Questioning the work I do: Fearlessness, Open Heartedness, and Lists

To do listsI’ve been spending a lot of my journal writing and thinking about the never-ending list of things to do. What needs to be done, when, and what it will take. Almost every day, my writing would be about what I had to do, what it would take, and often, how much I didn’t want to do it. Part of it, I think, was trying to meet a daily word count goal. But, if the words make me anxious and feel like crap, do I really want to write those words and count them toward my daily aspirations?

This weekend, I spent some time in service to my local meditation center, who was holding Level I this weekend. One of the things that struck me and that I’ve been thinking about since was the reminder that what was really required was not perfection. Rather, it was being open hearted and fearless. To welcome potentially 50+ people with hospitality and genuineness – this was our task.

How does this relate to the work I do outside of the meditation hall? How do I interact with my world when I feel like I have to be perfect?

For me, I think perfectionism is ones of the elephants in the room. Not the cute cuddly elephant, either, but the one who can’t move in this room, but we keep averting our eyes, trying not to look at it. But, it affects everything I do, every way I move in this room (and in this world). Not mentioning it has become painful, because I see how there are threads of it through everything in my life.

I see how it keeps me from opening up, because of the vulnerability and mistake making it takes to be open. There is no perfect way to be open, not if you’re being truthful.

We are messy human beings, and it takes a lot of courage to have my mess be out there, to have my mess brush up against someone else’s. I want it to be All Okay. But, I do a disservice to myself and others when I deny the elephant in the room.

It removes the open heartedness of storytelling, leaving them dry and uninteresting.

That’s not the truth of our stories.

How do *you* begin to reach the truth of your own storytelling?

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2 thoughts on “Questioning the work I do: Fearlessness, Open Heartedness, and Lists

  1. Hi Stephanie, I understand this completely. The thing about perfectionism is that it’s nuerotic. Perfectionism doesn’t get us anywhere. When a song writer sings a song you like, does it matter if it’s perfect? Sometimes, the best messages in life aren’t the ones where the ts are crossed and the i’s are dotted, it’s the ones that are rugged, raw, and real.

    I also have been doing meditiaton. I think it really brings me closer to my work. If you go to “Meditation Oasis” (meditationoasis.com), I found a great creativity podcast that helped me deal with some blockage I was having with my story. Try it out, tell me what you think!
    -Marla

    • There is so much truth to the fact that the things that meet us where we are are often the ones more rugged, more raw. It’s the open heart; you can see the writer/singer/artist has touched that space and it simply sings.

      Meditation is really at the root, for me, to my creative process. It’s what helps me to let go and really seek, really look, and feel there’s a container in which I can do it *safely*, if that makes sense.

      Thanks for the link! I will check it out! What do you find most helpful in the podcast?

      I appreciate your comments.

      Stephanie

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