all the struggles I’d put myself though! Talk about an even larger lesson learned! (and no, this was not a relationship break-up! just staying neutral to “protect the innocent”!)

Life checklist for Life Lesson Blind SpotsFrom there I went on and made a lists of all the “dead horses” I could find in all areas of my life…from fixing the front door screen latch, to getting a repair done on my car, to getting rid of stuff around the house, to buying things that make my life easier. What do I need to let go of because it is DEAD? When does holding on hold me back? What am I holding onto that is useless, destructive and/or draining?

Example: My cell phone became ancient history (at 3.5 years old) and has been running slow and programs are crashing about 50% of the time. BUT I don’t want to have to buy a new phone, it’s going to cost so much money, and take time to learn and to go get it. So, I made myself do the research one night, sitting in bed all cozy with the kitties, and guess what? I got a top-notch, brand new, furiously fast phone plus monthly service for LESS than what I’ve been paying for my old outdated phone service each month. OMG! Getting a brand new phone is going to save me money and time! There it is again…another dead horse dragging me down and draining my time and energy. GONE!

Example: My front door screen latch has bugged me every single day since the rain started and it swelled up. I finally got out my tools and fixed it in only 10 minutes. Heck! I thought about it and struggled with it for way more than that over the time it wouldn’t close. And how many other people wasted time trying to get in or get out when it was stuck? DONE!

So, I’m working on burying my dead horses…which is really about seeing things as they are and taking care of them, the business of life, and myself. I’m thinking even more about this as I do things and cross them off my list. I’m even getting “radical,” especially for die-hard stoic do-it-yourself me. Should I hire a cleaning service to come in twice per month? I’m not eating as well as I could be (I need a wife! :>) ). Can I do something about that? Get a slow cooker that I can just toss things into and let it cook all day, nice and easy? I just delegated SEO for my business websites to someone else who can keep up with it better than I can. And what else???!! Trying to do everything myself is one of my major dead horses, so how can I recognize this even MORE and take some bold steps to make some changes? I’m checking every corner and deciding to push my own boundaries in getting help with things for the first time in my life.

Lines of Genius Gift Marker Means Speak Up!Can you tell I’ve gotten my “mojo” back and I’m unstuck? I’m on a roll again! And “all it took” (haha!) is going a conscious round with my Life Lesson to get moving again. And it was hard. And so very good. And I’m proud of myself for it, instead of feeling bad for avoiding it. And I am SO READY NOW FOR 2015 (even if my lists aren’t quite done yet…I’ve got a few days left…and the rest of my life!)

How about you? What’s dragging you down that you resist letting go of that stops you from moving forward with your one and only precious life? Can you pick one thing and NOT carry it forward with you? Why not give it a try!

3 Comments + Add Comment

  • Great article Ronelle! Glad you made it back :)

    I have been doing some deeper ‘limiting belief’ work on myself recently and could see that from childhood my lifelessons were kicking in. Isn’t it funny that we -who should know better kind of thing- are just like everyone else who hasn’t discovered hand analysis, in as much as we can still find the places that trip us up.
    Thank goodness for hand analysis that we can find these things about us in a more direct way so we can catch those slippery little buggers!
    We are on a facsinating journey of onion peeling. Ahh … will we ever be done? haha

    And yes, get a slow cooker, they are great!
    (My fav things in my kitchen are a sharp knife, slow cooker and vita mix.)

    • Hey Jocelyne! Yes, isn’t it amazing how human we all are! For me it seems that being aware of what’s going on is what makes the difference between “driving” my life (i.e. being able to use my free will as well as possible) versus being “driven” entirely BY life and the vagaries of my human system. At least that’s what it feels like! Big love to you! We ARE on a fascinating journey of onions peeling and it just doesn’t stop (we’d be bored it if did, no?!)

  • Terrific article! Love the visuals!!