Your sense of wonder and awe will lead you back to creativity, even in the most chaotic times.
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
~Mary Oliver (excerpt from ”When Death Comes”)
I was excited to read the email from my coaching client. I hadn’t heard from her in about four months and was looking forward to hearing her progress. I clicked on the message and read the first line:
“I’m in total hell here. I need your help. DESPERATE. Please let me know when we can talk.”
My heart sank into my stomach. I was immediately on high alert and very worried. We quickly scheduled a call.
Thankfully, everyone in her family was healthy and safe. Everything else, though, was falling apart.
When we had finished our six months of work together (four months prior), she was off and running. She had hit the reset button on just about every aspect of her life and business. She had established healthy habits, found clarity on her ideal clients, crafted razor sharp messaging reflecting her passion and genius, and discovered a new-found desire and ability to connect to her creativity.
“Even my sex life with my husband is off-the-charts amazing!” she had boasted.
The Hardship of Now
Now, she was in tears.
The stress of trying to balance child care, build her business, and keep her family safe weighed and wore on her each day. The straw that had broken her was her husband having his hours cut to half of what they once were. She had two months of savings to stem the financial hit, but that was all.
“I bought a $297 copywriting course and redid the copy on my home page. Now, no one is coming or buying.”
I pulled up her site and read the copy. I immediately spotted the problem: the beauty of who she is was nowhere to be found. Gone were her contagious passion, her inspiring backstory, and her resonant language.
Instead, the page was a formulaic mix of standard copywriting advice. I could not even discern what she was actually offering to the market. It was clear why her sales had dropped: a confused mind says No.
In addition to now pushing a bland formula to potential clients, she had stopped immersing herself in beauty. Had stopped her journaling. Shelved her daily meditation and no longer took walks in her neighborhood. She had also turned away from her sense of wonder, her habit of noticing small things that amazed her and brought her joy.
In the process of frenetically trying to build her business, take care of her family, and hold it all together, she had started back some not-so-great habits: drinking 3 glasses of wine a night, eating junk food, immersing herself in social media, and buying crap online.
She had unhooked from everything that had once grounded and connected her. She had replaced each with barbs from various numbing agents…set deeply in her flesh and spirit.
Regaining Your Sense of Wonder
It is so easy to get lost even in the best of times. When layered tragedy strikes, it is nearly impossible not to lose our footing…either in the moment or for weeks or months.
Regaining our sense of wonder, calm and peace can, though, be simple. Not easy, necessarily, but simple. We can begin looking up again (even when external circumstances are squeezing us from every direction).
When I feel all hope is lost, I know to turn my focus onto what amazes me. The object of my attention can be the way water folds over mossy rocks along a trail in the woods, shadows playing on my desktop near my bay window, the first splash of paint mixed with water on paper, the sound of rustling wind in treetops, lines of poetry that lift me up and out of myself, the aroma of fresh bread in the oven, the sound of my son’s voice on the phone, and the sight of my golden retriever smiling up at me from a swimming hole.
I now know that if I can sew together enough of these moments, I can wrap the shawl around my shoulders and calm myself down. Ease the grip of fear. Take a deep breath and remind myself that I’ve been here before and can get through it again.
This connection to awe and a sense of wonder is not only calming and restorative, it feeds the creative voice within me that has the same effect on others. In other words, when I connect to the Art of the World, I connect to the Art within Me, and can help others connect to their own.
Your Creativity as a Heavenly Body
When we share what is our unique voice..our true self…others look into the lens and feel a shudder of resonance in their bodies and hearts.
We are like those viewing the moon through a telescope for the first time. Stunned and moved and forever changed.
Take a moment to view the short clip below:
There is a gift in the hardship of Now. It is a reminder to us that what saves us is the experience of being alive. Not just visit and be alive here on the surface, but to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel it all. Deeply.
To look up and let ourselves be brides and grooms married to amazement. That is our gift to ourselves and to our fellow travelers who may need us to hold the lantern for them as they regain their own footing.